For centuries, Thais have harnessed the healing powers of locally-grown herbs and plants, using them in spa therapies to bring about a balance of mind, body and soul. As the name suggests, The Secret Garden Spa at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui focuses on this bounty of nature, reflecting on freshness, clarity and simplicity, complemented by the tranquillity of the spa’s setting.
“To walk along the pathway – bursting with tropical abundance and surrounded by the symphony of nature – is therapeutic in itself,” smiles Kotchaphan Mekloy, Spa Manager.
One with Nature
A time-tested remedy to combat stress, the spa’s setting, highlighted by an outdoor bath, encourages guests to spend more time in nature, thereby promoting wellbeing. “Our ‘secret garden’ is abundant with local herbs that are nurtured by our gardeners,” explains Kotchaphan, “Lemongrass, turmeric, pandanus, makrut lime, mint, aloe vera, galanga and ginger are just some of the ingredients we use in our therapies.”
Freshly picked for each experience, the combination of herbs is designed to bring a deep sense of relaxation and boost immunity. “A massage with a customised luk-pra-kob is our recommendation,” shares Kotchaphan. Filled with turmeric, plai, lemongrass, makrut lime skin, tamarind leaves and sompoi leaves, the spa offers three types of herbal compresses, best suited for detoxification and to relieve stress. “Every home has its own combination of ingredients in a herbal compress. At the spa, we are inspired by our family traditions that have been handed down over generations,” she adds. Bringing together the goodness of island’s bounty, the purest of plai, wild turmeric, thanaka, Indian gooseberry, carrot, liquorice, gotu kola, and salt are combined into a warm herbal compress that is used in a facial to soothe and nourish the muscles and delicate eye area.
A massage using herbal balms or ya mong made from various Thai herbs is often used to relieve muscle stiffness and alleviate pain. At The Secret Garden Spa, the team has created a house-made balm with shea butter, menthol, camphor, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, coconut oil and vitamin E to provide deep relaxation. “Our organic balm makes for a great souvenir,” smiles the Spa Manager. “Apply the balm on the affected area and gently massage in a circular motion for relief.”
Honing in on the healing properties of Thai herbs, the spa blends oils in-house to suit wellness needs. The Relaxing Oil enhances sleep with a blend of lemongrass, ylang-ylang, lavender and orange peel essential oil while De-Stressing Oil infused with grapefruit peel, tea tree leaf and eucalyptus essential oils help clear the mind. “To reduce fatigue, we recommend the Energising Oil with ylang-ylang, clove, black pepper and lavender essential oils. Combat headaches, migraines and body ache with our blend of rosemary leaf, lavender, clove, clary sage and orange peel essential oils,” shares Kotchaphan. Guests can choose from any of the blends for their oil massage, while the therapists light aromatic candles with the same combination for a sensory wellbeing experience.
Goodness of Ginger
Rich in antioxidants, ginger is one of the key ingredients used at the spa – both as an essential oil as well as paste – to draw out toxins from the body. Designed by the team, the Samui Fusion massage combines dynamic stretches to get the blood flowing and ginger paste to detoxify. “Applying ginger paste on the back helps release body heat and cleanses the blood, while the stretching and oil massage brings about unification and alignment,” she adds.
Scrub, Steam, Soak
From guava and makrut lime zest scrub to a steam or soak infused with tropical ingredients that are suited to the guest’s personal wellbeing goals, the team has put together a range of herbal remedies that perfectly complement the therapies at the spa. “Our experience engages with all the senses – touch, smells, sight and even taste,” says Kotchaphan pointing to the tray with herbal tea and snacks.
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is SHA+ Certified and has been welcoming fully vaccinated international travellers to the island since the re-opening earlier this year. “The health and safety of our guests remain the top priority. As part of a SHA+ Certified resort, guests can enjoy spa therapies with peace of mind.”