Header image courtesy of Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Hoi An, which means “peaceful meeting place,” has an understated spa appeal. This tranquil UNESCO World Heritage town features a mix of Chinese, Japanese, and European architectural styles—a testimony to its past as a cultural crossroad. Dating back to the fifteenth century, it was a bustling trading port, then known Faifo, which drew merchants from around the world. Today, the town’s easy-going and slow pace of life lends a leisurely feel. Visitors are lured by a range of spas and wellness resorts where they can spend long, languorous days under Hoi An’s spell.
Once upon a time in Hoi An, a Vietnamese princess, Ngoc Hoa, a member of the Hue royal family, married a Japanese merchant, Sotaro Araki. This sixteenth-century romance has been reimagined into Woosah Spa’s signature massage treatment, which blends Vietnamese and Shiatsu techniques for a supremely relaxing experience. For a more holistic retreat, the three-day Destination Spa Moment offers daily tai chi, an in-room wellness breakfast, and head-to-toe treatments. The eight-storey high riverfront property also delivers a rare panoramic view while hosting Hoi An’s highest rooftop bar.
Royal Hoi An MGallery by Sofitel, 39 Dao Duy Tu Street, Hoi An, Quang Nam, Vietnam | (+84) 235 3950 777
The briny sea breeze and the rhythmic waves enthral the senses as you relax at a beach villa at Hoi An’s most luxurious hideaway, the Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai. Your senses are taken to another level at the resort’s Heart of the Earth Spa. Here, you will be pampered with multi-sensory treatments based on sound healing inspired by the Vietnamese zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, who advocates mindful connection with the earth’s rhythm. To retune oneself, each spa treatment is accompanied by the meditative reverberation of crystal singing bowls (tuned to 432Hz—nature’s mid-range tone).
The signature massage, Nam Hai Earth Song, employs a blend of sound, breath, and touch. The two-and-a-half-hour treatment begins with the cleansing smoke from sustainable local agarwood to clear mental and physical blockages, settling you into calmness. A scrub and relaxing herb-infused bath further relax the body and mind as you gently unwind while soaking in the sensations. The deep pressure and long, soothing strokes of the traditional Vietnamese massage will relax tense muscles. The vibrational energy from gem-tipped tuning forks enhances the re-harmonisation process. To deepen the feeling of sublime peace, music is coaxed from a set of eight quartz crystal alchemy bowls accompanied by the melodious vocals of the therapist.
Those who prefer the sound healing treatment can opt for an hour-long crystal singing bowls speciality by resident singing bowl artist, Oanh Ngo. There are other equally enchanting treatments to sample, such as the Deep Peace, which promises to alleviate anxiety and restore emotional balance with a comforting full body massage, coupled with a pearl and jasmine salt scrub, and an amethyst gel body wrap.
Every evening, A Goodnight Kiss to the Earth ceremony is held with music from singing bowls signalling the day’s end. Guests are encouraged to pen messages or “love letters” to Mother Earth and float them together with a candle across the pond.
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Block Ha My Dong B, Dien Duong Ward Dien Ban Town, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam | (+84) 235 3940 000
A foot reflexology path over a pool leads to the extensive My Chi Spa, packed with impressive amenities one would expect at a high-end spa. Avail yourself to a lavish private spa suite decked with a jacuzzi, or one of the 36 spacious treatment rooms. There is a relaxation pool, sauna and steam room, gym, yoga room, beauty salon, and a meditation space. The bamboo massage is a must-try for its mood calming and muscle relaxing experience. Much of it is due to an ingenious method of heat treatment: a heated sand-filled bamboo stalk is used to maintain the heat for a longer period of time to create a more satisfying massage.
Guests at Almanity Hoi An Wellness Resort enjoy a holistic wellness experience through the use of colour therapy. A colour is attributed to each day of the week together with a wellness massage. Red is for Monday, kickstarting the week with the theme of “awakening.” Coloured hand bands are handed out each day, while the guest rooms are adorned with floral arrangements and notes of inspiration.
326 Ly Thuong Kiet, Tan An Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam | (+84) 235 3666 888, (+84) 235 3666 110
This small Anantara Spa is only steps away from the Old Town. It offers a selection of essential treatments, such as jade facials, and coconut and black sesame seed body polish. The four-hand massage, where a pair of masseuses knead away on tired limbs, is worth a try. The spa also offers single- to multi-day wellness programmes. Give yourself an after-spa treat at the adjoining restaurant-cum-art gallery, called Art Space, where you can relish local art alongside wood-fired pizza.
Anantara Hoi An Resort, 1 Pham Hong Thai Street, Hoi An City, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam