The Luxury health retreat Chiva Som has been the bar to which many spas in the west measure themselves against for the last 15 years. An unspoilt retreat set within seven acres of lush tropical gardens on the beachfront of the Royal Resort of Hua Hin, just 185 kilometres south of Bangkok, it is easy to reach by air or road. As it proudly celebrates its 15th anniversary this year Mary Aziz talked to Paul Linder, the Resort director to find out more about this highly sort “Haven of Life”
BTN; How long has Chiva-Som been operating?
Paul; We are currently celebrating the 15th anniversary in 2009
BTN; How many Spa resorts do you currently have, and where are they?
Paul; So far, one: Chiva-Som resort in Hua-Hin, Thailand
BTN; What was involved in the initial design of the Chiva-Som concept – what were you hoping to create?
Paul; ‘DESIGNS ON TRANQUILITY’
Weaving Asian and Western themes together; the unique architecture of Chiva-Som has stood the test of time and remains as fresh as ever.
BTN; How would you describe the typical experience at your spa?
Paul; “Personalisation” is a core experience we offer to our guests. Chiva-som means “Haven of Life” where body, mind and spirit are developed in harmony to achieve personal fulfillment. All programmes are based on our philosophy and designed and tailored to meet individual needs.
BTN; What does Chiva-Som offer in the way of treatments?
Paul; At Chiva-Som we value integrated holistic sciences from east to west. Our team of fully-trained health and wellness specialists will look at, guide and treat each individual with real personal focus on their wellbeing. This begins with an initial personal health and wellness consultation and includes physical assessment, energy healing, physiotherapies, and therapeutic massages to wellness educational classes etc.
There are over 150 treatments and nine specialist retreats including the Chiva-Som experience, fitness, spa pampering, physical renewal, de-stress, detox, yoga, weight management and holistic health.
BTN; And what different types of massage?
Paul; All types of massage are on offer including relaxing massage, deep tissue massage, Ayurveda massage, holistic therapy massage or physiotherapy massage.
BTN; What are the most popular treatments?
Chiva-Som signature treatments and Sound Bath Therapy.
BTN; What do you think will be the next big thing in spas?
Paul; The culture of Sustainability is the key social movement in the wellness industry at present. This is no longer limited to environmental concern, but also involves every aspect of clients’ lifestyles and the business infrastructures.
At Chiva-Som, commitment to wellness is a part of corporate culture. Our employees are given the opportunity to work on improving their own well-being through wellness activity programmes. We believe that quality of life and well-being bring harmony and positive energy to create a healthy workplace.
BTN; Have you hosted any celebrities or VIPs?
Paul; Yes, we have hosted several celebrities and VIPs. Kate Moss, Elizabeth Hurley, Elle Macpherson and David & Victoria Beckham have all visited.
BTN; What is average client capacity for a full day?
Paul; 116 pax
BTN; What gives Chiva-Som the edge over the competition?
Paul; Chiva-Som is a destination spa, providing a full range of health and wellness treatments and programmes and long-lasting inspiration for guests to achieve a healthy lifestyle. It’s not about having a healthy holiday for one week and then returning to an unhealthy lifestyle.
At Chiva-Som we provide a comprehensive health and wellness programme that includes services of spa, fitness, Physio, holistic, medical and healthy spa cuisine. No other destination spa in the world offers the same comprehensive and extensive services, ranging from nurturing spa to high-tech medical, delivered by a world-class calibre of practitioners and therapists, and with an authentic Thai service.
Generally resort spas offer pampering treatments via rooms with services, meals, treatments and fitness facility only but they do not integrate their services in the way that Chiva-Som does.
BTN; What can we look forward to in the future from Chiva-Som?
Paul; Chiva-Som is deeply committed to the continuous development of lifestyle expertise and to remaining at the cutting edge of the health and wellness industry. Therefore Chiva-Som continually strives to expand its treatment variety through innovation and research. Consequently, new spa therapies, holistic therapies and Medi-spa treatments will be introduced as well as use of the latest technologies.