Samui Wining & Dining
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE
The Spa Resorts specialize in fasting and cleansing, but there many other reasons for a visit.

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Drive around Samui and you’ll see plenty of spas, but one of the best just happens to be the first to be built on the island, simply referred to by everyone as The Spa. Not only has it been going strong ever since its inception, it’s gained a world-wide reputation for its fasting and cleansing programs which leave you amazingly rejuvenated. Thousands of people have taken part and have experienced the benefits of detoxing the body, as well as learning to meditate and increase their sense of well-being.

          

The Spa is set right by the beach in Lamai, and to say that The Spa did well for itself is a bit of an understatement; it proved so popular that owner Guy Hopkins set up a second resort on Samui, this time on a hillside, just a couple of kilometres away. So whether you prefer to be on the sands, or away from it all and close to the jungle, you can spa in the setting of your choice. Guy has also set up further branches on Koh Chang and in Chiang Mai.

          

The main activity at both spas is fasting and cleansing. Dr John Schreiner is in charge of the programs and is a firm believer in the benefits of the programs. “It’s something you have to experience first-hand in order to really understand what it’s about,” he says. “Generally speaking, you feel lighter afterwards, and you have more energy – it’s a very empowering experience.” Most guests enjoy the three and a half or seven day programs which consist of fasting and colonic enemas, or ‘colemas’, as they’re called here, and rarely experience hunger, thanks to the addition of broth, herbal supplements and pure fruit juices.

          

          

There’s been a lot of hype about spas over the last few years and a few have become almost cultish, causing those who might be curious to instead be cautious; step inside these palaces of luxury and you feel you have to keep your voice hushed and earnest. But The Spa Resorts are not like this. They’re deeply convivial places and very relaxing. They’re well-appointed and filled with simple luxury

throughout, but there’s nothing forbidding about them. Take a seat in their restaurants and you’ll feel relaxed enough to start up a conversation with your neighbour. Not just because you’re on a journey to improve your health and already have a lot in common, but because life is just very laidback here.

The practitioners are also friendly and take time to explain everything to you, and will help you with all your concerns. And staying at The Spa Resorts won’t cost you an arm and a leg; these spas have kept everything affordable. Year after year, both see many returnees – they’re that popular.

          

In addition to the cleansing programs, there are also a great many courses available, and the two spas have become places of learning where you can acquire skills that will help you for the rest of your life. You can have sessions with practitioners specialized in very diverse health fields. You’ll find a hypnotherapist, nutritionist, reiki master, energy worker and a cranio-sacral practitioner, while John himself is a chiropractor.

          

The Spa Resorts specialize in fasting and cleansing, but there many other reasons for a visit.

You don’t even need to come to the spas for any particular purpose apart from sheer hedonism. You can come here for a simple treatment. An abidingly popular way to spend a couple of hours is to opt for the massage and clay facial, which includes a session in the spas’ popular steam rooms. The highly-trained therapists offer a range of professional and utterly relaxing massages that will help you de-stress and ease into relaxation. Other treatments offered include classical Thai massage; back, neck, shoulder and stomach massage; foot massage and hand and arm massage. There are also many other options that both guests and nonguests can choose from, as well as a number of classes, including yoga, chi-gong and meditation.

There’s a daily meditation session at each of the spas, and it’s free. Usually they’re led by one or other of the practitioners here, and whether you’re new to meditation or an old hand, you’ll reap all the benefits of experiencing this phenomenally healthy practice.

          

Health is, of course, much to do with eating and as you can expect cuisine is taken very seriously at The Spa Resorts. Their restaurant has been featured as one of the Top 50 in the world in the international magazine, Restaurant. It’s simply called Radiance (there’s one in each of the spas). Expect highly tasty food that’s also extremely healthy. Dishes which include some raw-food recipes, as well as many vegetarian ones. Boring? Definitely not.

          

There’s a lot going on at The Spa Resorts. Many people enjoy combining a stay here with their holiday on Samui, but you don’t even need to be staying here to rack up some healthy benefits. Some of them may well qualify as life-changing, and it’s not surprising that people tend to return here to soak up more of the healthy lifestyle that The Spa Resorts aims to promote.

          

 Dimitri Waring


 


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