BEST of the BEST 2014 | Journeys | Spas: Como Shambhala Retreat at Point Yamu by Como

  • Cynthia Rosenfeld

Perched high above the tourist-filled beaches of Phuket, the new Point Yamu by Como is a serene getaway on Thailand’s biggest and busiest island. The 106-room resort from the Singapore-based Como Group debuted in December with a sleek minimalist decor by the Italian designer Paola Navone and a sublime setting along the dramatic limestone outcroppings of Phang Nga Bay. The resort stands out most, however, for its eight-treatment-room spa: the Como Shambhala Retreat at Point Yamu by Como.  

The calming atmosphere at Point Yamu’s spa owes as much to the property’s subdued design and peaceful location as it does to the holistic wellness approach employed by Como, which operates Como Shambhala Retreats at eight resorts worldwide. Treatments culled from both Eastern and Western philosophies compose an extensive spa menu that emphasizes Thai healing rituals and such local ingredients as lemongrass (to stimulate circulation) and galangal (to nourish the skin). The 90-minute Lanna Heritage Full Body Compress, for instance, is based on traditional practices that date back more than 2,000 years and incorporates warm herbs and spices that are systematically massaged along the body’s meridians to soothe aches and pains.

Following treatments, spa-goers can prolong the experience with a dip in the spa’s infinity-edge swimming pool or a nap in a padded lounger overlooking the Andaman Sea. Como Shambhala’s signature raw cuisine is available at the spa, while the resort’s two main restaurants serve locally caught fish and other southern Thai specialties. 

Como offers a variety of activities at Point Yamu, including daily yoga and Pilates classes, and cycling, hiking, diving, and cultural excursions. For a taste of Phuket’s energy—minus the crowds—take a trek through the jungles of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park or a private yacht expedition through Phang Nga Bay’s towering karst formations. 

Como Shambhala Retreat at Point Yamu by Como, +66.76.360100, www.comohotels.com