I just returned from a very rewarding business trip to Thailand, where I visited some of the country’s best resort and destination spas that were deemed No. 1 by their clientele and communities. The facilities themselves were every bit as impressive as the honors and awards bestowed upon many of them. The beautiful Chiva-Som is a luxury tropical health retreat that is located in the royal beach resort of Hua Hin, about 130 miles south of Bangkok. It sprawls across 7 acres of beachfront landscaped gardens, and is a world-renowned health spa dedicated to revitalizing the mind, body and spirit for total well-being and vitality. More than 100 treatments and activities are offered, including spa, holistic, fitness and physiotherapy. The spa resort has continually won awards from 1998 through 2005, the most recent including Condé Nast Traveller (UK) Travel Reader’s Spa Award Runner Up, the Best Overseas Destination Spa Retreat (2005); SpaFinder Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Spa Cuisine (2005); and four SpaAsia Crystal Awards (2005).
The Oriental Spa
The Oriental Spa made its debut in 1993 and is widely recognized as a pioneer of the Thai spa industry, featuring treatments that draw on traditional 2,000-year-old Thai healing techniques and herbal preparations. It recently underwent a $1.2 million renovation, which featured improved in-suite facilities, including temperature-controlled scrub tables and a vitality pool designed to stimulate all the senses with a full-body water jet massage. The Oriental Spa regularly is voted Best Spa in the World by Travel + Leisure magazine, as well as Best Spa in Luxury Travel by the Robb Report.
La Bretagne Holistic Rejuvenation Center
This medical spa is situated in the heart of a new bustling shopping center—reportedly the largest in Asia. It is this location that helps the spa to obtain the type of client it is targeting—middle- to upper-income baby boomers and Gen-Xers, many of whom bring in their teenage children for acne treatments. This unique facility recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary of being an exclusive Thai distributor of Repêchage products.