Samui Wining & Dining
NATURAL HIDEAWAY
Natural Wing is not only a tip-top spa it has lots of other hidden attractions, too!

Natural Wing is not only a tip-top spa it has lots of other hidden attractions, too!Samui’s ring-road goes through some busy places. It crawls across the edge of Chaweng. It picks up pace as it pushes on to Bophut. It chugs around and into Maenam, where it narrows right down and gets slow. And then it widens again. And by the time it’s hooked around to Ban Tai, it’s racing. It’s broad, it’s fast, and it’s wide enough for six cars. The best thing about this road is that it gets to see most all of Samui. The worst thing? Well, if you’re on it, you’ll be going too fast to see much at all.

          

Take that stretch in Ban Tai. Once you’ve cleared Maenam, the outlook shifts. Now there are little Thai shops along the edge. Honda and hardware sit side-by-side with rows of TV fixers, roof tiles out on show, securicams and shops. And then there’s a whole heap of green. Gated drives hint at beach villas within. Huge trees hang high over walls. A resort on the road. Villas sales and for rent. And then, without even knowing, you’ve shot right past Natural Wing!

          

But it’s easy to find. Head out of Maenam towards Nathon. Go around the sharp 90-degree bend with the arch of Wat Napralam/Lomprayah Ferry on the right – you are now in Ban Tai. And exactly three kilometres after that 90-degree bend, you’ll see a small modern resort on the righthand side, The Sea. At this point, slow down: Natural Wing is just a little further, on the left.

Natural Wing is a resort and spa. It’s been here for quite a while, one of the longest running around. It melds holistic trends with cleansing and detox. You can drop in for an hour or live there for a month. Choose to hideaway inside or stay across on the beach. It’s where the Samui Spa Association began. It has won many awards. And it’s amazingly pretty. But from the road outside, you’d never know.

          

Coming inside from the road, all dimensions seem to change – there’s a sudden shift in the volumes and distance. Just a few paces and the road seems far away. There a sense of added height, too, almost as if you’ve stepped into a clearing in a dense rainforest, with towering trees on either side and the sky far above. It’s darker and cooler here, instantly quieter,Natural Wing is not only a tip-top spa it has lots of other hidden attractions, too! with a bubbling pond that vines and aerial roots reach down towards, drawing a gauzy curtain all around. And then, in the hush, you’ll notice the iconic hand-hewn teak chairs and tables. And then the little wooden house beyond, with the sign ‘reception’ in the window.

          

It’ll take a few moments to orientate yourself, complicated by the added aspect that Natural Wing is both far wider than its frontage suggests, and also runs back a long way from the main road outside. But after you’ve got your bearings, you’ll see that, running away from the small pool, are the seven delightful villas, each of them densely shrouded in green. And, to the right of the reception, the path runs around to where you’ll find the elegant and comfortable treatment rooms. Over to the left is the spa’s in-house restaurant; an essay in airy openness, framed with giant knotty timbers. And just next to that, edging onto the road, is their all-day restaurant, open to the public – and more of this in a moment!

          

The detox program here is comprehensive and thorough and, whichever of the options you choose, it begins with careful screening and a blood test. The results are analysed by a doctor, and then Khun Wanvanat Kongcharoen (Khun Natty) the assistant managing director of the spa, who personally oversees each programme, will discuss the results with you and give you appropriate advice. Such are the standards of care here that Natural Wing has been certified by the Thai Ministry of Public Health, and is additionally the recipient of Thailand’s ‘The Gold Spa Award. The owner and Director is Khun Wanwalee, who is not only a consultant of the Samui Spa Association, but also Vice-President of the Thai Spa Federation and Vice-President of the Green Island Federation.

          

Whereas the detox and slimming programs need you to be resident, the many options at the spa can be selected at leisure, running from a 30-minute session to program-combos that last most of the day. As well as the array of massages, scrubs, wraps, facials, reflexology and herbal steam, of particular note is the super ‘Ten Senses Treatment’. Natural Wing is not only a tip-top spa it has lots of other hidden attractions, too!This is a full two-and a-half-hour session of massage and hot-press with oil, designed to restore the balance of essential centres, which include sight, recognition, the joints, muscles and the nervous, circulatory and excretory systems.

          

And so to that ‘cabin in the clearing’, the cosy and tranquil ‘Natural Cafe’ restaurant. This is the all-day eatery that edges the main road, open until 10:00 pm, and with a tranquil inner area but with rustic tables and chairs outside set amidst the tropical vegetation. And here’s a welcome surprise for you. Yes, there’s the expected health drinks and smoothies, mocktails, plus salads and vegetarian fare. All the food is nourishing and organic, with quite a few of the green items being grown in-house.

          

But how many places do you know where you can get, say, fish ’n’ chips in a lush rainforest setting? Or calamari (or prawns) in garlic with fries? How about one of the chef’s specials; char-grilled pork with herbs in a wrap? Several sorts of all-day breakfasts? Fried ice-cream or crispy banana fritter with honey? Real espresso. Plus a full menu of Thai dishes. And a wide range of real cocktails – just 160 baht a time? Nothing is expensive here, with the average cost of a dish being between 200 and 250 baht.

          

Forget the high-street neon, beeping taxis and hassle. There’s a 90% chance you’ll be coming this way some time during your stay, anyway. Don’t just zip past it on the road – it’s too good for that. Slow down and look for this natural hideaway – at Natural Wing Health Spa & Resort!

          

 Rob De Wet


 


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