Thursday, March 28, 2013

A brief guide to spas in Thailand

While the history of Thai massage is said to go back around 2500 years, Spas are a relatively new phenomenon, only

playing a notable role in Thai culture since the mid-1990s, though since that time they have significantly grown in popularity. 

Though the spa industry in Thailand began life within luxury resort and five-star hotels, today you'll find a huge, vibrant spa and wellness market, with spas found in all kinds of settings, catering to just about every budget imaginable. Though heavily targeted towards the tourist market there are still many types of spas which focus their treatments and services on local Thais and expat residents.

Despite it's late development, the Thai spa market saw a rocketing growth through the late 1990's and by the turn of the millennium Thailand was firmly ranked as one of the top-5 spa destination in the world, with spas such as The Banyan Tree Spa, Rarinjinda, Devarana, and Pimalai, all appearing in list of the best spas on the planet.

In fact today Thailand is arguably the most popular country for spas and wellness holidays taking in excess of  $100 million of annual revenue, with 80% of all clients being foreigners, well ahead of its closest rivals Singapore and Australia.

Types of spas in Thailand

How has Thailand become such a popular spa destination? Well in truth it is down to a number of factors such as the low cost, the beautiful natural surroundings, the all-year-round warm climate, the spirituality and exoticism of the nation, and the Thailand's long love and relationship with massage and pampering. However, what really attracts so many to the spas of Thailand are the vast range of spas and services available, from age-old Thai massages to the latest modern treatments and high concept products.

To help you get to grips with the wide variety of spas in Thailand here is a breakdown of some of the most prominent types of spas the country has to offer:

Spa Resorts/Retreats 

Sometimes known as destination spas, spa resorts are luxury spas which themselves typically offering a wide range of treatments and services, many of which focus on pampering. You will find most spa resorts at top end hotels in major tourist locations such as Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya, Hua Hin and Bangkok. 

Popular spa resorts in Thailand include the award winning Chiva-Som in Hua Hin and The Spa Resort in Chiang Mai.

Day Spas

Day Spas can be found in the major cities of Thailand, in particular in Bangkok. While Spa Resorts are mainly aimed at the tourist market, day spas also cater to office workers and travelling business persons. A day spa is a kind of inner-city haven with the majority of treatments being focussed on stress relief and relaxation. 

Notable day spas include Phuket's Hideaway Day Spa and the Leyana Spa in Bangkok.

Club spas

Club spas are typically aimed more at expats and wealthy Thai residents, as well as the tourist market, with treatments focussing more on long term programmes and regular therapies such as Thai massage, steam and sauna treatments, and hot and cold Jacuzzis. Club spas in Thailand also tend to offer more physical and spiritual exercise such as meditation and yoga.

Popular club spas in Thailand include the I Sawan and the Andana, both found in Bangkok

Holistic and Medical spas

Holistic and Medical spas offer services aimed at improving ones physical and mental health, sometimes part of a rehabilitation programme. Services range from medical massage and physiotherapy to more alternative treatments such homeopathy, herbal treatments, and crystal therapy. 

Medical spas can be found at some of the top hospitals in Thailand or in dedicated centres such as St Carlos Medical Spa and S Med Spa, both in Bangkok.

Traditional spas

Traditional spas in Thailand are deeply rooted in ancient Thai culture and traditions, heavily connected to ancient Buddhist practices and philosophies. There are no shortage of small traditional spas throughout the country, offering traditional Thai massage, and larger resorts combining ancient massage with meditation and yoga.

Notable traditional spas in Thailand include the Sukko Cultural Spa in Phuket and the Suan Nanachaat in Kanchanburi.

Detoxification spas

Detox spas have grown in popularity in Thailand, especially in locations where urban lifestyles can sometimes require a touch of rejuvenation and inner cleansing. Detox spas aim to remove unwanted toxins from your body using a programme of therapy treatments, diet, and exercise. These treatments are particularly helpful for those who have endured problems with drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Popular detox spas in Thailand include the previously mention Chiva-Som retreat, Ban Sabai in Koh Samui, and The Sanctuary, on the neighbouring Phangan island.


This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

I apologize Ross. It may have been automatically flagged as spam and removed by one of the administrators. Unfortunately, I can't undo the deletion. Feel free to comment again. Very sorry about this!

Hi Ross, I found your old comment. One of the administrators flagged it as spam. I believe you are the SEO guy for Healthwinds Spa. Why not write a guest post for us about the spa and I'll post it. We can also do a link exchange. I'll put a permanent back link on the home page if you do the same on the Healthwinds website.

Post a Comment