Refresh, rejuvenate, revive: healing retreats at Song Saa

Winter is taking its toll: permanently sniffly noses, dried out skin, bug after bug sweeping the office and leaving us no choice but to collapse on the doorstep of our local health food shop, begging for kale-infused supplements. The sky is a permanent steely grey; any flashes of blue quickly replaced by icy winds and heavy cloud. Enough, already. We’re ready for some summertime dreaming and a health kick.

Whilst the English summer may still be months away (if we even get one – let’s be realistic), we can still dream of escaping to sunnier climes.

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The indescribably beautiful Song Saa Private Island, located amidst the limpid turquoise waters of Cambodia’s Koh Rong archipelago, is just the ticket. With a new programme of five- and seven-day wellbeing retreats, Song Saa is the perfect place to kick that cold to the curb and soak up some much-needed vitamin D.

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The resort is designed as an island-wide sanctuary, scattered with outdoor treatment salas, oceanside yoga platforms and the soothing natural beauty of this unspoilt island paradise. The wellness retreats follow three main branches: refresh, rejuvenate and revive; emphasising mental, physical and spiritual wellness. Each holistic retreat programme is designed to tailor diet, physical activity, indulgent spa treatments and spirituality to restore balance, wellbeing and clarity.

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Any traces of jetlag can be scrubbed away with the unique biorhythm ritual, restoring internal harmony with an energising scrub, mud wrap and chakra-balancing kundalini massage; before plunging headfirst into an immersive programme of healing treatments, calming spirituality and the guiding Buddhist philosophy of metta bhavana – loving kindness – which underpins every aspect of the retreats.

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The unique treatments extend beyond pampering, with thoughtful touches such as traditional Buddhist blessings and tiny scrolls of inspirational thoughts to carry with you throughout the day. Each retreat programme includes a nightly wellbeing bath ritual: the deep bath tub filled and accompanied by floating jasmine flowers and rose petals, plus a blissful collection of vials of indulgent coconut bath milks and botanical oils to hasten sleep. Forget awaking in the night to find a pillow-chocolate melted into your hair; Song Saa’s turn-down rituals include handwritten notes, lemongrass candles and tiny heart-shaped crystals of rose quartz.

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Whilst the focus is indeed on wellbeing, this is no Spartan health retreat. Guests will enjoy gourmet gastronomy, with a focus on locally sourced and flavour-packed Khmer cuisine, staying in luxurious villa accommodation hidden amongst the lush jungle or perching over the ocean.

From arrival blessing to the final night’s bath ritual, this is a truly tailor-made antidote to the February blues – curing all ills faster than we can say kale-ginger-garlic smoothie.

Song Saa offers five-night retreats from USD$7,200 and seven-night retreats from USD$10,080. Rates include five-star accommodation, all food and drink, laundry, speed boat transfers, activities and guided tours of the islands.