What Makes a Spa Soulful? Contemplating this at a Soulful Spa in Thailand is a Good Way to Find Out.
by Susie Ellis
Am in Thailand at the Six Senses Hideaway Yao Noi while at the same time continuing my work regarding preparations for the Global Spa Summit 2008. Interesting how the two intersect.
Am working with the famous architect Robert Henry who will be leading a panel discussion on “How to Create, Design, and Maintain a Spa with Soul” at the Summit which both of us feel is a very exciting and timely topic. Spas are becoming big business and increasingly we find large companies and corporations beginning to create spas when in the past they were birthed and nurtured by individuals whose passion guided the evolution of their spas. People like Deborah Szekely (Rancho La Puerta and Golden Door), Sheila Cluff (The Oaks at Ojai), Dorothy Purdue (various spas in UK), and Enid and Mel Zuckerman (Canyon Ranch), etc.
Here at this very exclusive Six Senses Hideaway I think most people would agree it is a “spa with soul.” This one was create by founders of the Six Senses and Soneva Brands, the famous Eve and Sonu team.
All villas have butlers, pools, and mesmerizing views – mine with turquoise water and small islands in the distance. The design and décor is imaginative, the entire resort is not only eco-friendly but what I call eco-embedded. The entire experience one of a sort of “barefoot luxury.” Part of the fine dining room sits on top of a glass floor under which is a magically lit green plant garden with trickling stream. And don’t even get me started on the “Private Reserve” villa with the 180-degree view and gigantic pool which rents for $16,000 per night.
My outdoor shower has two shower heads. One is a rain shower and the other a more traditional shower head (for when you don’t want to get your hair wet). The mini bar has lots of healthy things (and some not-so-healthy for the occasional indulgence). No nickel and dime fees….everything is complimentary. (Well, you can figure it is in the price of your villa.)
It is easy to get a spa treatment booked because they have plenty of staff available so I was able to simply walk in and collapse in their care on day one when I was still feeling jet-lagged.
Have had some very nice moments of time to think about what makes a spa soulful. Can’t wait to hear what Robert and his panel share from their points of view.
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