In a city with such good transport links, it’s surprising how much time Bangkokians spend on their feet. Feet that are probably more used to being soaked in muddy puddles than they are cleansed and soothed in rose petal-infused water. So it made a welcoming sight to see my world-wearied toes getting the treatment they craved at Spa Athénée, the luxury wellness facility situated within the five-star Plaza Athénée Bangkok hotel.
A relatively unassuming building (or at least as unassuming as a modern, glass-fronted high rise can be in a city saturated with modern, glassfronted high rises), the hotel’s plush interior proves to be a sharp contrast from its more contemporary exterior. And all the better for it, because the colonial-inspired lobby at this upscale hotel has been beautifully styled with elegance and old-world luxury; a world away from the chaotic soi outside.
It’s an impressive sight, and one that continues at least to the fifth floor, where the spa is located. Indeed, the further I venture into this hotel, the further I feel from the city below. The drone of traffic now a distant hum, I’m greeted into this tranquil space by friendly faces and delightful aromas.
Fusing French class with Siam charm, the spa is a peaceful space striving to relax and revitalize with a menu of treatments that soothe both mind and soul, from head to toe. Unlike any spa I’ve visited before, this serene sanctuary personalizes treatments based on your blood type. Research suggests that the blood group you belong to can influence everything from the food you should eat to the type of person you are, as well as your overall health.
Should you be tempted to indulge, the Immunetra Blood Type Retreat (B8,200 for a half day) readies your body for the world outside with a series of treatments, including an aromatic steam, body exfoliation, massage, a bath infused with the detoxifying grit of gemstones, and a nourishing body wrap, each tailored according to your blood group. Every component of this blissful retreat combines fresh herbs, fruits and spices to create a truly holistic experience that works with your body inside and out. It’s a revelation in relaxation.
For those who prefer something a little more traditional, the simple but effective Aromatherapy Massage (B2,700 for one hour) is a wise option. During your initial consultation you will be given the opportunity to discuss areas to avoid or focus on, as well as your pressure preferences. It’s a small but often forgotten gesture, and one that goes a long way to ensuring your massage is as relaxing as it should be.
After choosing the latter, I’m treated to a cleansing foot bath and soft exfoliation before the expert masseuse begins working my aching muscles in gentle but firm waves. As the room becomes infused with the scent of luscious lavender oils, I slip into a deep relaxation. An hour later, and as unwound as can be, I am eased back into the chaos of city life with a soothing herbal tea and fresh fruit, not to mention the smiling faces of the friendly, attentive staff.
By Annaliese Watkins
5F, Plaza Athénée Bangkok
61 Wireless Rd.
Tel: 02 650 8800
Open daily: 10am-10pm