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All the best of Asia

I SPA in Bangkok and Phuket spoils customers with luxurious choices

Wouldn't it be divine to be able to experience the best of Asian spa culture under one roof? You can actually do that now - at I SPA Thailand, the Thai co-owned franchise that made it sensationally big in China before opening the first local branch last year.

"I SPA at the Landmark Bangkok is a sanctuary of ancient Asian health and beauty therapies," says the manager. "From Balinese massage and Javanese mandi lulur scrub to Ayurvedic treatments and Thai-inspired salt pot therapy, every treatment has been expertly concocted to embrace the relaxing experience that is synonymous with I SPA Thailand, where legendary Asian therapies live on."

I SPA's journey began in 2005 when Chinese visionary entrepreneur George Zhang and Thai spa executive Sirirat Fungkhajon opened the first I SPA at Tai Yue Suites Sanlitun in the shopping district of Beijing, then expanded to 14 more upscale spas all over China in less than 10 years. Last year Thailand welcomed I SPA Thailand at the Landmark Bangkok in August and I SPA Life in Phuket in September.

I SPA Thailand's facility takes on the welcoming Thai-inspired architecture that blends in with the relaxing poolside surroundings of the hotel's sundeck on Level 9. From the first step through the spa's traditional Thai-style arched doorway, the wooden staircase leads to 750 square metres of bliss. The treatment rooms are designed to introduce a sense of privacy and relaxation. Each of the 10 rooms is completed with modern-day luxury to ensure a totally relaxing experience.

The menu has an extensive of treatment choices designed especially to pamper, relax and beautify. Using traditional Asian methods and Asian-inspired ingredients, they incorporate modern luxury with ancient wisdom to offer a unique spa experience at affordable prices.

After a long look at the menu, we decided to go Indonesian this time, with a Javanese mandi lulur scrub, Balinese boreh wrap and Balinese massage.

The mandi lulur ritual was once reserved for Javanese brides. This ancient beauty treatment originated centuries ago in the palaces of central Java as a "purifying" ritual. For days on end the brides would be pampered with this deliciously relaxing and highly enriching scrub to purge their skin and soothe their minds.

Well, in this day and age you don't need to be a bride-to-be to enjoy it. And it only takes half an hour, at the price of Bt1,500. The mandi lulur exfoliates and nourishes the skin with turmeric paste, cinnamon and sandalwood powder and jasmine extract. It's very gentle, and as soon as it's finished you immediately see the glow, and the skin becomes very supple and soft.

The therapist also rubs you down thoroughly with fresh yoghurt to cleanse the skin of the scrub residues and add extra food to the skin.

Then comes the wrap. The Balinese boreh is a healing pack originated by rice farmers and is made from a combination of roots, herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, cloves and nutmeg.

The therapist applies the boreh all over your body and burritos you in a plastic wrap to keep the paste in contact with your skin. After just a few minutes you'll start getting the tingling sensation, then the warmth and full-scale heat that penetrates to the deeper muscle, melting away tension, increasing blood circulation, and relieving aching joints, sore muscles and headaches. The spa has it for 60 minutes at Bt2,500.

Get pampered to the fullest with the 60-minute Balinese massage at Bt2,500. The full body, deep-tissue technique combines acupressure, reflexology and stretching to benefit lymphatic system, ease muscle pain and stimulate circulation. Choose one of the many jojoba-based massage oils to suit your mood.

These three treatment are available as a package, Indonesian Tradition, at Bt4,200.

AT YOUR PLEASURE

>> I SPA Thailand is located at The Landmark Bangkok near Nana BTS. It is open daily from 10am to 10pm.

>> Reservation is recommended at (02) 252 9444, (085) 487 2612 or email Info@ISpaThailand.com

>> Check out www.ISpaThailand.com.


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