Bangkok may be known as the City of Smiles, but it's also an incredibly fast paced center that is bound to exhaust even the most experienced traveler. Fortunately, the City of Smiles is also home to some of the most wonderful spas and massage parlours in the world, and this is no surprise as Thailand is, after all, the country that invented the Thai massage.
Upscale day spas and massage parlours in Bangkok are divided between those that are affiliated with, and located inside, certain hotels and those that are independently run. The Ananda Spa, for instance, which is universally acknowledged as one of the best in the city, is located in the President Solitaire Hotel on Sukhumvit Street, and another renowned "hotel" spa is the Mandara Spa at the Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa in Riverside. The independently situated spas that visitors have to choose from include the Orientist Spa, which has two locations in the city, and the Apsara Day Spa, which is situated on Silom Road.
Every visitor to Bangkok should, however, try to spend a little time at the Dusit Thani Hotel's Devarana Spa, which, in 2008 alone, was the recipient of the Best Spa: Living in Thailand Award and the Best Urban Spa: Lifestyle+Travel Magazine Readers' Choice Award. Ananda, Mandara and Devarana are, furthermore, only a few of the numerous first-rate hotel spas that are available, and these spas are not available exclusively for hotel residents and welcome visitors for day spa packages.
Apart from offering discounts on almost every service as well as perks like free transfers to and from spa premises, Bangkok spas offer basically two types of treatments: massages and beauty treatments. As far as massage services are concerned, Bangkok massage parlours probably offer the most diverse treatments in the world. Visitors can, for instance, look forward to the Himalayan Healing Stone Massage from the Shangri-La Hotel's Chi Spa and the Oriental foot massage at Spa Athenee, which is located in Bangkok's Plaza Athenee Hotel. Apart from the traditional Thai massage, which is a favorite at most Bankok spas and massage parlours, there are also the Swedish and Balinese massages as are available at the Banyantree Spa at the hotel of the same name and the Lodwan Ouan slimming aromatherapy massage as featured at the 5-star Swissotel Nai Lert Park's Amrita Spa.
Beauty and cleansing programs run the gamut from body scrubs and skin whitenings to body masks and herbal steams. Typical of the luxurious treatments common to the Bangkok Spas are the Salt Glow body scrubs as offered by the Aromavera Spa on Pattanakarn Road and the Wine & Honey Wrap that is one of the Ananda Spa's specialties. Beauty and health treatments offered by the Mandara Spa include the Thai Herbal back treatment, while those featured at the Orientist Spa include the popular cinnamon herbal mud mask.
Typical spa facilities also include saunas, steam rooms and private treatment rooms as well as meditation rooms and manicure / pedicure facilities. Two or more massage or beauty / cleansing treatments can also be combined into day spa packages, and the more treatments that are combined, the more value for money the package will be. Guests can also avail themselves of spa and massage parlour services either on their own or with a partner, and the only thing that is better than experiencing the perfect Bangkok massage by yourself is to share it with someone you love.
Touring the Bangkok palaces, floating markets, temples and shopping centers is all very thrilling but everyone also deserves to kick-back and relax once in a while.