Medical science, holistic healing, and luxury comforts flow together at an ambitious new retreat on the Chao Phraya.
Already a powerhouse in the wellness market, Thailand has welcomed another upscale health retreat with the December debut of RAKxa. Situated on an oxbow bend of the Chao Phraya River at the edge of Bangkok’s urban sprawl, the 32-hectare wellness and medical center is also the first high-end resort for Bang Krachao, a vast, verdant oasis known as the Thai capital’s “green lung.”
Deriving its name from the Thai word for “heal,” RAKxa incorporates holistic and traditional healing practices alongside more cutting-edge therapeutic offerings such as infrared saunas, vitamin IV infusions, and a cryotherapy chamber that bathes you in liquid nitrogen at temperatures as low as -140°C. Visits begin with a consultation at an on-site clinic run by VitalLife, a subsidiary of Bumrungrad International Hospital, after which multiday treatment packages focused on areas like detox, weight management, and gut health are tailored to meet individual goals. Also on hand are a state-of-the-art medical gym and a holistic wellness center offering everything from traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda to therapeutic massages and energy healing.
Food will be another highlight, with healthful meals available at two outlets overseen by young German chef Kien Wagner, formerly of Shinta Mani Wild in Cambodia. Already up and running is Unam, a bright, Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that puts the emphasis on organic ingredients and sustainable meats and seafood—think superfood falafel bowls and beetroot carpaccio with wild rocket, roasted walnuts, probiotic vegan cream cheese, and horseradish.
RAKxa does cater to day visitors, but those in need of a more extensive health tune-up will want to stay longer. For them, there are 27 villas (an additional 33, with pools, will open in early 2021) managed by the Minor Hotels group, all featuring private gardens and calming, wood-floored interiors accented by Jim Thompson fabrics. Because at RAKxa, pampering and a restful night’s sleep are all part of the healing process.
Three-night retreat packages start from about US$8,016 net per person based on double occupancy, including daily meals, a health consultation and examination, and select treatments.
This article originally appeared in the December 2020/February 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Riverside Rejuvenation”).