People talk about ‘finding their happy place’, whether it’s somewhere they feel their most relaxed, or energised, at peace or special. Whatever that x-factor is for someone. And now I think I have just found mine. Chiva-Som. A luxury escape where the staff to guest ratio is 5 to 1, and only 54 rooms are on offer, sets the scene for an amazing experience.
Going in I was slightly worried about how I would deal with knowing that electronic devices are not welcomed anywhere except for in your room or the library, so answering emails by the pool would have to be replaced with reading a book. This also means that no one is posting to Instagram or facebook (imagine that!), taking photos of their meals, or speaking loudly on a conference call – all in the name of privacy and a much needed digital detox. The good news is it took me all of 2.5 seconds to get used to not having a phone with me 24/7, and the rest of the world was soon forgotten.
Next, there were two almost impossible decisions I had to make while I was there. The first was which treatments I wanted to book out of the more than 150 on offer in the wellness centre, and the second was what to order for breakfast, lunch and dinner from the extensive dining menus.
With a wellness list ranging from massages, facials, physiotherapist consultations, and personal training, through to more holistic treatments such as reiki, colonic hydrotherapy and chakra balancing, it wasn’t an easy task. There is even medical testing and a medi-spa for anyone seeking those services. On the recommendation from my Health Advisor I added Chi Nei Tsang to my list of treatments, and it was my favourite out of all the things I selected.
Now the food. As part of my stay I got to spend time with one of the superstars of Chiva-Som, Chef Paisarn (Cuisine Director) who heads up the 40 chefs that work there and also creates the amazing menus. We toured one of the organic vegetable gardens that the resort owns, with 25% of all produce being grown in-house. His passion to make healthy food taste amazing comes to light when you dine in either of the two restaurants. I thought I ate clean before coming here, but this took it to a whole new level. I don’t think I have eaten so much in four days, but yet I still managed to lose weight – showing that eating the right food really does make a difference to our bodies.
To me it’s the little things that make a really special place stand out, and Chiva-Som managed to do that. From the personalised stainless steel water bottle waiting in your room for you (which saves the resort using 130,000 plastic bottles a year), through to the leather notebook with your initials stamped into it, it’s the intricate, thoughtful details and service, that sets this place apart.
This also reflects back into the community initiatives that Chiva-Som spearheads with staff members all doing there bit to dedicate time to local causes. So much so that the approach is one of wellness for the planet too, which is best demonstrated by the resort’s Mangrove project being run a few kilometres down the road, and where I was lucky enough to plant some trees in the development.
Chiva-Som is something different for everyone. Whether you are here to take long walks on the white sand beach and watch the monks in the morning, indulge in amazing spa treatments and dine on mind-blowing food, or do a re-set and detox, get fit and destress. The ability to make your experience unique to only you, is part of the draw card and is why people keep coming back.
So will I be returning? Try and stop me!
Reservations can be made directly with Chiva-Som