On the 19th April marks Chiva-Som's 25th anniversary. To share some memories of the 'Haven of Life', here are 25 facts about Chiva-Som.
1.Mr. Boonchu Rojanastien
Mr. Boonchu Rojanastien, the Founder of Chiva-Som, was the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand before he had the vision to build a resort. He encouraged his loved ones to adopt a healthy lifestyle. His motto of “Above all, enjoy your life.” is alive and well in his unregimented approach to wellness.
2. The Name of Chiva-Som
Chiva-Som means ‘Haven of Life’ and that is exactly what Khun Boonchu wanted to create. National Artist of Thailand, Mr. Nawarat Pongpaiboon, was the man who assisted Khun Boonchu with the name.
3. Tri-Part Logo
The tri-part logo represents Mind, Body and Spirit, and Chiva-Som believes all these three components are essential to achieving balanced wellness.
4. The Holiday Home
The land was originally Khun Boonchu’s beachfront holiday home. As a weekend escape from the fast pace of Bangkok, his family and friends would wake early, jog on the beach, play outdoor sports, breathe fresh air, relax, eat good food and rest, before returning to work on Monday, fully recharged and raring to go.
5. Resort Opening
Khun Boonchu demolished his holiday home in 1991 and, after 4 years of planning and construction, the resort officially opened on 19th April, 1995. He was first advised to build Chiva-Som in Northern Thailand but insisted it was built here in Hua Hin. “This is my spiritual home, I have to build it here” were his exact words.
6. The Supreme Patriarch of Thailand Visit
His Holiness Somdet phra Nanasamvara, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand wrote these words on his blessing visit to Chiva-Som on 19th April, 1995 “Through pacification of the mind from greed, hatred and delusion, the mind is then healthy. When the mind is healthy, the body also becomes healthy. The practice of morality is benevolent through life.”
7. Mr. Krip Rojanastien
Mr. Krip Rojanastien was appointed Chairman in 2007, succeeding his late father. Khun Krip is a firm believer in health, wellness and longevity and takes part in a number of wellness activities, including marathons. As Chairman of the Preserve Hua Hin Group, he is committed to sustainability and quality of life in Hua Hin through various community activities.
8. Thai-Ayutthaya Architecture
The resort’s aesthetic was inspired by Thai-Ayutthaya styled architecture. Ayutthaya architecture can be recognised by its distinctive shape, which is well-balanced and symmetrical.
Our retreats blend elements drawn from Chiva-Som’s six wellness modalities: Spa, Physiotherapy, Fitness, Holistic Health, Nutrition and Aesthetic Beauty. In the resort’s early days, Spa, Fitness and Nutrition were the only modalities. The addition of the other three modalities grew out of constant innovation and to stay relevant to the wellness lifestyle.
10. The Resort Journey
Wellness is a journey and so is the resort. The resort layout was designed for guests as a journey or a ‘path’ from when they enter. The journey starts overlooking the lake, travelling over the bridge and into the gardens where you’ll be surrounded by nature. After passing the gardens, guests end up at the Orchid Lounge where they walk through the peaceful interior to see the resort open up offering a beautiful view of the Gulf of Thailand.
11. Mr. Surapol Rakkusol
Mr. Surapol Rakkusol was the first member of the resort team. Khun Surapol is still part of the Chiva-Som team now, making him our longest-serving member of resort staff.
Agave was Khun Boonchu’s favourite plant. Agave was not found in Thailand until he brought the plant over to the garden of Chiva-Som. These days you can see the plant flourishing inside the resort.
13. Banyan Tree
The iconic Banyan trees live at the heart of Chiva-Som. Located in the garden area, these trees have been here since before the resort opened.
14. Twin Coconut Trees
The twin coconut trees at the Taste of Siam are another icon of Chiva-Som that provide a stunning frame to the Gulf of Thailand in the background. Khun Boonchu requested these trees were placed in this location.
15. Jai Thai Service Culture
‘Jai Thai’ is the basis of Chiva-Som’s service and creates a set of unique cultural values. It emphasises Thai traditions, customs and values, and translates as ‘Thai heart’, which is where our service originates.
16. Walk the Talk
As leader in wellness, part of Chiva-Som’s responsibility is to teach staff to be fit and healthy. Chiva-Som arranges staff walking and jogging activities every week, plus encourages other wellness activities.
17. The Emerald Room
This dining room is not painted green simply because it is beautiful, soothing and relaxing, but the colour green is thought to have properties for reducing appetite. The colour was chosen to support guests trying to manage their diet and develop healthy eating habits.
18. Chiva-Som Academy
Opened in 2003, Chiva-Som International Academy is located in Bangkok. The Academy delivers highly effective training programmes focused on Spa, Cuisine, Holistic and Aesthetic Therapies. The Academy originally opened to train staff of Chiva-Som and as a research and development center.
19. Long Serving Staff
We are proud to have a number of long-serving staff still at Chiva-Som today. A large number have been at Chiva-Som since our opening 25 years ago are still part of the family. The caring attention of our team makes the heart of the ‘Haven of Life’.
20. The New Era of Wellness
October 15th, 2019 marked the completion of the fourth and final stage of Chiva-Som’s renovation project and the first major works since its launch. All major areas were enhanced to further support the guest’s wellness experience further. Khun Krip said of the launch: “Embarking on such a transformation was a major commitment, but the time was right to ensure the ‘hardware’ was in place to take Chiva-Som into a new era of wellness.
21. Wellness Journal
A personal wellness journal is given to each guest at Chiva-Som. The beautiful blank journals are for guests to write about their wellness journey, as well as their thoughts and feelings during their stay, as a memory of their lifestyle transformation.
22. Digital Detox
Chiva-Som operates an ‘electronic-device-free policy’ in public areas. Not having to constantly check your mobile phone helps you to focus on the here and now and forget about the stresses of the outside world.
Chiva-Som believes personal wellness goes hand-in-hand with environmental wellness. We have nurtured a healthy, safe and vibrant community, and played our part in protecting the Earth. Chiva-Som operates through the Preserve Hua Hin Group, which has been driving environmental awareness, promoting resource conservation initiatives, and organising social interaction in the local community. Krailart Niwate is the result of a collaboration between Chiva-Som, Wat Khao Krailart, the Hua Hin municipality, Silpakorn University and other local inhabitants. Together, we have created the first ‘green’ ecotourism centre in Hua Hin, providing mangrove preservation and education to students, as well as the general public.
The resort was only open for members of Chiva-Som during the first year of opening. There are 13 Founding-Members of Chiva-Som.
25. Looking Forward
In 2020, our aim now is to stay relevant, to always be accessible to our guests and to promote wellness for all. 25 Years of Chiva-Som.