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Body and soul a focus for resorts

Released at: 16:22, 24/11/2018

Body and soul a focus for resorts

Photo: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai

Wellness travel is now a key feature of many resorts around Vietnam.

by Ngoc Lan

As more people prefer to include wellness into their lifestyle and their travels, travel for some is no longer just about sightseeing, cultural experiences, and cuisine, but also an opportunity to take care of their health and beauty. In Vietnam, the concept of wellness tourism remains quite new and expensive, but higher living standards and the opening of luxury spa facilities is making this type of tourism service increasingly popular. Resorts around Vietnam have begun embracing the opportunities, offering a wide selection of wellness services the equal of anywhere around the world.
 
Assorted choices

With architecture and interior design presenting a dramatic play on wind and water and inspired by ancient “feng shui” philosophy and the grandeur of the Tu Duc royal tombs of Hue, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai includes 60 newly-renovated resort villas and 40 pool villas.  

Its wellness services are grouped into three wellbeing virtues gleaned from the earth and based on the five elements. Stability (earth) is in ground treatments that calm and support the physical body, Creativity (fire and water) is in energizing treatments that free blockages and connect guests to new possibilities, and Non-Judgement (wind and space) is in harmonizing treatments that cultivate inner peace and heartfelt compassion. Crystal singing bowls in spas are tuned to the frequency of nature, while treatments that recall lessons in stability, creativity and non-judgement remind guests of their innate capacity to beat as one with the heart of the earth.

Mr. Dwi Susanti, Spa Manager of Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, told VET that they have a unique spa concept inspired by the teachings of Vietnam Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh as a place of support, compassion and acceptance. “As humans, we are made of the same core elements as everything in the universe,” he explained. “Yet by seeing ourselves as separate entities we become disconnected from nature, ourselves and those around us. We forget that the earth nourishes us and that our ingenuity flows like water when we stop trying to control it, and that being in each moment - as opposed to battling against it - brings a feeling of lightness and peace.”

Naman Retreat Da Nang, meanwhile, with impressive traditional bamboo architecture, offers wellness services in Detox Journey packages that have proven effective and also focus on weight loss programs, including a Half Day Detox program, Introduction to Detox, Essential Detox, Organic Green Detox, and Holistic Detox. Wellness retreat packages include food for the soul, a de-stress retreat, wellness cuisine, and a wellness retreat. The de-stress retreat is popular among guests seeking to de-stress and relax while enjoying wellness activities, personalized spa treatments, and sumptuous cuisine.

It consciously created packages to support a healthier lifestyle by nourishing the body with a wholesome plant-based diet that allows the digestive system to rest while providing all the building blocks the body needs to regain vitality, kick-start weight loss, and create new and healthy eating habits. Through personalized nutrition and lifestyle coaching sessions, guests obtain the tools to incorporate these changes into their daily routine, while movement and total relaxation from its yoga, meditation and body treatments guide the mind and body to a state of complete bliss. 

“Our Wellness Journeys were developed with the aim of creating a sanctuary of relaxation and wellbeing from a busy lifestyle,” said Ms. Sheinette Ivy, Director of Wellness & Spa at Naman Retreat. “Our mission is to offer our guests a space to sit back and enjoy life. Whether it’s deepening your yoga practice, indulging in holistic spa treatments, or enjoying mouth-watering food, our goal is helping you reconnect to what is truly important - YOU.” 

Nestled in a tranquil corner overlooking the sparkling waters of stunning Nha Trang Bay, Amiana Resort and Villas Nha Trang is famous for its mud baths, with seven private mud bath rooms with ocean views. During this treatment, the skin absorbs 20 kinds of salts, minerals and organic elements with anti-aging effects to become soft and smooth. But the main effect of the warm mud bath is to rid the body of stress, while having plenty of other beneficial attributes such as healing, improving blood circulation, and detoxification. Mr. Sebastien Rodriguez, General Manager of Amiana Resort and Villas Nha Trang, told VET that mud baths are their main strength and the resort is proposing the one-and-only Luxury Private-Ocean-View Mud Bath in the area. 

Covering an area of 1,040 sq m, the resort’s spa area also provides different activities linked to wellness, such as spa treatments, yoga, and a fitness center. In terms of food and beverages, it also offers detox drinks and a vegetarian menu.

Spa vacationers can also choose other destinations for various wellness and spa options, such as the heritage spa at Pilgrimage Village Resort Hue, the all-inclusive spas at Fusion Maia Danang, the family spa at Six Senses Nha Trang, day spas in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and the beach spas at Princess d’Anam and Antara Mui Ne. “Many resorts are now going for fully-integrated spa treatments, healthy food, and sports activities, as everyone is more and more sensitive to having a good and healthy lifestyle,” Mr. Rodriguez said.
 
Future trends

According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness travel is expected to grow 9 per cent per year to 2019. But will it truly take off in Vietnam? 

Most resorts are designed so that visitors have time for themselves, exploring nature and enjoying the difference to everyday life. Spa treatments are also built at resorts so that visitors can recover and find balance in the mind. Therefore, Mr. Susanti agrees that wellness tourism will become a trend at resorts into the future, especially as personal wellness becomes more essential than ever and many people these days feel disconnected from themselves, the world, and those around them due to their busy lives.

Similarly, Ms. Ivy also believes that in this fast-paced world, wellness travel becomes crucial in returning to the real and most important part of life - JOY. “Joining a wellness program is a great moment to allow for all the noise that surrounds us to stop for a moment, allowing ourselves to dive deep into feeling our bodies again, into noticing what our heart desires and what our mind has to whisper,” she said. “It allows ourselves to observe, to breathe, to feel the breeze and feel grateful for who we are, for where we are standing and for all the little details that surround us and make our experience in this life a true joy.”

Vietnam remains a popular destination among tourists and this presents major potential for wellness services at resorts. Between January and September, Vietnam welcomed 11.61 million foreign tourists, a year-on-year increase of 22.9 per cent. International wellness holiday company Health and Fitness Travel has seen bookings from the Middle East increase 50 per cent over the last two years, as many guests look to spend from seven to 28 days taking care of themselves in popular destinations such as Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Bali, and Vietnam. 
 “Vietnam has all the natural resources to provide interesting products, with a very long coastline and a lot of beaches as well as a lot of water sources in different areas all around the country,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “The food is also very good, with a large variety of different herbs, and fits well with wellness programs. This is definitely something to integrate into new resort concepts.”

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