By Ilona Kauremszky
Date June 18, 2018
Swirling in a hypnotic dream, massage after massage—Thailand conjures every divine thought in this Kingdom of Wellness.
From the soft hint of kaffir lime that emits a world of calm inside my secluded pleasure dome of rustic luxury to the sweet sound of silence perched on the edge of a tropical isle. Then again, guests staying at the Six Senses Samui indulge in the biggest pastime here: R&R.
Nestled on the lush green island of Koh Samui I discover nature reigns supreme at this wellness retreat. No cell phones, no digital distractions. Only the cadence of methodic inhales as this master Thai masseuse right on her A-game pulls out the knotty city stresses.
Thailand has been ranked consistently among the top 10 on the Happy Planet Index as the Thai are famous for their warm, friendly spirit. Beauty equals happiness and Thailand is blessed with both.
These days, communities of wellness scribes have attested to a brand of healthy living best enjoyed year-round here. Photography courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
At this particular Garden of Eden on Koh Samui, (the island was once nicknamed Coconut Island for its profusion of coconut trees), lurks a mad scientist named Gary Henden whose rustic luxury spa resort clings on a palm-studded headland above the sea.
As the general manager at the Six Senses Samui, the British ex-pat extolls on the virtues of sustainability and the prospects of healthy eating and keeping a happy balance. Guests staying at the secluded Green-Globe 21 certified resort have an on-call butler known as a guest experience maker (GEM) who can prepare whims that include a tour of the new onsite sustainability program.
Dubbed Farm on the Hill, this permaculture environment established in 2016 features a 20-acred garden of indigenous plants, 80 chickens and 20 goats, a module aquaponic system for organic plants, and a composting recycling depot that Henden adds was born from a landscaping necessity.
“We had a large volume of organic waste like branch trimmings, unutilized grey water, and a lack of nutrient rich soil,” he says as we twist and turn through the groves of passion fruit and gnarly butterfly peas to see a separate section devoted to recycling.
The enclosed site contains a natural reed bed system to filter and re-mineralize grey water, a compost bed for soil regeneration, bio-fuel containers for natural products and a bio-charcoal system for various uses. Photography by Ilona Kauremszky
“Farm on the Hill started as a small home-grown initiative to support our commitment to sustainability in the resort and our operations, yet in a short time it has grown into a positive example of what can be done with strong conviction and minimal funds. The project has inspired the team and the local community, who actively participate in its upkeep and in some circumstances have replicated at their own homes,” he says.
It’s clean, healthy living.
To Know: Guests can reserve Farm on the Hill for dinner and take in a private sunset tour of the grounds and enjoy an authentic Thai barbeque here.
For more travel information on Thailand click here.Photography courtesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand
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