One of our biggest passions is photography and thanks to the blog we indulge it on a daily basis. Alongside the blog, we’re regularly asked to photograph luxury brands and events, and to share the details on our social media platforms. Don’t be surprised to see us switching between our trusty DSLRs and our phones as we snap away…it means we can share the event in real time with a wide audience of luxury lovers. At one such recent assignment, I was spoilt for choice with subject matter. Chiva-Som, the renowned Thai wellness retreat teamed up with Morpheus London and Rolls-Royce for a star-studded showcase over several days. They’re celebrating 21 years of success and are the only destination spa in the world to consistently appear in the top three of the Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Reader’s Travel Award. Located in the Royal City of Hua Hin, 185 kilometers from Bangkok, it’s a beachfront resort set in 7 acres of tropical gardens.
The Chiva-Som ethos is about appreciating every moment and by doing so, creating a personal path to health and wellness. Guests including Sir Ray Davies, formerly of The Kinks, designer Beau Han Xu and chef Raymond Blanc were welcomed by Chiva-Som Chairman Khun Krip Rojanastien. They enjoyed the full Chiva-Som experience with treatments by the resort’s wellness experts who had flown in especially for the occasion.
Fashion designer Stephen Williams brought his delighted dachshund along! Tia Graham of Vanity Fair and Susanna Abu Zalaf were looking suitably glamorous.
Everyone raved about the delicious Thai food prepared in front of us by Chiva-Som Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat.
Food is an integral element of the Chiva-Som philosophy and it was extremely tasty as well as healthy. I loved the Chiva-Som Cooking with Light book, full of hunger-inducing recipes and beautiful illustrations.
To accompany the dishes, guests were served Thomson & Scott Skinny Champagne Grand Cru Brut, with half the calories of regular champagne but a similar taste thanks to its carefully selected grapes.
The backdrop to all this was stunning Ashberg House in Chelsea, an ultra luxurious property designed by Morpheus London. They’re known for their exceptional homes and the attention to detail was second to none.
Some of my favourite design details were the retractable front gate and the floor to ceiling chandelier.
The sense of light and space over the 5 floors is impressive, with several terraces overlooking the garden and its outdoor log fireplace.
There’s a stylish swimming pool, changing rooms and well-equipped gym in the basement.
I enjoyed a mini physio session here, carried out by experts from Chiva-Som. It certainly eased the tension in my neck and upper back. Suitably refreshed, I headed upstairs to mingle with the guests. Bradley Theodore is very much in demand for his colourful artworks inspired by the music world and his travels. He had decorated a Rolls-Royce Wraith with graffiti for one of his London-based collectors.
Another distinctive Rolls-Royce was the one designed by Sir Ray Davies, cleverly incorporating many elements of his songs. On one of the doors, lyrics from the song Shangri-La by the Kinks are inscribed:
You’ve reached your top and you just can’t get any higher. You’re in your place and you know where you are. In your Shangri-la…
There’s also an umbrella concealed in the dashboard, which is engraved with the lyrics from Sunny afternoon – When it’s raining on a sunny afternoon, in the summer time.
It’s part of a collection of 9 Wraith cars inspired by British music and designed with Roger Daltrey, Dame Shirley Bassey, Ronnie Wood and other famous artists. A proportion of each car’s value will be donated to charities such as Teenage Cancer Trust.
I’ve been a fan of cars since I was about 5 so I couldn’t resist poking my head under the bonnet.
There was also a superb orange Rolls-Royce which proved very popular with guests. Its wooden dashboard is a fine example of British craftsmanship.
It was an ingenious idea to showcase the delights of Chiva-Som wellness retreat in such chic surroundings and with the added bonus of beautiful cars transporting guests to the venue. Everyone I spoke to had a fantastic time and it certainly makes me want to visit Chiva-Som!
Have you ever visited Hua Hin?