Spa and Thai Massage Overview

Asian Spa Experience

Phuket has evolved into a major centre for spas and wellness in recent years. Several world-class facilities have been built around the island, and all of the island's top resorts are scurrying to either expand or develop their own in-house spa services. Many offer a blend of Eastern and Western techniques in a tranquil environment, often at lower prices than spas with similar standards of service and luxury in the West.

You can receive a Thai massage costing as little as 250-300 baht, or indulge in a pampering spa treatment package for 7,000 baht or more. There's something here to suit all tastes and budgets.

The more basic facilities may be little more than a shophouse with a row of chairs or daybeds for giving massages and facials, and there are numerous other places all the way up to a full-service spa such as the Banyan Tree Spa, the Aspara Spa at Phuket Holiday Inn, or Angsana Spa at Dusit Laguna and Sheraton Phuket, where a sensational range of treatments are provided in an elegant setting.

In Phuket, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to spas.

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Some Tips

"Spa Enthusiast" magazine offers these tips for making the most of your spa visit:

Try to come at off-peak hours.
Your spa experience may be more relaxing and leisurely when you're there at a less crowded time.

Explore the possibilities.
Ask for a full description of any treatment that sounds intriguing. Be open to experimentation. That's how you'll find new treatments to enjoy.

Get advice regarding scheduling.
If you plan on having more than one treatment, ask if the spa has recommendations regarding the order in which you receive them. Choosing the right sequence may enhance your pleasure. Some facials are more suitable before a body treatment, and some are more appropriate afterward. Many spas will have packages that give you the treatments in the most appropriate order.

Share your personal health history.
The spa can help you plan accordingly. If you have conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or lupus, you should get your doctor's okay for any treatment you'd like to try. People with high blood pressure or a heart condition may want to avoid body wraps or any treatment that involves heat or detoxification. Those with varicose veins may want to avoid heat treatments to those areas, and people with iodine allergies should avoid marine products such as seaweed. Pregnant women should avoid essential oils and anything that could raise body temperature, such as body wraps, saunas/steambaths and Jacuzzis.

Mention any prescription drugs
Mention any prescription drugs you are using in order to avoid any services or products that might irritate your skin or otherwise be harmful.

Anticipate how the treatment will fit into your other plans.
For example, if you're having a facial treatment that may leave your skin temporarily irritated or blotchy, you may not want to go to a romantic dinner afterward.

Allow enough time for your visit.
Plan to spend a least 15 minutes sipping a beverage, relaxing, and chatting or enjoying some solitude. And try not to rush yourself at the end of your visit. This way you won't have to be concerned if your visit takes a little longer than you anticipated, and you'll prolong the pleasure of relaxation.

Special Considerations for Phuket

  • The person providing treatment may not be fluent in your language. Be sure that any questions or concerns you have are communicated clearly and understood before any treatment begins.
  • Some spa staff, especially at the cheaper, more informal shops, may have had minimal training in massage and other techniques. If anything feels uncomfortable, painful or otherwise undesirable, ask to stop the treatment immediately.
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