Chocolate: You can eat it, you can drink it. You can make it into ice cream or cake. You can dip your strawberries in it. And you can now be massaged with it. This is just one of the innovative spa treatments which, when combined with age-old knowledge and skills, are adding luster to Phuket’s reputation as the top place in Asia for pampering and bliss, with additional health benefits.
Phuket.com talked with Kamolthip Kangkit, spa manager at the award-winning The Spa at the Movenpick Resort, about the spa’s signature chocolate body scrubs, stone massages, and four-hand massages.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
Hot Stone Massage
Spas use a variety of different stones for this kind of massage. Many use basalt rock while others pick stones for their attractive colours. “In the case of Moevenpick, we use pevonia stone which comes in four different sizes. This is considered the best type of stone available in the world for massage therapy,” says Khun Kamolthip.
Before use, the stones are carefully heated in a special warming pot to get the temperature right and to keep the stones warm during the massage session. The therapist checks to see that the stones are at a comfortable temperature by placing them in your hands. They can easily be cooled using a wet towel.
The treatment starts with a shower, after which you lie face-up and the therapist starts the massage from the feet, using the warm stones to rub scented oil slowly, gently and deliciously into the whole body apart from the knees and other bony parts. Turn over, please, she says, and then repeats the process from waist to shoulders.
Depending on which spa you choose, this delightful geological experience takes between an hour and 90 minutes.
Stone massage is claimed to help increase blood flow, balance the body temperature and make you feel calm and relaxed. There is also evidence that it may help heal injured muscles. Khun Kamolthip advises not eating for two hours after the treatment, and drinking only water – warm, not iced.
Prices for stone massage
• Hot Stone Aroma Massage at the Aspara Spa, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket 75 mins 2,200 baht
• Stone Massage at the Spa at the Moevenpick, Karon Beach, 90 mins for 2,500 baht
• Hot Stone Massage at the Cheraim Spa Village, 90 mins for 3,500 baht
• Elemis Aroma Stone Therapy at the JW Marriott, 60 mins for 6,100 baht.
To have one highly-skilled therapist massaging your body is bliss. To have two therapists doing so at the same time is close to heaven on earth. This treatment, with energising oil, normally requires you to be completely naked, though for those who are easily embarrassed, the Spa therapists, Khun Eing and Khun Natt, can provide one-size-fits-all disposable underwear.
The four-hand massage is something akin to a slow ballet, requiring a great deal of practice and teamwork. Both ladies gently massage you with oil from the back to the feet, the gliding motions perfectly choreographed. Neither leads the other; they work precisely together, applying smooth and equal pressure in the same direction so that it’s impossible to tell whose hand is where.
After doing your back, they ask you to turn over, then perform the same remarkable ritual, starting at your feet and ending at your head. Khun Kamolthip says that a superlative four-hand massage should feel as if it’s being performed by one extraordinary person, not two.
Naturally, the four-hand massage is the perfect way to relax. It also boosts blood circulation.
Prices for four-hand massage
Chocolate Body Scrub
Chocolate, is, let’s face it, one of the most sexiest substances on earth. Everything about it – the taste, the smell, the texture – make it the great perfect symbol of love and romance. Skilled spa therapists know how to make the most of these properties by using chocolate for a body scrub.
The chocolate treatment package at the Moevenpick’s The Spa lasts two hours and – romantically – is designed with couples in mind. The chocolate comes first, in the form of a 30-minute body scrub, with the therapist using chocolate to gentle massage the entire body from feet to neck, filling the air with the delicious scent of, yes, chocolate. When you are completely edible, you shower without soap to get the chocolate off – unless the pair of you have a better idea for doing this…
This is followed by 30 minutes lazing in a bathtub full of milk, the ultimate moisturiser. Finally, the therapists give you both a long, deep Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Loving Hands massage, in which the forearms do most of the work.
Chocolate helps to soften your skin and the anti-oxidants in it reduce wrinkles. Khun Kamolthip says that Lomi Lomi massage is also very popular among sportspeople as a way to relax and to revive overworked muscles. And, of course, there can’t possibly be a more romantic, sexy way for a couple to get closer than being slathered in chocolate, then bathed in milk before receiving a deep, relaxing massage.
Prices for chocolate scrub treatment
• Moist Chocolate Pudding Scrub at the Indigo Pearl, Nai Yang, 30 minutes for 1,500 baht.
• Romantic Harmony Package (starting with Chocolate Body Scrub followed by Milk Bath and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Loving Hands Massage) at the Spa at the Moevenpick, 2 hours for 6,400 baht per couple.
Before undertaking any of these treatments, check with your doctor. In general, people with skin problems and women who are undergoing a period or who are pregnant should not try these massages.
Don’t treat yourself to a massage immediately after eating. You’ll appreciate it much more on a relatively empty stomach.