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73/4 Petchkasem Road
Hua Hin, Prachuab Khirikhan 77110
Location: Hua Hin beach, 130 miles south of Bangkok
On the menu: More than 100 treatments and activities, including spa, holistic, fitness and physiotherapy, are offered.
Number of treatment rooms: 42
Number of therapists: 80
Number of specialist consultants: 5
Signature services: Skin-Haven Facial, Spa-Haven Body Polish, Spa-Haven Body Cocoons and Signature Massage
Dusit Thani Hotel
946 Rama IV Road
Location: The Dusit Thani Hotel
On the menu: Luxurious pampering and healing treatments
Number of treatment rooms: 149 standard rooms, 4 deluxe suites and 1 grand suite
Signature services: The Devarana Massage, The Devarana Bath and The Devarana Scrub
991/1 Rama I Road
Location: Siam Paragon Shopping Center, Bangkok
On the menu: More than 40 facial and body treatments, as well as exclusive programs
Number of treatment rooms: 8: 5 for facials; 3 for body, including a wet room
Signature services: Facial Design Service, Nonsurgical Face Lift and Doljit
The Oriental, Bangkok
48 Oriental Avenue
Location: The Oriental, Bangkok
On the menu: More than 50 treatments grace the menu.
Number of treatment rooms: 14 spa suites
Number of therapists: Dependent on the season
Signature services: Oriental Spice Body Scrub and Essence of Aqua, and Spirit of Oriental (full-day)
All Seasons Place
87 Wireless Road
Location: Conrad Bangkok
On the menu: Massage, hydrotherapy, facial, body exfoliation, hands and feet, waxing, and packages
Number of treatment rooms: 12 luxuriously appointed rooms; 16 beds total
Signature service: Sense of Seasons package
Royal Bangkok Sports Club
1 Henri Dunant Street
Location: Royal Bangkok Sports Club
On the menu: 29 treatments, each using formulations exclusive to the spa
Number of treatment rooms: 8 treatment rooms, 1 living lounge with a foot massage service and a lifestyle consultation room
Number of therapists: 18
Signature services: Thai Slimming Package and Thai Vichy Shower
According to Richard Williams, spa manager at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin, Thailand, the following ingredients are hot in cutting-edge Thai treatments.
The spa industry is here to stay, and not just in the United States. A recent trip to Thailand proved that spas are a hot commodity on the other side of the globe, as well. There, it is all about culture and remaining true to the land.
“Those fortunate enough to have experienced the warmth and hospitality of Thailand will know all too well the genuine care and excellent service that are delivered here,” says Richard Williams, spa manager at Chiva-Som in Hua Hin. “As a culture that lives from the heart—even having ‘heart’ words in their vocabulary—therein lies the unique advantage to spas developed in Thailand. To have team members who take a genuine interest in their clients, care about their jobs and are proud to work in their respective fields is certainly a plus to the spa industry. All who return to Thailand will be welcomed with the warm wai, which is a prayerlike greeting—just like namaste in India—that offers respect and warmth to all who visit.”
The Thai culture also is well-known for its reputation in the service industry. “Thai spa culture offers alternative therapies with its inherited tradition of herbal practice that has been proven to give excellent results for health and well-being, both holistically and scientifically,” notes Sarah Kajonborrirak, president and founder of Sivalai Spa. “It’s part of a variety of spa treatments from the genuine tradition of the Thai people that has been practiced for more than 3,000 years.”
Indeed, the spa industry is a profession that still is going strong. According to the Spa Industry Survey Thailand 2004, conducted by Intelligent Spas Pte Ltd, Singapore, Thailand is home to approximately 320 spa facilities. It is important to note that this statistic only includes spas that offer water-based body treatments, such as scrubs and wraps. The majority of Thai spas, 28%, are located in the capital city of Bangkok, which boasts a population of approximately 7 million. The second-largest concentration is in the resort area of Phuket, claiming 19%. Of these, resort spas make up 46% of the spa types, with 30% being day spas.
This same study states that about 5,260 people are employed by the industry. And international tourists paved the paths to the spas, accounting for 78% of all visits. Domestic tourists accounted for 10%, and local residents contributed 12% of total Thai spa visits, on average. Together, this totaled a whopping 3.6 million combined appointments with Thailand spas between July 2003 and June 2004. And this number continues to climb.