Review: The Orientist Spa @ Central World Plaza, Bangkok

Once again, I’m back in Bangkok, Thailand for a short weekend trip. This time, it is not for business but solely for leisure….. i.e. shopping, dining and most importantly, visiting a Thai Spa. Nice bliss from work anytime!

I have been to Bangkok so many times but was hardly familiar with Bangkok’s shopping malls. There were simply too many shopping malls, too many shops and too little time. I also tend to spend too much time at street markets, checking out Thai eateries and visiting spas that I hardly have time for shopping malls.

This time, like a good shopping tactician, I made plans to shop solely at the Central World Plaza. My online research tells me that The Orientist Spa is also located at the Central World Plaza, Bangkok. Further research indicated that The Orientist Spa is famous for using traditional Thai herbs and techniques to give visitors the full benefit of traditional Thai spa and massage traditions. This certainly sounds interesting and worth a visit.

There are three Orientist Spa branches in Bangkok and they are Ari Branch, Ladprao Branch and Central World Branch.  Each branch is conveniently located near subway stations in Bangkok. Since my target was The Central World Plaza, the Orientist Spa of Central World Branch was my target.

Central World Plaza
Central World Plaza

The Central World Plaza , a huge recently renovated mall, was formerly known as the World Trade Centre. There are two main big department stores in Central World Plaza, namely the Zen Department store and Isetan department store.In addition to these 2 key anchor departmental store tenants, you can find food courts, supermarket, cinemas, shops and plenty of restaurants. This shopping mall has more than 500 shops and no less than 50 restaurants. Many famous international brands and almost all Thai brands are well represented here.

It took me and my girlfriend some time to locate The Orientist Spa at Central World Plaza since the complex is so huge. The Orientist Spa is located on the 6th floor near the Toy R Us store. As we did not make any prior appointment, we thought we might just try our luck to see if there were any vacant slots.

The reception area of The Orientist Spa is bright and comfy with soft music and a strong herbal aroma floating from the oil burner. On each side of the reception area, there are comfy sofa for guest to seat and relax while waiting for their massage.

Reception area
Reception Area

We asked if there were any slots available for massage and the soft spoken lady handling the reception apologized that there were currently no empty slot till two hours later (we were at the spa around 1pm). She also explained to us their spa packages and we eventually booked for the next available slot. We went for further shopping and make short work of the two hours wait.

We started our spa session with a serving of cold flowered tea and was asked to choose the type of oil we would like to use for our massage. The 3 kinds of aromatic oil were their own in-house blend, Thai herbs and Lavender oil. Both my girlfriend and I chose our desired fragrance and shortly our masseurs greeted us with the traditional Thai ‘Wai’ greeting. We were then led to our treatment rooms.

Treatment room
Private treatment room

Surprisingly, the spa is quite big, I saw many treatment rooms along the walkway and one area solely for Thai massage as we walked to our dedicated treatment room.

I wanted to tell my masseur that I would like to take a shower before I start my treatment. However, before I could say anything, she asked if I would like to take a shower. This is so attentive.

We had opted for a 2hrs & 15 mins Orientist Refreshing Body Spa Package which consists of a Scrub with curcuma/grape seed, a facial mask with curcum and a 60mins aromatherapy massage.

Overall, I enjoyed the treatments. However, the initial part of the massage was not very comfortable as perhaps there was too much oil on the palm of the masseur and she slipped off twice in a row when she was trying to massage my back.  This caused some discomfort and I believe this was due to the lack of experience of the masseur.

Another setback was that the treatment rooms are not sound proof and I could hear the person next door chatting away with her masseur clearly. Either the spa should make their rooms more soundproof or discourage their masseurs from engaging in loud conversation with customers.

The Orientist Spa is perfectly poised as an exclusive relaxation oasis to relax and relieve tired and over-shopped shoppers and tourists in this large shopping mall. Do look out for it if you are ever shopping in this part of Bangkok.

Tips: If you are a tourist or first timer, the spa offers a 20% discount on top of the regular price.

Location of The Orientist Spa @ Central World Plaza, Bangkok
Level 6, Asian Senses (Dazzle Zone), Central World, Rajdamri Rd, Patumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Size: Mid size spa with mostly private rooms. Hydro-massage bath and jacuzzi available in some of the rooms.
Facilities:
Mid size massage rooms. One area dedicated for foot massage and the other for Thai massage.
Friendliness: Polite staff and good massage therapists.
Pricing: Starts from US$20 for a facial, wrap or bath. US$40 for Body massage. Various spa and beauty packages available and starts from US$70.

Pix credits: http://cdn.wn.com and http://www.theorientistspa.com

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Review: Spa Thematique@Holland Village, Singapore

Spa Thematique, a boutique spa located in Holland Village, Singapore has brought a recession-busting spa package known as Spa Unlimited to the local spa market. Spa Unlimited is uniquely designed to stretch your spa dollars for today’s lean economic time.

I had called the spa earlier to make an appointment. The person who answered my call was a man. I had certainly called quite a number of spas in my lifetime but this was the first time a man had answered my call! Luckily, he was very polite and answered my questions without any hesitation. He recommended me to try their Spa Unlimited package.  I was eager to find out more and the gentleman said that he would get his colleague to return my call.

A couple of hours later, a lady returned my call and explained their Spa Unlimited promotion. In a nutshell, the Spa Unlimited is something like a Spa Buffet. In a spa menu consisting of a massage therapy, a foot therapy, a body pampering session, a waxing session, a facial and a ear candling session, a customer can choose to do one, two or all of the sessions in the menu for one fixed price.

For food buffet enthusiasts, this is your spa equivalent of a buffet – eat some or eat all you want! (Booking conditions apply; please call and check with spa before rushing down!) My friend and I opted for all the treatments in the menu except the body pampering and waxing sessions.

The Spa Thematique is tucked away on the 3rd floor of the Holland Shopping Centre. For those new to Singapore, Holland Village is the place where yuppies, stylish youngsters and expatriates in Singapore hang out in trendy shops, side-walk cafes, al-fresco restaurants and pubs in the day and especially at night.

Reception area
Reception Area

The Spa Thematique is designed in an Oriental concept, complete with oriental decor, furnishing and furniture.  A lady attended to us and asked us to change into house slippers and locked our belongings at the locker at the reception area. We were offered Lychee tea to sooth our throat.

The lady led us to our treatment rooms.  We were told to undress and lay down on the massage bed.  I was surprised that our masseur did not go through with us on the treatments we have opted.  As this Spa Unlimited package consisted of a few different treatments, I asked the masseur what were to be the sequences of the treatments. Only then did she explain to me.

Treatment room
Private Treatment Room

Reflexology Chair
Nice reflexology chairs

We started off with the 60 minute Oriental massage (which is a combination of Shiatsu and Javanese massage techniques), ear candling, a facial (cleanse, tone, mask and massage) and ended with a foot bath/reflexology.  The entire treatment took about 3 hours. All these for the incredible price of S$150/- or US$100/-

Overall I enjoyed the treatments especially the foot reflexology.  I believe Spa Thematique is a relatively new spa fighting in a tough spa market and would like to congratulate this local boutique spa for:

1. Providing a nice comfortable spa and massage ambiance in busy Holland Village
2. Giving ultra value to spa goers with their Spa Unlimited concept

Spa Thematique has the right location, the right decor and the right ambiance to go far. However, they will need to work on their “people-ware” to give more vibes to their customers – more smiles, more friendliness and more willingness to explain what they’re doing. Singaporeans and expatriates are used to receiving warm smiles and friendliness from visiting spas in Thailand, Indonesia and China and will want to expect the same of Singapore spas; especially smaller boutique spas.

They also need to tone down their marketing hard-sell; no one wants to be sold spa packages when they’re relaxing and enjoying their treatments. Do it after treatments; never during treatments. Remember, customers are always more receptive when they have been spoiled and pampered but can get annoyed when disturbed while enjoying themselves.

The next time you are in Holland Village to shop, eat or drink and feel the urge to pamper your head, body or feet in a nice and cosy environment, do make a visit to Spa Thematique. You can’t go wrong with their Spa Unlimited package!

Location of Spa Thematique, Singapore:
211 Holland Village, Holland Road Shopping Centre #03-40 Singapore 278967
Tel: 6469 6949
http://www.spathematique.com.sg/

Opening Hours: 10.30am to 9pm (last appointment is 7.45pm) daily
Size of Spa: Small/Medium with private treatment rooms
Facilities: Steam Bath, Hydro-Bath, Showers.

Friendliness: Friendly receptionist.
Pricing: Massage starts at S$85. Facial, waxing, scrub and other spa treatments available.

Disclaimer: This review was done with compliments of treatments by Spa Thematique. The staff and masseurs were neither aware nor informed of my visit. Neither did the management influence nor edit this review. I want to thank Spa Thematique for wanting a neutral review. This will benefit Spa Thematique, spa-goers and the spa industry in the long term.

Spa owners may write to me if they wish to have their spas reviewed personally by me.

www.aptusinsurance.com
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