Banyan Tree Samui, a luxury beachfront resort in southern Thailand, has in recent years enhanced its status as a holistic destination by allocating a division of its 88 pool villas to cater to “Wellbeing Sanctuary” visitors — those choosing a health-focused vacation with an itinerary of fitness, nutritional diet, and spiritual endeavours.
Now, this self-proclaimed “Sanctuary for the Senses” has introduced a new free-of-charge activity for all its guests — aromatherapy workshops, held twice weekly, to encourage guests to unlock the mystery of the ancient traditional practice.
Nestled in a tropical landscape with its own private beach area, this 5-star hotel, which is regularly recognized as one of the leading luxury resorts in Asia, is able to source many of the aromatic ingredients at local markets.
Extracts from plants — flowers, twigs, leaves, bark, roots, wood, fruits, seeds and resins — are obtained by either a process of expression or steam distillation, yielding aromatic oils that can be used for healing. The only other ingredients are distilled water and ethyl alcohol.
Participants are free to select which essential oils they would like to create at the workshop, which is held at Banyan Tree Gallery Samui, the resort’s on-site boutique. Choices include cedarwood, rosemary, lavender, ylang-ylang, bergamot, peppermint and pine.
The guests have an added interest in their selection of essential oils, because the hotel provides oil burners and incense in each villa with a daily rotation of fragrances as part of the turndown service.
On Mondays, for example, lemongrass essential oil (effective for alertness, stimulation, and reducing anxiety) is combined with rose incense sticks (uplifting, soothing) to create an ambience of romance.
Sleep therapy is one of the principle foundations of Banyan Tree’s “8-Pillar” philosophy and a keystone of the Wellbeing Sanctuary programme. And nothing speaks to the mind, body and soul as much as aromatherapy when it comes to getting a good night’s rest.
Among the other aromatherapeutic activities provided for guests is a Sense of Nature Walk, whereby members of the hotel’s sustainability team lead guided tours around the lush 38-acre property to discover and explain some of the tropical flora and fauna.
Banyan Tree Samui has been recognised for its approach to eco-friendliness and sustainability, being the first hotel in Thailand to be awarded Gold Certification by international industry watchdog EarthCheck.