Sea spa: Connect with nature at the Four Seasons' spa, Vietnam
by Risa Merl
Where is it?
Housed within the Four Seasons Nam Hai resort, this palm-fringed retreat is an ideal stop-off on a cruise through the South China Sea. Set on a curve of sand less than 15 minutes from the canal-crossed town of Hoi An on the Vietnamese coast it combines calm and culture.
Why the hype?
Love Letter to the Earth, the book written by Vietnamese spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, is the inspiration behind this peaceful lagoon-side spa. Treatments are held in private pagodas set over the gently lapping waters and make use of crystal singing bowls, which allegedly tune the body back to the harmonic intonation of nature, vibrating along with Earth’s own heartbeat (and certainly make for a relaxing soundtrack to your massage).
What to have?
As well as its daily wellness activities – such as the complimentary Goodnight Kiss to the Earth ceremony, where guests are invited to float Vietnamese wishing candles on the lagoon – the resort also hosts specific mindfulness retreats. These programmes include sitting, walking and eating meditations, and Dharma talks, complemented by yoga and spa appointments and a specific vegetarian cleansing menu. It is still worth dropping anchor at this beacon of calm even if a full retreat sounds a little too intense. The recently opened property is a prime example of Vietnam’s luxury travel ascension and if crystals are something you prefer to decorate your master suite with, the spa also offers good old-fashioned favourites such as hot stone massages and detoxifying wraps.
Best by boat:
Superyachts are welcomed by the resort to anchor offshore and tender in.