Introduced in the early 1990s, spas in Thailand are a relatively new phenomenon. Spas are very popular and fashionable with foreign tourists, expatriates and local Thais.
Thailand is the 'spa capital of Asia'. While the spa concept may have been 'borrowed', Thailand has done it better. Thai spas really do have it all. Nowhere else in the region will you find such variety and value framed in a perfect blend of Western leisure concepts and traditional Asian well-being therapies.
The quality of the Thai spa product offered is unquestionably world-class and unsurpassed, particularly the level of service offered. Service and hospitality are vital assets and are key differentiating factors attributed to a centuries-old tradition of gracious hospitality and service. This is complemented by the friendly and caring nature and gentle ways of the Thai people. Thai spas offer exceptional value for money.
Thailand's winning spa formula goes beyond service excellence. A rich heritage that embodies a time-honoured healing tradition based on herbal and holistic remedies, generations of folk wisdom, and centuries-old healing techniques, some of which reflect deep-rooted Buddhist influences, embellishes the Thai spa experience.
The recent resurgence of "back to Nature" themes and consumer preference for natural health and beauty solutions have refocused attention on the healing power of indigenous herbs and plants - a key component in the ancient Thai tradition of natural healing. The country's great diversity of herbs and spices continues to provide a rich assortment of natural ingredients for exotic herbal preparations. Many of the rejuvenating treatments offered in modern spas have evolved from these ancient recipes. For example, the use of herbal heat compresses and the refreshing Thai herbal steam.
In a country where Buddhist influences predominate and shape Thai culture and the way of life in a myriad of ways, all aspects of Buddhist expression radiate a sense of tranquillity, harmony, inner peace and calm, thus forming a natural complement in the Mind, Body and Spirit equation. Thailand's Buddhist landscape offers the perfect backdrop. In adopting a holistic approach to health and well-being, Thai spas offer meditation classes as part of their all-encompassing 'mind, body and spirit' programmes designed to calm the mind and spirit.
Thai spas have few distinctive charms. The spa practitioners are naturally service-minded, pleasant and always smiling. Most of Thai spas venues are designed with unique Thai characteristics intrinsically appreciated by foreigners. Thai massaging techniques are world famous. The exotic spa products such as massage balls or Thai herbs, truly open a whole new experience for foreign customers.
Thailand is now perceived as the Spa Capital of Asia, probably because we have as many as 450 spa centers throughout the country.
Today Thai spas compete on equal footing with international counterparts in the cosmopolitan centres and fashion capitals of the world. In many cases, quality has attracted mutually beneficial joint ventures and cooperative partnerships seeking to cash in on the synergy that results from the 'marriage' of the Thai traditional art of healing and contemporary Western spa treatments.
TYPES OF SPAS IN THAILAND
The Destination SPA
A spa whose sole purpose is to provide guests with lifestyle improvement and health enhancement through professionally administered spa services, physical fitness, educational programming, and on-site accommodations. Spa cuisine is served exclusively.
The Resort/Hotel SPA
A spa owned by and located within a resort or hotel property providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.
The Medical SPA
Individuals, solo practices, groups and institutions comprised of medical and spa professionals whose primary purpose is to provide comprehensive medical and wellness care in an environment which integrates spa services, as well as conventional and complimentary therapies and treatments.
The Day SPA
A spa offering a variety of professionally administered spa services to clients on a day-use basis.
HUA HIN SPA TREATMENTS
Most reputable Thai spas embrace the true spirit and tradition of "holistic healing" and offer a spa menu that features a comprehensive but balanced range of exotic, revitalising 'feel good' and 'look good' treatments that go beyond the superficial health and beauty services available in the average beauty salon. Holistic spa programmes are specially formulated to restore balance and rejuvenate mind, body and spirit.
The typical Thai spa menu presents an overwhelmingly impressive choice of tempting offerings which include traditional Thai, Swedish, Javanese, Lulur or Sports massage, therapies for jet lag, aromatherapy, reflexology, foot massage, skin care treatments such as facials, mud and body wraps, scrubs, treatments for hair, skin and face, acupressure, herbal steam rooms, and floral baths. While herbal steam baths and massage techniques have evolved from traditional healing methods and herbal remedies, other state-of-the-art options including hydrotherapy and recontouring are also available.
As spa operators feel the pressure of mounting competition and strive to differentiate to survive and excel, an increasing number of Thai spas are developing their own lines of products that capture the exotic qualities of Thai herbs. This has contributed to a renaissance of traditional Thai herbal recipes and ancient remedies prized for the healing potency of the natural ingredients from which they are made.
An increasing number of spas have also turned to ancient philosophy, indigenous Thai folk wisdom, and traditional Oriental and Asian well-being remedies in search of tried and tested solutions to stress and ailments. This new realm of the spa experience incorporates mind and body activities such as meditation, tai chi, yoga, stress management and holistic wellness such as acupuncture.
On shorter stays such as weekends and long holidays, spa guests are more likely to be interested in trying out exotic Thai treatments. For extended stays, a spa menu that offers a balanced combination of Eastern and Western therapies works best.
The rapid success of the Thai spa industry and intense competition has prompted many spas to evolve into fully integrated health and wellness centers offering holistic healing, complete with medical-oriented services, alternative treatments and lifestyle elements.
Some of Hua Hin Spas
- Chiva-Som International Health Resort
- Mandara Spa at Anantara Resort & Spa
- Mandara Spa at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa
- Six Senses Spa at the Evason Hua Hin Spa
- Melia Hua Hin Spa
- The Evason Hua Hin Spa
- Royal Garden Resort Spa
- Royal Garden Village Spa
- Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort Spa