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  • WTM 2018

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  Destination spas at unexpectedly brilliant prices (11/10/2018 16:02:01)
A week-long stay at a results-driven spa can seem like quite an undertaking, but with these properties, the one thing you don't have to worry about is the bill at the end.

From Thailand to Italy, Vietnam to Portugal, each offers a serious, authoritative wellbeing programme with almost everything included, to ensure you leave feeling your very best.

Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand




This is the place to come for proper, visible, potentially game-changing results. It's a boot camp with a holistic bent; a rigorous programme of pilates and yoga alongside a minimal diet of supremely healthy raw food, smoothies and cleansing bentonite- clay drinks. Weight-loss is a huge draw but that's not the only benefit: foggy minds find clarity, the sluggish discover new energy, the tired revel in the bone-warming restorative tropical sunshine. You do have to commit, for nine nights, but it's with your time rather than with your wallet and the payoff is immeasurable.

Ayurveda Sonnhof, Austria




There are, of course, many places west of India that practice the Ayurvedic principles in an all-encompassing manner, but there are few that really nail an authentic experience with a meaningful programme. Here, in the unlikely setting of the Tyrolean Alps, a curious gathering of bright-eyed and brilliant practitioners, both local and from further afield, have created a miniature India amongst the snow-capped pine trees. Everything, from shirodhara and pulse diagnostics to dosha-based diets and turmeric teas, remain true to their origins.

The outcome is hugely beneficial for both those following a hardcore panchakarma with very little food for a full intensive detox, or the more soul-soothing shorter breaks. Even the excellent-value three-day package provides enough of a reset to get you wanting to rebook for next year straight away.

Preidlhof, Italy




The Italians have been coming here for years, to suck up the crisp fresh mountain air and immerse themselves in the good life. It would be hard to imagine a better weekend trip. But it is a serious spa too. Preidlhof has had a recent refurbishment and expansion with sparklingly smart new rooms, and its appeal is now spreading. It's a fantastic health destination, with a most impressive treatment list and a chock-full timetable of free exercise classes, as well as all sorts of outdoors activities on tap (biking, hiking, climbing etc). The main focus, though, is the thermal spa, with its indoor and outdoor pools, showers, Kneipp path and saunas - it even has a certified sauna master. And you can alternate between the low-calorie Vital menu and the Michelin-starred restaurant so cleverly it doesn't feel like too much deprivation.

Epic Sana, Portugal




As bouncy and bright as can be, Epic Sana ought to be everyone's instant go-to for a feel-good break. It's so convenient (30 mins from Faro airport), almost always sunny (and temperatures rarely dip below 17°C, year round) and the dip-in, dip-out, help-yourself programme means you can take things as fast or as slow as you like, skipping the spinning class one afternoon if a swim in the sea and a snooze on the beach appeals more, or taking advantage of the fact that everything is included by signing up for an all-out jam-packed schedule. The food ranges from delicious homemade pasta in the Italian restaurant to more serious seven-course suppers, but there are streamlined wellness menus too. This is a clever place to kick-start a new health drive.

Fusion Maia, Vietnam




An amazingly under-the-radar health hotspot where it is virtually impossible to fall off the wagon. After you've had your two, all-included, energy-infused daily spa treatments (the body brushing is especially good) and lunched on rice noodles and zingy fresh spring rolls, sipped tropical fruit smoothies on the beach and stretched into a sun salutation in the yoga class overlooking the ocean, there's little time to seek out trouble. The vibe is surprisingly funky: rather than the hushed tones of an energy-sapping detox, expect chilled tunes and a gentle hum of chatter. The GM is a healer; the spa manager is a reiki master; and the classes are gentle and nurturing. This is the modern way to kick back and reboot. And it's amazing bang for your buck.

Source Cntraveller

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