By Kelly Hushin


Meditation can be hard work. All that focusing on breath, stillness, oneness with nature…before you know it you’re stressing about how you can’t relax.


The style of Nam Hai, as seen in the guestroom of the hotel

Perhaps what you need is a trip to Vietnam. Seem a bit extreme? Once you get there it won’t. As it happens, there’s still time to get there in the best part of the season; just understand that after adjusting to a 12-hour plus time difference, the serenity of the Nam Hai will be much needed.

The Nam Hai Spa, which opened about a year ago in General Hotel Management’s Nam Hai resort in Hoi An, Vietnam, has become one of the world’s most lusted-over destination spas. May through September is the best time to visit, so we suggest you book that flight ASAP.
In the short time since its opening, the Nam Hai spa has already received awards from both the
U.S. and UK versions of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s best spas. It’s not only the spa at Nam Hai that has conjured up quite an unparalleled reputation. The resort itself is a utopian getaway. With 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas, the resort occupies about four miles of tropical gardens overlooking the South China Sea. The “old town” of Hoi An with its cafes, boutiques and tangible history, is only 10 minutes from the resort.


Still, it is the spa at Nam Hai that sends the bliss-level of the resort off the charts.

The spa at the five-star resort is engulfed in a habitat of tranquility. Eight private spa villas, each with its own changing room, steam shower and separate private bath, are surrounded by a lagoon which guests can overlook as they lounge on oversized daybeds in their villa’s relaxation room.

The most popular of treatments at the Nam Hai spa is undoubtedly the Vietnamese massage. Lasting an hour, the ritual starts with a detox foot scrub followed by the ancient technique of combing and massaging pressure points to balance “chi.” Any boho-chic New Yorker would line up for such attention. Energy channels in the body are balanced and rejuvenated through this traditional Eastern treatment. Once you’ve experienced the authentic chi-balancing, there’ll be no excuse for that under-bed clutter. After all, would you really want to risk throwing off perfectly balanced energy for a couple extra pairs of you’ve pumps stashed?

For the even more relaxation-deprived guest, the Nam Hai offers a two and half hour treatment that will kick a fast-moving city gal down a notch into extreme chill mode. The “Nam Hai Indulgence” pampers guests with aromatherapy foot polishing and massaging, a body scrub, six-step facial, massage and petal bath.

In addition to superb treatment for escapists of all sorts, the Nam Hai even caters to your organic needs. Of course such a luxurious resort would never overlook a trend-savvy’s city dwellers need for green. So the Nam Hai stocks local and international custom-designed beauty products that use pure and organic ingredients such as the Sundari brand from our very own Big Apple.

Originally published September 2007
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