Published on October 6, 2007
The spa list is indeed impressive, with everything from Thai traditional body massages to foot reflexology, body oil massage and body scrubs and facial treatments.
Spas in Bangkok come in all shapes and sizes and offer a range of services that vary from basic to luxurious. For the most part though, they are reasonably compact, designed to match the hectic urban lifestyle.
Bangkok Natural Spa, located in the city's eastern suburbs, goes in another direction, offering plenty of space, lots of parking and a menu that ranges from Thai traditional massage aromatherapy and hydrotherapy massages through facial treatments and fitness rooms to hair salon and restaurant.
Bangkok Natural Spa attracts those who prefer to come in groups as well as corporate types desperate to escape the cluttered spaces of inner Bangkok. The large and inviting building is on 10-rai of land and houses 120 treatment rooms, thereby justifying its claim as the largest spa ever built in Thailand.
From the outside, Bangkok Natural Spa looks like a small hotel, with a spacious reception area, a lobby, a small restaurant and a landscaped garden view complete with waterfall that should calm the senses.
"We want to be a spa destination, not just a spa," explains Natchanan Praidee, Bangkok Natural's consultant and marketing manager.
"That's why we offer not only complete spa services, but also a small fitness facility and plunge pools for clients who are interested in hydrotherapy."
The spa list is indeed impressive, with everything from Thai traditional body massages to foot reflexology, body oil massage and body scrubs and facial treatments. We were offered an array of scrubs made from natural Thai ingredients, among them the papaya extract and the Siam Classic, which is made from nine Thai native flowers, bamboo charcoal, and herbal extracts. Each scrub boasts different virtues for the skin. I was suffering backache from sitting in front of a computer for too long so opted for the Thai massage with hot herbal compress to relax my muscles.
Bangkok Natural Spa has separate facilities for men and women in different wings. Walk pass the restaurant and you'll see rows of massage rooms, both communal and single. Private rooms cost Bt120 on top of the selected services but are worth the extra payment for those who want to chat on their mobiles as peace and privacy are guaranteed.
There are also suites for families or couples with Jacuzzi and a space for the kids to let off steam if you can't bear to leave them at home. After the treatments, you are welcome to lounge around in the relaxation room and catch a movie on the wide screen. Guys, who have their own room, also enjoy a foot massage service.
"We are now building about 50 rooms for guests who want to stay over," says Natchanan.
"We have been open for almost two years and most customers have taken out membership. They come here for a whole day to take full advantage of our services.
"We hope that by offering accommodation, we'll be able to tap into the tourist market and tempt visitors to Bangkok to try our massage services."
The well-equipped fitness room is also available to visitors along with two plunge pools filled with warm and cold water for alternate hot-cold hydrotherapy. Swimsuits are also provided to ensure hygiene control.
Sirin P Wongpanit
Special to The Nation