By Jane Wilson
Chiva-Som: The Heart of Wellness Retreat
Breathe in and hold….calm. Breathe out and hold….peace. Repeat many times. Wellness is a natural rhythm of being, no pressure, no stress, no negative thoughts. I find it and feel it at Chiva-Som, a pioneering transformative health and wellness destination. Chiva-Som, the heart of wellness in Thailand is internationally recognised and racks up awards year after year.
Chiva-Som’s Bathing Pavilion
Chiva-Som is located in Hua Hin, a comfortable 2.5-hour leisurely airport transfer from Bangkok. Once a sleepy fishing village, Hua Hin is today a thriving destination with royal status bestowed by King Rama VII of Siam who discovered it. Powdery beaches edge the coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Temples gleam in the sunshine, while this hidden wellness sanctuary lies in wait on its outskirts.
Chiva-Som’s Pavilions and Lake
A Thai Setting
Paved pathways weave through lush, landscaped gardens, skirted with floral planters. Toblerone-shaped multi-tiered swooping roofs provide shade and define classic Thai architecture of this wellness haven. Serenaded with birdsong is a reflective lake laced with lotus flowers and bright orange carp swanning around. A wooden bridge completes the picture of serenity. Teak floors and a calming palette bathed in soft lighting create the ambience of spacious interiors throughout the 54 rooms and suites. And special touches make you feel at home. You can even choose your room’s oil fragrance.
Chiva-Som – Taste of Siam & Outdoor Pool at Sunset
A Wellness Environment
Imagine a luxury boutique hotel fully immersed into a health and wellness environment that is designed to offer the most advanced retreats. A place small enough to know each guest yet large enough to offer state of the art facilities with trained, knowledgeable, therapists. Chiva-Som offers 15 retreat programmes with personal wellness consultants to manage tailored itineraries that ensure the best results and experiences. There are 70 treatment rooms and around 200 treatments. The atmosphere exudes zen and tranquillity with water therapy suites to include every treatment you would expect from Chiva-Som’s wellness heritage of over 27 years.
Thai Pavilion at Chiva-Som
The Age-Well Programme: Tried & Tested
To some extent, we can control premature aging, especially under the 5-night Age-Well Programme that focuses on health preservation via diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. A busy itinerary includes a Naturopath consultation to discuss personal nutrition with tips on stress control and sleep. A daily massage is allocated from a long list. The Chi Nei Tsang, a Taoist Therapeutic Massage, exerts attention on the abdomen – good for digestive problems. The invigorating massage plays a drum roll on those hidden muscles – good for circulation. Private coaching is selected accordingly: spine mobilisation especially for those bending over laptops or gardening, refunctional exercise for core stability and bone density to prevent falls and GyrokinesisÒ which trains the body to move with greater fluidity. New exercises, new mind set with instructions to continue at home.
Chiva-Som’s Garden and Bridge
Steak and mash at 125 calories, strawberry mouse, just 40 calories, I promise, you will never go hungry. Embracing Thai cuisine and the medicinal power of natural herbs and ingredients, dishes at Chiva-Som are created with health and nutrition in mind, using organic produce from its own gardens. Portions are controlled, flavours enhanced and variety is the order of the day to satisfy all taste buds but also to heal and nurture the body and served in the perfect setting overlooking the sea.
Wellness Cuisine at Chiva-Som
Under the Royal patronage of HRH Princess Maha Sirindhorn, driven by Chiva-Som and supported by other sponsors, Krailart Niwate Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation Project is the last remaining mangrove ecosystem in Hua Hin. It is a reconstructed wetland project and an urban nature reserve. it raises awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems, involving the community and helping the environment. And with the opening of a new boardwalk stairway, Chiva-Som now offers “eco-spiritual tourism in the region in its efforts to promote sustainability.
Sustainability- Krailart Niwate Mangrove
Breathe in, hold for longer, breathe out, hold for even longer, Repeat. I’m calm, stress-free and at peace.. I arrived disconnected. I left as a human being from a tailored programme that put me back together. Chiva-Som delivers what it promises. It connects you with your soul, grounds you to the earth and teaches you to breathe again. This is a holiday tailored to your needs, with wellness at its core. Chiva Som is the heart of wellness hidden away in Thailand
‘You are not just a person, you are a being, you are you’. Jane Wilson
Follow the link for more information on the AgeingWell programme
Health and wellness consultation
Three wellness cuisine meals per night stay
Physical and skin analysis
Daily fitness and leisure activities from a choice of 12 daily
Water therapy suites
Post wellness follow up
Complimentary in-room minibar of soft drinks and laundry.
BeSeeingYou In: Thailand
When to go: December to March is when the temperature is comfortable
Good to Know: There is a shuttle service into Hua Hin from Chiva-Som to wander around the night market for those seeking those look-alike designer items
Where to stay: Chiva-Som is situated on the coast with access to a white sandy beach