... a dreamer, freelance writer, massage therapist, naturopath, mother & drop-out social work student living, working and writing in the Blue Mountains. When not occupied with the real world, she writes fantasy.
Published May 24th 2013
The 'high end' Banyan Tree Resort in Phuket.
With overworked Australians seeking refuge from busy lives and the increase of cheap overseas airfares, the spa resort holiday has become increasingly popular. Combining exotic destinations with relaxation, spa destinations provide the ultimate bliss.
Those in search of spa resort holidays seek slow cocktails and massage by the pool over those jam-packed, break-neck speed itineraries that see you in need of a holiday to recover from the one you've just had.
What's your idea of the ideal overseas spa destination, albeit at a commoner's price?
Could it be PHUKET in Thailand?
Listed No 15 on the Asia Backpacker Index (a list that ranks the cheapest Asian cities), Phuket receives Up to 25,000 Australian tourists a month. Phuket is Thailands's largest island and chock-a-block with beach resort towns. The province is made up of three districts, 103 villages and 38 smaller islands.
Located on the beautiful Andaman coast, Phuket combines beach-side scenery with chill-time.
Most tourists to Phuket purchase a flight direct to the island. Package deals that include accommodation and other extras are commonly available.
Big names in the spa resort world of Phuket include high end resort The Banyan Tree, ranked 2nd in the Top 10 Asia Resorts category of the Conde Nast Traveler 20th Annual Readers' Choice Awards and 8th in the Top 100 Resorts of the World.
Not so well known, but similar in price UBUD in Indonesia is a top Asia-based health retreat hub.
Featuring green rice paddies and lush vegetation, Ubud is a top spot for a holistic wind down.
Ubud is located inland in Bali and is considered the countries arts and culture centre. There's a stack of outstanding attractions beyond the spa including the Monkey Forest Park, temples, museums and more.
If you can afford it, stay at the prestigious Ubud Village Resort and Spa, winner of a 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence or the Four Seasons Resort (on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List 2013 as one of the top resorts in the world).
Or perhaps FIJI is your fave cheap spa destination.
Famed for Kid's Club, azure seas, island hopping, snorkelling and water sports, Fiji has been luring Australians for years.
Package deals that include flights and accommodation can go as low as around $600. You need to keep your eyes peeled for these. Just don't forget to add food, transport and things to do to your budget.
Fiji is actually an archipelago of over 332 islands and 500 smaller islets. The cheapest accommodation bargains can be had on the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
If hot pools, lakes & natural eruptions of hot water, steam and mud are your thing, ROTORUA in New Zealand might be your choice.
Located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, Rotorua is 3 hours drive from Auckland on the North Island. Direct flights via Air New Zealand to the geothermal hotspot can be had from Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington. Alternatively, direct flights from Sydney run twice a week.
Big on the spa resort hit-list is the Polynesian Spa. Blending hot mineral spring bathing with stunning views of Lake Rotorua and spa therapies, the Polynesian Spa scored a place in Conde Nast Traveller Magazines' World Top Ten Spa list in the years 2004-7 and 2009.
The Polynesian Spa, Rotorua - considered New Zealand's leading spa resort.
While the photos in this article feature some of the best 'high end' resorts in these tourist destinations, there are plenty of budget and mid-range options to be had. Decide what you want to scrimp on and what you can't do without to make the most of your dollar.
Perhaps others have alternative overseas spa destinations they can suggest. What is your favourite cheap overseas spa destination and why? Can you suggest a fabulous spa resort with top value for money that doesn't break the bank?
We lived in ubud for several years and love the spa treatments there, there's some great ones in semi yak.
The harshest ones I've had (not recommended) were the spa at the yak and yeti in Kathmandu and some of my friends had a facial last time we were at the landmark hotel in Guangzhou (china) and they actually had their entire faces shaved with a favor, definitely not recommended.
The raffles hotel does some lovely treatments in Singapore
We really enjoyed the day spa at the intercontinental Sanaya (Sth china)