Thailand is famed for its relaxing lifestyle, great food, and night parties. But, says the folks at Thanyapura Phuket: ‘Forget the hangover, stop being a couch potato, and experience a healthy heart rate-inducing vacation’
Text by Dave Stamboulis // Photos by Thanyapura
Most folks tend to think of a vacation as plenty of downtime on a sandy beach with a good novel in hand, with the main activity of the day usually involving a cocktail or two or a third trip to the buffet table. Mountaineers and trekkers aside, the idea of an exercising holiday comes out sounding a bit like an oxymoron. However this may be changing, with places such as Thanyapura in Phuket out to change the traditional concept of a leisurely vacation.
The Thanyapura is Thailand’s first integrative health and wellness center, with a group of mind-, body-, and spirit-focused facilities grouped together under one banner. The spacious property, which sits in a quiet forested area just north of Phuket town, features world-class sporting facilities and professional training, and is hoping to draw in the active crowd who want to do more than just sit around by the pool.
At Thanyapura sitting by the pool involves both a 50m-Olympic pool that comes with an electronic timing system and coaches’ observation window, as well as another 25m-pool which has coaching and observation platforms. The idea here is that not only can one swim laps but also one’s performance can be monitored and enhanced by professional trainers while doing so.
For runners, there is a 500m-cushioned athletic track with long and high jump facilities that are overlooked by a 1500-seat grandstand. The facility has six Plexi-cushioned tennis courts, basketball and handball courts, beach volleyball and soccer pitches, as well as a full-sized international standard rugby pitch complete with locker rooms.
If you think anything has been left out, well, you might change your mind after viewing the state-of-the-art fitness center, Pilates room, yoga and dance studios, and the bike spinning studio! Needless to say, Thanyapura is the best comprehensive sports facility to date in Thailand.
While sports teams and athletic organizations will obviously love this place (the Chinese swim team recently came over to combine training with some holiday fun, while many of the competitors involved in the Phuket Triathlon used it as their training base), the idea of health and wellness tourism doesn’t only have to apply to athletes. In addition to the world-class athletic facilities, the resort boasts a comprehensive spa along with an integrative health center that offers traditional Asian medicine, naturopathy, physiotherapy, and holistic treatments. For those seeking a bit more mental rejuvenation, the Mind Center at Thanyapura has retreats, lectures, and courses such as meditation, psychology, and yoga.
Obviously athletes will benefit from personalized trainers and coaches monitoring them in state-of-the-art facilities. However, the focus remains on tourism, with the idea of doing one’s sporting activities just a part of the Phuket experience, with plenty of shopping, island hopping, and tourist attractions to be had as well.
In addition to the athletic areas, Thanyapura has a 77-room sports hotel as well as a 38-room retreat at the Mind Center, both of which are connected by an on-call shuttle bus that goes between the lodgings, restaurants, sports facilities, and spa. The resort’s DiVine restaurant overlooks the Khao Phra Taew National Park and serves international and Thai cuisine with many of the ingredients coming from the Thanyapura’s organic farm and sister resort, Thanyamundra, which lies just a few hours up the road in Khao Sok National Park.
As events such as Phuket Triathlon are big draws for both pro and amateur ironmen, and as they draw both local competitors and those coming from overseas for an active holiday, Thanyapura seeks to integrate the local community as well as the visiting leisure crowd. The Phuket International Academy Day School is based here, and so local kids are getting involved in top-level sports programs and opportunities at the great facilities, and being exposed to a world of health and wellness.
This isn’t the first time that active holidays are being promoted in Thailand. Plenty of resorts offer diving packages, spa treatments, and strolls in the hills if they are located in mountain environments. However, rarely does a resort bill itself so completely as a health and wellness club where the idea is to come and get pleasure from treating one’s body and mind to a full workout.
Thailand is famed for its relaxing lifestyle, great food, and partying nightlife. But the folks at Thanyapura are urging visitors to forget the hangover, stop being a couch potato, and come experience a healthy heart rate-inducing vacation.
Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club
120/1 Moo 7 Thepkasattri Rd, Thalang, Phuket