To some, a healthy holiday might not seem like a holiday at all. But if you’re anything like me, taking a break from the daily grind should be about relaxing, rejuvenating and helping yourself to feel good again. And although this can involve a little indulgence (because balance is key), I’d rather leave my vacay with a different perspective, not dress size.
For those who like an all-or-nothing approach, going on a retreat may be a good option. But if you’re after something less structured, choose a holiday that’s halfway there—yoga at sunrise and cocktails at sunset, anyone?
If this is you, and you’re at the point where a week in hospital with appendicitis looks more appealing than seven days at your desk, I’ve found the answer.
I spent a few days at the Sri Panwa Resort in Phuket, Thailand, and I’ve never felt so refreshed. Beyond the full moon parties and Khao San Road, Thailand is a mecca for the wellness addicts. So if it’s time to book that long-awaited vacation, I’d suggest checking in at Sri Panwa. Here’s why.
Ever feel like you’re sharing your holiday with Room 36 and 38, with the French family who always take the good sunbeds and the Brazilian couple who leave nothing to the imagination?
At Sri Panwa you can enjoy your holiday. The villas are designed to be a personal sanctuary. They’re well spaced, contain your own private pool and come fit with everything you can think of—and some things you can’t (like the perfect holiday playlist).
Choosing a beach destination is the first step to a health-conscious break. Not only will you spend most of your day in a bikini—which is reason enough not to reach for your second helping—the summer heat is more conducive to fresh foods like fruit, juices and salads. I mean, wouldn’t you choose larb over laksa in the forty-degree heat?
Plus, being in the sun literally boosts your mood. Ever wondered why you feel guilty lying on the sofa on a Sunday but doing the same thing on the beach leaves you refreshed? Research has shown that vitamin D actually makes you happy.
Don’t fancy sunbaking and reading your book? You won’t have to. Make use of the resorts plethora of activities—kayaking, snorkelling, and scuba diving—or take a boat out for the day to visit the nearby islands with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
If you’re a bit of fitness fanatic, there’s nothing worse than finding yourself at a hotel without proper exercise facilities. You become that girl, doing dips on the sunbeds and swimming laps in the paddle pool. Sri Panwa not only has a fully equipped gym, it has a two tennis courts as well, both with private instructors on standby.
During my stay I was treated to a Muay Thai boxing class with a professional fighter. To say it was fun would be an understatement—it hardly felt like exercise. Any pent-up stress I had upon entering dissipated with a few punches.
If you struggle to switch off, visit Sri Panwa. Falling asleep to a never-ending sky of stars and waking up to a view of the ocean from your bed makes it easy to disconnect. And if this isn’t enough, practising yoga and meditation on a rooftop surrounded by an infinity pool and almost 360 degree ocean views—a spot which feels like the highest and furthest point of earth—will quickly re-centre you. It’s an experience unlike any other that will leave you with a fresh perspective.
Need a little help in the relaxation department? Book in to Cool Spa. As one of the top 10 luxury spas in Phuket, every treatment offers a sensory experience. I tried a bespoke body scrub and massage, designed specifically for my blood type and I’ve never felt so relaxed. This was by far the best pampering I’ve ever had.
With a clientele list that spans the likes of Snoop Dog and more, the staff at Sri Panwa are familiar with celebrities but they’ll make you feel like one too. They’re welcoming, genteel and extremely kind without being overwhelming. They’ll give you a chance to take a break from the everyday and recharge your batteries.
And if that doesn’t do it. There’s nothing like being able to dive into your own pool from your bedroom to make you feel like a star.
I eat well. But I also eat whatever is in front of me. In other words, I have a good diet because I buy healthy food. At Sri Panwa, wholesome food is always on the menu. With eight different restaurants including a traditional Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Meditteranean and more, it’s not difficult to eat well. And since the owner is a foodie, everything is exquisite.
During my stay, Sri Panwa was hosting a pop-up Italian restaurant with two Michelin-star chef, Stefano Baiocco and the Villa Feltrinelli Team. I was treated to an ‘eight-course’ degustation with twelve delicious meals.
I’ve stayed at a number of places in Thailand. I’ve backpacked from the islands to the jungle. Slept in treehouses, beach huts and everything in between and nothing will compare to my time at Sri Panwa. While it may have cost more than the SpicyThai Backpackers, it’s totally within your price range. And if it’s a little bit out, trust me, it’s worth it. No price will compare to how Sri Panwa will make you feel.