I recently returned home from Phuket Island, Thailand after a business meeting trip. I last visited Phuket 10 or more years ago.
This time around, Phuket appears to be very quiet. Usually by year end, this popular island resort off Andaman Seas, Thailand should be packed with tourists from Europe, US and Asia. I can only presume that business has not really pick up ever since the devastating tsunami of 2004 .
I stayed at the Ayara Hilltops, a small cozy 5 star luxury boutique resort. This hotel resort offers a spectacular view of the Surin Beach and the Andaman Sea on the north western coast of Phuket Island. The rooms are big and have a stylish décor in contemporary Thai/Balinese style with soft and soothing colors.
After 2 full days of busy meetings, I finally had the chance to unwind myself on my last day at the resort. I woke up early to have a quick swim at the pool, took a long and slow breakfast, relaxed myself at the deck bed by the pool again before heading to the spa.
The resort’s spa, known as COMFORT SPAce, feature their own acclaimed [comfort zone] products and signature massage as well as traditional Thai massage. As I entered into the COMFORT SPAce, I was greeted with the traditional Thai greeting of “swadee ka” in a friendly and gentle voice.
The spa receptionist directed me to the waiting area, showed me the various retreat programs tailored to suit various individual needs. They even have a selection of pre-packaged spa and massage programs at at discounted rate.
I opted for the daily pre-package deal that included a herbal steam bath, a jacuzzi, a body scrub, a massage and a facial. I was served with a cold rosemary tea and a wet towel. The wet towel had a aromatic lavender fragrance. As soon as I finished my drink, the therapist led me to the treatment room. The therapy rooms are of a good size with their own private steam bath and jacuzzi. The spa houses a total of 6 treatment rooms inclusive of 4 double suites and 2 standard suites.
Wow, the treatment room is so big. There is a separate wet area for shower, toilet, steam bath and the jacuzzi. The therapist explained the sequences and duration of the treatments and left the room so that I can enjoy myself. The session starts with a 15 mins herbal steam bath followed by a 20 mins soak with milk bath in the jacuzzi. The therapist returned to the treatment room with a smile and led me to the treatment bed to start the body scrub with tamarind.
I have never felt such a slow, gentle and smooth body scrub before. In most other spas, the therapist will just do a quick scrub over your body. But this time round, I felt that the therapist scrubbed every part of my body with such gentle and skillful strokes. With the right pressure, the body scrub was aimed at removing dead skin cells to brighten the skin tone, and also aids in removing stubborn cellulite. I was then ushered to the shower room to cleanse away before adjourning to the treatment bed for an oil-prep lavender floral ex foliation .
Then, it was an hour of blissful “Calmly Love” massage. This is a soft, gentle and relaxing massage to thoroughly loosen up your muscles and calm the body. The routine employs long, slow movements and gentle, soothing strokes to restore peace and harmony to your body, mind and spirit. The therapy ends off with a relaxing facial, which enhanced my overall therapeutic spa experience.
From my many years of spa-visiting experience, I really like spa therapists in Thailand as they are always so gentle and really take their own time to massage your body. It was as if Thais are born to be gentle, smiling spa therapists and perhaps why Thailand is also known as the Land of Smiles!
The whole spa experience left me feeling totally rejuvenated as the therapist gave my muscles that much needed knead with such skillful strokes that left me feeling much lighter as I stepped out of the spa after three and a half hours. What bliss!
Note: The hotel and spa also has special honeymoon, romantic and spa packages promotions. Do check the hotel website for more details.
Location of Spa: Ayara Hilltops Resort, Phuket Island, Thailand,
Tags:andaman sea ayara hilltops boutique resort contemporary thai phuket island retreat programs Spa and massage health articles surin beach Thailand traditional thai massage
Size of Spa: About 6 massage treatment rooms
Friendliness: Friendly receptionist and masseurs
Facilities: Swimming Pool, Jacuzzi, Shower
Pricing: Minimum US$120 for a 60min massage. Spa and Detox special package available.
Transport: Many airlines serve Phuket direct. Ayara Hilltops is a 20 mins drive from Phuket airport