Two Thai spas: raw-food detox versus gastro-heaven

Villa Royale is a luxury hotel with one of Thailand's most stylish spas, while the Six Senses Destination boasts a bespoke treatment programme with a raw food diet.

Six Senses Destination Spa

Situated on Naka Yai, a private island just north of Phuket, Thailand, this spa bans laptops, mobile phones and BlackBerrys from all public areas and aims to revitalise its wealthy guests with a bespoke treatment programme including a raw food diet.

How they rate it

The island is "Robinson Crusoe heaven, with its jungly interior and coastline dotted with beaches, coconut groves and mangroves", says Ian McCurrach in The Independent. The large villas have an outdoor bathroom, private pool, private hot tub, a shower that is also a steam room, and a personal butler service. For a finishing touch, each villa garden includes organic herbs which can be used in the hot tubs.

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The menu

Guests choose between a raw-food menu consisting of dishes such as avocado, fennel and orange salad, and the pescetarian menu. The raw food is "surprisingly tasty" given that it consists of vegetables cooked to a maximum temperature of 42C.

The cost

A Hill Pool Villa costs from £830 a night including full board, two 60-minute spa treatments per person per day and a choice of fitness classes. Find out more at or call 020-8780 3519.

Mom Tri's Villa Royale


Mom Tri is a renowned Thai architect who owns the exceptional Boathouse restaurant on the island. A few years ago he decided to turn his own home into a luxury hotel with one of Thailand's most stylish spas.

How they rate it

The hotel's three swimming pools are fantastic, says Sasha Bates in The Sunday Telegraph, with the best being "the curvy saltwater pool cut into the headland with its myriad hidden corners for almost-private lounging". The suites are traditionally Thai-styled with a dark colour scheme "that perfectly suits the forest hideaway feel".

The menu

"Unsurprisingly, given its pedigree, the food is outstanding, French-influenced and inventive," says Bates. "Sea bass with a cashew nut crust and tamarind coulis was a fantastic example of what can happen when East meets West in the hands of a master." The hotel restaurant has spectacular views of the coast and, if you fancy a change, the Boathouse which is considered one of the best restaurants in Thailand is located on the beach right below the hotel.

The cost

Suites cost from £225 a night and the spa offers treatments priced from 1,200 baht (£21). To learn more visit or call 00 66 7633 3569.

What the travel writers are saying

Want to be treated like royalty? Aoife O'Riordain in The Independent suggests these three hotels with royal connections.

In India, there's the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which has been occupied by the Maharaja of Jodhpur and his family since 1943. With 347 rooms, it "makes most royal abodes look rather pokey". Prices from £330 a night. (; 00 91 291 251 0101.)

The Villa Milocer in Montenegro is the former residence of Marija Karadordevic, the Queen of Yugoslavia. It overlooks "a ravishing 2km stretch of Montenegro's coastline". There are only four suites in the main building with two more in an adjacent building. Doubles from €495, room only. (; 00 382 33 420 000.)

For a touch of majesty in London, try Claridge's. On 17 July 1945, Winston Churchill declared suite 212 to be Yugoslavian soil so that Crown Prince Alexander could be born in his home country. After World War II, so many exiled royals stayed at Claridge's that "when a diplomat called and asked to speak to the King, the response was: 'Certainly, but which one?'" Doubles from £289.

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