We’re just over a fortnight away from waving goodbye to 2017, and after a busy 12 months (and an even busier festive season!), it’s time to indulge in a little “me time.” With so many incredible retreats right on our doorstep, there’s no excuse not to take a long weekend and unwind away from it all. Sure, some can run pretty pricey, but there are options that are slightly more in line with our budgets. We’ve rounded up a select few to help you reset in 2018; from tucked away onsens, to exclusive private islands and yoga-filled retreats, there’s something for everyone…
Perfect for getting away from the crazy ‘work hard, play harder’ lifestyle of the 852, Museflower in Chiang Rai combines yoga, meditation spa and eco-consciousness into one peaceful wellness retreat.
The all-inclusive packages include: meals, yoga classes, meditation sessions and other activities, and you certainly don’t need to be a pro yogi to enjoy the benefits of getting away from it all here. Don’t go expecting five-star luxury, as Museflower is all about paired back living and getting back to basics, you won’t even find a TV or Wi-Fi in your room! A welcome change for us Hong Kongers who are constantly glued to our phones, you’re sure to return home to the city refreshed and ready to take on the world anew.
Read more: Museflower Retreat: Reconnect & Recharge in Chiang Rai
Fly To: HK Express flies to Chiang Rai International Airport twice a week (Mondays and Fridays)
Flight Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
How much: 3, 5 or 7-night yoga or spa retreats start from 16,480THB (approx. $3,950) – all packages include 3 vegetarian meals per day
Best For: A reasonable wellness option in terms of price, with everything included in your upfront cost
What could be better than escaping it all and reveling in total relaxation on a private island? The award-winning Song Saa Private Island is a conservation-based luxury island in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago, which works to improve local livelihoods and preserve the region’s marine life and rainforests.
Its ‘spa with no walls’ is not your typical resort spa. Made up of ‘sanctuaries’ dotted around the island, treatments take place nestled in nature and its practitioners are trained in everything from traditional Khmer therapies, yoga, reiki, meditation and more. Fresh, seasonal and organic ingredients are used in all dishes created on the island (with vegan and veggie options available), so all that’s left for you to do is take in the ocean breeze and enjoy the feeling of sand in between your toes…
Read more: What to do in Cambodia: Backpacking Siem Reap and Koh Rong Island
Fly To: Phnom Penh International Airport
Flight Time: Between 2 hours, 25 minutes and 2 hours, 45 minutes, plus a 3-hour drive (and a short speedboat ride to the island)
How much: From USD $890 a night (based on two-person occupancy room)
Best For: A major splurge to totally get away from it all
It may not be your typical spa retreat, but you haven’t known true relaxation until you’ve bathed in a Japanese Onsen. Found all over Japan, these traditional hot spring baths may seem a little daunting to Westerners (no swimsuits here!), but once you get over the fear, it really is worth it – we promise.
Typically housed in a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn), your experience will be clean, comfortable and authentically Japanese. Although these are found throughout the country, Ryokan Sawanoya is a great choice as it is easily accessible from either airport in Tokyo, meaning that you can explore the bustling city streets, and escape to an oasis when you need a little rest and relaxation. The rooms are no frills, with sliding paper screens, futons to sleep on unrolled nightly, and all guests provided with cotton yukata robes – a charming and quaint experience that every should try at least once. The Ryokan is also located very close to Ueno – which is beautiful during Sakura season!
Read more: 24 hours in Tokyo: What To See & Where To Go In Just One Day
Fly To: Tokyo Haneda Airport or Tokyo Narita International Airport
Flight Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes (to Haneda), 4 hours, 25 minutes (to Narita), plus train ride to Ryokan Sawanoya
How much: Room rates range between 5,400 yen (approx. $380) and 16,200 yen (approx. $1,130) per night
Best For: An authentic Japanese Onsen experience
Sassy Tip: The Ryokan only has 12 guestrooms, and only two of these have private bathrooms, so it’s worth booking in advance if a private bathroom is essential!
Easily accessible from Manila airport, you’ll feel worlds away from it all at The Farm at San Benito, set in the midst of an eco-friendly coffee and coconut. The focused and transformative retreats here range from five days to four intensive weeks, with all programmes individually tailored, and options to include: medically guided detoxes, emotional retreats and all-round healing. Alongside the blissful escapist surroundings, with luxurious and exclusive facilities, the resort also serves an all-vegan menu to help detoxify your body.
Read more: Boracay Bound: Your Guide to the Most Famous Beach in the Philippines
Fly To: Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport
Flight Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes, plus a 90-minute drive (approx.)
How much: Room rates start at USD $200 per night (based on two-person occupancy room)
Best For: A vegan wellness retreat set in its own natural private paradise – the only one of its kind in the Philippines
Okay, this one may be a little further away, but as the home of Ayurveda, we could hardly not include a wellness retreat located in India. The perfect place to rejuvenate, KARE is set amidst beautiful landscape, atop a mountain besides Mulshi River in Pune district of India. With a unique blend of traditional Kerala Therapies, Iyengar Medical Yoga and Ayurvedic Diet on offer, the practices here are intended to help you back to your optimum well-being, and balance your mind, body and soul.
Fly To: Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Flight Time: 6 hours, 30 minutes, plus a 3-hour drive (approx.)
How much: Room rates start from 3,450 INR (approx. $418) per night; treatment packages range from 6,545 INR (approx. $794) to 7,945 INR (approx. $964)
Best For: An authentic Aryurvedic experience for relaxation and rehabilitation