Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand
Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand
Vladislav Doronin is the billionaire chairman of Aman Resorts, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel groups. He is also a bit of a health fanatic so the company’s new spa programmes were always going to be something special. Launched last summer under the watchful eye of ex-Chiva-Som general manager Paul Linder, these ‘immersions’ focus on renewal and nourishment, both physically and spiritually. Marry the highly skilled team of practitioners with the postcard perfection of Amanpuri, the seriously glamorous hideaway in Phuket, and the promise of that bone-warming sunshine, and it’s almost impossible not to attain an inner glow. The hotel’s Thai-style teak villas are dotted among the lush folds of a former coconut plantation overlooking a private beach of white sand lapped by jade-green waters. For wow-factor wellbeing, there’s a stunning spa that radiates serenity thanks to its zen architecture.
But the key to these holistic retreats is personalisation. While most places only play lip service to the idea, Aman is so sincere about individual attention that participation is limited to just eight guests at any one time. This means the team can calibrate every single detail of your stay, based on one of four themes: cleanse, mental awareness, fitness or weight. Note: there is no detox. This is a gentle and intelligent steer towards sustainable, long-term balance, rather than quick-fix starvation diets and trick psychology. You will never go hungry – minibars are stocked with customised snacks such as energy balls. TVs are available but don’t get one; every room has a large terrace or balcony so opt for quiet contemplation of the Andaman Sea instead. Besides, who needs Poldark when days are packed with two or three classes and at least 60 minutes of spoiling spa treatments?
Those booked in for fitness may get endorphin-releasing kick boxing followed by muscle-releasing rubdowns; those on a cleanse may have water-based cardio and effective lymph-draining massages; awareness guests might be prescribed silent reflection and transformational craniosacral therapy. Each session is elevated to extraordinary by the quality of practitioners, including Anamai Apaiso, a revered former Buddhist monk turned mind trainer. With so few guests, timetables can be monitored on a daily basis and adapted depending on feedback – as can your diet. Food is vegan, much of it raw, all of it delicious. You will not feel deprived by mouthwatering pasta primavera in which fine strands of courgette replace tagliatelle and there’s a delicate avocado dressing instead of the traditional creamy sauce. This is a sophisticated, A-list retune done the Aman way, which means there’s loads to learn, it won’t hurt one little bit and you’ll leave feeling utterly amazing.