Virtuoso Life - May/June 2018 - 81
"Phuket is full of happy
people and great beaches,
resorts, golf, and yoga.
Have your resort arrange
a boat tour to Phang Nga
Bay - cruising past the karst
islands is a beautiful way to
spend a day."
- Anne Crawford,
Virtuoso travel advisor,
Dana Point, California
trips, but I've unintentionally merged into
the wellness fast lane.
When Elizabeth checks in, I mention
that I've felt a little busy. But this is the joy
of Banyan Tree's program: freedom and
flexibility. The resort designed it to be approachable and unintimidating, helpful
but not clinical. Changing your mind is
not a trip ruiner, and schedules can easily
be adjusted with a day's notice. Halfway
through your time here, if you decide you
want to be more "free" than "fit," have at it.
I make it a point to pass the rest of my
stay at a slightly more leisurely pace. I laze
on my villa's daybed, taking swim breaks in
between chapters of my book. I hit the spa,
spread out across 20 private garden pavilions, for a 90-minute massage. During
dinner at Saffron, Banyan Tree's signature
Thai restaurant, I skip the "healthy" menu
suggestions and order pad thai and a glass
of pinot gris. I stick with the program too:
I lie back and let a trainer ply my limbs like
an accordion during a Thai-style superstretch session, and I sign up for an inspiring early-morning almsgiving ceremony
with a group of local monks.
Some travelers want that go-go-go
schedule, but there's no way everyone
interested in a retreat like this fits into the
same standard box. Wellness is subjective,
and it's all right to opt for the ocean over
the elliptical machine. You can slow down
and still leave feeling mindful. No matter
which you choose, you're - most likely - going to succeed.
Bang Tao Beach, the
setting for Banyan
Tree's Ocean Breath