Spa + Wellness

Zen Dens: Yoga Retreats

by Adam Skolnick

CHIVA-SOM
Where: Hua Hin, Thailand

Guru says: This retreat, my budding spiritual narcissist, is all about you. Thailand's top destination spa ensures no annoying classmates and no early mornings unless you want them. Upon arrival at the luxurious, secluded seven-acre property located 135 miles south of Bangkok, you'll be assigned a Health and Wellness advisor who'll design a personal yoga program, ranging from 3 to 21 days (or longer), and augment it with spa treatments and a nutritional program.

Classmates: There may be no one on the mat next to you (all instruction is private), but other guests do exist. Between yoga and spa sessions you'll hobnob with British, Swedish, and Australian thirty- and fortysomethings. Most guests are women traveling with their girlfriends or mums to detox or lose weight, but there are plenty of soloists, so you won't have to dine alone.

Om factor: High. Every morning Buddhist monks wander along Hua Hin beach draped in faded red robes.

Prerequisites: Half lotus with breath of fire (kalabati breathing). You aren't going to be able to fake this one.

Extracurricular: While most guests don't leave the property, we suggest shuttling into town to explore the market and local Buddhist shrines.

When to go: The most comfortable time is the dry season, October through April. But prices drop during the summer rains, May to September.

Three- to 21-day retreats from $1,530 to $10,710, including meals and yoga instruction

Chiva-Som
Tel: 949 487 0522

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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