A wide selection of opulent spa resorts can help you detox and recharge after a hectic summer.
The party season is well and truly over, and your liver is saying it is time for a detox.
The good news is there is no need to punish yourself with carrot sticks and water to detox from over indulgence. Today's detox retreats offer five-star service in luxury settings, from full juice detox retreats with colonic therapy to seven-day spa pampering and even Michelin-designed healthy cuisine home-delivered to your door.
Asia cemented the region's position as the premier destination for the new hybrid of health farm-meets-luxury spa retreats when Chiva Som opened in Thailand in 1995. The world's leading health retreat welcomed Fortune 500s, European royalty and Hollywood celebrities looking to detox in privacy. The "destination spa" was born.
In 2013 Australians have a plethora of destination spas on offer in Asia. Kamalaya on Koh Samui in Thailand focuses on a holistic approach to detoxing with esoteric treatments designed to address the soul and traditional Chinese medicine for the body. Guests stay in suites or individual beach front villas and enjoy spectacular ocean views from the clifftop day spa.
Hardcore detoxers head to Absolute Sanctuary, also on Koh Samui. The emphasis here is on juice detoxing, with daily colonic therapy and lots of yoga. Simply sip your juice and lie by the pool between spa treatments, re-entering the world of solid foods with the restaurant's raw food menu before heading back home a new you.
The Farm at San Benito in the Philippines is the world's leading medical-style spa, offering supervised retreats to address stress, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. There is even a dedicated "environmental detox" retreat to counteract the effects of radiation exposure from mobile phones, laptops, computers and other electrical devices.
Ananda in the foothills of the Himalayas in India is housed in a maharaja's palace. The 24,000-square-foot spa (complete with spa butlers) serves up traditional Ayurvedic medicine treatments alongside western spa pampering. An Ayurvedic doctor diagnoses your "dosha", or body type, and all food menus and treatments are offered specifically for your dosha.
If you want to be seriously impressed, then head to Como Shambhala Estate in Ubud, Bali. No expense is spared with personal assistants for each guest and luxe residences, villas and suites to bed down in with infinity pools and private plunge pools dotting the estate. The resort's natural spring is said to hold healing properties.
Back home in Australia, the Golden Door Elysia leads the health retreat field. Ironically set amongst the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, the Golden Door Elysia is the country's first purpose-built health retreat, and it shows. Individual luxury villas ensure privacy during the detox period when headaches and long sleeps are prevalent.
Guests enjoy wholesome house-made food and a gentler detox that includes protein and fish. In April the retreat is focusing on Mental Health for Executive Men with Matthew Johnstone, author of I Had A Black Dog, leading a three-day workshop.
Former Fitness First CEO Tony de Leede understands corporate stress, which is why he founded Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in South East Queensland. Guests stay in plantation-style suites or in plunge pool villas and relax in the 33-treatment-room spa. Our tip? The two-and-a-half-hour Tribal Dreaming treatment.
Singer Olivia Newton John founded Gaia Retreat with Gregg Cave in the Bangalow hills in northern New South Wales in 2005. Gaia has a more relaxed approach to detoxing, with organic wine on the restaurant menu. The grassy knoll on which Gaia is built is said to hold spiritual indigenous properties that are good for the soul.
Those who can't get away from work to detox need not worry, either. A number of home delivery detox options are sprouting around Australia's capital cities.
The brave can try a juice detox at home with Schkinny Manniny in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Expect six fresh juices, soups and smoothies from fruit, vegetable, legumes, nuts and seeds on your home or office doorstep each morning for three or five days, with daily e-encouragement.
Those who prefer to chew their food may want to try Dietlicious in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. A Michelin-trained chef has designed a five-day or 10-day cleanse menu (including one for vegetarians) designed to detox the body from wheat, dairy, gluten, caffeine, sugar, additives and chemicals. Five meals and snacks are delivered daily so you can detox in the comfort of your own home.