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Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket

Guests strike a gong and make a wellness wish upon arrival at Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket in Thailand. Those wishes are the raisons d’être of this establishment, which opened last November on Naka Yai Island, about a five-minute sail from Phuket’s north shore. Here, guests immerse themselves in customized programs that range from three to 21 nights and combine fitness, nutrition, meditation, and conventional and alternative medicine with Thai, Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian spa practices.

During their programs, visitors stay in villas on the 24-acre property, which Bangkok-based Six Senses Resorts & Spas developed over a four-year period as its first destination spa. (The 14-year-old company manages several resorts and spas in seven countries.) Each of the 61 accommodations—surrounded by citrus trees and plantings of sweet basil, turmeric, and lemongrass—has a private pool and an outdoor daybed. Absent from the villas (and from the entire property) are televisions, children younger than 16, and alcoholic beverages (except for organic wines and Champagne served after 6 pm in the restaurants).

Six Senses’ wellness center, the 7th Sense, offers more than 60 therapies, including Chi Nei Tsang, a Chinese Taoist treatment that relaxes the internal organs through stomach massage. Wellness consultants at the center include naturopaths and full-time practitioners with master’s degrees in nutrition and physical fitness. Guests in the care of Taworn Kasomson might undergo what he describes as "equilibropathy"—a technique mixing orthodox medicine, Thai massage, and Chinese acupuncture. The center also provides wellness consultations for guests and arranges for them to engage in activities such as fishing, gardening, windsurfing, and sea kayaking.

Additional pursuits include working out with a personal trainer in the fitness center and participating in yoga classes in the meditation pavilion. Yoga instructor Dominique Lonchant teaches a session on proper breathing, which he says can help ward off stress and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease.

Healthy eating is also part of Six Senses’ preventive-care approach. The destination spa serves "fishetarian" cuisine (vegetarian and seafood—no meat) and raw foods. Meals are served in an alfresco dining area overlooking Phang Nga Bay, and each dish comes with details on its calorie and fat content.

After guests depart Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket, staff members continue to help them fulfill their wellness wishes through e-mail reminders and an online resource center.

Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket, +66.76.371.400, www.sixsenses.com

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Photo by Ellen Jaskol
Photo by Vincent Zanzouri
Copyright by Adriaan Louw