Luxury Hotels


There’s something intensely soul-satisfying about temples in a hotel’s garden (the exception, and of course there is always an exception to any dogmatic statement, was the old Bangkok Hilton, whose owner took great pride in showing the great and the good his collection of penis-shaped temples in the hotel grounds). Today, at the new FOUR SEASONS BANGKOK AT CHAO PHRAYA RIVER, there are two small temples, side by side.  See above. The temple on the right honours the land, and perhaps the dozens of small figurines represent those who have made the river-set land what it is today. Its sibling on the left honours the ancestors of the onlooker and, instead of figurines, there are portions of real fruit and other edibles.

Interestingly, two days ago the Global Wellness Institute GWI announced Thailand as the third Geograaphy of Wellness. What does this mean? Geography of Wellness gives entrepreneurs, businesses, academics and government agencies a clear-eyed look at where short- and long-term opportunities may lie, says Susie Ellis, GWI chair and CEO. Geography of Wellness Thailand is a partnership with BDMS Wellness Clinic, part of the mighty Bangkok Dusit Medical Services BDMS.  This is all the more relevant as Thailand’s wellness tourism market is the fourth largest in Asia (after China, Japan, and India). Similarly,Thailand’s spa economy is bettered only by China, Japan, and South Korea.

Coming up, 16-18 September 2022, is the sixth annual World Wellness Weekend. This is aligned with the United Nations. It is anticipated there will be participants at 4,000 venues in 140 countries taking yoga classes, fitness sessions, guided relaxation and meditations promoting Inner Peace & World Peace. There will be cancer aware webinars, supported by Immunocologie, and use of hot springs and saunas, and dance classes. With more than a mere ESG nod, include tree planting and clean-up sessions in the mix.

There’s so much coming up right now. Tomorrow, Thursday 15th September, the Swiss Hospitality Investment Club meets in Zurich. Speakers include 25hours Hotels’ Christoph Hoffmann, Considerate Group’s Xenia zu Hohenlohe, and Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé – and, extracurricularly, there will be networking, sightseeing and working out.

And coming up, in South Africa, is increased awareness for BABYLONSTOREN, the unique immersive village resort in Franschhoek. Its existing garden-set wellness is enhanced with a new Hot Spa, two circular vitality pools united by a 16-metre pool to form an indoor-outdoor heated water experience, a steam room, a sauna and salt room (entirely crafted from blocks of raw Himalayan salt) – plus hammam and rasul.

Listen here, to Babylonstoren’s co-owner and designer Karen Roos, talking at sister property THE NEWT IN SOMERSET: