Beyond a workout, spa session or facial treatment, these wellness retreats help you find your centre amidst the stresses of urban life, writes Nadia Badarudin
MARKETED for the stressed out but well-paid demographics, wellness is big business in the health industry. Wellness retreats, which are essentially hotels with tailored itineraries to help you find your centre, are popping up all over the country, promising customers a better, more positive version of themselves after a short stay.
These getaways are located in scenic environments — pretty much like your dream vacation — but instead of just lazing the day away, you are trained to stay motivated and to go beyond the routines of your life.
In other words, the programmes teach you to start taking baby steps to make changes in your life while enjoying a tranquil landscape, state-of-the-art facilities and excellent hospitality.
Wellness retreats can range from keep-fit routines and traditional healings to hi-tech and holistic therapies that are specially tailored to address issues such as weight loss, stress and ageing as well as the general wellbeing of the mind, body and soul.
Whether you want to stay on track when it comes to losing weight or bring out your inner strength, it is never too late to begin your journey towards a healthier life.
Check out the following local wellness centres for one that suits your needs.
THE CHATEAU SPA AND ORGANIC WELLNESS RESORTS
Nestled amidst lush tropical rainforest on Berjaya Hills (about 45 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur), this multi award-winning resort is inspired by the 12th-century Haut Koenisgsbourg castle in Alsace, France.
With a number of acclaimed and international accolades, The Chateau offers a complete organic experience with personalised holistic spa and wellness programmes for discerning guests who want health and wellness experience.
The experience begins with the organic hand towel and welcome drinks offered upon your arrival and the use of organic bed linen in the rooms, bathroom amenities (made from hand-harvested seaweed from untouched ocean bed in Ireland), spa treatments and delightful organic cuisines made from fresh produce from its own farm.
The Chateau is known for La Sante, its signature facility that combines the best of European spa expertise with renowned Asian hospitality. Besides beauty and body pampering, La Sante offers personalised therapy and wellness programmes which include stress relief, weight loss, pre- and post-natal as well as golf and spa retreat for men. Its Physique or Fit for Life programme, for instance, is tailored for fit people to enhance strength and endurance.
Location: Bukit Tinggi, Pahang
THE BANJARAN HOTSPRINGS RETREAT
The Banjaran, which is a 15-minute drive from Ipoh city centre is famous for its breathtaking views of limestone hills surrounding it.
The Banjaran Wellness Programmes take a holistic approach to wellness with the incorporation of healthy meals, exercise and treatments.
The personalised programmes are categorised into five pillars namely detoxification, longevity, rejuvenation, weight management and fitness, and vary from four to 22 days.
The fitness pillar, for instance, encourages you to adopt a fitness schedule that incorporates a variety of one-on-one or group aerobic and holistic exercise sessions such as qi gong, tai chi, yoga and meditation.
Designed to be energising and reinvigorating, the fitness programme includes a rainforest jungle trail and a series of targeted spa, wellness therapies and energy healing treatments like reiki (a Japanese spiritual practice that provides stress relief, relaxation and revitalisation).
Prior to embarking on any of the programme, you have to go for fitness and wellness consultations; the inputs will lay the foundation for improving your overall health and fitness level during your stay.
Location: Tambun, Perak
ENERGY SPA & WELLNESS
Energy Spa is committed to taking its expertise beyond conventional spa ideals and playing a role in creating a healthy society.
The acclaimed five-star facility offers a spectrum of modalities from spa treatments to alternative therapies that integrate quality healthcare, wellness, fitness and healing traditions customised to suit your health and lifestyle needs.
Besides its alternative clinic that provides health, wellness and beauty programmes, Energy Spa also offers pilates, yoga and personal training.
Current favourites are the hot stone combo (that can help relieve stiffness, muscle tension and restore energy and balance) and reiki where life coaching is included in each session to further empower you to manage stress and find balance.
Location: Great Eastern Mall, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur
THE ORCHARD WELLNESS & HEALTH RESORT MALAYSIA
If you want to relax, reboot and recharge, head to The Orchard, a health resort set amidst a tropical fruit farm.
It combines modern medicine (conventional medical, aesthetic and physiotherapy treatments) and holistic practices (traditional Chinese medicine and ayurveda) and offers comprehensive wellness packages ranging from body and beauty treatments to fitness and weight management, sleep enhancement and stem cell transplant.
Its de-stress and relaxation programmes is practical if you suffer from stress, chronic fatigue, lack of focus or migraine.
Each programme incorporates medical consultation, diet plan, massage therapy, yoga and meditation, exercises (gym exercises, boxing, aqua aerobics and tai chi) as well as other treatments to improve blood circulation such as ozone therapy and far infrared medical sauna.
Location: Lubok China, Malacca
Located in Kampung Paya Mempelam in Langkawi island, Yoga Now is ideal if you are looking for a yoga retreat.
The retreat is based on traditional hatha yoga, a combination of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) and relaxation.
There are three types of programmes, namely Relaxed Yoga Retreat for all levels, Intensive Yoga Retreat for beginners and Yoga and Nature Discovery Retreat that includes trips to explore Langkawi’s unique mangrove ecosystems and ancient rainforests. The duration of each retreat varies from four to 14 days.
Location: Langkawi, Kedah
V INTEGRATED WELLNESS
Situated at luxury resort The Andaman, V Integrated Wellness is devoted to conscious living and personal renewal, and offers more than a tranquil island landscape. Its wellness programmes go beyond pampering and indulgence, with each itinerary containing an array of carefully selected treatments and services that complement each other, and enable you to achieve your personal goals and reach a state of complete well-being.
V Integrated Wellness has four core programmes, namely detox, deep relaxation, vitality and soul connection.
The deep relaxation programme, for instance, is ideal if you feel emotionally drained or disconnected from yourself.
It helps you gather your thoughts, re-connect with your inner self and restore harmony within your body. It includes a holistic lifestyle consultation, body and beauty treatments, private yoga sessions, daily nutrient intake, nature walks as well as daily fitness and body and mind activities, among others.
Location: The Andaman, Langkawi, Kedah
OTHER RETREATS TO CONSIDER
1. Dhamma Malaya-Malaysia Vipasanna Meditation Centre
Location: Gambang, Pahang
2. Kechara Forest Retreat
Location: Bentong, Pahang
3. Holm Garden Retreat
Location: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
4. Rumah Holistic
Location: Langkawi, Kedah
5. Float For Health
Location: Tanjung Tokong, Penang