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“Pampering in heaven on earth”
Review of Chiva-Som

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Chiva-Som
Ranked #7 of 232 Specialty Lodging in Hua Hin
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 13, 2012

The minute you arrive at Chiva Som by private car you feel that you have left the noisy and crowded life of BKK behind (admittedly it is a 2 1/2 hour drive) for good. The unassuming entrance looks more like a private estate / complex than a 5 star luxe spa hotel. The receptionist greets you with the typical Thai smile, then a cooling off (literally by cold fragrant towels) before a warm reception and a tour of the complex by a golf cart, which takes us to our hotel room. Most villas are dotted amongst lush gardens and small lakes, but the main hotel complex is a three storey building housing about 24 rooms. All comfortable with views of the main pool and the sea. The meals are carefully prepared to suit our dietary requirements, but it is not a starve-yourself diet. If I want a steak or a plate of sushi I can have it. But if I opt for a cleansing diet the dietician would devise a special menu for me, ranging from 3 to 7 days. One lady wanted to get rid of her alcoholic addiction so she had a 2-week cleansing diet comprised of soup and other vegetarian dishes. Not for me, but her complexion looked great after one week. My 10-night stay was more for relaxation than for a kind of 'purging' regime. Still, the basic diet of no salt, no sugar and no caffeine works very well. I break this boredom only in the morning when I do need a cup of coffee. Then, amazingly I don't crave it anymore. initially no salt was a problem, but then one gets used to it. There is plenty of taste in vegetables and fruits! There is a vegetarian restaurant near the main pool deck. It is for lunch and I love the simple taste and lightweight salads and fruits in the heat of the day. Occasionally I would walk up the stairs to the 'formal' restaurant, which serves 'proper' food - steamed chicken breast with ginger and lemon grass, grilled lamb chop, grilled local fish or a plate of prawns with mango and rice...the choice is endless, and ALL VERY HEALTHY. The daily massage is a treat. In addition, one can go to the gym, do yoga, aqua aerobics or simply sunbathe in the open near the pool, amongst lush trees and bushes. The staff near the pool are very attentive - always ready with a cold bottle of water and a cool towel. The loungers are soft and comfy, the air clean and full of the ripe frangipani. The hotel's policy of no camera, cell phone or computer in the public area is welcome because one does not want to be stressed by other hotel guests talking in public or checking emails when one should be relaxing. Our stay was so healthy we both lost 2 kgs. Our waistline also decreased by about 10%. Our departure was sad because we knew we had to deal with the hustle and bustle of city life again...but we will always return.

Room Tip: If you have the cash do book a villa. You are away from the main hotel complex and you have a privat...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Sang F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 - 101 of 161 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2012

More than a decade and the place still looks wonderful!
Thank you for the effort in caring maintenance and frequent renovation, it's a real heaven for serenity of peaceful relaxation, the oasis of rejuvenation. Plenty of health-promote activities to choose from including spa treatments, sport exercises, alternative therapies. Spa cuisine was well presented and many choices to choose from. I already look forward to my return...

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank KrisScotch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

At the end of a Thailand trip I spent some time at Chiva Som on the recommendation of a good friend. I had a very relaxing and enjoyable experience. I was pretty relaxed and stress free when I arrived so I can't comment on the resort's ability to help you de-stress - although I could easily see it being very beneficial in that regard. I would definitely consider visiting again.

The resort is designed as a health retreat, so if I were in need of some help to detox, de-stress, lose weight, improve fitness...etc then this would be a great place to start and at the same time enjoy some 5 star pampering. For me this time, it was just about enjoying some 5 star luxury and pampering.

>>The Positives
The service is outstanding. Your photo is taken at check in so all staff know who you are. Almost all the staff knew my itinerary for the week and helped me get to where I needed to go if I was lost or late. A personal consultation was organised on the day I arrived to help me plan the week and book treatments & activities that were most beneficial for me. The staff providing treatments were all very professional and did a great job. The daily massages that were included as part of my program were fantastic. The food, all healthy, was surprisingly good. I was upgraded to a pavilion from the ocean view room I booked - and the pavilion was great. Nice and spacious, good sized bathroom, extremely comfortable bed, good quality toiletries provided. WiFi included in room rate. The grounds are all perfectly manicured. Wide range of activities and treatments available. Facilities (gym, spa, pools, restaurants, etc) are all of a high quality. All food labeled with nutritional information - for those that find this important. Absolute beachfront, with beautiful views over Hua Hin beach.

>>The Negatives
Serving sizes of dishes at the restaurants was small (but they are probably the appropriate size and I'm just an over eater!). Although there is an activity (thai boxing, pilates, yoga, tai-chi, aqua aerobics, etc) every hour on the hour from 07:00 to 18:00 every day, the number of options provided means that many classes are only available one or twice a week. So if you really enjoyed a particular activity, it is highly likely you'll only get 1 (maybe 2) opportunity to partake. Some of the "consultations" were very short and didn't seem to add much value - indeed I felt they were just there to allow the consultant to recommend treatments that would be charged separately to the resort package fees. Hua Hin, a 3.5 hour drive from Bangkok is not the most convenient location to get to.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank LAMN8R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

Rediscover yourself, in this out of this world resort, to address your physical and emotional issues. Swiss management, perfectionists at everything they do. From the perfect massages, to the organic food, and the flexibility to address any issue you have. They can't spare an effort to please you. Ideal surroundings for outdoors exercises meeting each individual level. I was alone, and many guests who came with no company were made to feel at home, at " the Talk Table" where you share meals with different guests and build new friendships. It's an Oasis of friendly people from all over the world....and incidentally the ultimate net working resort.My room was a garden suite, bungalow, yet equally good was my second week in an executive room overlooking the main pool. ...you'll find it impossible for you to leave!!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank WithAida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2012

Chiva-Som is the Rolls Royce of health resorts, with a price to match. In order to get value for money versus the plethora of spa resorts, I suggest you need to take a disciplined approach to Chiva-Som beyond just relaxation and take advantage of their holistic approach to health (noting that it actually started life in the 90s as a medical clinic). In my case it was weight loss management, looking for advice on diet and exercise - and I found what I was looking for in the combined Chiva-Som expertise, as well as losing some kilos during the week through the exercise, the excellent low fat ChivaSom cuisine and forgoing booze.

The nutrionist (Jason) had some excellent suggestions on diet (eg why I sometimes gain weight on exercising), the gym staff imparted some useful tips for exercising when travelling, Terry taught some great functional stretches for golf, the aqua aerobics and tai chi are far superior to what you would get at Club Med type resorts. The massages in the standard packages were basic but spa facilities were good. Overall there is a great sense of calm, abetted by the easy going GM (Paul), with ever smiling staff and your choice of whether you wish to mix with other guests (quite an ecletic mix).

I recommend staying at least a week, preferably in the Lean Season (May to September) - price is lower, so is occupancy (so easier to get what class you want and when), Huan Hin is not too affected by the summer monsoon. For a single person the newly refurbished Ocean rooms are a good choice; the Thai Pavilions have more privacy and comfort but a 2 minute longer walk to the pool, beach and facilities and the price differential maybe not worth it. Chiva-Som cheekily does not include the 25% service charge and tax in its headline prices as resorts like Kamalaya do – why charge 10% service charge on accommodation ? – hence they get 4 not 5 stars – but overall ChivaSom is to be recommended as a great gift to yourself.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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11  Thank Baidun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2012

I stayed at Chiva Som for one month from the mid May till the mid Jun. For me it worked wonders. I had a spine surgery almost a year ago and still have big problems with my back. I originally booked to stay there for 3 weeks and after amazing results extended my stay to one more week.

If you go to Chiva Som for right reasons and have good motivation you can achieve amazing results. I was on a renewal program, which includes a lot of physio therapy. I also every day did my own exercises and joined as many classes as I could. When i went to Chiva some i could not bend forward much, was very over weight and constantly in pain. After one month there, 6 kg down, amazingly reduced amount of pain in the lower back and can even touch my toes! They do not just do exercised with you, they teach you about your body so that you can cope with your problems better when you return home. My physio was Puk, and she is truly the miracle worker!

I loved the food there too, every dish has calorie count and proteins and carbs and so on counted for you so you can decide yourself what you eat. I found it absolutely delicious and could it every day for the rest of my life. Every day there are classes from 7am till about 6pm, i really enjoyed joining in. It si also a great away to meet people. A few people are there by themselves.

The spa is lovely and you get one massage each day. All the staff is very friendly and the atmosphere at the report is really nice. I stayed at the Pavilion and felt right at home. It was clean and very comfortable. The bed was just right. YOu can choose the type of pillows you like and a type of mattress you want.

Overall for me it was an amazing experience because it took away my pain!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Annushka79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Finally got to try the famous Chiva Som. Go for at least 5 days, the 3 day stay wouldn't be worth it, because it takes you a couple of days into the "groove" of the place.

Here's what I liked
- resort staff were very friendly, thoughtful, kind and quick to remember your name
- great for weight loss. All the food is painstakingly calorie counted and surprisingly tasty. When you order off the a la carte you'll be surprised how small the portions are, but its a good reminder that the portions we eat in our regular lives are way bigger than what they should be
- you'll feel great after a few days of eating organic food
- includes a daily massage
- good long stretch of beach to walk
- immaculate gardens all done by hand
- good naturopath and physio
- the biggest selection of treatments I've ever seen, and large range of fitness classes and activities
- great gym equipment and very helpful gym staff
- night time turn down service and another room spruce up - a lot of hotels don't do this any more

Here's what I didn't like
- the resort is very plain. I know you're going for health/weight loss/pampering etc, but we paid over $1,300 a night, and for that I expect the lap of luxury
- there was only one pilates class during my five days (yoga was every day though)
- a bit rushed when spa treatments/massages finished. Usually at a spa you're give a few minutes to relax after a massage, but here you were sort of hurried out, because the next person is waiting
- although after the first day, I asked every massage therapist to focus on my back, the routine was the same every day, about half the massage time spent on my legs
- initial health and wellness consultation (which was at the end of the first day, would have thought it would be the first thing you do) felt a bit perfunctory and she didnt' seem particularly knowledgable
- you had to pay extra for smoothies and certain fruit drinks, which I thought was a bit cheeky
- on their website it advertises various Retreats (detox, physical renewal, healing etc). Each retreat has a number of 'included' treatments. I expected I would be guided towards a retreat and would then proceed to book all the 'included' treatments. But instead I was told I had a spa credit voucher which I could use and anything above that I'd need to pay for (the voucher would not have covered the included treatments listed in each retreat). So I'm not sure if I misunderstood or my travel agent booked something different, but I felt a bit shortchanged

Room Tip: We paid extra for a Thai Pavillion room but probably not worth it.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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17  Thank BelleCose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chiva-Som

Address: 73 / 4 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Prachuap Khiri Khan Province > Hua Hin
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 232 Specialty Lodging in Hua Hin
Price Range: $1,297 - $4,787 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Chiva-Som 4.5*
Number of rooms: 54
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chiva-Som is a luxury health resort, combining international standards with Thai hospitality to deliver personal wellness programmes in a non regimented way. Everything we do focuses on a holistic approach to health that incorporates mind, body and spirit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chiva-Som Hotel Hua Hin
Chiva Som Luxury Health Hotel
Chiva Som Luxury Health Resort

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