Thursday, May 24, 2012

The luxury ticket to Phuket

This  stunning island may be small, but it is big on the choices is offers spa connoisseurs

Think Phuket, and you can’t help but think of beautiful beaches, tropical sunsets, luxurious spas, and a ton of fun! It is not for nothing that Phuket commands these wonderful images to one’s mind. Over the years, this sunny little island from Thailand has built up the best hotels, spas and other luxury destinations. A favourite among not just Asians but travellers from across the globe, Phuket offers so much that one is spoilt for choice. We take a look at the 10 best spas from among the hundreds that dot the city.

1. Banyan Tree Spa
Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts is one of the most luxurious chains and respected names in the hospitality industry. Each of their facilities is truly world-class, no less their spas. The Bamboo Tree Spa in Phuket that opened in 1994, was the first luxury oriental spa in Asia and pioneered the concept of a tropical garden spa. It was among the first to offer beauty and health packages with holistic approaches – a tradition that has since been adopted by spas across the world. Presently, they offer packages that go by evocative names like Tranquility Hydromist (for men), Tropical Rainmist, Harmony Banyan and Royal Banyan among others. 
For the highest standards it adheres to, the Banyan Tree at Phuket has been a winner of several accolades. Among these are being ranked number two in the Top 10 Asia Resorts category at the Condé Nast Traveler 20th Annual Readers' Choice Awards. The resort was also ranked number eight in the Top 100 Resorts of the world.
Banyan Tree Spa Phuket
33 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Road,
Cherngtalay, AmphurTalang
Phuket, 83110
Ph: +66 76 324 374

2. Golden Tulip Ayurvedic Spa
The spa at the Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort and Spa is the only one in Phuket to operate entirely on Ayurvedic principles. It has a certified Ayurvedic doctor, who offers a detailed consultation and analysis to patrons before beginning the treatment. The ‘Dosha’ of the patron is determined before prescribing the most appropriate treatment or therapy. It combines Yoga techniques with Ayurvedic treatments for complete rejuvenation.
The other great attraction of the Golden Tulip spa is its locale. It is situated on a secluded hillside and offers a panoramic view of four bays around it. In this unique setting are offered their signature treatments like Chakra Balancing, Dosha Purifying, Atma Healing, and Mangosteen Ayur Journey.  Other long-term health treatments also available here include Kaya Shodhna (detoxification program) and Rasayanam (rejuvenation) which take up to four weeks. 
These Ayurvedic treatments, combined with the stunning locale truly make the Golden Tulip Spa one of the best spas in Phuket.
The Golden Tulip Mangosteen Resort
99/4 Moo 7, Soi Mangosteen, Rawai
Phuket, 83130
Tel: +66 76 289 399

3. Anantara Spa
Reviewers have often noted the attention to detail that has gone into the making of the Anantara Phuket Villas that is steps away from the Andaman Sea. Designed by the renowned Bill Bensley, a balance between the beauty of the surroundings and the beauty of the architecture is maintained throughout the property, especially the spa. The spa has five luxurious treatment suites, two suites with private terrazzo soaking tubs, a dedicated Ayurvedic suite, a couples’ treatment room and a traditional Thai sala for yoga and massages. In its serene environ, clients can choose to have any of the traditional Thai or Ayurvedic treatments.
The spa offers the signature Pearl of Andaman Treatment, which refreshes the body and mind with a floral foot ritual, followed by a traditional Chinese Herbal Back massage, shower, a Pearl Facial and finally a refreshment ritual. Other treatments include a Thai Herbal Compress Massage, the Journey of Siam, and the Lullaby Sleep Therapy among others.
888 Moo 3 ,Tumbon Mai Khao,
Amphur Thalang, Phuket 83110
Tel: +66 (0) 7633 6100

4. The Spa, Paresa Resorts
Look up Paresa Resorts on the Internet, and you will see only wonderful reviews about this beautiful resort on the Kamala Beach in Phuket. Little wonder that it was the winner of the Traveler’s Choice Award in 2011. The resort, with its idyllic location, provides the perfect setting for the exotic treatments it offers at the Paresa Resort Spa also known as the Kamala Phuket Spa. Treatments are inspired by ancient Thai healing rituals, and the spa, features 5 double treatments suites with baths and steam showers, and private balconies overlooking the Andaman Sea, where patrons can lounge and relax.
The spa specializes in detox and offers a variety of programs, starting from three days to 28 days. Several therapies are employed during the detoxification process, including the Ambrosia Therapy, Elixir Therapy, Meditation Therapy, Movement Therapy, Music Therapy, Scent Therapy and Treatment Therapy. These treatments coupled with their famed hospitality promises to make a visit to the Paresa Resort a great experience.
49 Moo 6, Layi-Nakalay Road
Kamala , Phuket 83150
Tel: +66 76 302000
Email: or

5. Trisara
For those who like their beaches and their quiet, the Trisara Resort in Phuket is the perfect place to escape to. Located on the comparatively undeveloped north-western coastline of the island, the sea-facing resort with big walled-in gardens is tailor-made for people seeking privacy.  The spa within the resort is spread over 16,000 sq. feet with six private treatment suites, a treatment room for two persons, and the usual steam, shower and changing rooms.
The highlight of the spa is the Royal Trisara – a massage involving three masseurs simultaneously. The products used for their treatments are 100% organic and they work in partnership with expert herbalists who offer Purification and Revitalisation programs. Additionally, guests can avail of the yoga and meditation facilities.
60/1 Moo 6,
Srisoonthorn Road,
Cherngtalay, Thalang,
Phuket 83110 Thailand
Tel: +66 76 310100

6. Palm Spa, Twinpalms
Twinpalms is one of the most popular traveler hangouts in Phuket with its restaurants, nightclub, beachclub and especially The Palm Spa. The world-class spa, like the rest of the resort, is known for its chic, modern and minimalist interiors and an array of treatments. From detoxifying body wraps to a Swedish Massage to a traditional Thai Massage, the treatments are all top of the line and are done using the best in spa products.
The Palm Spa specialises in some super-long treatments, called the ‘Dream Packages’ that can take up to four hours. Take for instance the ‘Dawn till Dusk’ package that includes a steam, Jacuzzi, polish, wrap, massage and facial and takes four hours. If that sounds too long for you, similar packages with lesser durations are available too, like the ‘Daydreamer’s Duluxe (3 hours)’, ‘Siam Traditions (3 hours)’, ‘Surin Essentials (2 hours)’ and ‘Bid Stress Farewell (2 hours)’ among others.
106/46 Moo 3,
Surin Beach Road,
Cherng Talay,
Phuket 83110, Thailand
 Tel: +66 (0) 7631 6500

7. Tew Son Spa, Katathani Beach Resort
The spa at the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort gets its unique name from the swaying Casuarina or Tew Son (in Thai) trees that line the property. The spa even has a special Casuarina Leaf Enzyme Wrap as one of its treatments on the Spa Menu!
Located in the secluded Kata Noi Bay, the Katathani resort has won awards by Thailand Tourism many times over. Far from the madding crowd, the Tew Son spa makes for a wonderful place to unwind and relax. The spa uses the best products to administer age-old Thai massages and treatments. Notable among them are the ‘Secrets of Siam’ couple’s treatment and the 4-hour-long Katathani Paradise package. Other routines include an Aromatic Herbal Steam, facials, a roof-top Jacuzzi, foot and body massages and manicures and pedicures.
14 Kata Noi Road,
Karon, Muang,
Phuket 83100 Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 7633 0124 to 6
+66 (0) 7628 4096 to 100

8. Spa Royale, Mom Tri’s Villa Royale
If a royal treatment is what you want from your spa in Phuket, the place to go to is Mom Tri’s Spa Royale at the famous Mom Tri’s Villa Royale Boutique Hotel. Created by renowned artist and architect, Mom Tri (also a descendant of the Thai royal family), the multiple award-winning hotel and its spa offer traditional and luxurious treatments to its clients.
Among the treatments offer at the Spa Royale are steam baths, facials, body and foot massages, body scrubs and wraps, and aromatherapy massages. Notable among them are the Tamarind with White Mud and Yoghurt body treatment and the Royale Treatment's Siam Bouquet body mask and gentle scrub that uses a centuries-old recipe with a blend of nine flowers used by ladies of the court in the royal palace.
12 Kata Noi Road,
Kata Noi Beach,
Phuket, 83100 Thailand
Tel: +66 76 333 568

9. Aman Spa, Amanpuri
The Aman properties are all known names in the wellness industry, but the Aman Spa at Amanpuri, Phuket holds a special place. It was the first full service spa among them and has been a firm favourite among regulars.
The Aman Spa features six huge Thai-style pavilions that have been tastefully done up with wood and glass interiors. Expert therapists offer personalized assessments to clients and recommend tailor-made treatments. Treatments are given only with the best quality handpicked oils and creams made from organically-grown plants. The most noteworthy treatments include the essential body cleansing scrub with Himalayan crystal salts, the Envelope Me wrap that uses red or white Argiletz clay, the Zone facial that involves reflexology and their Swedish-sports fusion massage program. Yoga and meditation are complimentary.
Pansea Beach, Phuket 83000
Tel: +66 76 324 333

10. Phang Nga Resort and Spa, Aleenta Phuket
Here is a spa within a resort with a green heart. The Phang Nga Resort and Spa at Aleenta has won many accolades, notably Thailand’s Best Small Green Resort. The Natai Beach on which it is located, has been awarded 5 stars for cleanliness of beach and water quality, which speaks volumes about the standards the resort maintains.
Apart from cleanliness, what is unique about the resort is the spa here, called the IV Spa. It is so called because it offers four signature treatments inspired by the four elements viz. the sun, moon, earth and sea. Called the Sun Experience, Moon Experience Sea Experience and Earth Experience respectively, each is a combination of treatments like facials, wraps, scrubs and massages. It also offers something called the Traditional Experience with time-tested Thai techniques and even a special Couples Experience.
33 Mu 5, Khokkloy
Phang Nga 77220,
Ph: +66 2-514-8112


(This article appeared in the Jan-Feb 2012 issue of Spa Mantra - a B2B magazine for the spa and wellness industry. The article can also be read here.)


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