What I really love about massages, is that for one fleeting hour (or 90 minutes or more in some case) you can totally give yourself up both physically and mentally to something utterly divine. Phone off, worries set aside, to-do list expunged and focus on one, and only one, thing... relaxation. I first discovered massages when I was living in China and have been an addict every since.
So... on my recent trip to Pattaya I took it upon myself to check out the Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa’s fabulous Lotus Spa of Siam, which is located amid the folds of the resort’s magnificent and captivating 20 acres of lush gardens. The Spa is actually a series of small bungalows (catering for 1-2 people) connected by raised wooden walkways traversing the lagoon.
After perusing the extensive menu – they offer about 50 different massage (foot, back) and body treatments (facial, wrap, scrub) – I decided to opt for their most “popular” service, the Avatar Massage (Bht 2,640++), which is 1.5hrs of pure bliss. This session is a mix of aromatic and traditional massage styles, with a heavy emphasis on total relaxation, rejuvenation and relief of all aches and pains. Next time think I’ll give the Purest Thai herbal & Honey Body Wrap, Coffee-Coconut Body Scrub, Foot Pampering Massage or Deep Cleansing Facial a go.
I must admit that this was my first ever Thai massage. Despite being in Thailand 5 months I always find myself turning to my trusty old Chinese/oil massage out of familiarity. Today I decided to mix things up and go for the local thing. Lo and behold – it’s wonderful!!!! Far from being a painful, contortionist experience, it’s actually quite refreshing and nice to have your arms and legs manipulated in strange ways and having a 50kg lady sit on your back and slap you around!
For those of you not familiar with oriental massage, let me elucidate: you start with a shower, then it’s straight into pummelling your back, bum and shoulders, quickly followed by legs and feet, then arms and stomach, and finally head and face. Masseuses are generally very good at what they do and can usually sniff out a sore muscle or tightly-wound knot, but if you have any specific are you want worked on, don’t be afraid to tell them. Likewise if the massage is too soft or too firm, they can easily and happily adjust. But just remember the old maxim: no pain, no gain! So don’t be a softie, opt for a firm, rigorous massage (if you can stand it!) and reap the benefits the following day.
Getting there: The gardens are located inside the Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa. For more info, go to www.siamhotels.com/siambayshore/spa-en.html.
Siam Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning independently owned and operated Thai group comprising the Siam City Hotel, Bangkok (470 rooms); Siam Bayshore Resort & Spa, Pattaya (270 rooms); and Siam Bayview Hotel, Pattaya (260 rooms). In the coming years the group will also expand to include two ‘boutique’ properties: The Siam (39 rooms) on the banks of the famed Chao Praya River in Bangkok; and the Siam Boulevard, an addition to the existing Siam Bayview Hotel site in down-town Pattaya.