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International Spa Trends: Thailand

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the October 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Featured services change every three months, and all include indigenous products. However, the spa does have its well-liked standbys. “Our most popular treatments are the Seasons Spa Massage and Traditional Thai Massage,” Porkar explains. “The Seasons Spa Massage is our signature massage, and combines Hawaiian, Balinese and Swedish techniques at a medium pressure to relieve body aches and pains. It leaves clients completely revitalized. The Traditional Thai Massage is one of the country’s ancient healing methods to relieve stiff joints, release muscular tension and assist with the free flow of the energy system. During this service, the therapist uses her thumbs, hands, fingers, forearms, elbows, knees and feet.”

Sivalai Spa. The Thai Heritage Spa Company Limited was the winning bidder among 16 other candidates in 2003 to create and operate the inclusive Sivalai Spa, located at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, which is owned by the Crown Property Bureau of Thailand. This spa concept was created by Kajonborrirak and was inspired by her ancestors, as well as the innovation and combination of Eastern and Western cultural and technical elements. “It is an indigenous spa that presents the culture of Thai massage and its traditional use of Thai herbs,” says Kajonborrirak.

“We are seeing more and more male clients coming to the spa,” she notes. “Also, we have more requests for organic products to be used in our treatments. It seems that clients want to go back to the basics instead of using sophisticated chemical products. Another trend is that our clients demand faster results from the services that they receive.”

A bright future

The spa industry in Thailand will continue to flourish. “The Thai spa industry is very lucky to be well-supported by the country’s government and also in its foundation, which already consists of regional governing bodies, such as the Krabi Association and the Phuket Spa Association. These bodies all sit under the umbrella of the Thai Spa Association,” explains Williams. “With these in place, the industry is making a concerted effort to set benchmarks, particularly in Asia-Pacific.

“Of course, Thai spas have not been immune to the international demand for medical spas, and, although Thailand already is fairly renowned in the field of cosmetic surgery, noninvasive cosmetic spas that include holistic services are a new trend,” he continues. “Thai spas realize the importance of the international market, and constantly are looking at new indigenous products and treatments to service culturally inquisitive spa-goers.”