Destinations

Healing journeys in the rainforest

Silent canopy walks, wild swimming and rainforest yoga. The Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa in Malaysia brings a new level of healing programming by harnessing the healing power of its natural setting in the heart of the Mulu National Park.

The 52,000 hectares of ancient primary rainforest surrounding the resort serve as the canvas for Ayus Wellness, a new program created by Dr Gerry Bodeker, an academic at both the University of Oxford and Columbia University in New York.

The natural environment of Mulu allows Ayus Wellness to employ nature as one of its primary tools of therapy for personalized, science-based programmes to enhance minds and moods. This converts to forest immersion with yoga, meditation, silent canopy walks, and swimming in the mineralized waters of Clearwater Pool, which are filtered through 60-million-year-old limestone caves.

Ayus takes its name from the Sanskrit, meaning the sense of life, from its most microscopic cellular level to its simultaneous vastness, including the movement of galaxies and universes.

Borneo food traditions, local Sarawakian ingredients and flavors, and even wild-crafted foods from the grounds of the resort itself have been used to craft a unique wellness cuisine for Ayus Wellness. The gourmet vegetarian menu includes a unique power shot made from gotu kolu (Centella asiatica), known locally as Pegaga.

The resort adjoins the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park, one of the few sites in the world which satisfies all four of the criteria for the World Heritage List. One of the most important tenets of Ayus Wellness is its capacity for building employment among the indigenous local community; nearly 200 members of the indigenous community have been trained in roles from hotel management to running the national park.

With this innovative new program Ayus Wellness at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa has become the first hotel in Malaysia to join the Healing Hotels of the World. 

For more wellness destinations click here

 

 

Spa Experiences for Cancer Patients

The pool at the Slieve Donard Hotel.

Hastings Hotels in Northern Ireland has launched a new collection of nurturing face and body treatments for those who are living with, through and beyond cancer. Available at the Culloden Estate & Spa and Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, the treatments have been created with Wellness for Cancer™, a world leading provider of cancer therapy training and ESPA.

Working with Wellness for Cancer™, the hotels have developed treatments specially designed with support from ESPA to soothe the guest and nourish their body, using natural products. The Hastings Hotels’ spa therapists have been trained and certified to provide services for clients undergoing treatment for cancer and beyond.

Beginning with a personal consultation, these gentle treatments are carefully designed to help relax, nurture and support at a time when it is needed most, ultimately helping to aid the reduction of stress and anxiety while promoting inner calm.

All experiences begin with guided breath-work and visualisation to commence relaxation, with the emphasis on a holistic approach to each guest’s wellbeing. All therapists have been professionally trained in these specific medical conditions to tailor all treatments to the needs of the guest, taking into consideration recent surgery and the condition of lymphedema using ‘comfort touch’ treatments.

www.hastingshotels.com 

Indian Wellness at Dharana at Shillim

Yoga

Yoga in Shillim

Wellness at India’s Dharana at Shillim – a  fusion of Ancient Eastern Wisdom with Advanced Technology   

Dharana at Shillim adds to India’s specialist wellness destinations that combine ancient medicinal practices and beliefs with modern technology.

Opened last year, Dharana at Shillim combines the world’s most advanced diagnostics and assessment methods with traditional eastern medicine and practices. Gene testing, Oligo scanning, (used by NASA to find toxic and mineral content, including traces of metal in the body) and iridology are fused with eastern medicine and medicinal methods namely Ayurveda, acupuncture and yoga.

Explaining the Dharana philosophy, Dr. Arun Pillai, Director of Wellness adds,“The expectations on those living and working in the Western World are becoming increasingly unhealthy and taking toll on more and more people’s health and wellbeing. Dharana at Shillim combines the best and most effective practices from both Western technology and Eastern wisdom to help guests connect with both themselves and the world around them in a completely holistic way.. With a new life toolkit acquired at Shillim, we encourage guests to practice a healthier and happier lifestyle based on the principles of Conserve, Sustain and Heal.”

Nine different wellness programmes are offered that include the Dharana Yogic Life, The Destress and the 5000-year-old Ayurvedic Panchakarma. Guests  are given a tailored itinerary that will benefit them while at Shillim and after their stay to integrate into their lifestyle.

Daily activities at Shillim are based on Dinacharya which looks at the cycle of nature and creates daily activities around them. These range from clay & music therapy, meditation to treks with the resident naturalist and cardio fitness sessions.

Dharana at Shillim is three hours from Mumbai  and sits amid the majestic Sahyadri mountain range and within a UNESCO World Heritage Area.  Rice fields, bamboo plantations, forests and fresh clean air provide the ideal backdrop for wellness.

Click here for more wellness destinations in India

For more information, please visit www.shillim.in

From the UK

Direct flights go from both London and Manchester to Mumbai approx. 9 hours, plus 3.5 hour road transfer, or indirect flight to Pune, approximately 12.5 hours with a stop-over in Delhi or Abu Dhabi followed by a 2.5 hour road transfer.

 

Iconic Wellness Resort, Chiva-Som to Reopen

Chiva Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand is scheduled to reopen its doors on October 2019 following major renovation.

Chiva-Som Hua Hin is Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness.  Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, it’s a beachfront resort dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit. Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in the wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformations; it has been recognised by readers and industry experts alike as one of the outstanding wellness resorts in the world for since its launch 24 years ago.

The Resort is committed to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards in all levels of operation. Since its launch, Chiva Som has been dedicated to operating as ethically and sustainably as possible.  Their dedicated CSR team has implemented many initiatives, policies and practices for energy efficiency and conservation, waste water treatment and reuse, fresh water conservation, waste minimisation and recycling, air quality management and environmentally friendly product usage.

A few other recent awards include ‘Top ranked Asian Spa in Top 20 Destination Spas’ – Conde Nast Traveller The Readers’ Travel Awards 2018 (UK) and ‘Thailand’s Best Wellness Retreat 2018’- World Spa Awards (UK).

The beachfront resort is located in the town of Hua Hin, which lies 185 km south of the capital of Bangkok. It can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok

www.chivasom.com

Growth & trends in medical and wellness tourism

Burgenstock Waldhotel, Switzerland

The two spectrums of health tourism, medical and wellness are showing nourishing growth and massaging the lifestyle demands of today’s travellers.

The latest research was revealed at this year’s Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. Growth rate in Medical Tourism, according to Patients Beyond Borders and the Global Wellness Institute was up by 17% in 2017, with 22 million crossing borders. Wellness Travel had increased by 7.5% accounting to 290 million travellers. In the Middle East, the top five markets were, in descending order,  UAE, Morocco, Israel, Jordon and Bahrain. Spas and thermal mineral springs were highlighted as the most popular treatments.

Arab Health Magazine (January 15, 2019), featured medical tourism trends. Mental and dental treatments are at the top. Millenniums,  however, being more tech savvy, view medical tourism in a new light preferring telemedicine rather than doctors surgeries. Their treatments are usually due to incidental medical travel. Millenniums view wellness in the form of meditation and personalized nutrition while fashion has joined the wellness movement using fabrics and styles that allow more freedom.

The key current trends focus on mental wellness encompassing meditation and arts & creativity programming. They also include insomnia which is ruffling pillows to create sleep mania solutions, CBD (Cannabis based therapy) is making the industry light-headed and ways to make us happy are a subject for conversation.

Countries and cities are competing to become the key health tourism destination. Dubai’s Health Tourism  is now advancing and taking shape to meet its objective as a Preferred Global Health Care Destination & Wellness Hub. Ninety percent of Dubai’s hospitals have international accreditations and affiliations. This destination has a specialist holistic wellness resort, The Retreat Palm Dubai. Through its accredited facilities it is offering futuristic signature treatments like Cryotherapy and Vitamin Revitalization. For the international market its focus is on orthopedics, dentistry and dermatology amongst many other medical conditions. And to make bookings and research easier, Dubai Health Tourism www.dxh.ae helps visitors to make their bookings on one smart, smooth, seamless platform.

Dubai is working on emerging opportunities such as the meditation industry as anxiety and depression rates reach epic proportions worldwide. Meditation is now the fastest growing wellness trend in the US and elsewhere, with an explosion of meditation studios, apps and brands.  Wellness for aging and anti-aging is growing with countries like Italy, Japan and the US searching for solutions for ageing population and senior’s revitalization.

As a Capital of the Islamic Economy, Dubai offers specialised halal wellness that embraces other forms of wellness such as eco-wellness. This will attract the massive Asian and MENA audiences currently going to Central and Far East destinations.

Dubai aims to expand its tourism to Transit Tourism, its “On-the-go” wellness tourism boosted by same-day ‘in and out’ procedures that Dubai is already offering in dental and other cosmetic facilities.

There’s growing medical consensus that DNA testing and blood analysis can guide diet and lifestyle changes for weight loss, dermatology treatments, allergy treatments and more. Since DXH already welcomes many tourists facing these problems, it can boost its existing procedures with genetic evaluation

According to Dr. Yasser Moshref, CEO Premedion, the top concepts shaping the international medical wellness landscape include Thalasso therapy, medical beauty, detox and weight management. The top performing countries in this area are Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Thailand. The properties highlighted are the Thalasso Spa A-Rosa in Sylt Germany, Premedion Spa & Prevention Zhanijang, China with an Anti Aging Centre, the Premedion Spa & Prevention Alexandria, Egypt and in planning is the Premedion Spa & Prevention, Al Ahsa.

Dr. Abhishek Jain, VP, International Operations, WTS International sees clients looking for Integrative Wellness described as a mix of a conventional spa settings and modern clinical settings. Intergrative Wellness is the fusion of the authenticity of holistic treatment approaches with the effects  of non-invasive evidence based medicine. We have seen the formation of partnerships in this concept with Hyatt who acquired the Miraval Group & ‘Life In Balance” Spa Brand and Singapore Airlines with Canyon Ranch.

The increase in medical and wellness tourism indicates that well-being is no longer a health measure but  a life measure. It is drawing together partners in tourism and specialist medical-wellness providers to deliver more spa & wellness therapies and wellness holidays. Traditional and state of the art treatments are joining forces to bring health tourism as a lifestyle habit.

And as we discuss these two spectrums of health tourism, there is evidence of them uniting in the rise of dedicated wellness-medical properties such as the Waldhouse in Burgenstock, Switzerland and opening soon, The Corinthia in Dubai in 2020.

Read here for medical tourism news

The published definition of Medical Tourism is travel across international borders for the purpose of receiving medical care whereas Wellness Tourismis associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing personal wellbeing.

Healing hands

Therapeutic care

Bhutan The Land of Happiness

Elevated Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan

There is a place in the world where the wealth of the country is measured by happiness.  Squeezed between the mighty neighbours of China and India there lies this place – a Land of Happiness.

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan sits peacefully and snuggly amongst the majestic amphitheatre of the Himalayas. This remote place cuddles culture and adventure in its unspoilt and unexplored environment. Stemming from its Buddhist tradition, it has inherited the title of a spiritual and happy destination. Back in the eighth century, the tantric master guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan. Many others masters followed resulting in a plethora of monasteries, temples and holy sites., Bhutan is often quoted as being one of the most blessed places to visit and is the last existing Mahayana Kingdom in the world.

Healthy and holy. The kingdom  is dotted with wellbeing retreats and therapeutic, mineral-laden hot springs. The Gasa Hot Spring is in the west, Dhur Hotel Spring in the centre and Dhuenmang in the south are highly revered medicinal waters and believed to cure many ailments. Traditional Bhutanese medicine is based on Sowa Rigpa,known as the Amchi system of medicine which is one of the oldest and well documented medical traditions of the world.

Bhutan’s elevated natural surroundings are often laced in transparent mist,  oxygenated in unpolluted air. Glacier-fed rivers and lush, aromatic forests provide the ideal terrain for hiking, trekking, kayaking and mountain biking activities. And with over 670 species of birds recorded, this is a favoured destination for bird lovers and ornithologists.

Happiness and harmony weave through the land’s rich and colourful culture expressed through traditional festivals and acrobatic mask dance performances which celebrate the kingdom’s independence and sovereignty.

Almost cut off for centuries, Bhutan unlocked its doors to foreign visitors in 1974 and today fiercely guard its ancient traditions by controlling tourism numbers to maintains its beauty and serenity for its own people and visitors alike. National parks, nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries are protected and cherished – visitors pay a fee for the honour of entering this kingdom rooted in happiness.

Dating back to the 17thcentury, Bhutan is a recognised wellbeing escape.  This is the land where happiness is measured and is rooted in  Gross National Happiness (GNH). This grandiose term is defined as a holistic and sustainable approach which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that we all search for happiness.

GNH confronts global, national and individual challenges by pointing to the non-material roots of wellbeing, offering ways to balance and satisfy needs within the limits of what nature can provide. In our world, this is hindered by boundless consumerism, widening socio-economic inequality and instability causing a decline and ultimately a depletion of natural resources. Climate change, species extinction, growing insecurity, instability and conflicts are not only diminishing our well-being but are also threatening our survival.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness is based on four pillars of belief. Firstly, good governance which determines the conditions and social values in which Bhutanese thrive. Secondly, sustaining socio-economic development to ensure households and families enjoy free time and leisure. Thirdly, preserving the Bhutanese culture by developing cultural resilience, maintaining cultural identity, knowledge and practices to overcome challenges and influences. Fourthly, environmental conservation to provide essential services and the aesthetic values and harmonic healing of the natural land.

Happiness is the foundation of the Kingdom of Bhutan so if you are looking for a destination and a land of happiness, you will find it here tucked away in South Asia.

Visas are necessary to help preserve the kingdom’s pillars of belief to maintain Gross National Happiness. A small price to pay to hear the silence in nature’s sound, to breathe the purity of the air and absorb the vivid colours and of course share the genuine smiles of the people. Happiness is …..

If you wish to travel to the land of happiness contact http://www.bhutanlhtours.com/

For more information: https://www.tourism.gov.bt

The scenic vistas of Bhutan

Scenery of Bhutan

Soma Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village

cottage style accommodation

Natural village setting

Soma Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village is a healing and wellness resort dedicated to the “Science of Life” to restore physical, mental, spiritual and emotional equilibrium.

It is conveniently situated 21 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Kerala and 9 kms from Kovalam. Majestically, it sits on the incline of a hill overlooking the sea.

This award-winning resort and sister property to Somatheeram Research Institute & Ayurveda Resort offers authentic ayurveda treatments, yoga and meditation tailored to guests needs. And with specially prescribed massages and therapies, Manaltheeram offers therapies  effective in treating various conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and paralysis.

Accommodation is rustic-style houses and thatched garden cottages resting on the slopes giving the atmosphere of  village life embracing tradition, culture and nature. The coconut trees dotted around and splashes of yellow marigolds add colour and the concept of rejuvenation to this eco-resort.  In addition, the herb garden cultivates rare varieties preserved for use in medicines and other preparations. The open air restaurant at Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village maintains a garden ambience with its wicker chairs, lawns and paved paths.

The  resort offers Ayurveda residential holistic programmes for “Panchakarma” and “Wellness” , all supported by a team of Ayurvedic doctors and mail & female masseurs to provide the best result in shortest time.

For reservations or more information on Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village http://www.manaltheeram.com/

For more information on India, read here

yoga next to the sea

Perfect setting for yoga

 

 

Somatheeram Ayurveda Village, Kerala, India 

The pool

Somatheeram Ayurveda Village

Somatheeram, is the world’s first Ayurveda centre set in a resort ambiance offering Ayurveda treatments and programmes for its guests who travel from all corners of the world.

This award winning Ayurveda wellness eco resort is set in tropical gardens and enjoys a beachfront location in  Kerala, South India. It is located on Chowara Beach with over 15 acres of greenery, just 9 km south of Kovalam Beach in Trivandrum, Kerala.

In this peaceful and harmonious environment traditional ayurvedic therapy and yoga are practised. The range of Ayurveda treatments and packages include rejuvenation therapy, panchakarma, detoxification, body purification, slimming, stress management, anti-ageing, and various clinical curative treatments. The treatments are designed around therapies, a healing diet and herbal medicine, formulated under the supervision of experienced and qualified doctors and therapists.

Dosha-specific, organic, vegetarian dishes from an extensive, creative menu are served in the restaurant 200 feet above sea level complemented with superb panoramic views.

Accommodation takes the form of traditionally Kerala-style houses and cottages, all air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities.

Somatheeram is internationally recognised for its achievements in health, social responsibility and  environmental preservation. It is the recipient of 35 major international and national awards for excellence in  Ayurveda treatments & Yoga. Of note, it holds NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care providers) accreditation,  “India’s Best Ayurvedic Resort”, including “HALL OF FAME” an Honour granted by the Government of India.  It has also been awarded “Kerala State’s Best Ayurvedic Resort” (by Government of Kerala) six times.

The essence and soul of Somatheeram is the ancient medical science of Ayurveda treatments  and Art of Yoga & Meditation.

For reservation or more information: http://www.somatheeram.in/

For more information on India read here

BSI accredited

Accredited status

Tourism Developments in the Middle East Region

Over the years, the UAE is one of the great success stories of global travel and tourism with Emirates and Etihad changing the face of global aviation, Dubai International Airport recognised as one of the world’s best hubs and Dubai, the fourth most visited city in the world.

And the UK plays its part being in the top three markets travelling to the region – and growing. So what is that that attracts us?  The answers were on display in full glory at the annual Arabian Travel Market which takes place, yes, you guessed correctly, in Dubai, the so called “engine room” of the UAE.

Architecture splendour in the form of hotels, laced with chandeliers and gold trimmings remind us in which part of the world we are. Hotels in this region continue to grow as brands compete for individuality and to attract new markets such as the hotel brand Voco which has made its debut in Dubai. Part of the InterContinental Hotels Group it aims to attract leisure and business guests.

Home-grown hospitality provider, Emaar Hospitality Group is set to open five new hotels in Dubai this year including four under its premium brand and upscale lifestyle brands. Two hotels will be under its Address Hotels & Resorts in Downtown Dubai, the Address Fountain Views and Address Sky View and two under Vida Hotels & Resorts. The company will also add to its midscale hotels, Rove, The Park which is ideal for families.

Opening 14 new hotels is Millennium Hotels & Resorts adding to its existing portfolio of 40 hotels in the Middle East & Africa. On a bright note, Millennium Place, the happier hotel brand has been introduced which strives to deliver a smile to its guests through different touch points in the guest’s journey. Millennium Place Marina and Millennium Place Barsha Heights are due to open in 2019 with eight more to open over the next two years in the region.

Jumeirah Group is expanding in Asia and Europe. This Dubai-based luxury hotel company is opening in China and Indonesia while the Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London is undergoing renovation this year. Work is also progressing on a new hotel near Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. This will be a 400-room property on the beachfront.

Yas Island last year opened Warner Bros World. Its upcoming developments includes a new sports facility to feature the world’s widest indoor skydiving flight chamber and the highest indoor climbing wall.

A luxury Camp is currently under construction in Ras Al Khaimah and will house 47 luxury tented units, a health club, heated pool, spa and wellness centre, kids area, fire pit and restaurant. This glamping site will be located atop Jebel Jais, the highest mountain in the UAE.

The Museum of the future, scheduled to open next year, will showcase cutting-edge technology and innovations that are designed to change the way we live and solutions to climate change, energy production, healthcare, transport, education, housing and security. Also in Dubai the Dubai Creek Harbour will become the location for the city’s tallest building , the $1 billion Dubai Tower when it is completed next year.

In Abu Dhabi the world’s first commercial hyperloop service is currently under construction and will start operations in 2020. The first phase will employ a network of hyperloop tubes covering a distance of up to 150km. It is later scheduled to expand services to Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

In Oman, the high-speed passenger and freight rail line will span 2,135km of the sultanate from Salalah in the south to Al Buraimi and Sohar in the north in 2020.

However, Saudi Arabia caught the limelight this year at the Arabian Travel Market with its eye-watering ambitious plans to become a tourism destination of the future. E-visa rules for international travellers will be the game-changer. The Kingdom will be open to all.

Tourism is Saudi’s new “white oil” spanning a destination offering culture and history, coastlines and desert. Rumoured to be funded with half a trillion US dollar investment, tourism is the ingredient of the government’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy. This in turn will attract new hotels and innovative hospitality concepts, operated to international standards, particularly high-quality budget hotels. New mega  projects include Neom City, Amaala, an uber-luxury wellness tourism destination, the Red Sea Development reshaping the coastline and Qiddiya offering leisure, entertainment, sports, wellness, adventure and cultural destinations.

Winter sunshine, family leisure and adventure maybe the core attractions for travel to the region as well as convenient regional flights but in the heart of the exhibition, the Expo 2020 stand stood proudly as a beacon for visitors next year. This mega project aims to deliver one of the most sustainable World Expos. The UAE Pavilion has been designed to resemble a falcon in flight to harvest clean energy as its hydraulic “wings” open and close. Ultimately, Expo 2020 in Dubai seeks to inspire us all to live in better balance with the world and build a brighter and more sustainable future together – a unique opportunity to see tomorrow today!

Read more about the Arabian Travel Market here

 

 

Scotland’sWell (Being)

 

Walkers taking in the view of Loch Lomond from Conic Hill part of the West Highland Way

With its stunning landscapes, food, drink and rich culture, VisitScotland for wellness. The destination provides a perfect setting to recharge and focus on enhancing your wellbeing.

To celebrate a newly published survey* revealing that almost a third of people (32%) see Scotland as an ideal destination for a wellness holiday, VisitScotland for wellness with a newly created  itinerary dedicated to health and wellbeing.

Covering the entire country and split over three days, the VisitScotland for wellness tour takes in a range of different experiences themed around mind, body and spirit.Highlights include:

 Relaxing retreats to rejuvenate your mind

Enjoy a stay at Kagyu Samye Ling Buddhist Temple in Dumfries and Galloway or  Holy Isle – Mindfulness Retreat on the Isle of Arran, where visitors can take a digital detox, escape busy life and revitalise the mind. While the Body Toolkit teaches the key tools and techniques to combat stress and negative thoughts while relaxing in the tranquil surroundings of the Scottish Highlands.

Pamper and recharge a weary body

Visit a spa like Taymouth Marina. Its lochside hot box sauna is a new addition to the shores of Loch Tay and is surrounded by a fire pit, panoramic windows, and gorgeous woodland views. Or try a deep tissue or Swedish massage to put muscles at ease at Stobo Castle in the Scottish Borders, Fairmont St AndrewsArdoe House Hotel & Spa in Aberdeen, and the Isle of Eriska Spa in Argyll.

Boost mental and physical health in the Great Scottish Outdoors

The benefits of being outdoors on both physical and mental health are widely regarded. Bag a Munro or conquer a Corbett,enjoy a stroll through stunning landscapes, try out some water sports or visit one of Scotland’s beaches.

Experience the spirit of Scotland

There is something spiritual about walking amidst ancient stone circles, standing stones and sacred attractions. The Calanais Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis are believed to be 3000-5000 years old, while the Ring of Brodgar, which comprises 27 stones, is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site.

Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders and Iona Abbey on the Isle of Iona represent some of the country’s oldest spiritual attractions.   Follow in the footsteps of saints and embark on a pilgrimage such as the Fife Pilgrim Way, which officially opens this summer, or St Cuthbert’s Way in the Borders.

To view the full itinerary, click here: https://www.visitscotland.com/holidays-breaks/wellness-breaks/

For other wellness retreats, click here