Independent Thai-inspired international hospitality brand, MANATHAI Hotels & Resorts, has launched a selection of immersive activities at its boutique beach resorts in Khao Lak, Phuket, Hua Hin and Koh Samui – each one designed to bring guests closer to the destination while offering insights into the Thai traditions that make Thailand a unique and ever-popular holiday choice.
At MANATHAI Khao Lak, guests can learn the fundamentals of Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai boxing, guided by two experts from the resort’s Thai recreation team, both of whom have entered the ring as challengers for a variety of titles in the past.
The instructors focus on basic techniques such as stance, footwork, basic punches, kicks, knees and elbows, as well as demonstrating effective defensive moves. The classes take place on the beach or by the resort’s enticing pool and boxers are kitted out with 16oz gloves and shin pads to prevent any blemishes to the tropical tan. Each session begins with a 10-minute stretch as the trainers guide their students through controlled, leg and arm swings followed by a few minutes of shadow boxing before moving on to full contact practice with the pads.
At award-winning MANATHAI Surin Phuket after guests can enjoy another classic Thai experience, albeit one that involves significantly less physical effort than a fight simulation. The Spa at MANATHAI offers an alluring menu of world-renowned Thai massage therapies, perfected over hundreds of years and performed by skilled local practitioners to revitalize the body, soothe the mind and inspire the soul.
One of Thailand’s oldest and most effective wellness therapies, the herbal compress massage, is a health and wellness highlight at MANATHAI Surin Phuket. The massage uses acupressure techniques and light stretching followed by the application of powerful natural herbs through a cloth ‘bolus’ to help detoxify the body and boost the immune system. Natural Thai ingredients include camphor to cool and invigorate the skin, lemongrass to help clean the skin, turmeric to soothe and cleanse irritations, Prai to relieve muscular aches and pains, plus kaffir lime to tone the skin.
At MANATHAI Koh Samui, guests can find out what it feels like to spend part of their day on tropical land and the rest in the azure oceans of the Gulf of Siam – the daily schedule for many of the island’s inhabitants for more than a century. Local island marine tours in traditional, brightly painted long-tail fishing boats, known in Thai as “the gondolas of the south”, which are specifically designed with oversized propeller shafts that make them ideal for navigating shallow waters.
Casting off on a 3-hour excursion, seafarers head first to the deserted island of Koh Tan, which is surrounded by transparent blue waters teeming with rich underwater life. After a dip in the warm, clear ocean they motor past the rocky islands known as the Five Sisters, where huts perch precariously on limestone cliffs, providing shelter for locals who collect rare bird’s nests, revered throughout Asia for their health benefits.
At MANATHAI Hua Hin, guests can join an excursion more commonly associated with holidays in France or Italy – tour of the local vineyard. Hua Hin’s Monsoon Valley Winery has produced a number of award-winning wines. The vineyard’s Chenin Blanc Late Harvest 2015 and Cuvee De Siam Blanc 2011 wines both received a rating score of 91 out of 100 from world-renowned wine critic, James Suckling.
The Monsoon Valley vineyard is nestled in a beautiful vale which visitors can explore by jeep, mountain bike or even on the back of elephant. Once they have made the most of the breathtaking surroundings, visitors then enjoy delicious wine and food pairings amidst the scenic landscape while they learn about tropical viticulture and winemaking from local experts.
Adding further to the diverse destination appeal on offer at MANATHAI Hotels and Resorts, the group is offering a choice of special promotions at each of its resorts, making the decision to stay and explore the location even easier.