Originally practised by monks, traditional Thai massage or nuat bo’rarn is an energising, spiritual and healing activity that is now embraced by many wellness seekers. Dressed in loose, comfortable clothing, they perform the movements on a floor mat. Thai massage has also a part of local Thai lifestyle today as a regular way to relax and prevent disease.
Other indigenous healing and beautifying rituals include body scrubs and masks made from local herbs, flowers and food, which deeply exfoliate and feed the skin. Then there are the traditional Thai herbal wraps which often use mineral-rich mud to cleanse and nourish even the most delicate of skins. The Thai herbal bolus treatment uses spices and herbs which are wrapped tightly in muslin or cotton and infused in steam before being pressed against the skin. This is said to rebalance the body and calm the mind.
Inspired by rural village architecture, the circular, domed treatment rooms of Earth Spa at Six Senses Hideaway Hideaway Hua Hin (9/22 Moo 5 Paknampran Beach, Pranburi Prachuap Khirikhan 77220, +66. 3261 8200) are built entirely from a mixture of rice husks and straw that remains cool even in high temperatures. Treatments here focus on nourishing the skin with many of the ingredients that are freshly picked at dawn for the day’s menu of cleansing and revitalising therapies.
Tucked away on the traditional Thai fishing island of Naka Yai, Phuket, the cutting-edge Six Senses Destination Spa Phuket (32 Moo 5, Tambol Paklok, Amphur Thalang Phuket 83110, +66.76.371 400) offers innovative experiences from four spa concepts (Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Thai).
Ground-breaking fitness programmes, healthy menus and a lush, sustainable living environment combine to offer visitors a complete immersion into an alternative lifestyle that takes into consideration the wellness of the individual as well as the planet.
At the Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa (100 Vised Road, Moo 2, Tambol Rawai Muang District, Phuket 83130, +66.76.381 010), sustaining the local environment is a key philosophy even as it seeks to offer a comprehensive menu of healing therapies. Only the best skin foods and natural products are used.
The signature therapies at the spa at Six Senses Hideaway Sumai – a Sala property (9/10 Moo 5, Baan Plai Laem, Bophut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84320, +66.77.245 678) are geared to de-stress the body. Treatments include a range of gentle to invigorating body massages, as well as facial treats that use skin foods from the restort’s organic garden.
The resort is set on a headland on the northern tip of Samui island and the spa looks out to stunning sea views that calm the weary.
The rejuvenating treatments at the Anatara Phuket Resort & Spa (888 Moo 3, Tumbon Mai Khao, Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110, +66.76.336 100) was designed to reflect the mysticism of the lotus flower, a Thai symbol of enlightenment, rebirth and self-regeneration. The pampering therapies are guaranteed to harmonise and rebalance body, mind and spirit.
The Six Senses Soneva Kiri Ecosuit on the island of Koh Kood is a zero-emissions villa built from recycled materials and Forestry Stewardship Council-certified pine and reclaimed teak. It is concrete-and cement-free, and the green roof is home to native flora while also curbing storm water run-off.
Guests can enjoy living the green life in style with a visit to the spa for some pampering and relaxation.
For an even more indulgent experience, arrange for an in-villa massage, complete with soothing music and aromatherapy.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Kari has written about Top Oceania & Asian Spas & Retreats this summer after visiting Asia on holiday.