The Thai massage is undoubtedly the most well know form of massage in South East Asia. One can find Thai massage parlours in all public places like malls & markets in most cities of the world. Bangkok, being the capital city of Thailand also hosts the best spas in the country. There are so many options that it’s a difficult task to pick just 5, but I have nevertheless made an attempt.

The Opium Spa at The Siam Hotel

This award-winning spa has a theatrical, multi-storey reception area that is almost worth a visit in itself. The impeccable treatments are chemical free (the first in Thailand) on massage beds with adjustable height to ensure therapists can focus their energy on soothing stressed muscles. The surroundings are exquisite too. The Siam is a great hotel located on the banks of the Chao Phraya river and has its own private pier and a lovely riverside restaurant.

Oasis

As its name suggests, this spa is set in a tranquil pocket of colonial Bangkok with lawns and ponds and ancient trees. Treatments take place in small private villas, and those on the ground floor have outdoor rain showers. Drawing on Lanna (13th to 18th century northern Thai kingdom) traditions, the atmosphere is a gracious blend of timeless Thai hospitality and modern amenities. Treatments include facials, hot stones and herb balls, and some include special attention for the stomach area, which can help restore harmony to the digestive system.

So SPA

The stylish Sofitel So Bangkok, draws on French savoir faire and “urban design” to create an environment based around the Five Elements – Water, Earth, Wood, Metal and Fire – and this concept flows into the monochromatically contemporary So SPA. The Serenity of Five Elements treatment starts with tapping on acupressure points using a mallet (wood), vibrating the body’s meridians to “free stuck energy”. The other elements are incorporated using energizing ginger oil (water), hot herbal balls (earth and fire), and metal balls for balancing. The extensive menu also includes an upper body massage.

The Okura Spa

Panoramic views of central Bangkok and nature-toned luxury distinguish the Okura spa, found on the 25th floor of the glossy Japanese-owned Okura Prestige hotel. Drawing on principles of acupuncture, the ‘Ta-ke Relief’ signature treatment is a deep tissue oil massage using heated Japanese bamboo rods, combining pressure and warmth to relieve muscular tension.

Breeze

If yearning for a bespoke treatment, the Breez signature “mood massage” offers an array of outcomes – serene, dreamy, invigorated, rejuvenated or energized – matched with music, while the client chooses pressure, oil and body areas on which to focus. Each choice and its benefits, (calming, lymphatic drainage, hot stones) is explained so the indecisive might allow extra time to choose. True to its name, this spa (part of the Thai-owned Amari Watergate Hotel) is airy and contemporary, with immaculate treatment rooms and very comfortable beds. There is even a Breeze-hued macaroon at the end so taste buds leave on a high too.