6 Muslim-Friendly Luxury Wellness Retreats For A Digital Detox


Atiqah Mokhtar •  Feb 11, 2019

Digital detoxes have become an increasingly popular activity in recent times, with most people agreeing that taking a break from our digital devices is a good thing. In a day and age where so much of our time is spent looking at a screen, taking intervals to unplug from our gadgets could be a great way to focus on ourselves and reevaluate our priorities.

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Let me also preface this article by saying: you don’t need a luxurious getaway to do a digital detox. Taking a break from social media or digital devices as a whole can just as easily be done from home, and what’s more important is your intention and discipline to see it through ? But having said that, getting a bit of help to get in the zone and ensure the success of the detox can’t hurt. And that’s where these 6 resorts come in! These wellness-focused resorts are centred around providing holistic or even all-inclusive retreats where you can disengage from distractions and focus on self-care, making them the perfect venues for a digital detox ?

1. Chiva-Som International Health Resort,  Hua Hin (Thailand)

Credit: @chivasomresort on Instagram

First up on the list is the beautiful Chiva-Som Resort located along the beaches of Hua Hin in Thailand, about a 2 - 3 hour drive from Bangkok.

The resort offers all-inclusive wellness retreats that are meant to be tailored to your specific goals and needs. Through discussion with a Wellness Advisor assigned to you, you will receive a program curated to include activities that meet your specific goals. So whether you want a program focused relaxation filled with pampering spa and massage treatments, or a fitness-based program with yoga and strength-training sessions, rest assured that Chiva-Som has got you covered!

#HHWT Tip: Please do note that Chiva-Som requires a minimum stay of 3 nights ? Depending on your program and how long you plan to have your retreat, your stay may range from 3, 5, 7 or even more nights.

Credit: @chivasomresort on Instagram

As part of your retreat, the resort offers a whole host of activities focused on your well-being that will ensure you don’t reach for your phone ?This includes yoga, tai chi, Thai kick-boxing, aquarobics, cooking classes and breathing classes, just to name a few! In addition, while the resort has in-room wifi, guests are encouraged to disconnect from mobile devices throughout your stay with no devices allowed in public and common areas.

Credit: Chiva-Som International Health Resort on Facebook

Speaking of accommodation, you won’t have to worry about comfort during your stay - Chiva-Som has 54 beautiful rooms, ranging from ocean-view rooms to Thai-style pavilions surrounded by gardens ? So rest assured, when you’re done with your activities for the day, you’ll be coming back to a luxuriously comfortable room to rest.

Credit: @chivasomresort on Instagram

Throughout your retreat, your Wellness Advisor will be on-hand to help you should need to change your programme or if you want to try anything else the resort has to offer. At the end of your retreat, you will be able to review your progress and achievements so you can take away the key learnings of your time at the retreat. With a facility as targeted like this, your digital detox will be a snap! ?

Based on our checks with the resort, halal food is available for guests, so do inform the resort when you are booking your retreat!

Rates per night begin from USD1,196 inclusive of accommodation, meals and activities.

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Address: 73/4 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110

Contact no.: +66 32 536 536

2. Bawah Reserve (Indonesia)

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Bawah Reserve is undoubtedly a hidden gem. Located in Indonesia’s remote Anambas Islands located about 300 km northeast of Singapore, six islands of the archipelago have been transformed into an all-inclusive retreat that promises a getaway like no other.

Credit: Bawah on Facebook

To start off with, the resort is accessible only by seaplane ? Bawah will arrange transport from Singapore to Batam International Airport by ferry, following which you will board a private seaplane for an 80-minute journey to arrive at the stunning resort surrounded by lagoons and lush greenery.

Credit: @bawahreserve on Instagram

Bawah has a strict in-room Wifi only policy, meaning that apart from the cosy enclave of your villa, you won’t have access to the Internet. In the case of a digital detox, this is perfect!

Bawah prides itself on being an all-inclusive getaway where everything you’ll need during your trip will be taken care of and catered to your personal needs ? All packages include meals, accommodation, Wellness Centre activities (such as yoga, pilates and movement classes), water activities (such as snorkelling and kayaking), and even laundry.

Credit: Bawah on Facebook

Based on our checks with the resort, while the resort’s restaurants are not halal-certified, halal food using ingredients from halal-certified suppliers are available for guests.

Rates per night begin from USD1,780 (for two people sharing) inclusive of accommodation, round trip transfers from Singapore, meals and activities.

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Address: Bawah Reserve Anambas Kiabu, Pulau Bawah, Siantan Sel., Kabupaten Kepulauan Anambas, Kepulauan Riau 29791, Indonesia

Contact no.: +65 6322 3132

3. Santani Wellness Resort & Spa (Sri Lanka)

Credit: Santani on Facebook

How does retreating to a resort hidden among rolling hills and lush foliage sound? If it’s something that might be up your alley, just wait until you see the stunning Santani Wellness Resort & Spa, located near the town of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The resort sits on a former tea estate comprising 48 beautiful acres of greenery ?

Fun fact: the resort’s name comes from the  Sanskrit word meaning “in harmony with”, which is perfectly fitting for the resort’s tranquil settings as well as its offerings as a wellness retreat to guests.

Credit: @santani_wellness on Instagram

With the exception of the media room, all of Santani’s shared spaces are Wifi-free, with guests explicitly encouraged to take full use of this digital-free downtime. WiFi is only available upon request in guest rooms, so this will be the perfect excuse to unplug and fully bask in the beautiful surroundings.

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And you’ll want to bask in the surroundings all you can because the scenery is like no other. The resort has 16 chalets tucked amidst the mountains, each with balconies offering views that are sure to refresh and rejuvenate. Each room measures about 500 sq ft. and are designed for a maximum of two people.

There are also four garden view chalets designed for families (with children more than 12 years old) located between a paddy field and a tea plantation.  So whether you go for a digital detox solo, make it a romantic getaway for two, or go with the family, you’ll be sorted ?

#HHWT Tip: Please note that the garden view chalets meant for families are located a bit further from the main lobby and facilities (about a 10-minute walk), though Tuk Tuk shuttles are on hand to transport guests to and fro.

Credit: @santani_wellness on Instagram

Santani offers stays where guests just enjoy its accommodation and the resort’s amazingly peaceful surroundings. But why not go one step further an opt for an all-inclusive wellness package? With therapies ranging from traditional ayurvedic treatments to fitness, meditation and food, you’ll be able to choose from one of their various packages to meet specific goals. Packages available include Santani Sleep (for improving sleep quality), Santani Spa Getaway (for maximum pampering), and Personalised Yoga (for a yoga retreat tailored to your capabilities).

Credit: @santani_wellness on Instagram

Based on our checks with the resort, halal food is available, so you won’t have to worry about what to eat while you’re there ? Please do highlight this with resort staff when booking your stay!

Rates per night begin from SGD546 (accommodation only) on Agoda. All-inclusive packages (including meals and treatment/activities) start from SGD520 for 1 person or SGD714 for 2 people on Agoda, though prices may vary depending on wellness packages booked with the hotel).

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Address: Nattuwakale Estate, Werapitiya, Kandy 00013

Contact no.: +94 11 255 9755

4. Kamalaya Koh Samui (Thailand)

Credit: Kamalaya Koh Samui on Facebook

A beach retreat is always a good idea, especially when one is on a digital detox ? Kamalaya Koh Samui promises a beach retreat and a whole lot more. Located on the picturesque island in Thailand, Kamalaya prides itself on being a Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa resort that will ensure a stay that will rejuvenate even the most worn out urban dweller.

Credit: @kamalayakohsamui on Instagram

What makes Kamalaya perfect for a digital detox? Well for starters, it has a pretty strict policy on device usage - Internet is available via its library, where guests have access to the use the computers there for online activities. While in-room WiFi is available, beyond a complimentary voucher for 1-hour of access, any further WiFi usage will need to be purchased from reception (with proceeds going to select charities). Kamalaya encourages its guests to disconnect from devices and hopes this charge will be a way to motivate guests to stay offline ?

Credit: @kamalayakohsamui on Instagram

Kamalaya has various accommodation types that will be sure to please. From the cosy Hillside Rooms to the amazing Beachfront Pool Villa, you’re bound to find the room that best suits your desires for your getaway.

Credit: @kamalayakohsamui on Instagram

And as far as wellness offerings go, Kamalaya has got you covered from every angle. The resort offers several wellness packages under a few key categories including Healthy Lifestyle (which includes fitness and sleep-related programs), Stress & Burnout (with programs for those that need relaxation and rejuvenation) and Emotional Balance (with a program to enrich emotional wellbeing).

#HHWT Tip: Programs have a minimum duration of 3 days and can be from 3 days and up to 14 days, depending on the specific program you choose. Check out this list of the programs on offer.

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Kamalaya is not halal-certified however, the resort offers a choice between an ala carte or detox menu, both of which have a large focus on plant-based dishes. No pork or beef is served, and alcohol is not used in any of the dishes, hence you can choose to opt for seafood or vegetarian based meals. We recommend to flag this upfront when booking your trip with resort staff so they can cater to you accordingly ?

Rates for all-inclusive wellness programs (which includes meals, airport transfers, accommodation, activities and access to facilities) begin from approx. SGD2,400 for 3-day programmes.

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Address: หมู่ที่ 3 102/9 Laem-Set Rd, Ko Samui District, Surat Thani 84140, Thailand

Contact no.: +66 77 429 800

5. Anantara Veli Maldives Resort (Maldives)

Credit: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort on Facebook

Did I already mention beach getaways are great for digital detoxes? And what better way to unplug and do a bit of reading than from the private lounge deck of your over-water villa at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort? ?

This resort has become famous for a honeymooner’s dream, but don’t just think that it’s a romantic getaway spot! The resort has become renowned for its wellness facilities and was crowned Maldives’ best Wellness Retreat in 2017 by the World Spa Awards.

Credit: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort on Facebook

The resort has 67 bungalows, with some situated over beautiful blue waters or set on cliff edges overlooking the Indian Ocean.

Anantara Veli doesn’t have policies on device usage like some of the other places on this list (and all rooms have complimentary WiFi), so we’ll admit, you’ll have to exercise more of your self-discipline here. But with such gorgeous ocean views all around, amazing spa treatments, and a whole host of activities from kayaking to stand-up paddling, we can guarantee you’ll be too blissed out and occupied to spend much time on your phone!

Credit: @anantaraveli on Instagram

Anantara Veli’s wellness offerings lie in its world-class spa and wellness centre, Balance Wellness by Anantara, that will be sure to help you ease away the stresses of daily life. Choose from an extensive range of treatments (from massages, facials, yoga & meditation, fitness sessions, steams baths, and so much more) tailored to help you reach your immediate wellness goals, be it better sleep, detoxing the body, or simply relaxation.

Credit: Anantara Veli Maldives Resort on Facebook

Anantara has halal food available for guests at all its dining facilities (including room service!), so you won’t have to worry about food ?

Rates per night start from SGD698 on Agoda

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Address: Veligandu, South Male Atoll 20109, Maldives

Contact no.: +66 2 365 7678

6. The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat (Ipoh, Malaysia)

Credit: @nawalchan on Instagram

A little closer to home we have The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. This luxury resort and spa (located about 15 minutes away from Ipoh town) is nestled amidst limestone formations, lush jungles and geothermal hot springs.

Credit: @nawalchan on Instagram

At The Banjaran, you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of self-care and wellness activities. Choose from the extensive range of services offered by its Spa & Wellness centre, from tai chi and yoga classes to meditation and aroma-therapy, to massages and facials, and many more! The services are offered ala carte (meaning you pay for select services of your choice), or you can also opt for one of the six wellness programmes that will include activities based on the specific goals of each programme.

WiFi is available in every room and specific public areas (such as the Lobby, Meeting Room and resort restaurant Pomelo).  However, as part of its spa & wellness centre etiquette, the resort advises that phones and other devices be left in the room or alternatively, switched off and stored in the private lockers available at the centre during your wellness activities ? It’ll be a conducive environment to unplug and have your digital detox.

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Even if you don’t opt for any of the wellness programs, there is still so much to enjoy at the resort. You’ll have access to the resorts many natural facilities, such as its hot spring dipping pools, nature walks, a meditation cave, a thermal steam cave, and even a fish spa pool ?

Credit: @eeezah on Instagram

And it gets even better: the resort’s accommodation is comprised of 45 villas that all come with a private pool ? Choose between a Lake Villa (81 sqm-sized villa that faces the lake), a Water Villa (155 sqm-sized villa overlooking a water canal) or a Garden Villa (the largest villa at 261 sqm that comes with a private courtyard amidst a backdrop of caves and lush jungle) for your luxuriously comfortable stay. With accommodation like this, you’ll be wanting to come back for your next detox!

The resort also features in-house restaurant The Pomelo, which uses ingredients from halal-certified suppliers and is pork and lard-free (though please note alcoholic beverages are available on the menu, therefore we recommend for you to dine at your own discretion).

Rates per night start from SGD467 on Agoda

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Address: No 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3 (296.76 mi) Ipoh, Perak 31150

Contact no.: +60 5-210 7777

And there you have it! 6 beautiful and wonderfully serene resorts that will be the perfect place to unwind and get re-centered as you pursue your digital detox. As mentioned earlier, these resorts are by no means necessary to take a break from your devices, but with such amazing services on offer within such stunning settings, it'll guarantee a rejuvenating experience like no other! ?