Despite its rather infamous reputation for “happy endings,” Bangkok is actually one of the world’s best places to get pampered in, and Thai massage and spa treatments are now renowned worldwide. Whether it be a local Wat Pho trainee massage for just a few hundred baht or the most upscale of spas, you won’t go wrong in the City of Angels as there are just so many options to choose from.
At the top of the list are some of the gorgeous spas in the city’s finest hotels. The So Spa at the Sofitel So has a luxury spa with a Turkish hammam bath, while both the Oriental Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, and the CHI Spa at the Shangri-La have been winning awards for their signature treatments and packages for years, and are really worth the splurge, as is the high end pampering at Panpuri Organic Spa in the Park Hyatt.
Also high on the signature treatment list is Divana Nurture Spa where a Thai rice wine body soak, lotus seed body mask, and honey bath are just part of the incredible four-hour treatments. For something not quite as pricey, the locals flock to Health Land, with an array of venues that are comfortable, cool, and very wallet-friendly, as are the unique set of treatments at Loft Thai Spa, where you can indulge in a four hands massage with two expert therapists or try a Thai Warrior treatment, where the techniques date from the 1300s, used on Thai soldiers returning from battle. Yunomori Onsen replicates the Japanese hot spring experience and is an excellent place to relax for several hours if you are looking for an alternative to just a regular massage. The list of pampering possibilities is really endless in Bangkok.
Photo courtesy of Sofitel So Bangkok
Voted best luxury spa in Bangkok, So Spa at the chic Sofitel So offers great all around spa treatments. The location is magnificent, with treatment rooms overlooking Lumpini Park with a bird’s eye view. Then there are the treatments, which range from a Turkish hammam bath where you can soak on heated marble and then get scrubbed from head to toe to getting body massages and facials using world-renowned Cinq Mondes and Ytsara brands. There are chakra balancing treatments, papaya radiance scrubs, and coffee cream slimming treatments to name just a few of the staggering array of pampering treatments available here. Try a sports massage, an Indian cream wrap, or a Moroccan massage with hot oil, or perhaps go for the self-explanatory Jet Lag massage, Keyboard Mania, or Shop-a-Holic Reflexology. One thing is certain, the art of spoiling is in full force here.
Recommended for Spas because: For a Turkish hammam spa treatment, there’s only the So Spa.
Dave’s expert tip: The Aromatic Diner Massage is a good bet as it features a 60-minute Balinese massage followed by a papaya radiance scrub and then a romantic dinner.
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Photo courtesy of Health Land Spa
Health Land serves the best of all worlds, combining affordable massage treatments with air-conditioned splendor, a relaxing vibe, good therapists, and a bevy of locations. No wonder it has become one of the top spa destinations in Bangkok. Thais flock to this place on weekends, as all the branches (there are nine throughout Bangkok, but this is the most centrally located) offer parking, and have a spacious and inviting atmosphere. Usually, lower-priced massage in Bangkok either means street side joints where one is unsure about the quality, as well as Thai massages often being done in a shared public room. Not at Health Land. There are private treatment rooms, the therapists are well trained, and the rooms are 6-hour air-conditioned. Prices run about 500 baht for a full massage, which is a great deal for the surroundings. About the only thing one can complain of here is its popularity, meaning reservations are now a good idea.
Recommended for Spas because: For an excellent comfortable massage at an inexpensive price, Health Land is one of the city’s best options.
Dave’s expert tip: The best way to get here is via the Skytrain or subway to the Asok junction, then walk up Asok to Soi Ruamjai (the first left) and hang a left towards Sukhumvit Soi 19, with Health Land on your right.
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Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
As with the rest of Siam Kempinski’s luxury amenities and outlets, Kempinski the Spa is no stranger to opulence, delivering excellent both relaxing and invigorating 5-star spa treatments. Voted the World’s Best Spa in 2015 at the Spa and Wellness Awards in London, you are guaranteed some stellar pampering here. While this might be tropical Thailand, the signature treatment here is based on European seasons, with four different healing and rejuvenating massage treatments using a variety of herbal oils and different techniques. The Spring massage is a detox treatment, working on the lymphatic system, while the Summer massage uses cool stones to bring balance to the body and is great for those who are overheated. The Autumn treatment features a relaxing aromatherapy session, and the Winter massage focuses on healing deep tissue, re-energizes, and features a warm butter oil foot treatment. Hidden away up on the hotel’s 7th Floor, it’s a quiet space with luxury treatment rooms for both individuals and couples, and it’s the perfect spot to start off or finish a stay at one of Bangkok’s most elegant stays.
Recommended for Spas because: For seasonal massage treatments, Kempinski the Spa has unique and pampering spa sessions.
Dave’s expert tip: The easiest way to get here is via the BTS Skytrain to Siam and then walk through the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall, following the signs for the hotel.
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Photo courtesy of St. Regis Bangkok
Coming from the elite British brand Elemis, the Elemis Spa at the luxury St. Regis Hotel offers superb anti-aging skincare and spa treatments. Go for the all-out Ultimate Package here, which gives one an ocean wrap, deep tissue massage, and an anti-aging facial, or try some detox therapy or a Rassoul treatment, an Arabian cleansing ritual with herbal steaming and therapeutic mud or herbal coconut wraps. The fifteen elegant therapy suites here feature couples suites for side by side massages, a marble and mosaic wet room used for traditional body scrubs, and there is a private manicure and pedicure lounge as well. There are also beautiful relaxation rooms where suspended pods float over pools where one can hang out and rest. With the steam rooms, Jacuzzis, cold plunge pools overlooking some of the city’s best views, a treatment here is like an entire holiday in and of itself!
Recommended for Spas because: For superb spa facilities and treatments, the Elemis at St. Regis is highly recommended.
Dave’s expert tip: There are some great web specials for the Elemis Spa so make sure to consult their website before making an appointment.
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Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Divana Nurture is one of several Divana properties in Bangkok, all of which are renowned for their superb pampering treatments. Voted one of the top wellness spas in Bangkok, Divana Nurture is conveniently located near the Nana BTS Skytrain station. The spa is located in a contemporary Thai mansion set back from a spacious lawn, and feels like a place you could spend weeks in retreating from the outside world. There is an air-conditioned glass house to relax in in the garden both before and after treatments. The signature treatments here last over 4 hours, and there are even 6-hour sessions, which guarantees that you will practically be floating out the door when you leave! They incorporate Thai traditional and modern medicine, along with oriental techniques like Ayurvedic, yogi, and Thai massage into their holistic practices, along with some truly unique touches that you won’t find at other spas here. The signature Phikat Bua treatment include novelties such as a Thai rice wine body soak and lotus powder body polish, and there is even a mango and champagne treatment where the therapist will pour a bit of bubbly on you! The 16 couple suites here come with Jacuzzi tubs, steam rooms, and are a truly tranquil oasis. If you are looking for a complete rejuvenation package that will rank as one of your best holiday memories, you’ve come to the right spot at this blissful place.
Recommended for Spas because: For Bangkok longest and most unique pampering signature treatments, Divana Nurture Spa is at the top of the list.
Dave’s expert tip: Make sure to check their website for promotions, you can get up to 50% off on certain treatments.
Go down Soi 11 until it T-junctions, turn right, and then swing left again, and the spa is another hundred meters down the alley on your right.
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Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Enjoying a hot spring bath and massage is certainly a great way to spend a visit to Bangkok. Yunomori takes all the traditional love of bathing from Japanese onsen (hot spring) culture and brings it to Thailand. At Yunomori Onsen, bamboo and finished wood surround several hot spring water baths where visitors can spend hours soaking and relaxing. There is a carbonated soda water pool, a jet pool, and an onsen pool with 43-degree mineral water trucked up from the famed Raksawarin hot springs in Ranong, whose water is extremely clear and without any sulfurous odor. Additionally, there is a large spa treatment area upstairs where one can have aromatherapy or traditional Thai massage treatments after relaxing in the baths. This onsen has become so popular, they’ve opened a second branch over on Sathorn Soi 10 (as well as one in Pattaya and Singapore), but this is the original.
Recommended for Spas because: for its combination of hot spring bath and massage, Yunomori Onsen is one of a kind.
Dave’s expert tip: Take advantage of the package treatments combining spa and hot spring while here, they are well worth it. There is also a beer garden, coffee shop, and Japanese restaurant on premises, so plan on spending half the day here.
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Photo courtesy of Loft Thai Spa
This posh boutique newcomer on the Bangkok spa scene offers signature treatments and therapies to rejuvenate both body and mind. Loft’s wide treatment menu offers everything from traditional Thai massage, oil massage, anti-ageing facials and detoxifying body treatments to massages designed to restore internal balance. Check out a Thai Warrior massage, dating from the 13th century practice that treated soldiers returning from battle, or a Himalayan salt foot treatment for rejuvenating your pavement-weary feet. You can also have a four hands massage here, where two therapists will work you into sublime bliss. The spa is just off the main Thonglor neighborhood as well, so you’ll be able to go eat great Japanese food or hit up some trendy clubs and bars once you’ve been pampered.
Recommended for Spas because: For unique treatments in a boutique setting, Loft Thai Spa is a winner.
Dave’s expert tip: The nearest BTS station for Loft is Thonglor, and then you’ll need to walk or hop a motorbike taxi down Soi 38. Soi Sansa-ngob is about six sub-alleys down 38 on your right.
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Photo courtesy of courtesy of Shangri La Hotel, Bangkok
Chi, The Spa, in the famed Shangri La Hotel, is one of the premiere Bangkok spa options, and it has been ranked and awarded as one of the best and most luxurious spas in the world by numerous publications. Named after the Chinese “qi,” the universal life force that governs well being, spa techniques here focus on releasing blockages that stop the chi element from flowing freely. You can start your pampering off with a hot stones treatment, where heated stones are used to warm up and relax the body. Unique treatments here include a jasmine rice body glow, in which ground black jasmine rice is blended with a mix of herbs and honey and used as a body scrub to rub away dry skin. You can follow this up with mud wraps and even pink caviar sheet facials. No blemish will be left unpampered at this elite Bangkok spa.
Recommended for Spas because: For consistently awarded high-end spa treatments, Chi, The Spa gets very high marks.
Dave’s expert tip: Web specials are worth checking and include options like the choice of three treatments for one special price.
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Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Panpuri is noted for its high end luxury pampering, billing themselves as a “one stop haven for all things wellness,” where you can get all encompassing packages that combine body scrubs, facial wraps, and signature massages, followed by skin cleansing with super high end skin products. Panpuri has an original branch on the top floor of the high society Gaysorn shopping plaza, but they’ve now added this second uber-luxury branch located in the swanky Park Hyatt Hotel. Here you can splash out for authentic onsen therapy, and avail yourself of state of the art facilities that include private suites, crystal steam rooms, and “experience showers,” where calming acoustics and rejuvenating aromas go hand in hand with the water pressure to ensure that you leave in a state of bliss.
Much here is way over the top, and while the marble floors are certainly part of the reason for the high ticket price, do be assured that the therapists are very well trained. The top of the line Indulge Me treatment combines a salt milk body scrub and wrap with Thai herbal compress massage, a radiance facial, and even organic refreshments during your post treatment relax. A couple of sessions here and it won’t be the Hotel California that “You can never leave” from.
Recommended for Spas because: For high end luxury spa surroundings, Panpuri tops the elegance charts.
Dave’s expert tip: Be prepared to break the bank here, treatments start from 6,000 baht and up.
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Photo courtesy of courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Voted ‘Best Spa in the World’ time and time again by leading international leisure and travel publications, it is hard to go wrong with a relaxing treatment package at the prestigious Oriental Spa at the Mandarin Oriental. Getting here is just the beginning of a blissful experience when you board the private teak shuttle boat from the hotel on the Bangkok side and float over to the traditional Thai house in Thonburi to begin your session. You can choose from over 40 traditional treatments ranging from mud wraps to Balinese and Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massages. The Oriental Signature package includes a massage with essential plant oils and the application of herbal compresses with lemongrass, and the Oriental Organic Journey is a full 2.5-hour detox treatment, guaranteed to leave you in bliss.
Recommended for Spas because: For continuous top-notch spa treatments, the Oriental Spa is an award winner.
Dave’s expert tip: Go all out and opt for the Oriental Pampering Program, which includes full massage, wrap, scrub, facial, manicure or pedicure, and two nights accommodations in superior rooms plus airport transfers, the ultimate splurge.
Read more about The Oriental Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok →