SPA GOER

All ac­ces­si­ble by boat, these five ho­tel spas along the Chao Phraya make for a re­ju­ve­nat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence on Bangkok’s River of Kings.

DestinAsian - - DEPARTMENTS - BY AN­GELA GOH

Bliss­ing out in Bangkok by the Chao Phraya River.

RICE AND SHINE Set amid lush gar­dens near the Rama III Bridge, the Anan­tara River­side Bangkok Re­sort’s Anan­tara Spa cham­pi­ons lo­cal pro­duce in its rice-based treat­ments. Try the Pu­ri­fy­ing Sri Nin Rice Scrub, which har­nesses the an­tiox­i­dants and vi­ta­mins B and E found in a spe­cial strain of black rice, or the 90-minute Ori­en­tal Rice Com­press Mas­sage for the re­ju­ve­nat­ing ben­e­fits of rice bran oil ( bangkok-river­side.anan­tara.com).

MIND MAT­TERS Some three kilo­me­ters up­river is The Penin­sula Spa, which oc­cu­pies a three-story colo­nial-style Thai house on the grounds of its name­sake ho­tel. The fa­cil­ity’s lat­est of­fer­ing, The Es­sen­tial Mind by ac­claimed Thai well­ness prac­ti­tioner Dr. Buathon Thien­ar­rom, is a 90-minute mind-sooth­ing treat­ment us­ing both touch and sound ther­apy. This in­volves a gen­tle mas­sage with heal­ing oils made from jas­mine, clove, and basil ex­tracts, fol­lowed by vi­bra­tions from seven Ti­betan singing bowls. Other treat­ments in­clude sig­na­ture mas­sages de­signed in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Wat Pho mas­sage school and in­no­va­tive fa­cials by French skin­care brand Bi­ologique Recherche ( bangkok .penin­sula.com).

CROSS-POL­LI­NA­TION An ex­pe­ri­ence that blends Thai and Ba­li­nese tech­niques has re­cently been launched at Man­dara Spa, sit­u­ated on the third floor of the Royal Or­chid Sher­a­ton Bangkok Ho­tel & Tow­ers. The 2.5-hour Sig­na­ture Asian Heal­ing Jour­ney in­cludes in­sights into Thai herbs and the prepa­ra­tion of a tra­di­tional herbal com­press, fol­lowed by a full-body Ba­li­nese mas­sage in­ter­spersed with hot com­pres­sion from the afore­men­tioned herbal poul­tice. The ses­sion, in a river-fac­ing treat­ment suite, rounds off with a warm mini fa­cial com­press con­tain­ing ground an­tiox­i­dant-rich black sesame seeds ( roy­alorchid­sher­a­ton.com).

QUICK FIX The Ori­en­tal Spa is reached via shut­tle boat from the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Bangkok across the river. Time-de­prived goget­ters will ap­pre­ci­ate its 45-minute quick fixes: Beat The Stress eases tensed shoul­ders, heads, and arms with mas­sages, and a hot pack is de­ployed to ac­cel­er­ate mus­cle re­lax­ation. Mi­cro Nap in­duces a brief slum­ber with es­sen­tial oils and mas­sage tar­geted at pres­sure points on the head, face, and feet, while Smil­ing Joints rein­vig­o­rates over­worked an­kles, knees, wrists, and shoul­ders ( man­dari­nori­en­tal.com).

TIME OUT The farthest up­river of the five is The Siam’s ex­quis­ite Art Deco–themed

Opium Spa, which de­liv­ers multi-day well­ness pro­grams that en­com­pass ev­ery­thing from body con­tour­ing to week­long for­ays into fit­ness ther­apy and detox­i­fi­ca­tion. Ayurvedic con­sul­tant and life­style coach Dr. Adr­ish Brah­ma­datta is on hand to lead guests in reiki, chakra, pranic heal­ing, and med­i­ta­tion ( the­si­amho­tel.com).

Above, from top: A tra­di­tional Thai mas­sage at The Siam’s Opium Spa; The Ori­en­tal Spa is cen­tered on a green­ery-lined court­yard pool.

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