Chiva-Som International Health Resort Hua Hin, Thailand www.chivasom.com It would be easy to wax lyrical about Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Thailand. After all, it is in the most beautiful of beachfront settings and has a gorgeous swimming pool, waving palm trees, outdoor eating areas with sea views and quaint Thai-style pavilions for open-air yoga or thai chi. Even the impressive spa feels like a haven of tranquillity and peace. There are no mobile phones, no children under 16, no particular dress code (you can walk around in your bathrobe all day if you want) and consumption of alcohol is not encouraged, all making for a quiet, peaceful, healthy and sleep-inducing stay. However magnificent the setting and ambience, though, these are eclipsed by Chiva-Som's world-famous treatments. After an individual health and wellness consultation, guests are put on the path to better health and living - whether that be via iridology, naturopathy or allergy testing, backed up by a comprehensive range of healing treatments from watsu (a combination of shiatsu and hydrotherapy), to chi nei tsang (a Chinese abdominal massage of the internal organs), reflexology and acupuncture. A fitness programme could include anything from aqua-aerobics to Thai boxing and pilates. 'There is nowhere like it. Nobody does what we do,' says holistic health manager Jeff Nieuwenhuizen. If I had to rave on about something else, it would be the award-winning spa cuisine served with ultimate graciousness at the luxury resort's two restaurants (the best part is the tasty food is practically fat-free). But the true beauty of Chiva-Som is that it is different things to different people. Some come to lose weight. Others to destress or detox. Some come to bond (the Mother & Daughter Retreat packages include flower arranging and spa cuisine cooking classes). Or to play golf (he - or for that matter - she can play while the partner gets pampered in the spa) at a choice of five nearby courses, one designed by Jack Nicklaus. Another truth about Chiva-Som is that it would not be such a relaxing, nurturing, caring and peaceful environment were it not for the gracious yet unobtrusive Thai staff, who seem to know exactly what your needs are even before you express them. The final truth is that you will find it difficult to leave without having been touched in one of three places - your heart, your mind or your body. Oh, and did I forget to mention Chiva-Som was voted this year's Best Destination Spa Retreat in the World by Conde Nast UK readers? Not surprising, really. Chiva-Som is about three hours' drive south of Bangkok, or half an hour by plane. Spa and golf packages range from US$1,395 for three nights to $6,510 for 14 nights. Dragonair flies twice daily to Bangkok. Call 3198 388 for flight details.