In the last few years, more than 30 spas have opened on Koh Samui, making it one of Thailand’s fastest-growing health/wellness destinations. The choice and styles of spa available are so vast that they often seem bewildering, but there are clear distinctions in terms of the location, design, and types of therapy available.
Samui offers indulgent, luxurious resort spas; a good choice of smart, professional stand-alone day spas; and several residential fasting & health improvement programmes. There are even special treatments for kids. In terms of spa treatments, facilities and atmosphere, it’s fair to say that Samui has something for everyone.
Recommended spas in Samui
Peace Tropical Spa: Offers private treatment bungalows on the hillside in Bo Phut. A restful experience different from commercial spas. Open: 10:00-22:00; 17 Moo 1, Bo Phut, tel: (077) 430 199-200, mobile: 086 418 5548, fax: (077) 430 196.
Rai Ra Spa: At the newly opened Muang Samui Resort on Chaweng Beach, it was constructed using ancient Thai architectural influences and has open-air treatment rooms over two floors. Traditional Thai body and foot massage is available at Rai Ra, plus there is also a good choice of wraps, scrubs and facial treatments. Open: 10:00-21:00, Muang Samui Spa & Resort 13/1 Moo2, Chaweng Beach, tel: (077) 429 700-9, fax: (077) 413 225.
Ban Sabai Retreat & Spa: A truly relaxing spa retreat for all the senses on Big Buddha Beach. 159 Moo 4, Bophut, tel: (077) 245 175, (077) 427 444, fax: (077) 245 176.
Napasai: At the top end of the scale on Samui’s north coast, Napasai has its own onsite spa in two specially-constructed Eurasian treatment buildings. Treatments are extensive and include massage and skin therapy. Open 09:00-21:00, 65/10 Baan Tai, Mae Nam, tel: (077) 429 200.
Eranda Spa: The large, wooden communal massage ‘sala’ at Eranda Spa overlooks north Chaweng bay. Open: 09:00-21:00, 9/37 Moo 2, North Chaweng, tel: (077) 422 666, mobile: 081 894 6702, fax: (077) 422 563.
Tamarind Springs: One of the longest-standing and most respected of the independent spas on Samui, at Lamai. A secluded setting provides a peaceful, tropical retreat with huge boulders scattered around green, spacious grounds and a natural steam room built into a cave in the side of the mountain. Open: 10:00-20:00, 205/7 Thong Takian, Lamai, tel: (077) 424 221, (077) 230 571, fax: (077) 424 311.
Spa Samui Resorts: Resides in Lamai and combines a guided approach to detoxification with colonic irrigation, yoga, nutritional guidance and lifestyle counselling. Lamai Beach, tel: (077) 230 855, fax: (077) 424 667.
Beyond the high-end resorts, there are also a number of excellent independent spas on the island. Baan Sabai provides traditional Thai massage and natural beauty therapies in an attractive seafront setting right on Big Buddha Beach. Peace Tropical Spa, meanwhile, offers private treatment bungalows on the hillside in Bo Phut.
On fasting, programmes generally last from one to 10 days and involve carefully planned consumption of fluids and dietary supplements. The stated benefits of what may seem, for many people, an extreme approach to wellness, includes physical rejuvenation and weight loss. It also extends to increased mental ability and spiritual growth.
In a similar vein, there’s the Yoga Café; a popular wholefood restaurant and yoga centre located in quiet, quaint Bo Phut (Fisherman’s Village). The Thai-style wooden building includes a fully-equipped natural therapy centre, where Australian naturopath Sallie Egglestone offers homeopathic consultations and prescribes vitamins and herbal remedies, as well as giving lifestyle counselling.