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Chiva-Som Thailand – Haven Of Life

June 13th, 2011

Recently I had a taste of Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort on our very own soil at the Crown Metropol in Melbourne. My experience was nothing short of heaven on earth.

But what exactly is Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort all about?

You could quite easily describe Chiva-Som in Thailand is a place to go if you want to experience peace, tranquility, luxury, comfort, and complete titillation of every single one of your senses. Not to mention it’s key benefit – redefining, rediscovering, healing and cleansing the body, mind and soul.

Chiva-Som is quite possibly one of the only places on earth that have mastered the art of taking the human body on a journey of relaxtion, rest, stimulation, health, detox and wellness. It’s quite simply a health resort, but there is nothing simple about it – there is a reason why is it the best in the world. The proof it is the best in earth? Well Chiva-Som is the only spa to consistently appear in the top 3 of the Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Reader’s Travel Awards. Now if that doesn’t say best on earth – not sure what does!

Chiva-Som has just celebrated 15 successful years and is located in the Royal city of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand, 185 kilometres south of Bangkok. Nestled within seven acres of luscious tropical gardens, the beachfront health resort captures all of those airborne positive ions to begin the rejuvenating process.

There are 58 rooms within the grounds, from charming studios, through to the large and spacious fully contained Thai Pavilions which has everything from a ocean view jacuzzi to a private butler.

With over 200 treatments available, in addition to the 70 treatment rooms, the resort facilities comprise a kinesis studio, gym, watsu pool, flotation pool, large outdoor swimming pool, bathing pavilion with kneipp bath, sauna, steam, jacuzzi, and indoor swimming pool.

So what treatments are available? Well think of it and Chiva-Som most likely has it. Natural healing, physiotherapy, stress release therapy, kinesis, Thai boxing, Abhyanga, Tai Chi, Chi Nei Tsang, meditation, detoxification, weight management, inner peace, physical renewal, oriental therapies plus so much more which would take forever to list!

Now health and wellness isn’t just about what I’ve listed above. It’s not just about yoga or massages, but it’s about food. What goes into your body shows through the skin.

Indulging yourself in our award-winning Spa cuisine is easy. But indulging in organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden is even easier, proving that low calorie, nutritious food can truly be a gourmet experience. Enjoy the elegance of fine dining in the Emerald Room or relax outdoors and the Taste of Siam restaurant by the sea.

Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat joined Chiva-Som in 2003 fusing his background of Thai and European cuisine with a philosophy of health and nutrition. His popular signature dishes draw people to Chiva-Som from all over the world, and I feel very privileged that I had the chance to taste these dishes for myself, prepared by the master himself right here in Australia.

No matter what it is you are wanting to achieve or gain, there are many different packages available to suit your needs – or create your own. It’s no wonder Chiva-Som is a “Haven of Life”.

For more information, please visit www.TravelTheWorld.com.au

Thai & European Cuisine at Chiva-Som by Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat

May 18th, 2011

Now health and wellbeing isn’t just about working out, yoga or aqua fitness. It’s also about food. What goes into your body shows through the skin. Chiva-Som in Thailand is one place that have articulated the logic behind eating well – put good in, and good will come out.

Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat joined Chiva-Som in 2003 fusing his background of Thai and European cuisine with a philosophy of health and nutrition. His popular signature dishes draw people to Chiva-Som from all over the world, and I feel very privileged that I had the chance to taste these dishes for myself, prepared by the master himself right here in Australia.

Indulging yourself in award-winning Spa cuisine is easy. But indulging in organically-grown fruits and vegetables from the Chiva-Som garden is even easier, proving that low calorie, nutritious food can truly be a gourmet experience. Enjoy the elegance of fine dining in the Emerald Room or relax outdoors and the Taste of Siam restaurant by the sea.

Chiva-Som chefs create daily menus to offer the widest range of dishes to suit a healthy lifestyle while satisfying your appetite. They include the tenderest steaks, the tastiest lamb, the softest chicken, the most delicate fish and the freshest vegetables combined with local herbs and spices to produce great tasting dishes.

“At Chiva-Som, food should be fresh, healthy and full of flavour. We combine fresh produce with quality herbs and spices to create flavours that not only tempt the senses but are also on par with the dining experiences found at the world’s top restaurants,” stated Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat.

Paisarn’s passion for the art of cuisine started from an early age.  Helping out in the family restaurant exposed him to the vibrant, fragrant culinary dishes renowned in Thailand.  Following his degree in hotel and tourism management, he joined Nikko Hotel in Bangkok as a pastry chef, followed by a stint at the Four Seasons Hotel also in Bangkok.  He then ventured overseas to Belgium gaining invaluable international experience at the Alfa Belfry Hotel and Sombat Thai Cuisine.

Below I have included a recipe of one of the dishes I enjoy preparing for myself.

Roasted Chicken with Lemongrass

Marinade

  • 140 ml vegetable stock
  • 100 g lemongrass, roughly chopped and crushed
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 4 Tbsp miso paste
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tsp ground white pepper

Roasted Chicken

  • 150 g lemongrass, pressed and roughly chopped
  • 480 g chicken breast, skin removed
  • 20 g roasted sunflower seeds, to garnish
  • 20 g lemongrass, finely sliced diagonally and baked at 180 c for 10 minutes, to garnish

Method

Marinade
In a saucepan, mix all the ingredients together over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Drain, discard lemongrass and allow sauce to cool.

Roasted Chicken
Mix marinade and chopped lemongrass, add chicken and marinate for 30 minutes. Place chicken in a shallow baking tray and bake in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the baking tray, slice and place on a plate, pour sauce over, garnish with sunflower seeds and baked shredded lemongrass, and serve.

Nutrients Per Serving

Kilocalories 292.06 kcal
Protein 31.47 g
Carbohydrate 31.57 g
Fat, Total 4.91 g
Serves 4

For more information, visit: www.TravelTheWorld.com.au

Chiva-Som At ISIKA – Crown Metropol Experience. Bliss.

May 16th, 2011

I recently had one of the most luxurious experiences, where I was pampered and traveled down a path of culinary perfection.

It was a taste of Chiva-Som Luxury Health Resort at ISIKA Day Spa at the Crown Metropol, Melbourne. Chiva-Som joined ISIKA only for a limited time, so that a piece of the resort could be experienced here in Australia.

Chiva-Som Resort brought their skills and their therapists from Thailand to Melbourne to treat and spoil visitors of the ISIKA Day Spa, with a collection of treatments – from heavenly massages to more intense physiotherapy. Although it’s not their entire range of treatments, it gave an insight into the skill these masters have.


But not only did they bring their therapists to indulge the guests, they brought the Chiva-Som Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat – who created a mind blowing meal, not only unique and carefully designed, but extremely healthy by eliminating sugar, salt and oil.

So I think I should go back and tell you about my experience, right from the beginning.

I arrived at the Crown Metropol in Melbourne and greeted by the lovely concierge, directing me to the reception. “Mr. Erdedi, welcome to Crown Metropol, you are staying in the Health Retreat suite on level 26…”. It sounded very impressive. I gathered my luggage and made my way to the lift to go to the private section on level 26, which is not accessible to people staying in the normal rooms at the Metropol. Already, I was feeling a sense of exclusivity, but also seclusion.


I opened the door to my room and infront of me was a delicate room, with beautiful fixtures, neutrally toned calming colour scheme and floor to ceiling glass, with views over Melbourne CBD. I was in heaven. But in actual fact – heaven had not even begun.

I had time to drop my luggage, have a cup of herbal tea and get ready to go upstairs to level 27 for my treatments at ISIKA, by the Chiva-Som therapists.


Waiting in the retreat lounge, with a cup of aromatic herbal tea, it slowed down the heart rate, calmed my nerves and helped me tune out a little, so I could take in every little bit of my first treatment – a Deep Tissue Massage. My very kind Chiva-Som therapist guided me through to the treatment room, which smelt pleasant, lighting was dim and sounds of the forest in the background. I had stepped into my boudoir for the next couple of hours.


I got comfortable in privacy and comfort, and got ready to relax and be taken on a journey of experience, tradition and health rejuvenation. Using oils, my deep tissue massage began. And this is when I slowly drifted away… After some time, I woke up and turned over. It was time to do it all again, but on my front side. And again… I drifted away.

One hour later, I felt light. Refreshed. Somehow all of my tension diminished and I felt on top of the world.

The experience wasn’t over just yet.

Next up, another gracious therapist came into the room to give me my Chiva-Som Haven Body Polish. No Kenco chamois or sponges to be found. This is luxury. Chiva-Som body scrub was applied limb by limb and rubbed into my skin. Removing the impurities from my entire body. Smoothing the skin and stimulating cell growth. After a wash in my private shower, I was laying down again, having my body moisturised and nourished.

I can’t remember the last time my body felt immaculate.


After I had a nap, I went for a swim in the heated indoor infinity lap pool on level 27, a quick chill in the vitality pool and then 15 minutes in the steam room – all before I got ready for my superb Chiva-Som dinner.

Welcomed to the indulgent level 28 restaurant, ironically named ’28′, a detox cocktail was handed to me and I was taken to my seat which the place setting was gleaming.

If there’s one thing the Crown Metropol has perfected, it’s quality and service.

Chiva-Som Executive Chef, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat prepared a meal beyond culinary heights.


Courses served up from the Chiva-Som menu included Thai specialties such as seared scallop, quinoa tabbouleh, mushroom confit and beetroot vinaigrette, black cod baked in mustard with lentil dhal, tamarind and mango chutney. For dessert, a poached pear which was absolutely beautiful and lightly sweetened – without any sugar. Every one of Paisarn’s dishes he has created for the mind, body and soul. So no salt, oils or sugar is used in any of his dishes. He uses natural and healthy ingredients to use instead.


After some exceptional wines, great conversation and a short stroll to my suite, I retired for the night.

Waking up the next morning was hard. It was probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I honestly slept in the same position all night, without one single bit of back pain. I normally wake up in the morning stiff and with my joints cracking, but these beds at the Crown Metropol are simply amazing!

It was back up to the restaurant for breakfast. Now I don’t quite know how to describe it. Maybe in three words? VARIETY. INCREDIBLE. ORGANIC? Or maybe FRESH. CHOICE. UNFORGETTABLE? I can’t choose the words to describe the buffet breakfast at the Metropol, but one thing I know is that it’s by far the best one I have ever had in Australia. I’ve been to many resorts nationally, B&B’s, hotels, Day Spa’s, retreats and lodges, but none of them can compare to that of the one at the Crown Metropol. MAGNIFICENT.


So you are probably wondering what this article is about? Is it about Chiva-Som? ISIKA Day Spa? Or is it about the Crown Metropol? Well let me wrap this up for you…

Chiva-Som is no longer available here in Australia for you to try, BUT the REAL Chiva-Som is only a short flight away in Thailand, where the experience will surpass anything you could every expect and experience in your life. There is definately a reason why the likes of Elle McPherson, Dannii Minogue, Megan Gale, Kylie Minogue and Madonna visit this place annually.


ISIKA Day Spa is one of the the most luxurious day spa’s in the country, with an extensive menu to make your choice tough and therapists who know exactly what they are doing and how to look after you and your body.


Crown Metropol is clearly the leading hotel in Melbourne, with incredible choice for the palate, exceptionally well designed with the guests senses as a priority and service which cannot be matched.


These are the 3 reasons why I wrote this article – and these are the 3 reasons why I would do it all over again – no matter how much it costs.

Chiva-Som: www.TravelTheWorld.com.au

Hotel: www.CrownMetropol.com.au

ISIKA: www.CrownMetropol.com.au/isika

For full information on Chiva-Som Thailand, please stay tuned tomorrow…

Where Would I Rather Be? Lapping Up The Luxury At Laucala Island

March 25th, 2011

Where would I rather be? I’d rather be sipping away on a cocktail at possibly one of the most breathtaking islands I have ever seen, staying at quite possibly the most amazing properties I have ever seen! This is the unbelievable Laucala Island.

But with the Easter long weekend stretching over five days this year, why not treat yourself, and the family to an escape at the ultra private Laucala Island in the South Pacific. This luxurious property boasts an impressive range of amenities, which together deliver a decadent holiday experience that the whole family can enjoy.

Laucala offers 25 well-appointed residences in specially selected locations around the island. Couples will appreciate the space and privacy of the one bedroom residence, Laucala also offers two and three bedroom configurations for families. The luxurious residences offer flat screen TVs, Bose home entertainment systems, iPods and docking stations, yoga decks, golf buggies and private swimming pools. If you really can’t leave your poochie home alone, you can bring them along as the island is biosecure.

An exciting range of leisure activities are available on the island, leaving you with the option of doing as much or as little as you wish. Activities include rainforest hikes, mountain biking, cooking classes, farm and island tours, horseback riding and kayaking. Passionate golfers can also enjoy an undisturbed round of golf over the private course while the Laucala Spa offers a tempting menu of spa journeys for those seeking soothing pampering. For the young ones, Laucala’s Kids Club offers wood carving, board games and water sports. I say dump the kids and RELAX.

Are you a diver? If so, divers are invited to explore the pristine underwater world surrounding the island with private dive sessions and guided snorkeling trips. The clear waters are also ideal for coastal fishing and anglers. The resort has an amazing collection of sailing vessels, including a Riviera Open Flybridge, a Dragon Class sailing boat and a Classic Pilothouse Ketch for you to take advantage of.

If that isn’t enough for you, Laucala is home to five spectacular restaurants and bars, each showcasing the island’s locally grown produce which is organic and toxin free. The signature Plantation House Restaurant led by Michelin star executive chef Michele Mingozzi offers an unforgettable dining experience that rivals the world’s top restaurants. You can also choose to dine at the alfresco Seagrass Restaurant which overlooks the island or chill out with a cocktail in the Rock Lounge. I love the sound of that!

This is the epitome of pure luxury, seclusion and relaxation… In one word, it’s perfection. Check out the video below for proof – pick your jaw up off the floor afterwards – you’ll be blown away!

YouTube Preview Image

Accommodation packages on Laucala Island start at US$3,800 per night for a one-bedroom villa, inclusive of all meals and activities. Visitors can fly directly onto the island or transfer via Nadi, Fiji on the resort’s own King Air B 200 aircraft.

For further information or bookings, please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622 or visit www.traveltheworld.com.au.