A Great reason to take a break in Hua HIn – A review by Judith Coulson

I was very excited when I received an email from the marketing manager at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, inviting me to test their new benefit based spa programme at the Barai.

After going through the new options, I decided to try the 3 day/4 night Fitness Kick Start programme. As a nutrition and lifestyle consultant, coaching mostly executives, I was curious about the sense and implementation of this specific new offer at the Barai.

After agreeing on a programme and date, the booking and reservation process went very smooth and professional as always with the Hyatt Regency. Before travelling to Hua Hin, I received a personal invitation letter from the new spa manager, as well as a very detailed introduction to the programme from my dedicated in-room butler.

As the Hyatt Regency operates a shuttle bus from the Hyatt Erawan Bangkok to Hua Hin, I got booked and had the pleasure to have my own personal transport for the drive down to Hua HIn.

Arriving in Hua Hin, was a bit like coming home as usual. The staff greeting you by name at the reception, asking about the family and processing you as smooth as possible through the registration process, that really only needed a signature anymore, everything else was taken care off already.

After greeting the new GM as well as the spa manager I was chauffeured to my Barai Spa Suite overlooking the beach. The Barai Spa Suite is a truly stunning affair, including a double queen custom made bed, a sitting room with Lavazza Coffee Machine, two walk in closets with toilet table and lavabo, a steam shower as well as the largest bath tub I have ever used.

Each of the new benefit based Lifestyle Collection programmes starts with a health assessment by the spa director including a detailed “In Body” test supplying information about your body fat including visceral fat levels, amount of stored water and muscle mass and how well you are balanced, as well as bone density. To my dismay I was just within the norm in visceral fat and my upper body strength was low. I was rather happy about my bone density levels and relieved that I’m overall not too bad in shape.

According to the test results my 3 day plan got adjusted and all the treatments got scheduled for the next 3 days. While I was interested to see some results, I decided to only eat from the spa menu, refrain from drinking alcohol, make sure I had my 2/3 litres of water a day as well as getting plenty of sleep.

The next 3 days included some blissful spa treatments, exercise, stretching and enjoying 3 – 5 specially designed clean dishes and snacks every day. Even the Thai dishes on the menu came without added sugar or traditional, additive and preservative laden sauces and they tasted great. I was especially fond of the Thai Green Curry, just divine! The head chef told me that they had spent days finding the right balance for the dish for it to taste identical.

The daily logistics and communication between the spa, the gym and the restaurant worked really smooth and I don’t know how the staff always exactly knew what my next step would be. The treatments at the award winning Barai have been excellent executed with great care and with attention to details.
After my 3 days of bliss, I had another consultation with the spa director and another “In Body” test to see if anything had changed in 3 days. Believe it or not, it had. I lost 3kg with never being hungry and eating half of what would have been included. My visceral fat went down, my upper body strength went up and my all over health index went 5 points up.

As a lifestyle and nutrition coach I should know all there is to know about staying healthy and in shape. But as with many other things all too often “life” happens and we adopt habits we in theory know are contra productive for our wellbeing. Short breaks like my stay at the Barai, can help you to reset, refocus and break with habit that have sneaked in without you realising.

I was guilty of not eating as much or often as I should during the day because I was working on a task and did not care to break or was running late to a meeting. What did lead to extra fat storage around my waist. I had not exercised as effective as I should have and especially did not make enough time to build my upper body strength.

Since my stay at the Hyatt, I kept the routine of jogging 1-2 times a week on top of my spinning classes. I was never a runner, but during my stay in Hua Hin I realised that running is actually not all that bad. Still a bit boring but I can manage 30min with some good music. In addition to running I also kept on doing pushups every day and can now see muscles I did not see before. Also I started to make sure I do eat regularly. Setting my alarm every 3 hours to remind me. Adding these 2 new habits to my life I did not just loose another 3kg but also feel much more energised throughout the day.

The benefit of the new Barai Lifestyle Collection is the fact, that they are specific and include a consulting part that allows you to take knowledge and new habits home and continue a path of improvement long after your stay.

I can highly recommend trying one of the six new Barai Lifestyle Collection Programmes  – for further information and details just send an e-mail to: huahin.regency@hyatt.com

Judith Coulson is a certified corporate wellness specialist and nutrition professional working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand, Hong Kong and Singapore. http://lifestylefoodclinic.com/ http://corporate-wellness.asia.

Traditional Thai Massage