There’s a lot to be said about taking time off to recharge and reconnect with nature. But how many of us actually do that? The end of 2019 had me running on fumes and I was craving a meaningful moment to reflect on all that the year was. After my first retreat experience in Bali, I was reminded of how beneficial detoxing the body can be, how stillness and nature can help us consider new ways of working through the stress we carry around.
As we wrapped up our time in Asia, I knew I wanted to visit Thailand again, so after some research, I found an all-inclusive spa retreat tucked far up north in the hilly, lush part of the country. It promised a nature-filled experience with restorative massage every day.
Disclaimer: my trip to Museflower Retreat & Spa was part of a collaboration for this blog; all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Museflower, a retreat with a healing and green mission
Retreat owner Tania Ho has had a fascinating journey with wellness. It started at a young age, with aromatherapy opening her up to its healing possibilities. Several years later after her father’s passing, she took her experience as a professional in the luxury spa world and set out to create a down-to-earth retreat experience for people needing the healing power of nature to relax, tune in, and get inspired again. Museflower, an eco-conscious property was born! That means energy efficient, chemical free, organic and sustainable food, and a commitment to supporting the local economy.
My conversations with Tania were enlightening and dipped into subjects I knew nothing about like energy and crystal healing. She’s a kind and gentle spirit who really helped me understand holistic therapy better and that it’s not as mysterious as people imagine it to be.
You don’t need to be a yogi, health nut or stressed urbanite to join us! We welcome all travelers who want a mindfully green, health-conscious place to stay while visiting and exploring Chiang Rai.
A setting to reset, recharge, and reconnect
Thirty minutes driving from Chiang Rai’s airport and through scenic village roads, you’ll find the sanctuary that is Museflower. It was much bigger than the photos let on, with the property sizing in at 44,000 square meters. The grounds are immaculately kept, naturally beautified by the vibrant landscape of the region. It’s a peaceful and unbothered area where the sounds and sights are enough to put you at ease. The photos don’t quite do it justice and I was surprised by how radiant the place felt. In my lazier moments, I took naps on the floating pavilion where the sun kept me warm and the sounds of the birds lulled me to sleep. It was exactly what I was hoping for.
Natural and organic food for the soul
Coming to Museflower means de-stressing but it also means detoxing the body from stimulants and process foods. That means no alcohol, coffee, or meat. I thought I would struggle without coffee for four days, but honestly, the abundance of tropical fruit, tea, and entirely vegetarian meals was so satisfying that I never missed meat or coffee. The team serves three meals a day at the Soul Food Center and those mealtimes were the highlight of my day (Thai food is one of my favorites!). Guests commune together to indulge in healthy and hearty portions of curries, soups, stir fry, and more. I miss starting off my morning with a cold, fresh coconut looking out onto the lake, oh and the copious amounts of mango were so sweet and tasty.
Traditional Thai spa treatments
Stepping into the spa garden was immediately peace-inducing.
It’s no surprise to the people who know me, but when it came time to choose between a yoga or spa package, I didn’t hesitate for a second. The 4 day 3 night spa package meant 90 minutes of massage as the focal point of an already relaxing schedule. Yes.
The massage and spa team was highly professional, kind, and talented; each session I was treated with a phenomenal level of attention and care. Their skilled technique was great for pain relief and they really worked to fix my problem areas. There were some massages that were meant to be relaxing and less intense; I feel asleep in those! (My favorite was the foot acupressure massage.) The cherry on top of these blissful massage sessions was the time spent in the female lounge area after. A hot and humid herbal steam with Himalayan salt had me melting in the best way possible every day. 100% in 40 degree heat.
A wealth of wellness activities to choose from
On my last day, I went on an early morning guided cycling tour around the nearby lake and local villages. The sunrise over the lake was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen yet.
As a self-professed morning person, I still find it hard to wake up early for working out. But, I was curious to do an early morning yoga session with Khun A, a radiantly kind instructor with many years of experience and wisdom. Her kind and carefree spirit was the perfect way to ease into the day and it didn’t hurt that light streamed into the lakeside pavilion facing the sunrise. The session was just what my aching body needed to warm up and relax. She shared her philosophy of self-healing and gratitude and it stayed with me ever since.
A gentle way to wake up was doing an early morning meditation session with Eugenie. It was a cold, crisp morning and we sat on the ground, blankets and all so we could start off with visualization meditation. It was a really special moment of reflection where I called to mind the idea of love and the people in my life who support me and champion me. Time flew by!
You’ll find that Museflower is a great place for trying more holistic and alternative therapies. There are mind, body, emotion, and energy focused sessions you can do.
Other activities offered by Museflower include Tai Chi, Kaoshikil Dance, Massage workshop, Sound Bowl Vibrational Healing, Nature Mandala, Chi Yoga, Cooking Demonstration, and more.
Quaint, eco-friendly cottages
Landscaped paths lead guests to their cottages which are spacious and definitely have all the basic amenities you need. It’s no-frills accommodation I didn’t spend much time in my room except at night and during the day, my cottage had a nice porch that would get drenched in sun during the afternoon. Something to note: there is no Wi-Fi in the rooms but if you need it, all the common areas have it.
Creative studio, Himalayan salt pool, and gym
In the free time between doing yoga and getting a massage, I escaped to the creative studio past a large arch of bamboo trees. This space is dedicated for creative and relaxing endeavors like swimming in the Himalayan crystal salt water swimming pool Unfortunately it was too cold for me to try this time around! Above the gym, the top floor is equipped with stunning views, and all the materials you need to draw or color, or workout if that’s more your kind of thing. Coloring in the mandalas was really therapeutic and relaxing!
Museflower, although not a luxury retreat, is first class in the spa services it offers, the team it has, and the delicious cuisine it serves. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left, I was in caring and attentive hands. The accommodation is quaint and basic but has everything you need to soak up the down to earth experience. I liked that there was no Wi-fi in the rooms because it forced me to write, read, and be out in nature. I left with a valuable lesson on gratitude and intention, that no acknowledgment and thanks is too small, especially the one you give to your own mind and body.
For a taste of authentic Thai wellness and hospitality, I really recommend Museflower as an affordable and authentic retreat experience. It’s special place and if you’re open to it, it will strip away pretense and will immerse you in nature and into what matters most, peace of mind.
Thanks to the kind team for having me!
159/1 Moo 1 Ban Samanmit,
Amphur Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai,