Cover Photo: Courtesy of Chiva-Som

Health and wellness resorts are popping up all over the shop, but sometimes it’s the ones that have been at it the longest which remain the best—particularly when brought up to date. Chiva-Som’s recent renovation ensures it retains its spot at the top of the wellness game

The longest anyone has stayed at Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand is nine months. One regular has made more than 90 visits. Guests have included Kate Moss, David Beckham, Serena Williams and royalty from around the world. The resort must be doing something right.

Yet when Chiva-Som first opened its doors 24 years ago, it was well ahead of its game. Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort began as the brainchild of former finance minister and Thai banker, Boonchu Rojanastien. The beachfront property, which spans seven acres, was his weekend retreat, where he would go with friends to eat healthily and spend a restful, restorative few days away from the bustle of Bangkok.

Later he would transform the property into the acclaimed health resort it has become today, sharing his weekend rituals with the world and expanding its offering by employing wellness experts from around the world.

To call Chiva-Som a spa, a fitness resort or a health retreat would be to do it a disservice because it is all of those things and more. The resort has six modalities, offering guests the opportunity to focus on fitness, spa, nutrition, physio, ascetic beauty or holistic elements.

You can go to recuperate from injury, to rehabilitate, to work on weight management, to relax and revitalise mind and body, to improve strength and endurance, or to do a bit of everything—and whatever you choose, specialist staff, deeply knowledgeable in their fields, are always on hand.

See also: Return To Physical, Spiritual And Mental Health At This Balinese Retreat

The resort also features the facilities to complement these services, particularly following its recent renovation. The final part of an extensive, four-stage refurbishment programme upgraded the health and wellness area, bathing pavilion, Niranlada Medi-Spa and the beachfront restaurant Taste of Siam, during which time the resort completely closed for several months.

This provided staff, many of whom are long-serving, with the opportunity to brush up on their knowledge but also to engage in community activities including maintaining Hua Hin’s Krailart Niwate mangrove ecosystem and sharing their services—from therapy to medicine—with those in need. These are part of the resort’s ongoing and comprehensive corporate social responsibility efforts which the resort takes incredibly seriously, dedicated as it is not only to improving the health of its guests but also the well-being of its staff and the community.

With its reopening in October, Chiva-Som returns better than ever. But it maintains something that few other wellness retreats can offer. Chiva-Som is not a place where you go to be told what to do. There is no strict diet—the food is, of course, healthy and nutritional, but also outstanding—as pleasing to the palate as it is on the plate while also being low in fat and calories.

Exercise classes are there, but attendance is not enforced. Chiva-Som works because it strives to ease guests into a healthier way of life, sharing knowledge and establishing a routine that can be kept up on departure—it’s about enabling and encouraging a lifestyle transformation.

A stay at Chiva-Som leaves you feeling fitter and healthier, but also happier and in a more positive frame of mind. Guests leave set in the knowledge that this is the way they want to live life, many—myself included—determined to stick to healthier habits.

And as the months tick by, if things start to lapse, you know you can always treat yourself to another trip to this haven of health and healing in Hua Hin because, after 24 years providing second-to-none wellness services and following extensive renovations that have elevated the facilities to among the best in the world, Chiva-Som won’t be going anywhere.

Discover more at 

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.