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An exclusive collection of the best Asian hotels, resorts and spas

Best in Travel Poll 2018 - Asia's top airlines, luxury hotels, destinations


Thai-style wraps and rubs

Now Thailand spas are rolling out the red carpet – with mud, seaweed, wraps, and yoga. The best hideaways and wellness resorts from Chiang Mai down to Phuket.

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by Libby Peacock

updated by staff reporters

SEE ALSO Australia Spas | Bali Spas | India Spas | Malaysia Spas | Taipei Spas | Bangkok Hotels | Bangkok Shopping | Phuket | Koh Samui | Chiang Mai | Resort weddings | Hua Hin Guide | Pattaya guide

Top Thai spa resorts for romantics, families, and kids - Krabi pool scene

The dramatic limestone karst outcrops rise from the sea, reflected in a mirror-smooth pool. Krabi is just one of the beach and wellness escapes that Thailand has on offer for romantics, families, and solo travellers.

JUMP TO Bangkok | Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai | Hua Hin | Khao Lak | Koh Samui | Krabi & Trang | Pattaya, Koh Chang & Trat | Phuket | Hotel Contacts

WHETHER IT’S a quick pummelling, or a languorous kneading you crave, don’t head to the bakery, hot foot it to Thailand.

Thai spas pathfinder, Chiva-Som, Hua Hin

Chiva-Som poolside is off-limits alas for phones and cameras/ photo: hotel

Wellness escapes of all shapes and sizes beckon in our Thai spas guide. You’ll find everything from romantic, family-friendly, and eco-conscious to the damnably luxurious. There's Javanese lulur, Swedish, Balinese, Dead Sea mud, and much, much more. Couples are welcome, too. When it comes to top Asian spas for serious coddling, these escapes – many housed at chic beachfront resorts in Hua Hin, Phuket and Krabi – offer endless treatments for every taste, and then some. Of course you can always get your hair braided and back massaged on the beach as you battle a swarm of trinket vendors but why not move up some gears and take the pampering to a new level at an upscale resort, or day spa if you don't have the time for a languorous afternoon? And there's wellness options for kids too as hotels roll out the small red carpets to catch tiny tykes and save them from a midday scalding.

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Thailand Spa resorts, a guide to Hua Hin

Royal endorsement and proximity to brash Bangkok doesn’t concern the sleepy coastal town of Hua Hin. Content with a night market and notable for its lack of girlie bars, this small town is a world away from Bangkok – or a two-hour drive. Stepping into a spa may just take you from relaxed to supremely unconscious. So why wait? Let’s walk you through some top options. The 240-room Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa graces the quiet beachfront of Hua Hin, its nine low-rise buildings encircling a 200-metre lagoon-style swimming pool with views out to the ocean. Slumber peacefully in the signature “Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Bed”, in front of a 32-inch LCD TV, before heading to the Aspadeva Spa for treatments good enough to eat. For starters choose a cooling cucumber and tomato wrap, topped with a balsamic vinegar body treatment, followed by a firming rice germ rub, with a side of herbal and honey body wrap, finished off with a coffee coconut scrub. Full? Me neither, let’s throw in a green tea and salt scrub. Delicious.

High ceilings and dark wood on white marble, lend a colonial feel to the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin (formerly Sofitel). Launched in 1923 as the Railway Hotel, today, this heritage Centara is arguably one of the top Thailand spa resorts. It is certainly head and shoulders above the competition on this coast, the red-tile roof meandering elegantly through 16 hectares of manicured grounds.

Hua Hin spa resort Evason

Evason Hua Hin/ photo: hotel

Plenty of stretch space. SPA Cenvaree blends Western and Thai therapies amidst eye-popping garden topiary of squirrels and elephants. Enjoy an outdoor massage or one of the sumptuously named packages – "Earthly pleasures", "Dawn of decadence" or "Total Zen". Spa packages range from two to five hours at this getaway. Among Thailand spas, this is a stunning getaway. Cenvaree spas (formerly Centara spas) also feature at the other rebranded Centaras.

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Neighbouring highrise Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa boasts 1,200sq metres of The Spa, featuring Khmer design and 10 spacious treatment rooms. Hilton’s offering to the Thailand spas scene is a complete package with beauty salon, hair and nail studios. The “Massage of kings” blends Swedish massage, aromatherapy, Thai shiatsu and Ayurvedic elements. The purifying salt glow, Thai herbal polish and rice body polish are all specially blended for The Spa.

Those in the know regard the stylish Chiva-Som resort as the mother of all Thai spas. It is more like a spa with a hotel attached, and offers 100 therapies in 52 treatment rooms. Take your pick – there's anything from Thai and Swedish massage to flotation and honey polish. Chiva-Som's spa facilities include a hydrotherapy suite, flotation tanks and relaxation rooms with heated waterbeds. Don’t miss out on the exceptional spa cuisine. Be warned though that its no-technology policy - which means no photos or phones in public spaces (including the very romantic pool area with its sea-fronting Thai sala) - will be seriously irksome for many trying to capture a romantic memory on their iPhone or camera. A much needed new look is being introduced to the rooms and the resort May-Oct 2018 and again May-October 2019 during which periods the resort will be closed for renovation.

The sprawling beachfront Hyatt Regency Hua Hin offers a “lifestyle” spa experience. THE BARAI residential spa, a Khmer-inspired destination retreat, sits within four-and-a-half acres of grounds, sumptuous in deep plum furnishings. The Barai features eight spa suites for overnight stays, 18 treatment rooms, a tranquility court, yoga, and the McFarland House – a beachfront dining area.

Sheraton Hua Hin

Sheraton Hua Hin / photo: hotel

The Anantara Resort & Spa, organiser of the yearly King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament, houses the eponymous Anantara Spa: Anantara means the flow of water without borders. Enjoy exactly that with alfresco rain showers, and plunge pools that feature in each of the seven garden courtyard spa suites. Among the exotic treatments available is the Shirodhara massage of the third eye – a steady stream of warm herbal oil is poured onto the forehead to release tension. And why stop there? Seven-day body beautiful journeys are available for the connoisseur.

Mandara Spa at the 220-room Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, which occupies 14 acres of landscaped garden a kilometre from the town centre, offers a simple range of spa treatments and massage lessons for some at-home DIY, or at least DIYP: do-it-to-your-partner. For more beach-front pampering try the spa at the trendy Veranda Resort and Spa Hua Hin - Cha Am, where you can watch the sunrise, and start the day with massage, body exfoliation or a facial treatment. The Veranda has 13 pool villa suites and 84 guestrooms.

The Tea Tree Spa at Holiday Inn Resort Regent Beach Cha-am has a contemporary façade concealing traditional Thai treatments in four private rooms and eight outdoor treatment lounges at Sala Thai on the beach front. You’ll find the usual relaxing mix of massages, scrubs, wraps and facials.

A 30km drive further south brings you to Pranburi – a rapidly developing region for upscale resorts and Thai spa escapes – and the tucked-away 20-acre Evason Hua Hin & Six Senses Spa. The holistic Six Senses Spa, offers its own treatment menu, which takes care of body, beauty, well-being, male needs and even the kids – if they’ve behaved themselves. A wellness consultant can fix you up a lifestyle programme or simply attend a yoga or tai chi session. Highlights include the milk and honey bath, the Harmony face, scalp and shoulder massage with aromatic almond oil, and the highly relaxing jetlag treatment. Another alternative for a Hua Hin spa hotel is the old-world colonial style Worabura Resort and Spa with 77 rooms. Focused on romance and intimacy the Wora Spa has a Wora Honeymoon package and even a Lover salt scrub. It’s not all rose petals and crooning couples, you can also get down to aerobics, or get out for elephant trekking.

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Phuket wellness guide

Aman Spa at Amanpuri, Phuket, Thailand luxury spas

Chic Amanpuri Aman Spa, Phuket/ photo: hotel

Phuket has a number of sophisticated spa resorts. The Aman Spa at the elegant and discreet Amanpuri is one of the most sophisticated you will find in Thailand. Amanresorts claims some of the best locations and Amanpuri’s traditional Thai architecture is set in a secluded natural coconut grove above a crescent shaped beach. Aman Spa is Amanresorts’ first full-service spa and offers consultation and endless indulgence.

Treatments include Thai massage, lymphatic detox massage and kinesiology – the study of body movement and muscle. Try clay wraps or a calming Thai sandalwood scrub. All products are handmade and completely natural. Yoga and meditation salas (pavilions) are located amidst the coconut grove that slopes down to the Andaman Sea.

Just before Bang Tao Bay, perched atop a vertiginous hill is the chic Phuket Pavilions with 21 one-bedroom pool pavilions and nine three-bedroom pool villas. The views are astounding, the setting romantic and the breeze enough to dry your hair in an instant, but it is a steep climb up to get here. You will need to buggy up a vertical road and then down again. This may be problematic for some. Spa out all day in the privacy of your own breezy hilltop villa.

The 108 thatched cottages of The Chedi Phuket share the private and pristine PanSea Beach with the Amanpuri. The Spa at the Chedi wraps you in a peaceful, natural environment while you enjoy its range of massages and scrubs, which use tamarind, sesame seed and sea salt. Perched atop a hillside, The Spa offers a breezy vantage point for surveying the azure bay. The cherry on the top is The Chedi’s 100sq m spa suite with private Jacuzzi, steam sauna and four beds, in an elegant complex surrounding a freeform pool.

Off neighbouring picturesque Surin beach are the clean, contemporary lines of Twinpalms Phuket. Its Palm Spa, with nine treatment rooms, has a self tanning wrap for the sun-sensitive, and a sun lover treatment for those who can bask all day. Eastern therapies with Western techniques are combined to offer a large range of original treatments. Yogurt coffee body scrub? Yes please.

Close by and up a breezy hill is Ayara Hilltops, a boutique choice with charming villas and an extensive spa. Spa Sereniti hosts a long list of holistic treatments, with relaxing décor, and private treatment rooms. This is an attractive villa resort with a dedicated spa area.

Thailand spa resorts, JW Marriott Phuket

JW Marriott Phuket/ photo: hotel

On Mai Khao Beach in the north, a fair distance from the airport and Phuket town, is the stylish 256-room JW Marriott Phuket, set in sprawling landscaped gardens. The Mandara Spa has added five new treatment suites due to high demand and offers menus for one or two, including herbal wraps and facials, Thai herbal steam and a selection of fresh water baths (there’s a “Moor mud bath”, or release your inner Cleopatra with the honey milk bath). Who said Thailand spas were predictable?

At the heart of the popular Laguna Phuket eco-development, on its own small island in the middle of a lagoon on Phuket’s west coast, is the child-friendly Angsana Laguna Phuket (formerly Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket). Sessions at the Angsana Spa include a foot wipe, herbal drink and relaxation time. With pampering sessions named Spirit (including a 60-minute skin enhancer session, 60-minute massage and 60-minute facial), Bliss, Peace, Glow, Zest and Revitaliser, you should walk out feeling, um, revitalised. Visitors are asked politely to keep noise to a minimum. In other words gag your kids.

Also in the Laguna complex is the Banyan Tree Phuket Spa, offering scores of massages and special packages, as well as body conditioners (such as aloe and lavender, turmeric and honey), scrubs and facials. Banyan Tree pampers you top to toe (try the Stimulating foot treatment), and even your hair – “Papaya and chamomile volumiser”. Banyan Tree Bangkok offers similar services, in a skyscraper setting. The exclusive Spa Pool Villa has a floating-bed pavilion set amidst lily ponds. Think Thai silks and sunken baths.

Twinpalms Phuket, Thailand

Twinpalms, Phuket

The Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is nestled amidst acres of tropical gardens including native casuarinas and coconut palms. An Angsana Spa offers traditional to remedial treatments and more for your relaxation. This is a welcoming family-friendly resort right on the beach and with access to golf and other distractions. Not far from here is the Layan Beach Resort & Spa Village, which offers yoga, massage, meditation and dance. Close by is the tasteful and secluded Indigo Pearl resort in the national park at Nai Yang Bay. Head for their spa to try out a signature pearl scrub, sugar scrub, seaweed wrap, mud wrap, or moist chocolate pudding scrub – no kidding. Indigo Pearl has stretch room to boot, with mature gardens and Nai Yang beach. Still on Nai Yang Beach, a few kilometres out on the curve of the bay, is the smart Adamas Resort & Spa, Phuket (formerly Arahmas). It is a spread out low-rise getaway with a central pool offering open sea views and cooling breezes. The Spa offers ten pavilions each with a twin treatment room and outdoor shower, and two have Jacuzzi and steam room.

The 1,500sq ft Spa at the all-pool-villa Trisara perched on a secluded northwestern headland comprises six private spa suites. The treatment suite for two leads to an open-side pavilion surrounded by tropical ponds and gardens for outdoor treatments. Spa sessions can also be enjoyed in the luxurious Pool Villas. The signature “Senses” massage is performed in tandem by two therapists, while the “Lomi Lomi” is inspired by Hawaiian dance. Aloha! If you must, plug into your complimentary iPod or go Wireless.

Driving south from the Laguna Phuket development, the secluded Thavorn Beach Village & Spa, just before Patong, has a small and elegant Thai spa in a landscaped, green setting amidst the cottages. Looking over one end of Patong Bay, Amari Coral Beach Resort, runs the relaxing Sivara Spa, with treatments enjoyed alfresco or in a teak sala.

Hilton Phuket Arcadia spa

Hilton Phuket's spread out Spa

The compact but cosy Avantika Phuket at one corner of bustling Patong Beach – with its 31 rooms (all with ocean views and balconies) – has a small spa that offers indoor and outdoor treatments as well as romantic packages for couples. Up a hill from here with fabulous Patong vistas is the Aman look-alike Baan Yin Dee. This is a cosy, boutique resort with fine dining, great views, a breezy – albeit above-the-beach location – and occasional traffic noise as a tuk-tuk whizzes by. Farther up the hill, villas are quiet and secluded. Thai massage is available but the spa is similarly small-scale. An offbeat choice is The Village Resort & Spa behind (and run by) The Front Village, off Karon Beach. The Royal Spa is set in a separate walled compound with Hobbit-style ochre villas.

The 1,500sq m spa at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa resembles a Thai village, set in landscaped gardens with timber walkways overlooking a generous lagoon. It has 10 single treatment suites, four double treatment suites and one exclusive spa villa. This is a sprawling dedicated complex for serious spa-goers not content with a throw-in massage-room offered at many hotels. The Hilton prides itself on an away-from-it-all experience within a stone's throw of an annual board meeting, convention, or even a large family holiday. The signature therapy uses a blend of wild mint massage oil and herbal mix.

Like mum, like daughter: there’s a “Princess for the day” package for under-12s, including a kids massage, hair braiding, “princess” nail art and floral foot bath. Next door the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket offers Sala with an extensive treatment menu and a few Thai beauty treatments too. This property is a lively reincarnation of the old Karon Royal Villas. It sports a hotel-style highrise linked to meetings facilities and clusters of villa complexes.

Thailand spas, Indigo Pearl, Phuket

Indigo Pearl/ photo: hotel

An easy walk from Patong beach, but slightly removed from the crowd, is the Deevana Patong Resort & Spa in modern Thai style. The Deevana Spa, with six couples’ rooms, offers a huge range of spa services, including fragrant baths, scrubs and wraps as well as “Ocean mud therapy” and a slimming massage. The Pearl Beauty & Spa in the Royal Phuket Marina, offers combined European and traditional Thai treatments with a staff of trained therapists. Specialities include chocolate and bamboo wraps (not for eating, no matter how tempting), lymphatic draining and anti-aging facials.

On Kata Beach are the well-regarded Boathouse and the 27 villa suites of Villa Royale. Both offer guests access to Mom Tri's Spa Royale with massage rooms, steam baths and soaking tubs. Try ancient Thai remedies or just have a rejuvenating scrub. In the far south of the island on Nai Harn Beach, is The Royal Phuket Yacht Club Hotel (a former Le Royal Meridien now run by the Puravarna group).The Royal Spa in southern Thai style has spacious 60sq m private treatment suites and offers a range of local and international treatments. Le Royal massage combines Swedish, aromatherapy, Shiatsu and Thai techniques all in one session. Impressive.

The small and intimate Solitude spa at the 42-villa Mangosteen Resort and Spa on a breezy hilltop nearby offers a perfectly adequate list of treatments, culminating in the marathon four-hour “Mangosteen magic” package. You may be sorely tempted to take a bite of the papaya honey wrap, but save your appetite for one of the special spa dishes on offer.

On Phuket's southeastern Rawai Beach, the Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa (sister property of the Evason in Hua Hin) offers the well-run Six Senses Spa and 64 acres of landscaped garden. The exterior structure is a bit dated but the rooms are modern and open. The Evason Phuket also has a private stretch of attractive beach on nearby Bon island.

Hillside villa retreat The Vijjit Resort Phuket has four open salas and four air-conditioned salas that make up The V Spa, with views of the sea and villa community. The treatment menu is Thai in essence – local Lemongrass House products are used – the pressure-point Siamese massage will leave you invigorated, or descend into spa-abandon with the three-hour V signature treatment.

Phuket, Vijitt all villa escape

Vijjit, Phuket/ photo: Vijay Verghese

Also in the far south is the family-run Thai luxury villa resort Sri Panwa with several minimalist settings. Enjoy a secluded beach, great views, and private infinity pools. Plug-in to WiFi and enjoy the Sai Spa and Wellness Centre. Treatments range from aromatherapy and body wraps to reflexology, exfoliation and yoga.

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Yoga in Krabi and Trang

Across the bay in Krabi is the Rayavadee, a deluxe resort accessible only by boat and set in 26 landscaped acres with three beaches (one of them fairly pristine). The accommodation is in one or two-bedroom Thai-style pavilions at the base of an impressive limestone cliff. Personalised treatments at private spa pavilions focus on massage and aromatherapy. There’s a special health food menu.

The Amari Vogue Resort, overlooking the Andaman Sea, has added another Sivara Spa to the Thai spa mix. Set over three floors, it has a large VIP room if you are feeling flush. If not then just sit back and flush out those city-life toxins Thai style. Expect the usual alluring range of wraps, potions and scrubs. Later, leave your footprints on the sand.

The Mandara Spa at the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort has six private treatment rooms and 1.8km of beach ready to roll onto as soon as you step outside. The sprawling Pimalai Resort & Spa on Krabi's Koh Lanta island has a 900m of excellent beach. The Pimalai Spa features small, walled treatment rooms named after local flowers. You can enhance the Royal Siam massage with aromatic Thai herbs, prepared as steaming poultices. Sports and Swedish massages are also on the list.

The Zen-style SriLanta resort, also on Koh Lanta, about 70km south of Krabi town, is a 49-villa hideaway for nature lovers. The resort’s SriSpa has a healing approach and with au naturel therapies “from the sea and the earth”. Also in Krabi, the Layana Resort & Spa's Linger Spa is secluded within its own walled garden. Be massaged and scrubbed (fancy some Thai coffee?) to your heart's content, or make it a wrap (papaya, coconut and more). A European theme lingers with the French imported products for facials and the optional German language website. Luxury packages include the intriguing “Secret of Andaman”. Amidst all this tranquillity be prepared for the sauna’s “shock shower”.

Tongsai Bay's Prana Spa is a good choice

Tongsai Bay Beach Suite/ photo: hotel

Situated on picture-postcard Phi Phi Don (off the Phuket and Krabi coastline) is the Zeavola, with 52 villas offering an away-from-it-all boutique hotel experience. The ambience is charmingly rustic and dinners on the beach are a must. Get a full treatment at the Zeavola Spa.

Hard-to-find Nakamanda is a very chic boutique resort with clean lines, grey-slate roof tiles, airy rooms, great views and charming Thai decor. The beach is not the best at low tide but the spa offers a well-balanced range of packages and massages. Choose from the exotic Naga or the Nakara or just the Velvety. Close by is the boutique-flavour Tubkaak Resort Krabi with several interesting flourishes, a stylish Thai design and a dedicated spa offering everything from sea salt scrubs to cream banana body wraps. Check out the library, splash out in the pool, head off sea kayaking, or enjoy some meditative yoga.

The Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi is in a class all of its own. Usefully, it is also in a secluded bay of its own, serving up 500m of pristine white sand beach lapped by gin-blue waters, a clear invitation for honeymooner footprints. Head straight for SPA Cenvaree. It takes its spa seriously, with its own philosophy and rituals that create a unique experience.

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Khao Lak getaways

Thailand spa resorts, Sarojin, Khao Lak

Sarojin, Khao Lak/ photo: hotel

The Sarojin in Khao Lak, just an hour north of Phuket airport, aims to provide an experience “reminiscent of staying at a friend’s private estate”. Its Pathways Spa is reached by a boardwalk leading into the mangroves. Get in touch with your wild side while lounging on the two double and two single treatment pavilions with outdoor tree showers and secluded couples’ baths, or while practicing yoga and tai chi.

Also bringing life back to Khao Lak’s regenerating coast is the Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach and Spa Resort, Phang Nga. The luxurious Le Spa provides full body treatments. Private spa treatment villas are set in landscaped gardens. Each offers personal steam rooms for couples, double massage beds, a Jacuzzi and a relaxation area.

The Spa La Flora at the compact and green La Flora Resort & Spa offers reflexology, yoga and a host of stress-busting treatments. The Khao Lak Resort offers its very own Baimai Spa and an exclusive range called the Anda Thai Touch. The resort offers a choice of rooms, villas or bungalows. There is a sleepy air to the resort and the beachside pool is perhaps the best place to succumb to the rays and the sound of lapping water.

Koh Samui spa resorts for all budgets

On Koh Samui, Thailand spas are an epidemic. For the traveller, this means great choice and competitive prices. Koh Samui is Thailand’s third-largest holiday island and here you will find something for every style and every pocket. The hillside Tamarind Retreat has eight villas with private gardens. The emphasis is on rest and reflection – guests are asked to switch off mobile phones, put away their cameras and leave “to do” lists behind. The Springs Spa has a host of fabulous treatments. The “Thai for two” package, focusing on stressed back and neck muscles with acupressure, sounds like fun. There’s yoga and tai chi too.

The Briza Samui, stylish spa

The Briza, Samui/ photo: hotel

The hillside retreat of Tongsai Bay, with open vistas, private beach and villas the Prana Spa’s cottages for couples, sport herbal steam rooms, outdoor floral baths and foot treatment areas. Sun-seekers can indulge in the soothing “Samui dream” package with a sun-soothe facial mask and massage. Lovers will like the romantic “Return to Prana” package involving herbal steam and massage with oil.

A small Samui gem is the chicly rustic Laem Set Inn with delightful suites converted from reconstituted old timber houses. The resort has something for everyone, from honeymooners to children. A refreshing spa routine takes you from herbal oil massage and cellulite wraps, to half-day packages and Dead Sea mineral mud wraps. The Six Senses Spa at the spread-out Six Senses Hideaway Samui, set on the northeastern tip of Samui Island, has treatments with a view – a panoramic ocean view to boot. You can’t go wrong with this spa aficionado. This super luxury hideaway has super service to match. For a truly different wellness experience the resort offers one of the best Thai-style spas around. Certainly one for the diary. Shame about the tiny beach (shared with other less flash resorts).

Signature therapies include “Four hands” hot stone therapy, with two therapists offering a harmonious massage using smooth hot stones. Sweet tooth? The Chocolate sensation treatment literally covers you in the stuff. There’s a chocolate bath, chocolate body scrub and chocolate body wrap, followed by a one-hour massage.

Sheraton Pattaya

Sheraton Pattaya/ photo: hotel

Along the north shore of Bo Phut Bay is the 3,000sq m Anantara Spa with its six glass-walled treatment rooms, part of the Anantara Resort & Spa. For a marathon treat, try the five-and-a-half-hour“Anantara indulgence” special spa programme including everything from a floral footbath and choice of body treatment, to a spa meal, facial and manicure or pedicure. Take your pick. The Thai spa at the Bandara Resort and Spa focuses on plant-based ingredients and herbal anti-oxidants. Sink into infusions of Thai herbs or fragrant blossoms during an aqua-therapy session. At the western end of Bo Phut is the fast-developing and cheerful Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa. The youthful and energetic Alexander and his Thai wife Ti (Thitima) are the odd couple that run this constantly evolving, and very endearing, establishment.

The new boutique Bo Phut Resort & Spa, managed by the Santiburi Group, also has its own spa and fitness centre. Sala Samui, is an elegant hideaway with a Mandara Spa, offering spa detox packages from three days to seven days, as well as romantic getaway couples’ packages and other indulgences. For an al fresco pampering session, swap your luxurious spa suite for a traditional Thai massage around the pool. The rebranded Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui offers guests its extensive spa menus and wellness treatments at SPA Cenvaree. This is a sprawling colonial-style Gone With The Wind affair, perfect for families, couples or honeymooners.

Also on Koh Samui's quiet north shore, on Mae Nam Bay, is the luxurious Santiburi Resort Samui. The Santiburi Spa (Santiburi means peaceful village) has two signature treatments: the “Santiburi touch of heaven” (a combination of Swedish massage and a facial) and “Top to toe pampering” (using reflexology foot massage techniques followed by a facial). Seeking harmony? Try “Tibetan energy balancing”. On Mae Nam Beach too is the small Health Oasis Resort. All its cottages have fans and some also have airconditioning. The place is basic but clean, with a vegetarian restaurant (you can order seafood in advance), colonics and fasting programmes.

Pullman Pattaya was formerly the Aisawan

Pullman Pattaya Hotel G/ photo: hotel

The Spa at the Napasai, an Orient-Express Hotel, has delights such as the “Tamrap Luang seven flowers treatment”, where a selection of sacred flowers, said to have healing powers, are gently rubbed into your skin before a massage. Just close your eyes... The resort is nestled along a hillside leading down to the sea.

Hidden away on the far west of the island is the luxurious Baan Taling Ngam Resort & Spa, with a plush, award-winning new spa, the Baan Taling Ngam Spa, featuring six indoor and outdoor treatment rooms with views, furnished with antiques. Sip herbal tea during your pre-treatment consultation. The spa prides itself in being the first in Thailand to use the purest “Chi” water, aiding detoxification and stimulating the immune system, throughout treatments. Herbal face masks and the oatmeal body wash are speciality treatments.

The Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui is a top-end entrant, offering a verdant hillside escape with the obligatory sea views and swaying coconut palms. The 63 villas (and residences) come with private pools and cinemascope views. This luxury Thailand spa resort offers a full range of treatments and three to seven-day spa retreats, including a fasting and detox programme. If that sounds too much like hard work, try the “Detox in luxury” or the “Spa savvy” programmes.

The Briza Beach Resort & Spa, Samui, is located right on Chaweng Beach with panoramic views and smart, roomy villas (some with pools) designed in the Srivijaya empire style. Check out the Sukko Spa, which calls itself a “cultural experience”, drawing inspiration from ancient Thai Ayurvedic philosophy. Try a 120-minute “Jet lag away” or a “Sabai sabai” with detoxing marine algae followed by an aromatic massage. Their signature treatment “Sense of silk” represents a centuries old Thai tradition and uses golden silk powder, rich in amino acids, in three-and-a-half hours of pampering. The Briza is at one end of the buzzing, happening Chaweng beach strip.

Chiang Mai spas, Sofitel Chiang Mai

Sofitel Chiang Mai/ photo: hotel

The Thevalai Spa at the Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa has six open-air salas and three airconditioned suites (with twin tables for couples). Also on Lamai Beach is the laid-back The Spa Samui Beach offering basic, wallet-friendly accommodation: small huts with thatch roofs. Fasting and colonics, as well as morning meditation and reflexology, feature here. There is a newer hillside sister property in Lamai (3km from the beach) called The Spa Samui Village.

On the southern coast of Koh Samui about 25km from the airport, is Kamalaya’s Holistic Spa & Wellness Sanctuary. The emphasis is on personal development. Wellness services range from life consultations and treatments in traditional Chinese medicine (treatments include a classical Taoist abdominal massage) to naturopathy, homeopathy, Ayurvedic and Western medicine. Guests stay in villas, bungalows or suites furnished with natural materials and Asian textiles aiming to blend in with the landscape, but not to the exclusion of 21st century amenities such as high-speed Internet. The place is unique in its approach and setting and ranks high on our Thailand spas review.

The X2 Resort at Koh Samui (X2 is pronounced “cross two”) is the latest Samui spa resort to throw open its doors. Spread over five acres this contemporary designer escape includes an X2 Spa with an outdoor massage pavilion. The pavilion houses just two beds with 30 metres of beachfront and mountains of peace and quiet. Crowded in Koh Samui? Not here.

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Pattaya and Koh Chang, Trat

Below a private headland close enough to, but quite removed from the bars and bustle of Pattaya, is the four-in-one Royal Cliff Beach Resort. The Cliff Spa is situated in two separate areas of the resort, the Royal Cliff Grand and the Royal Wing & Spa. Combined they offer 18 treatment suites. The 156-room Sheraton Pattaya Resort on the cliff headland south of Pattaya has the Amburaya Spa, with six large, private treatment rooms with Jacuzzis surrounded by restful gardens. More treatments are available at the rocking Hard Rock Hotel's Hard Rock Spa & Health Club. Set by the poolside, the spa has five treatment rooms offering Thai massage, reflexology, steam and sauna.

Thailand spas, CHI the Spa by Shangri-La

Shangri-La Chiang Mai CHI/ photo: hotel

The Royal Garden Spa at the Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa is set in peaceful, verdant gardens. Choose from the standard range of body wraps, facials, massages, and therapy baths.

The refurbished Pullman Pattaya Hotel G rebranded from Aisawan. The Aisawan Spa is surrounded by tropical gardens, with lotus ponds spanned by wooden walkways. You’ll be welcomed with a Thai herbal juice, before you can indulge in a wide selection of exotic treatments and massages, from soothing foot reflexology to the spa’s signature aromatherapy therapies with exclusively blended oils such as the “Asian Refreshing Blend” and the “Romantic Blend”. Detox and water therapies are available too. The “Aisawan signature massage”, is said to be very effective in relieving tension, aches and pains. Various spa packages, including the intriguing “Aisawan bliss” package including an exfoliation with algae, and an algae gel wrap, as well as a range of retreat packages, are also on offer.

The Amari Orchid Resort & Tower is a large-scale hotel-complex on Northern Beach Road. It has a well-appointed Sivara Spa with half-day, full-day and three-day programmes, and Sivara Salon for the beauty conscious. The Amari Emerald Cove Resort & Spa on Koh Chang is a spacious getaway with more activities than you can shake a stick at and its signature Sivara Spa has a good range of massages and treatments.

Farther east on rustic Koh Chang (Elephant island) is the large and relaxed Ramayana Koh Chang Resort with its Sita Spa offering holistic remedies, traditional Thai massage, aromatherapy and a fitness regimen for the energetically inclined. Need beauty treatments? They have a few in their bag. Accommodation is rustic on the outside but with fairly modern interiors. Try out the Hanuman Deluxe Residences or the Ravana Honeymoon Residences for a tad more flair.

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Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai spa options

Chiang Mai spa resort, Phu Chaisai

Phu Chaisai spa resort/ photo: hotel

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai spa resorts offer both exotic locations and healthy mountain air – with the occasional monsoon lashing. The Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai in the centre of town offers vast infusions of steam, incense and aromas at CHI – the spa. There is a yoga pavilion for those practising their asana and pranayama. CHI, The Spa by Shangri-La is an extensive retreat with a wide range of holistic remedies, both local and international. Book into a large spa suite and get those muscles rubbed down.

The Spa at the luxurious designer chic GHM Hotel, The Chedi, Chiang Mai, has gardens and water features as backdrop for its 10 treatment rooms and suites, and manicure/pedicure parlour. Two of the suites have built-in saunas. Treatments include massages such as warm stone massage, as well as all the usual wraps, scrubs and herbal baths. The riverside Chedi’s 84 rooms and suites have private courtyards, open balconies and views. This is one of the top Thailand spa resorts.

The five-star Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen, Chiang Rai (at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers, overlooking both Laos and Myanmar), is on the site of the former Baan Boran Resort. Guests can explore the forest on an elephant, then ease stiff muscles at the luxurious Anantara Spa. Ancient Thai herbs complete the picture.

Chiang Mai spa resort Puripunn

Puripunn Chiang Mai/ photo: hotel

The compact but pleasant Puripunn styles itself a “baby grand boutique hotel”. The hotel compound is built around a pool with attractive rooms featuring flat screen TVs (DVDs in suites), wooden floors and bright walls, often in a deep olive green that is surprisingly soothing on the eye. Puripunn’s Sala Spa offers a classical Thai massage menu along with aromatherapy rubdowns.

The stylish and tranquil Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort & Spa (literally “mountain with a clear heart”) near Chiang Rai has 34 rooms – most without television – which is perhaps not a bad thing at all. The rooms, in traditional hill tribe style, have open views and feature lots of bamboo. Continuing the theme, the open-air Phuchaisai Spa uses a host of herbal formulas and fresh ingredients (in addition to the rabbits that roam free in the spa garden). Treatments include Asian blend massage, floral bath sensation and Thai herbal beauty wrap. Or opt for a Swedish massage, a “Soften skin salt glow” or a slimming massage. Water is drawn fresh from a mountain spring and care is taken to ensure that the atmosphere and services are authentic and natural.

The Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, with its Lanna-style pavilions finished in teak and rich cotton, features the three-storey The Spa with suites for couples or individuals, herbal aromatherapy steam rooms and deep-soaking tubs on semi-enclosed terraces. Each Elemis spa treatment starts with “The welcome touch”, a warm aromatic compress on your feet to remove the urban environment, focus your senses and centre your thoughts. Greet the sun at the yoga barn. Designed by well-known Thai architects and designers, The Rachamankha offers an authentic immersion in Lanna North Thailand culture. The temple design and peaceful surrounds combine harmoniously with chic design touches and Lanna motifs, statues, and artefacts drawn from Burma, China and Laos. Grassy courtyards add a sense of space and scale. An open sided sala above the pool area serves as the massage area. Expect simplicity and style.

Thailand spas, Sukantara Cascade Resort, Chiang Mai

Sukantara Chiang Mai / photo: hotel

The 3,100sq m Dheva Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi with its spacious traditional Lanna architecture is modelled on the Burmese royal palace that stood near Mandalay in Myanmar, with a seven-tier roof symbolising the seven steps to nirvana. There are 19 treatment rooms and suites and the treatments encompass European and Asian (including Indian) therapies. Indulge in the rarely practiced Tok Sen or Lanna massage or the Mandalay ceremony (using the traditional Myanmar cosmetic thanaka). The Rhassoul and Hammam treatments are derived from ancient Arabic cleansing rituals.

Friendly and stylish 131-room D2 hotel Chiang Mai from the Dusit group, set smack in the heart of downtown close to the Night Market, is a hip hangout with vibrant colours that will appeal to the younger set. It offers up a Devarana Spa.

Another alternative for a North Thailand spa escape is the Tamarind Village with 38 rooms in a simple, traditional Thai village setting. This is a Chiang Mai boutique hotel, set, as the name indicates, around the spreading vines of an ancient tamarind tree. The Tamarind spa has high ceilings and low beds, with slowly whirring ceiling-fans to present a picture of calm and space. The tamarind herbal polish is of course obligatory in a place that carries the same name.

The Chiida Spa at the elegant Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa offers peaceful surroundings and a host of treatments, including the three-hour “Chiida gold: India paradise” package comprising an Indian herbal foot bath and warm massage, Indian herbal sauna, the mysterious sounding “Gold body mark”, light and sound therapy, as well as a shower and Indian head and body massages. Herbal tea and refreshments are part of the deal. There is a men’s spa programme which focuses on stronger, deep tissue massage.

RarinJinda hydrotherapy pool

RarinJinda hydrotherapy pool/ photo: hotel

More Lanna treatments are on hand at contemporary-style The Ayatana Hamlet and Spa Chiang Mai on Suthep Road in the Muang district, where the one-hour “Lanna back herbal heat” is particularly recommended for a painful back. Turning up the heat even more is the Lanna Thai herbal heat compress and ginger body scrub. The wellness retreat is an integral part of the boutique spa hotel with only 36 guest rooms.

Set in a traditional teak house on the east bank of the Ping River RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort has 35 boutique rooms with balconies overlooking the swimming pool. Its spa promotes holistic healing and prides itself on modern technology, including a fully equipped, indoor, heated hydrotherapy pool, infrared sauna, herbal steam room and whirlpool with chromotherapy. Its one-and-a-half-hour “Elements of life” is a whopper of a treatment, including a sensuous herbal foot soak, guava foot polisher, warm sand bed therapy, Tibetan sound therapy, East meets West body massage, cold rose body freshener – and tea.

The Kaomai Lanna Resort consists of 18 barns, renovated into 36 guestrooms and decorated in contemporary Lanna style with teak antique furniture, and set in verdant gardens. While there is not a full spa, there’s a massage house, offering Thai massages.

Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai, right in the heart of town, has a fourth floor SPA Cenvaree. An aerobics studio, pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, supplement the six treatment rooms and suites for couples. Therapies incorporate an East meets West theme; there are traditional Asian remedies and the latest from Europe. Signature treatments include a Royal Thai massage and the “Cenvaree Pa-Lang Experience”. There are also SPA Cenvarees (formerly Centara spas) at the Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Centara Karon Resort Phuket and the Centara Kata Resort Phuket.

Thailand spa resorts, Four Seasons Chiang Mai

Four Seasons Chiang Mai / photo: hotel

The Chiang Mai Oasis Spa is an upscale day spa in several locations, including the Amora Rydges Hotel. Guests can choose from a range of two to four-hour packages. The "Oasis pampering" package includes a soothing aromatherapy massage and facial. Reflexology is performed using the traditional Tibetan hands-on method. Don't put your foot in it. Aroma oils, treatment masques and refreshments come in decorated gold chinaware.

The AKA Spa on Rattanakosin Road is an elegant Lanna-theme day spa with a range of programmes. The three-and-a-half-hour “Siam serenity” package includes your choice of scrub and wrap followed by an aromatic oil massage and Lanna herbal facial, followed by reflexology. Serenity guaranteed. The new Maninarakorn Hotel, which also has long-stay options, is set in the heart of the city and linked to a shopping arcade. Its Kinnari Thai spa offers a number of treatments and massages. If you're in the vicinity armed with an over-stuffed shopping bag, the spa may be worth a quick pit-stop to recharge before tackling the rest of the day.

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Bangkok hotel and day spas

On to Bangkok, or Krung Thep (City of Angels). The Oriental Spa at the grande dame of hotels, The Oriental, Bangkok on the Chao Phrya river, is famous for attracting movie stars and VIPs. Set in a beautiful Thai-style teak house, the spa has a range of over 50 different treatments, including the Oriental massage, Jet lag recovery treatment and Oriental herbal pack. Some of the spa’s latest innovations include a treatment facility incorporating a Rhassoul bath, using a blend of Thai clays, and a new whirlpool bath.

Conveniently adjacent to the Saphan Taksin station on the river is the brisk twin ensemble of the Shangri-La Bangkok and its executive Krungthep Wing. This was one of the first properties to truly exploit Bangkok’s riverside location with a tall glass-front lobby. The CHI spa offers river views and plenty of space and style (the Garden Suite is 107sq m). The signature bathing and cleansing ritual is based on the Sowa Rigpa, a 1,500-year-old healing tradition from the Himalayas. The standalone, holistic, wellbeing spa covers a fair bit of area and is very much a city escape into dim, aromatic candle-lit interiors where the latest, innovative therapies await.

Top hotel Thai spas, Chi at Shangri-La Bangkok

Bangkok Shangri-La's CHI Spa/ photo: hotel

At the luxury end of the scale, this Peninsula Bangkok spa review is one for the connoisseur's diary. This retreat is a joint development with the consultancy ESPA. The spa occupies a three-storey Thai colonial-style building overlooking the river and set in the hotel’s lush gardens. It has 18 treatment rooms including four large rooms for couples. The set-up is typically lavish and a smoothly run operation. If you don’t mind paying top-dollar, you won’t be disappointed. This is another top-notch Thailand luxury spa hotel with numerous awards in the bag. The accolades are well deserved.

The Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel (formerly the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok) has its Anantara Spa with state-of-the-art treatment rooms and suites in traditional Thai architectural style. Spa suites come with private plunge pools, steam and complimentary herbal tea and cookies. The large and highly acclaimed spa at the Banyan Tree Bangkok has 25 treatment rooms. Therapists have undergone 420 hours of training at Banyan Tree academies, ensuring you’re in safe hands when succumbing to a heady mix of aromatic, herbal and spicy massage oils.

The stylish Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit has the attractive self-contained Grande Spa. Signature body treatments include “The Grande daily wrap” using fresh local products. On deadline? Get the lemongrass or natural salt express scrub in 25 minutes. Across the road at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit, the Vareena Spa offers an array of options from exfoliations and scrubs to body masks and facials.

The Conrad Bangkok on Wireless Road has a Seasons Spa, which is extensive (there are 12 treatment rooms), relaxing and rather swish. The Conrad itself is a silk and teak experience where, post-spa, you can see and be seen at the chic and happening Diplomat Bar. The Grand Hyatt Erawan’s innovative i.sawan Residential Spa & Club offers six residential villas and nine treatment villas.

Bangkok luxury spa, Conrad's Seasons Spa

Conrad Bangkok Seasons Spa/ photo: hotel

Also on Wireless Road next to the Conrad Bangkok, the 382-room Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel offers its Spa Athenee on its fifth level. The spa, operated with MSpa International, has a veritable arsenal of treatments from an equally diverse range of countries, including Indonesia, Thailand and China. The cherry atop this mollycoddling ensemble is “The Athenee retreat”: 130 minutes of head-to-toe pampering, starting with a tantalising foot ritual, with an “Exotic ginger body polish” and ending with an energising massage. There’s a beauty salon and large swimming pool set in a Thai garden, too.

The tropical-themed Royal Orchid Mandara Spa at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers overlooks the Chao Phraya “River of Kings”. It has nine treatment rooms, offering luxury facials, raps and scrubs, Thai and modern massages. The signature “Mandara sanctuary” combines a floral foot bath with and Asian herbal scrub, steam fruit bath, Thai spice massage and refreshments. Devarana Spa at the Dusit Thani Bangkok has a modern look, with 14 private treatment rooms, a relaxation area and its own special recipe scrubs. There are also Devarana Spas at the Dusit Thani Pattaya, and the Dusit Thani Hua Hin.

The Metropolitan, Bangkok, is a contemporary style hotel with modern Oriental touches and a holistic spa, part of the COMO Shambhala health club. Get your treatments and add in a dash of wholesome reflexology and private yoga instruction. The contemporary-style Dulaya Spa among a cluster of Thai houses at the ecclectic Davis Hotel Bangkok has a wide selection of spa, beauty and health treatments. Indulge in Dulaya Spa rituals, “Rites of massage” and much more.

Devarana Spa Dusit Thani Bangkok

Devarana Spa Dusit Thani/ photo: hotel

The JW’s Health Club & Spa at the JW Marriott Hotel in Bangkok has a good stock of treatments, as well as foot baths, paraffin hand treatments and massages. The 90-minute “Four hands ginger back and feet relaxation” approach, with two therapists working together to relieve tension in the back, scalp and feet and using ginger as the main ingredient, is a real treat. The workout begins with a foot scrub. Then, while one therapist massages the feet, the other massages the hands. A mask is applied to the feet “to purify the skin and reduce water retention”, followed by a head, shoulder and stomach massage, and palm-pressure massage of the legs. Finally, a back scrub and massage. Relaxed yet? There’s a spa restaurant and lap and plunge pools to cool down in.

On the river, the splendid Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa runs an extensive facility with scrubs, wraps, paraffin hand treatment, plunge pools and waxing. The resort hotel is a leisurely ten-minute ferry ride from the nearest SkyTrain station.

The Sukhothai Spa at the Sukhothai Hotel on Sathorn Road provides a selection of beauty, massage and spa treatments. The Jasmine and Orchid Suites with Thai herbal steam baths or showers, among other luxuries, accommodate two people. For men, there’s a special “Fitness facial”. The “Golden moor body treatment” focuses on hips, tummy and thighs and involves cellulite oils and mud masks. The Sukhothai is a stylish Thai-style complex with signature colonnades, water features, serene statues and gardens.

A day spa popular with locals and foreigners, with a host of treatment rooms and 22 therapists, is Spa I am in Bangkok. If traditional Thai massage has pummelled you into submission, you can always try the “Mud body mask” or “Sensational salt scrub”.

Bangkok day spas, Oasis Spa

Oasis Spa Bangkok/ photo: Nina Nanta

Dahra Beauty and Spa is located in the boutique Triple Two Hotel in Silom. It has treatments aplenty including de rigueur Thai massage, green tea aromatherapy facials, collagen fibre masks, and even a three-hour chocolate hydrotherapy experience where spa-goers are smothered with the sinful stuff. Licking your fingers is not an option. Dahra also offers its spa as a venue for meetings, which could be an interesting way to sign a deal or two. Meetings need to be booked 14 days in advance.

The Bangkok Oasis Spa is one of five Oasis Spas (the other four are in Chiang Mai). The spa’s concept is that of a garden villa in the middle of the city, surrounded by bird song and peaceful greenery – to provide luxury “without unnecessary formality”. Located at 64 Soi Swaddee, 31 Sukhumvit 31 Road, the 15-room spa has treatment rooms furnished with waterfalls and uses authentic Thai herbs in its treatments. Packages include the four-hour “Oasis Experience”, including delights such as Thai herbal steam, a body scrub, Morocco red clay body wrap, an aromatherapy bath, four-hand massage and traditional Thai facial.

NIBHANA Spa, located in the Natural Ville Executive Residences near the Chidlom Sky train station (exit 4), has 10 treatments rooms, including three premium couple suites. Therapies at this highly rated day spa combine Indian, Chinese and Thai elements. To spice things up, choose the “Siamese Princess” treatment, comprising a ginger body scrub, warm, detoxifying ginseng oil and a warm herbal compress filled with Thai herbs, combined with specially designed massage techniques.

Nibhana Spa Bangkok day spa

Nibhana Spa Bangkok/ photo: spa

Almost opposite the National Stadium (one of the last stops on the BTS SkyTrain line) near Siam Square, is the Siam @ Siam Design Hotel with 203 rooms and free WiFi throughout. The designers clearly pulled out all the stops with this converted office block. It blends – if not always successfully – minimalist Zen, Thai flourishes, and hip-hop grunge with original grey cement walls smeared with bright casual daubs of orange and red oil paint. This is factory-floor-art-gallery chic. There is a dedicated wellness spa, Spa Ten, with a fitness area and gym. The wild and wilder Dream Hotel Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 15 offers a somewhat surreal escape into blue-light fantasy. Funky bedrooms offer 42-inch Flat Screen TV, Broadband access, Egyptian cotton linen, and iPods. Pop by the Avatar Spa on the third floor for relaxing treatments after a busy day around town.

Samsara Spa near the Saphan Kwai skytrain station (N7; exit 3) and just a few minutes’ walk to the famous Chatuchak weekend market, offers “holistic traditional Oriental treatments”. Treatments – from body oil massage and shiatsu to “marble hot stone therapy” and head massage – are designed to strengthen your immune system and prevent disease. You’ll need them if you’re going to brave the market’s masses. Also in the developing business area near Chatuchak market, the Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok (quite a mouthful) has a SPA Cenvaree and that offers a comprehensive range of treatments. Soaring above the ceaseless adrenalin thrum of Bangkok, the gleaming Centara Grand at CentralWorld is a remarkable edifice. Its iconic lotus-petal crown presides over an integrated development encompassing the convention centre, hotel, cinemas, dining, and some of the best shopping in the city – by the acre – at the CentralWorld mall. Spa out here with a view over Bangkok.

Plaza Athenee Bangkok - Spa

Spa at Plaza Athenee Bangkok/ photo: hotel

Divana Spa has three branches dotted around the city. The first was the Divana Massage & Spa at Sukhumvit 25. Divana Nurture Spa at Sukhumvit 35 just opposite The Emporium shopping mall, and Divana Divine Spa at Thong Lor17, completes the circuit. There’s a huge range of treatments, massages and facials for men and women. Dull skin? Try the “Caviar and collagen body serum”, including oxygen body massages, steam treatment, a warm milky bath and the signature caviar and collagen body massage.

The Palm Herbal Retreat in Bangkok’s Thonglor area has everything from massages, baths, and wraps to paraffin treatments for hands and feet. Anyone for a “Chinese crushed pearl body scrub”? There are half-day, full-day and lovers’ packages. New mums can recover with the special post-natal treatment.

Another day spa is the C T Spa Life on Soi Thonglor off Sukhumvit Road. Therapies include the curious-sounding “Indian ear massage”, but there's hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, Thai massage and facial treatments too. The St Carlos Integrated Medical Spa (part of the St Carlos Group of Health Services) in Pathumthani offers a range of programmes and packages – from a post-natal package for new mothers wanting to regain their ideal weight after delivery, to a honeymoon package and smoke toxin release package. There is also a range of more conventional treatments. On Phaholyothin Road near a BTS SkyTrain station is the bright hallucinogenic designer “art hotel” Reflections where no two rooms look the same. Opt for a nutty rabbit kiddy décor, trendy grafitti, or something contemporary. Or go all out in the LOVE room. Various designers have worked on the interiors of each room and the hotel website offers a quaint “walk-in” concept with each clickable door image leading into that particular room with details about the designer and concept. A fun place with a quirky and colourful spa to boot.

Bangkok day spa Divana

Divana Bangkok casa/ photo: spa

The Siri Giriya Spa on Sukhumvit 60 offers the usual body wraps, scrubs and Thai massage, in addition to herbal hydrotherapy and the saucy-sounding “Double comfort” massage, as well as an 80-minute slimming massage. Across the Chao Phraya River in not-too-far Nonthaburi is the garden-setting Ban Ing Nam Health Resort and Spa with a small selection of bungalows and herbal rooms. Expect a balcony, ceiling fans (there’s aircon too), satellite TV and DVD. On the fitness side choose from a broad menu of wellness, relaxation, fitness, diabetes reduction and cholesterol management. Also available are yoga, kayaking, fishing and walks.

Finally, the Being Spa on Sukhumvit, in a converted Thai family house, offers scrubs and massages, as well as shower beds (if you must know, you lie face down with water from four sprinkler heads “raining” down on you). The “Being Siamese” three-hour package includes a pepper scrub, Siam herbal heat body massage and an oat-meal-mask facial.

That’s the dope on the best Thailand spa resorts for all pockets and moods. Go on, spa out.

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FAST FACTS / Hotel Contact List

Our review of Thailand spa resorts includes hotels and products that our writers have visited and inspected. Products, of course, change over time. This is a directory of some of the more interesting options for top Thai spas.

Bangkok Hotel Spas Guide

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel (formerly Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok). Tel: [66-2] 126-8866, (e-mail: siam@anantara.com or siam-bangkok.anantara.com).
Ban Ing Nam Health Resort and Spa
. Tel: [66-2] 962-7750, fax: 962-7753, (e-mail: info@baningnam.com or www.baningnam.com).
Bangkok Marriott Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-2] 476-0022, fax: 476-1122, (www.marriott.com).
The Bangkok Oasis Spa. Tel: [66-2] 262-2122, (e-mail: sales@bangkokoasis.com or www.bangkokoasis.com).
Banyan Tree Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 679-1200, fax: 679-1199, (e-mail: bangkok@banyantree.com or www.banyantree.com/en/bangkok/index.html).
Being Spa. Tel: [66-2] 662-6171, fax: 258-7906, (e-mail: contact@beingspa.com or www.beingspa.com).
Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 541-1234, (www.centarahotelsresorts.com).
Centara Grand at CentralWorld. Tel: [66-2] 100-1234, fax: 100-1235, (e-mail: cgcw@chr.co.th or www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cgcw).
Conrad Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 690-9999, fax: 690-9000, (e-mail: info@conradbangkok.com or conradhotels1.hilton.com).
CT Spa Life. Tel: [66-2] 714-9481, fax: 714-9483, (e-mail: ct_spalife@hotmail.com or www.bangkokspa.net). BTS train to Thonglor and taxi.
Dahra Beauty and Spa. Tel: [66-2] 235-4811, fax: 235-4813, (e-mail: info@dahra-spa.com or www.dahra-spa.com).
Divana Spa. Tel: [66-2] 661-6784, (e-mail: mc@divana-dvn.com or www.divana-dvn.com).
Dream Hotel Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 254-8500, fax: 254-8534, (www.dreambkk.com).
Dulaya Spa at the Davis Hotel Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 204-0701, fax: 204-0710, (e-mail: info@dulayaspa.com or www.dulayaspa.com).
Dusit Thani Spa. Tel: [66-2] 636-3596, fax: 636-3597, (e-mail: dusitbkk@dusit.com or www.devarana.com).
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 254-1234, fax: 254-6308, (e-mail: bangkok.grand@hyatt.com or http://bangkok.grand.hyatt.com).
JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 656-7700, fax: 656-7711, (www.marriott.com).
Metropolitan Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 625-3333, fax: 625-3300, (e-mail: info.bkk@metropolitan.como.bz or www.metropolitan.como.bz/bangkok).
Nibhana Spa. Tel: [66-2] 250-7082, (e-mail: contact@nibhanaspa.com).
Palm Herbal Retreat. Tel: [66-2] 391-3254, fax: 391-1228, (e-mail: info@palmherbalspa.co.th or www.palmherbalspa.co.th).
Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel. Tel: [66-2] 650-8800, fax: 650-8500, (www.bangkok.lemeridien.com).
Reflections. Tel: [66-2] 270-3344, fax: 270-3359, (e-mail: rooms@reflections-thai.com or www.reflections-thai.com). Rates from Bt3,600.
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers. Tel: [66-2] 266-0123, fax: 236-8320, (e-mail: 00172.info@sheraton.com or www.sheraton.com/bangkok).
Samsara Spa. Tel: [66-2] 278-4054, fax: 278-5650, (e-mail: info@samsaraspathailand.net or www.samsaraspathailand.net).
Shangri-La Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 236-7777, fax: 236-8579, (e-mail: slbk@shangri-la.com or www.shangri-la.com/bangkok).
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. Tel: [66-2] 649-8888, fax: 649-8000, (e-mail: grande.spa@luxurycollection.com or www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com).
Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa. Tel: [66-2] 217-3000, fax: 217-3030, (e-mail: rsvn@siamatsiam.com or www.siamatsiam.com).
Siri Giriya Spa. Tel: [66-2] 741-5199, (e-mail info@sirigiriyaspa.com or www.sirigiriyaspa.com).
Spa I am. 88 Soi Ladprao 18, Ladprao Rd. Tel: [66-2] 938-4888, (e-mail: info@spaiam.co.th or www.spaiam.co.th).
The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 659-9000, fax: 659-9284, (e-mail: mobkk-reservations@mohg.com or www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok).
The Peninsula Bangkok. Tel: [66-2] 861-2888, fax: 861-1112, (e-mail: pbk@peninsula.com or www.bangkok.peninsula.com).
The Sukhothai. Tel: [66-2] 287-0222, fax: 287-4980, (www.sukhothai.com).

Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

AKA Spa. Tel: [66-53] 260-514, fax: 243-129, (e-mail: contact@aka-spa.com or www.aka-spa.com).
Anantara Resort Golden Triangle. Tel: [66-53] 784-084, fax: 784-090, (e-mail: goldentriangle@anantara.com or www.goldentriangle.anantara.com).
Ayatana Hamlet and Spa Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 811-388, 811-588, fax: 811-488, (e-mail: info@ayatana-resort.com or www.ayatana-resort.com).
Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 905-000, fax: 275-429, (e-mail: spacenvareecdc@chr.co.th or www.spacenvaree.com).
Chiang Mai Oasis Spa. Tel: [66-53] 920-111, (e-mail: sales@chiangmaioasis.com or www.chiangmaioasis.com).
D2 hotel Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 999-999, fax: 999-900, (e-mail: d2crsvn@dusit.com or www.d2hotels.com).
Kaomai Lanna Resort. Tel: [66-53] 834-470, fax: 834-480, (e-mail: service@kaomailanna.com or www.kaomailanna.com).
Maninarakorn Hotel. Tel: [66-53] 999-555, fax: 999-500, (e-mail: rsvn@maninarakorn.com or www.maninarakorn.com).
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 888-888, fax: 888-999 (e-mail: mocnx-enquiry@mohg.com or www.mandarinoriental.com/chiangmai).
Phu Chaisai Mountain Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-53] 918-636, fax: 918-333, (e-mail: contact@phu-chaisai.com or www.phu-chaisai.com).
Puripunn. Tel: [66-53] 302-898, fax: 303-121, (e-mail: info@puripunn.com or www.puripunn.com).
RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort. Tel: [66-53] 247-000, (e-mail: info@rarinjinda.com or www.rarinjinda.com).
Tamarind Village. Tel: [66-53] 418-896, (e-mail: sales@tamarindvillage.com or www.tamarindvillage.com).
The Rachamankha. Tel: [66-53] 904-111, fax: 904-114, (e-mail: sales@rachamankha.com or www.rachamankha.com).
Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 253-888, fax: 253-800, (e-mail: slcm@shangri-la.com or www.shangri-la.com/en/property/chiangmai/shangrila).
Sukantara Cascade Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-81] 8814-144, fax: 881-7404, (e-mail: info@sukantara.com or www.sukantara.com).
The Chedi, Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 253-333, fax: 253-352, (e-mail: chedichiangmai@ghmhotels.com or www.ghmhotels.com).
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. Tel: [66-53] 298-181, fax: 298-189, (e-mail: rcm.reservations@fourseasons.com or www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai).

Hua Hin wellness resorts

Anantara Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-32] 520-250, fax: 520-259, (e-mail: huahin@anantara.com or huahin.anantara.com).
Chiva-Som. Tel: [66-32] 536-536, fax: 511-154, (www.chivasom.com).
Evason Hua Hin & Six Senses Spa. Tel: [66-2] 632-111, fax: 632-112, (e-mail: mail@sixsenses.com or www.sixsenses.com/Evason-Hua-Hin).
Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-32] 538-999, fax: 538-990, (e-mail: hua-hin@hilton.com or www.hiltonworldresorts.com/Resorts/HuaHin.html).
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-32] 511-881, fax: 512-422, (e-mail: bangkokmarriott@minorenet.com or marriott.com/hotels/travel/hhqmc-hua-hin-marriott-resort-and-spa).
Hyatt Regency Hua Hin. Tel: [66-32] 521-234, fax: 521-233, (e-mail: huahin.regency@hyatt.com or www.huahin.regency.hyatt.com).
Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-3] 270-8000, fax: 270-8088, (e-mail: reservations.huahin@sheraton.com or www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1590).
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin. Tel: [66-32] 512-021, (www.centarahotelsresorts.com).
Holiday Inn Resort Regent Beach Cha-Am. Tel: [66-32] 451-240, fax: 471-491, (e-mail: events@holidayinnregentbeach.com or www.chaam.holidayinn.com).
Veranda Resort and Spa Huan Hin - Cha Am. Tel: [66-32] 709-000, fax: [66-2] 611-6710, (e-mail: salesbkk@verandaresortandspa.com or www.verandaresortandspa.com).
Wora Bura Resort and Spa. Tel: [66-32] 536-999, fax: 536-752, (e-mail: rsvn@worabura.com or www.worabura.com).

Khao Lak spa resorts

Khao Lak Resort. Tel: [66-76] 428-111, fax: 428-112, (e-mail: rsvn@khaolakresort.com or www.khaolakresort.com).
La Flora Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 428-000, fax: 428-029, (e-mail: reservation@lafloraresort.com or www.lafloraresort.com).
Le Meridien Khao Lak Beach & Spa Resort. Tel: [66-76] 427-500, fax: 427-501, (www.khaolak.lemeridien.com).
The Sarojin. Tel: [66-76] 427-900, fax: 427-906, (e-mail: info@sarojin.com or www.sarojin.com).

Koh Samui spa guide

Anantara Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-77] 428-300, fax: 428-310, (e-mail: samui@anantara.com or www.anantara.com).
Bandara Resort and Spa, Samui. Tel: [66-77] 245-795, fax: 427-340, (e-mail: samuisales@bandarasamui.com or www.bandarasamui.com).
Bo Phut Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-77] 245-777, fax: 245-776, (e-mail: bophutresort@santiburi.com or www.santiburi.com).
Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui. Tel: [66-77] 230-500, fax: 422-385, (e-mail: csbr@chr.co.th or www.centarahotelsresorts.com).
Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui. Tel: [66-77] 243-000, fax: 243-002, (www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui).
Health Oasis Resort. Tel: [66-77] 420-124, fax: 420-125, (e-mail: contactus@healthoasisresort.com or www.healthoasisresort.com).
Kamalaya Holistic Spa & Wellness Sanctuary. Tel: [66-77] 429-800; fax: 429-899, (e-mail: info@kamalaya.com or www.kamalaya.com).
Laem Set Inn. Tel: [66-77] 427-238, fax: 960-709, (e-mail: inn@laemset.com or www.samui-hotels.com/laemsetinn).
Baan Taling Ngam Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-77] 427-103, fax: 960-709. (www.kosamui.com/baantalingngam).
Pavilion Samui Boutique Resort. Tel: [66-77] 424-030, fax: 424-029, (e-mail: info@pavilionsamui.com or www.pavilionsamui.com).
Napasai. Tel: [66-77] 429-200, fax: 429-201, (e-mail: info@napasai.com or www.napasai.com).
Renaissance Koh Samui Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-77] 429-300, fax: 429-333, (e-mail: reservations@buriraya.com or www.samui-hotels.com/renaissance).
Sala Samui. Tel: [66-77] 245-888, fax: 245-889, (e-mail: info@salasamui.com or www.salasamui.com).
Santiburi Dusit Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 425-031, fax: 425-040, (e-mail: santiburi@dusit.com or www.santiburi.com).
Six Senses Hideaway Samui. Tel: [66-77] 245-678, fax: 245-671, (e-mail: reservations-samui@sixsenses.com or www.sixsenses.com/Six-Senses-Hideaway-Samui).
Tamarind Retreat. Tel: [66-77] 424-221, fax: 424-311, (e-mail: info@tamarindretreat.com or www.tamarindretreat.com).
The Briza Beach Resort & Spa Samui. Tel: [66-77] 231-997, fax: 231-990, (e-mail: info@thebriza.com or www.thebriza.com).
The Tongsai Bay. Tel: [66-77] 245-480, fax: 425-462, (e-mail: reservation@tongsaibay.co.th or www.tongsaibay.co.th).
The Spa Samui Beach. Tel: [66-77] 280-855, (e-mail: thespa@spasamui.com or www.spasamui.com). Also Spa Samui Village.
X2 Resort at Koh Samui. Bangkok reservations Tel: [66-2] 696-8239, (e-mail: reservations.samui@X2resorts.com or www.X2resorts.com).
Zazen Bungalows. Tel: [66-77] 425-085, fax: 425-177, (e-mail: info@samuizazen.com or www.samuizazen.com).

Krabi and Phi Phi

Amari Vogue Resort. Tel: [66-75] 607-777, fax: 607-700, (www.amari.com/vogue).
Layana Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-75] 607-100, fax: 607-199, (e-mail: resa@layanaresort.com or www.layanaresort.com).
Nakamanda. Tel: [66-75] 628-200, fax: 644-390, (e-mail: info@nakamanda.com or www.nakamanda.com).
Rayavadee. Tel: [66-75] 620-740, fax: 620-630, (e-mail: reservation@rayavadee.com or www.rayavadee.com).
Pimalai Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-75] 607-999, fax: 607-998, (e-mail: sales@pimalai.com or www.pimalai.com).
Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort. Tel: [66-75] 628-000, fax: 628-028, (e-mail: Sheraton.Krabi@Sheraton.com or www.sheraton.com/Krabi).
SriLanta. Tel: [66-75] 662-688, fax: 662-687, (e-mail: srilanta@thesrihotels.com or www.srilanta.com).
The Tubkaak Krabi. Tel: [66-75] 628-400, fax: 628-499, (e-mail: hotel@tubkaakresort.com or www.tubkaakresort.com).
Zeavola. Tel: [66-75] 627-000, fax: 627-023, (e-mail: reservation@zeavola.com or www.zeavola.com).

Pattaya, Koh Chang, Trat

Amari Emerald Cove Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-39] 552-000, fax: 552-001, (e-mail: emeraldcove@amari.com or www.amari.com/emeraldcove).
Amari Orchid Resort & Tower. Tel: [66-38] 418-418, fax: 418-410, (e-mail: orchid@amari.com or www.amari.com/orchid).
Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. Tel: [66-38] 428-755, (pattaya.hardrockhotels.net/).
Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-38] 412-120, fax: 429-926, (www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/pyxmc-pattaya-marriott-resort-and-spa).
Pullman Pattaya Hotel G. Formerly Aisawan. Tel: [66-38] 411-940, (www.pullmanpattayahotelg.com/).
Ramayana Koh Chang Resort. Tel: [66-39] 551-033, fax: 551-034, (e-mail: sales@ramayana.co.th or www.ramayana.co.th).
Royal Cliff Beach Resort. Tel: [66-38] 250-421, fax: 250-511, (e-mail: info@royalcliff.com or www.royalcliff.com).
Sheraton Pattaya Resort. Tel: [66-38] 259-888, fax: 259-899, (e-mail: sheraton.pattaya@sheraton.com or www.sheraton.com/pattaya).

Phuket spa resort directory

Adamas Resort & Spa, Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 316-000, fax: 316-095, (e-mail: reservations@adamasresortspa.com or www.adamasresortspa.com).
Amari Coral Beach Resort. Tel: [66-76] 340-106, fax: 340-115, (e-mail: coralbeach@amari.com or www.amari.com/coralbeach).
Amanpuri. Tel: [66-76] 324-333, fax: 324-100, (e-mail: amanpuri@amanresorts.com or www.amanresorts.com/amanpuri/home.aspx).
Angsana Laguna Phuket (formerly Sheraton). Tel: [66-76] 324-101, fax: 324-108, (e-mail: reservations-lagunaphuket@angsana.com or www.angsana.com/en/phuket/).
Avantika. Tel: [66-76] 292-801, fax: 292-808, (e-mail: info@avantika-phuket.com or www.avantika-phuket.com).
Ayara Hilltops. Tel: [66-76] 271-271, fax: 271-270, (e-mail: mail@ayarahilltops.com or www.ayarahilltops.com).
Baan Yin Dee Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 294-104, fax: 294-108, (e-mail: info@baanyindee.com or www.baanyindee.com).
Banyan Tree Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 324-374, fax: 324-375, (e-mail: phuket@banyantree.com or www.banyantree.com).
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 396-139, fax: 396-144, (e-mail: resort.phuket@moevenpick.com or www.moevenpick-phuket.com).
Deevana Patong Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 341-414, fax: 341-706, (e-mail: info@deevanapatong.com or www.deevanapatong.com).
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 362-999, fax: 362-900, (www.dusit.com/hotels/thailand/phuket/dusit_thani/index.html).
Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 396-433, fax: 396-136, (e-mail: phuketarcadia@hilton.com or www.phuketarcadia.hilton.com).
Indigo Pearl. Tel: [66-76] 327-006, fax: 327-338, (e-mail: info@indigo-pearl.com or www.indigo-pearl.com).
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 338-000, fax: 348-348, (e-mail: jwmarriott.phuket@marriott.com or www.phuket.com/marriott).
Layan Beach Resort & Spa Village. Tel: [66-76] 313-412, fax: 313-415, (e-mail: info@layanphuket.com or www.lanyanphuket.com).
Mangosteen Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 289-399, fax: 289-389, (e-mail: reservation@mangosteen-phuket.com or www.mangosteen-phuket.com).
Phuket Pavilions. Tel: [66-76] 317-600, fax: 317-601, (e-mail: reservations@phuketpavilions.com or www.pavilions-resorts.com/phuket/).
Royal Phuket Marina. Tel: [66-76] 360-811, fax: 360-815, (www.royalphuketmarina.com).
Sri Panwa. Tel: [66-76] 371-000, fax: 371-004, (e-mail: chill@sripanwa.com or www.sripanwa.com).
Thavorn Beach Village. Tel: [66-76] 290-334, fax: 340-384, (e-mail: info@thavornbeachvillage.com or www.thavornbeachvillage.com).
The Boathouse. Tel: [66-76] 330-015, fax: 330-561, (e-mail: info@boathousephuket.com or www.boathousephuket.com).
The Chedi Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 324-017, fax: 324-252, (e-mail: hotel@chedi-phuket.com or www.phuket.com/chedi).
Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa. Tel: [66-76] 381-010, fax: 381-018, (e-mail: reservations-phuket@sixsenses.com or www.sixsenses.com/Evason-Phuket/).
The Front Village Resort & Spa. Tel: [66-76] 398-200, fax: 398-206, (e-mail: info@frontvillage.com or www.frontvillage.com).
The Royal Phuket Yacht Club Hotel. Tel: [66-76] 380-200, fax: 289-016, (e-mail: reservation@theroyalphuketyachtclub.com or www.puravarna.com/hotels_resorts_phuket_thailand/phuketyachtclub_hoteloverview.htm).
Trisara. Tel: [66-76] 310-100, fax: 310-300, (e-mail: reservations@trisara.com or www.trisara.com).
Twinpalms Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 316-500, fax: 316-599, (e-mail: book@twinpalms-phuket.com or www.twinpalms-phuket.com).
Vijitt Resort Phuket. Tel: [66-76] 363-600, fax: 363-699, (e-mail: reservation@vijittresort.com or www.vijittresort.com).

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