Archive - June 2011

Choosing the right spa for you
Peninsula Bangkok adds exclusive new facial
If you’re talking about marriage proposals . . .
Bandara’s Summer and Fall Promotion
Raya Spa’s ultimate recovery package
Royal Garden’s new spa package
New resort director at Absolute Sanctuary
GHA’s Experience Express Tours
Silavadee receives TripAdvisor award

Choosing the right spa for you

It’s a question of expectations and using your expectations to help you decide, says Odile Mennechet, international trainer for Maria Galland, Paris.  In fact, she suggests visiting three or four spas before making your decision.

“The most important thing – when you enter a spa for the first time – is the atmosphere. You should feel good about it . . . and feel it.”

That depends on a number of things, especially the hygiene of the spa. “If everything is clean, you can be sure that the spa is professional and a guarantee that you won’t have any problems.”

The cleanliness applies to everything in the spa, including the one-time use of gloves used in treatments and the quality of oil the spa uses in its massages. For relaxation, it’s better to have one that uses quality massage oil. Usually, this oil contains an essential oil, which helps you to relax.

Not all massage oils are the same and some work better with massages than others. Some, says Odile, are extracted from paraffin oil. They’re good but don’t expect them to penetrate the skin.

 “There’s a higher quality of oil without paraffin that’s not only good for massages but also penetrates to the dermis.”

 Maria Galland, she adds, has three types of oil. These include an oil, based on algae that’s full of trace elements and minerals that are important to your body. Another is good for firming that’s effective in slimming treatments. “Great for individuals who may be dieting but not having any results.”

 The image of the spa, she says, is ultimately based on the professionalism of the staff. In a good spa, the therapist will make the time to understand what you want and explain what they do.

 “It’s important for you to ask questions about the products and even the techniques they use as well as what equipment the spas use.”

When it comes down to expectations, make sure they’re realistic. “Don’t expect to have fantastic results on only one visit to a spa. It may require a number of visits and treatments to achieve the results you want.”

Peninsula Bangkok adds exclusive new facial

 The Peninsula in Bangkok has introduced a new treatment – a cellular hydration facial – designed to rejuvenate dry and dehydrated skin.

The cellular hydration facial is exclusive to the Peninsula Spa by ESPA, lasts 80 minutes and combines three cleansers with exfoliation and steam designed to boost nutrients and deliver oxygen to the skin by stimulating circulation.

 The facial is a concentrated, nourishing and moisture-boosting treatment that uses replenishing face treatment oils, its “super active hydration intensive serum”, a lifting and firming eye serum and a nurturing mask. A warm therapeutic herbal poultice is also included.

 The Peninsula Spa by ESPA forms part of the hotel’s three-storey Thai colonial-style building. It has 14 treatment rooms and four suites – two private spa suites and two river private spa suites – as well as a tea lounge and relaxation rooms.

If you’re talking about marriage proposals . . .

Imagine a baby elephant as your ring bearer or finding a secluded nook on a fantasy isle to make a proposal you’ll remember all your life. 

It’s all part of a special package of unexpected and one-of-a-kind scenarios created by Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spa’s Golden Triangle Resort in northern Thailand.

It begins with a traditional Thai welcome aboard a longtail boat from the nearby historic town of Chiang Saen. The boat takes you along the Mekong River towards the Golden Buddha landmark and to where Burma, Laos and Thailand converge.

From there, the journey continues with an elephant trek through 160 acres of jungle and lush countryside.

And then, at sunset, you and your partner will dine in any number of intimate settings – from a secluded terrace to a moonlit hilltop, offering views of the three countries, or to a rice paddy with baby elephant companions.

 Fun-loving Phil, one of the baby elephants, will be assisting in the romantic events of the evening, offering a bouquet of flowers in his trunk or a bow-tied gift box around his neck with an engagement ring inside.

Then there’s  Anantara’s Si Kao Resort, just an hour south of Krabi in southern Thailand, where the Andaman Sea reveals a number of islands. Here you can swim in the warm, clear turquoise waters before journeying through the Emerald Cave, which becomes a dark channel. Torches are turned on to illuminate your way before the first rays of the sun break through. Then, a short swim towards the sunlight, where a champagne lunch laid out on the tropical beach awaits.

Bandara’s Summer and Fall Promotion

Bandara Resort and Spa on Koh Samui is offering three new promotion packages for summer and additional packages for October and November.

 In July, Bandara will feature its 100-minute Bye Bye Cellulite package that includes a herbal steam bath, a slimming spice wrap and a slimming and cellulite massage at a special priced of 4,340 Baht net. Regular price is 5,650 Baht.

In August, its 120-minute package – Samui Therapy Escape – will include a traditional coconut scrub, a coconut essence bath and a virgin coconut massage. The August package is being offered at 3,950 Baht net. Regular price is 5,180 Baht.

Massages are features in Bandara’s September package – an Indian Head massage, an Oriental blend massage and the Bandara foot massage. The package lasts 120 minutes and costs 3,475 Baht net. Regular price – 5,590 Baht.

In October, its 120-minute Ultimate Romance package includes a hydrotherapy bath, aromatic sea salt glow, aromatherapy and honey facial massage – all for 4,590 Baht net. Regular price is 6,830 Baht.

Bandara’s November package – Thai Essence – lasts 150 minutes and includes a Thai herbal bath, Thai essential massage with hot herbal compress and Thai herbal facial. Cost – 3,945 Baht. Regular price is 5,535 Baht.

Raya Spa’s ultimate recovery package

 The package is part of Raya Spa’s Getaway promotion that begins with an eucalyptus steam bath, followed by a 60-minute bright harmony aroma massage and an aromatherapy facial for radiant skin and a healthier appearance.

The massage relieves anxiety and tensions throughout the body, leaving the skin nourished and rejuvenated. The promotion is valid until the end of July 2011.

Raya Spa is located on the ground floor of the building directly opposite the Sareeraya Villas and Suites, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui.

Royal Garden’s new spa package

Elemis has teamed up with the Royal Garden Spa at the Pattaya Marriott Resort and Spa to offer a special spa package that includes a walk-away gift of exotic frangipani monoi oil.

The package, available for 4,000 Baht until Sept. 30, 2011, features a 30-minute Elemis deep tissue muscle massage and a 30-minute Elemis facial as well as the gift of the frangipani monoi oil.

The Elemis deep tissue massage combines deep, rhythmical movements with dynamic blends of essential oils to detoxify, increase blood and lymphatic circulation, relieve tension and encourage deep relaxation, encourage deep relaxation, balance energy levels and boost the senses.

Royal Garden Spa, a hideaway in the heart of Pattaya’s city centre, is designed in the classic beauty and cultural heritage of Thailand’s Lanna era.

New resort director at Absolute Sanctuary

 Absolute Sanctuary on Koh Samui has a new wellness and resort director. She is Jessica E. Simpson, who comes to Absolute Sanctuary with an extensive background in the spa and wellness industry. Jessica’s previous posts include: Vocational evaluator of Gulfstream Goodwill Industries, Delray Beach, Florida; assistant marketing manager, K. Hovnanian Homes, Boynton Beach, Florida; full-time instructor at Y and Yoga Studio, Shanghai; a founder, nutrition educator, yoga instructor at Evolving Wellness, Shanghai; and account manager, China World China, Shanghai.

GHA’s Experience Express Tours

Travel by tuk tuk to make a wish at Thailand’s oldest Indian temple or get ringside VIP seats at the Muay Thai boxing stadium with Anantara Hotels, Resorts and Spas.

Anantara is part of the new Grand Hotel Alliance (GHA), created by 12 independent by 12 independent luxury hotel brands and nearly 300 hotels globally in 2010.

The alliance recently announced its “GHA Discovery Experience Express” tours, designed for time-challenged travelers around the world.

Each experience express offering is designed by a local hotel to provide exclusive access to cultural and off-the-beaten track activities of two hours or less.

The experience express awards vary by membership level – the higher the membership level, the more exclusive the reward.

Silavadee receives TripAdvisor award

Silavadee Pool Spa Resort on Koh Samui has been awarded a certificate of excellence by TripAdvisor. The award is based on comments made by 104 guests about the quality of products and services offered by Silavadee.

 Silavadee’s “Back to Nature” concept covers 36 rooms of three different luxury categories as well as 19 elegant and exclusive pool villas.


Why Thailand? Why Spas? I put that question to a number of spa professionals on a recent tour of Thai spas and I still don’t have a simple explanation, other than there is a special connection that doesn;t quite exist elsewhere. Everyone had an answer but not one that really clicked in my head. For some it was the geography, the landscape, the architecture, the warm azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand,  and for others, the Thai people and a sense of kindness, a genuine desire to give from the heart and a deep-rooted Buddhist belief of being of service to others.

It’s all those things. And more. Whatever it is, it’s real, even if you can’t quite put your finger it, For one spa manager, it was something more tangible. You can get the same treatments just about anywhere. “Guests tell us, it’s the special touch of their therapist and looking up at the face of someone who loves what they do . . . someone who’s always smiling.”

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