I love Hong Kong, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes this great city of ours can really kick the you know what out of me. Bright lights, high energy, crowds and small living spaces can leave even the most chilled out girl needing a holiday away. Couple this with long working hours followed by marathon eating and drinking sessions on Wyndham Street, it is no wonder so many of us walk around the streets of Hong Kong looking stressed, tired and in major need of a weekend away.
I always laugh to myself about the extreme need for a vacation in Hong Kong. With so many public holidays and proximity to so many amazing places, it seems as if a good majority of Hong Kongers have their passport stamped on a semi-regular basis. I often find myself telling my family that I desperately need a holiday away only to have them remind me that I was just away on some beach living it up while they suffered away working back home in the States. True, they have a point but then again, they don’t live in Hong Kong – the fabulous city whose stress level is sky high at any given point in the day.
We all know there are many different types of holidays and as a Hong Konger we pick them for very different reasons. At certain points in time during the year a city holiday is simply fab while other times I want to do nothing more than sit on a beach and sip a gin and tonic as I munch on spring rolls.
But then there are the times where you just want to get away from it all, recharge, destress, detox and just come back to yourself. When those moments hit head immediately to Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand’s Premier Detox and Yoga Resort. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Absolute Sanctuary is located in Koh Samui and it’s only a short 3-hour plane ride from Hong Kong. I recently packed my bags for a 3-day Rejuvenation Package (yippee!) to experience the joys of allowing myself to officially detach from everything back at home. I must admit upfront that I have a very hard time letting go. I am one of those people who constantly check email and need to reply immediately and I am a self-proclaimed people pleaser, so lovely Absolute Sanctuary had its work cut out!
I arrived at Absolute Sanctuary on a Sunday evening and upon landing and feeling the warm air on my skin, I started to right then and there feel my body release. I got off the plane and skated quickly through immigration and, since I just had carry on luggage (piece of advice – pack light;you will live in yoga clothes and your bathing suit), I glided to the pick-up area where I was greeted by someone from the resort.
The resort itself is situated about 10 minutes from the airport, so I was checked in and relaxing in my Moroccan inspired room in no time! There are 38 rooms all located surrounding the pool and everything on the resort is easily accessible; while you may want to keep a low profile, it maintains a nice community feel that will make even the quietest of solo travellers feel part of the scene without compromising their need to be alone.
Absolute Sanctuary prides itself on its detox programs. If you are looking to cleanse your body and lose some weight, you can select one of their 3 signature detox programs, which vary from The Ultimate Detox (their most effective fasting program), The Living Foods Detox (raw foods) or The Vegetarian Detox (cooked veggie meals). The Detox programmes come with regular colon hydrotherapy sessions, a set schedule of detox drinks, high quality nutritional supplements and plenty of coconut juice and broth soups to keep you feeling good. You also get to enjoy a Thai Massage and unlimited yoga during your stay and you can just bask away by the pool during your free time.
I am taking itty-bitty baby steps towards the Detox program, so as a starter I decided to go for the Rejuvenating Package. The numerous amounts of treatments you get with this package pretty much sold me on the spot. With this package you can select the length of stay (3-5 days) based on your preference and you will be pampered with body scrubs, massages, facials and foot reflexology during your visit. You can enjoy unlimited yoga, a hydrotherapy colon session and three A La Carte Vegetarian Meals at The Love Kitchen.
The Love Kitchen specialises in food made with… yup you guessed it, love. All dishes served are proof that healthy food can be deliciously satisfying. When dining at The Love Kitchen, you will be given a menu especially designed for your package so you know that what you are ordering is a nice compliment to the treatment you are on.
My first day at this haven included a session with Absolute Sanctuary’s wellness consultant Janelle. It is great to sit down with her when you first arrive so she can get a gage for how your diet is, what your nutrition and emotional concerns are and tell you the appropriate course of action to focus on during your stay. At the end of your visit, you will meet with her again to discuss your progress and she can suggest ways to take a bit of the Absolute Sanctuary mentality back with you to your home – so helpful!
So, what did I do during my three-day stay? Well, it is simple really; it all boiled down to becoming comfortable with the art of relaxing and coming back to myself. I woke up to sunny skies, headed over to a morning yoga class, ate a healthy breakfast, hung out and read by the pool, sipped on the unlimited juices from the pool bar (my faves were the Happy Belly and Watermelon Mint), pampered myself with massages and facials, ate lunch, did an evening yoga class, swam in the pool and then ate a yummy dinner and put myself to bed.
So basically, my days consisted of all the simple pleasures in life that I either never get to do in Hong Kong or rarely get to appreciate because my mind is always moving on to the next thing on my to do list.
Absolute Sanctuary is a space for rejuvenation. It is the place to go when you are feeling down, stressed out, tired, broken-hearted, or just in need of some sun and healthy living. Believe me, you will come back to Hong Kong a little more happier, a little lighter (either in weight or emotionally) and completely ready to tackle this urban jungle of ours with a peaceful, calmer and more zen like approach to big city living.
SASSY DEAL: Just quote SASSY when making your booking to enjoy the below deal! The booking period is until 30 June 2012.
Get 1 extra night FREE for every 3 day or 5 day wellness holiday package bought
Get 2 extra nights FREE for every 7 day or more wellness holiday package bought
SPECIAL NOTE: The Extra night(s) does not include breakfast and the Extra night(s) must be used with the trip booked. The Extra night(s) is non transferable, non exchangeable for cash