At the newly renovated spa at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort in picturesque northern Thailand, a whole new world of wellness awaits. There is spa relaxation and pampering, multi-day wellness retreats, and now traditional Thai medicine as well as intravenous drips, a fusion of East and West, ancient and contemporary, therapeutic and indulgent.
Guests are immediately enveloped in serenity from the moment of arrival, opening teak doors onto a cool sanctum of Zen with a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic of wood and stone. After an initial consultation, they are then escorted to their treatment room, either for individuals with a heated treatment bed, steam and terrazzo tub, or for couples with the addition of an aromatic sauna.
The spa’s unique offering is traditional Thai medicine, with a registered therapist from Mae Fah Luang University in residence. Traditional Thai medicine originated in the Sukhothai period of the 13th century. It combines medicinal science and a philosophy of the elements to promote balance and immunity.
Treatments on offer draw on the healing therapies of indigenous herbs, which can be used in masks, steams, baths, massage oils and teas to detoxify, relieve inflammation, and boost immunity, circulation and energy.
Recommended for the adventurous is the ‘pao ya’ treatment for abdominal bloating and discomfort. The belly is gently massaged, then herbs set aflame to release heat and medicinal healing.
Specifically, Lanna treatments, indigenous to Thailand’s north, also draw on the healing properties of fire. Yam khang is a sacred art, and as such is rare and prized. The therapist dips her foot in medicated oil, heats it on an iron ‘khang’ over fire, then massages the body with her foot, relieving pain and releasing blocked energy.
A gentler treatment is the spa’s signature ‘tok sen,’ a rhythmic tapping with a small mallet
and wedge made of tamarind wood that stimulates the energy points and meridian lines of the body. Deep vibration is combined with manual pressure and passive stretching to reset the body and mind.
Anantara Spa is also well recognised for the latest in holistic treatments. In Chiang Mai, these include IV drips, with cocktails of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids delivered directly into the bloodstream for an immediate energy boost or natural glow. Delivered by a registered nurse in a calming environment, treatments also extend to cell and light therapy.
Whether in search of simple relaxation, or a deeper reset of body and mind, guests at Anantara Chiang Mai Resort can embark on multi-day retreats under the supervision of a seasoned team of therapists, doctors, nutritionists and personal trainers. Days are spent exercising, meditating, eating well, and relaxing with signature treatments. The sleep restoration retreat even includes a consultation with a sleep specialist and an overnight sleep test. Guests are then prescribed a series of deep relaxation techniques each night for the ultimate sleep.
Anantara Chiang Mai Resort offers boutique contemporary luxury on the banks of the Mae Ping River, just 15 minutes from the airport. Eighty-four rooms and suites are located on the main grounds, with 24 serviced suites designed for long stays and families just across the road. The central 100-year-old heritage house, formerly the British consulate, plays host to elegant evenings of wining and dining. Leisure facilities include a 34 m swimming pool by the river, and a fitness centre offering yoga, tai chi and muay Thai classes.