Bangkok has many earthly as well as divine delights, and chief among them are its all-pampering spas, as our Culture Trip guide reveals.
No big secret – Bangkok is synonymous with massage parlours. So how to avoid putting a foot (or any other appendage) wrong in this city of diverse persuasions? You could search “spa Bangkok” online and cross your fingers. Alternatively, let us steer you to our perfect places for faultless pampering in the Big Mango. Ready for some quality TLC? Here are the best spas in Bangkok.
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Myth Massage is a beautiful spa with reasonable rates that works time-honoured rustic décor in among the modern elements. The main treatment room is communal, and so you are eased into your Thai experience the traditional way. Massages, similarly, follow age-old practices – indeed, those performed here closely follow the procedures at Bangkok’s landmark Wat Pho, where Thai massage was born. You’ll find a variety to choose between, including deep-tissue, foot, head and aromatherapy, and it’s possible to combine several in one session. While you’re feeling serene, you might want to enlist the services of one of the onsite fortune tellers – what better moment to receive news, good or bad?
Siam Kempinski Spa
The location couldn’t be bettered, inside the luxurious Siam Kempinski Hotel in the city’s major shopping area – source of so many sore feet. The spa here bases its treatments around the four seasons, and whichever you select will be tailored to suit you, complementing your body type. As if presenting an escape from the big city, the focus is on nature, employing a variety of herbs, plants, and flowers in the various massages, facials, body scrubs and other therapies. If you fancy wallowing awhile, removed from urban pressures, some of the private treatment rooms have their own bath.
The Oriental Spa
Cocooned, as its name suggests, within the landmark luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, this oasis serves international-grade pampering with prices to match. Super-skilled therapists bring years of experience to bear on exquisite treatments from around the world that merge ancient wisdom and contemporary knowledge. You might opt for a solo experience or invite your significant other to lie back for something sumptuous, say, the Bride and Groom Honeymoon. Beyond the expected roll-call – massages, pedicures, facials, cleansing and detox treatments, waxing, body wraps, and skin peels – experiences include yoga, Moroccan Rhassoul clay treatments and Muay Thai boxing workouts.
Yunomori Onsen and Spa
The first establishment in the Thai capital to introduce wellness and relaxation Japanese-style, Yunomori Onsen and Spa has two branches in Bangkok, one in Pattaya and another in Singapore and blends Thai techniques and knowledge into its rituals. Make sure you arrive early for your appointment, so as to maximise your time immersed in the spa’s mineral-rich onsen waters – an age-old therapy in Japan. Thereafter you might submit to a Thai massage (couples and family options available) or some invigorating aromatherapy-laced strokes, before facing the city reinvigorated.
Luxsa Spa is a tranquil sanctuary and fitness centre on the 10th floor of the Hansar Hotel Bangkok, close to Lumphini Park. Less well known than other practices on our list, it feels like a rare jewel when finally you enter it from the concrete world outside. Its name is Sanskrit for “healing health through water”, and you’ll be encouraged to relax in the pool prior to switching off as the therapists get to work on you. Their aim is to balance the elements of earth, water, fire and air – the Thai art of healing – as they restore you mentally and physically. Choose herbal-aromatic-oil treatments, hot-stone healing or traditional Thai massage, and check out the regularly changing promotions online for impressive deals.
Banyan Tree Spa
Step into the elegant Banyan Tree Hotel for a memorably beautiful spa session in luxurious surrounds. The therapy menu embraces traditional techniques and modern remedies, performed by a highly professional team that will consult you to ensure you get the best from your treatment. Natural spices and herbs feature prominently in the procedures and you can pinpoint what your body needs from the extensive menu of massages, body therapies and beauty treats. If you’re in town for a special occasion, consider a multi-day package that includes a stay at this comfortable, well-positioned hotel.
Devarana Spa Bangkok
Part of the refined Dusit Thani hotel in Silom, Devarana Spa Bangkok is easy to reach by both the MRT and BTS. It’s a special place that’s more than the sum of its blissful treatments. Expect full, multi-sensory immersion in Thai wellness traditions, myths and culture. Allow yourself time to relax beside the reflecting pool, soothed by gentle music and sensual aromas. The spa has its own line of specially developed products as well as top-quality lotions and potions from prominent luxury brands. You could pick a one-off treatment or splash out on a package combining various therapies. Either way, you’ll want to stay.
An elegant old timbered Thai house is the rarefied setting for Spa 1930, itself an exclusive establishment that strips away the guff peddled by many new-age get-ups in order to specialise in back-to-basics feel-good treatments. Massages include traditional Thai, four hands, foot, Swedish and stress relief. Among the body-care treatments are cleansings and scrubs, as well as several popular facials. In addition to the discreet therapy rooms, you’ll have access to the inviting relaxation room in which to marvel at one of Bangkok best spas for a simple yet highly sophisticated experience.
This highly acclaimed Bangkok institution focuses on holistic practices that will benefit mind, body and spirit. The goal is to promote harmony between humanity and nature, getting you to feel more grounded and balanced in the process. Bhawa makes skillful use of natural elements and ingredients and the décor is as soothing as a deep slumber. There’s a large pool edged by verdant foliage that’s all yours for as long as you like before and after your session. In addition to familiar spa treatments they lay on a variety of workshops as well as tuition in self-care practices: meditation, say, and mindfulness.
The Oasis Spa
It’s hip, it’s trendy and yet it’s wedded to the Lanna culture of northern Thailand: that explains the expanses of opulent teak, the landscaped lawn, trees, flowers, soothing sounds and enticing scents. Some of the rooms have outdoor showers and others are designed for couples and close friends who wish to share an experience. Individual treatments include massages, hydrotherapy and facials. Alternatively, choose a package that embraces several therapies and will keep you in a state of delicious suspended animation for several hours. To make things hassle-free, the spa offers a free pick-up service from Phrom Phong BTS station.
With two branches, in Sukhumvit and Silom, this is a sleek day spa aimed at busy bees in central Bangkok who need some me-time in a milieu softened with white drapes and clever backlighting. You can expect to be preened to perfection with a vast menu of treatments, from massages and facials to waxing and mani-pedis. Choose from high-end French brand Thalgo or the spa’s own products, made from blended fragrant essential oils. The decor, it bears repeating, is serene, with treatment rooms and public areas bathed in soothing shades of neutral and fresh, minty green.
Urban Retreat Spa
Located right next to BTS Asok Station (Exit 4), this city spa is a handy little piece of holistic heaven. Defined by clean lines and neutral shades, some treatment rooms allow natural light through large windows, where you’ll drift off, soothed by whatever you choose from a range of indulgent treatments. Perhaps a body scrub, or a rich macadamia and sweet almond oil massage, combining Asian and Western-inspired methods. For deep-level relaxation, book the four-hands massage; you’ll float rather than walk out.
With 10 outlets in Bangkok, Lek has a good thing going with its soothing, hands-on approach to quick-fix pep-me-ups. Our favorite is Lek Massage Nana, handy for the BTS Nana, and beside the Landmark Bangkok hotel on the Sukhumvit Road. Local residents and international visitors alike check in for authentic Thai massages served with a warm compress to soothe the knottiest of backs. Also on the menu are hot stone facials and salt scrubs as well as manicures and pedicures. Need something deeper? Put your feet up for a reflexology session.
Jo Fernandez-Corugedo provided additional reporting to this article.
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