Samui Wining & Dining
Samui is fast developing a reputation as the place to come for a little ‘me time’ and indulgence.

Samui is fast developing a reputation as the place to come for a little ‘me time’ and indulgence.

Pamper: To indulge with every attention, comfort and kindness.


Isn’t it strange that somehow we feel guilty for spoiling ourselves these days? And really, can giving back to our bodies what we take out of them on a daily basis be considered spoiling? In the same way that we have to recharge our mobile phones in order for them to function as we want them to, surely our own bodies need to be recharged too.


In today’s modern society, with its ‘work hard, play hard’ philosophy, many make time for the ‘work hard’ part, but fail to allow time for the ‘play hard bit. And those that do make the time, tend to play hard by way of over indulging – too much food, alcohol, cigarettes and late nights.


All this working and playing to the extreme has to take a toll on our bodies, and there’s a realisation that living an excessive lifestyle requires taking time every so often to ‘spring clean’ the body, both inside and out, as well as our minds. With this train of thought, there’s a trend now to book pampering holidays, or at least holidays where some time is allowed for pampering. And Samui is known as a top Asian destination for doing just that.


Samui is fast developing a reputation as the place to come for a little ‘me time’ and indulgence.

Some holidaymakers choose to go the whole hog and book into a detox retreat for their break. Others prefer a less extreme approach, booking into a regular resort with the family, but allowing time to try the fabulous treatments that Samui’s hotels, resorts and day spas have to offer.

So if you feel in need of rejuvenating, recharging or revitalising, the first step is to realise that there are three aspects of our bodies that may require attention, and you should choose treatments accordingly. Firstly, there’s the most obvious aspect: our external body – skin that is looking tired and neglected, or nails and hair that could do with a makeover. Even more important, and not always as apparent that it may require a little TLC, is our internal body. This could be in the form of aching muscles from too much computer work, a digestive system that needs cleansing from over-indulging as well as various other ailments. The part that is least often treated is our mind and spirit. Learning to ‘switch off’ in a hustle and bustle world is not easy, and there are several ways of learning to relax, unwind and become centred again.


Looking at treatments for our external body, these are what are usually referred to a ‘beauty therapy’ and involve hair, nail, and body treatments as well as facials. Samui’s spas have a vast array of body scrubs and wraps to get tired skin looking fresh again. Many of these treatments dig deeper so to speak, and heat wraps treat not only the skin, but can have an effect on aching muscles and help detox the lymphatic system. A body wrap is deeply relaxing, so treats the mind and spirit too, therefore ticking all the boxes. Aromatic steam baths, saunas and Jacuzzis not only open up the pores to better absorb the treatment to follow, but also help release toxins, ease aching muscles, and relax the mind.


Samui is fast developing a reputation as the place to come for a little ‘me time’ and indulgence.

Few people visit Samui without trying a massage of some kind, be it a 300 baht beach massage, or something a little fancier at one of the island’s beautiful spas. Although different types of massages treat different conditions, they all focus on the inner body, either easing muscles and joints, or helping to break up and release toxins by concentrating on the lymphatic system. And no one can argue that a massage isn’t relaxing – well most anyway! A massage shouldn’t be overly painful, so if it is, ask your therapist for less pressure. Whatever your preferred type of massage, you’ll find it on Samui. If you’re not familiar with the options, ask the therapist to explain the treatments and help select one that best suits your needs. A traditional Thai massage is completely different to a Swedish massage for instance, and if it’s not what you’re expecting, you could be disappointed, so be sure to ask what the massage involves as well as what it treats.

Samui is renowned for its yoga retreats and studios, and most will cater for beginners through to advanced yogis. Those that practice yoga, swear by it – with practice being the operative word. Yoga is a discipline, and when performed regularly and correctly, will bring body, mind and spirit into balance. The poses, known as asanas, strengthen and tone the body and sculpt by creating elongated muscles.


Those suffering complete burnout will benefit from a stay at one of Samui’s health retreats that offer complete packages treating outer body, inner body and mind. Usually, the package will involve a detox diet, and based on an analysis, several other treatments including yoga, massage and colonic cleansing. Often external distractions are removed, such as TV and internet in the rooms, and guests are encouraged not to leave the retreat for the length of treatment, to avoid temptations from Samui’s fantastic dining options or party scene. During such a program, you’ll initially feel hungry and perhaps drained and have a headache as your body adapts. But after a few days, the complete opposite is true, and you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle a hard-paced lifestyle again. Often retreats host outside practitioners and therapists, specialists in their fields such as spiritual healers, Reiki practitioners and dieticians.


While complete detox retreat packages are seldom cheap, they’re usually all inclusive so there are no hidden costs – and after all, how do you put a price to your health and wellbeing? If your budget doesn’t allow for such a package, at least try a morning at a spa, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at not only the price, but also the results – you’ll feel so refreshed, it’s like adding an extra few days to your holiday!



Rosanne Turner


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