Mandarin Oriental Bangkok’s the Oriental Spa is a short boat ride away from the hotel’s more familiar side of their beautiful classic buildings. Still, you will not be able to see it even if you are perched on the riverside and try to steal a glimpse.
Tucked away behind everything – the hustle and the sounds – is this place where, in total serenity, people come for a total get-away and rejuvenation. A complete quality ‘me’ time with a ‘do not disturb’ sign on. And just recently, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Mandarin Oriental Spa has released the brand new ‘Essence of Thailand’ spa packages with pampering programs drawn from Thai classic herbal and massage therapies.
Above: Signature view from top of MO Spa’s golden teak wood architecture.
The Essence of Thailand features The Spirit of Isaan (2.5 hours, Bt7,000++) and Lanna Ceremony(2.5 hours, Bt7,000++). And it was quite hard for me to choose between the two. But then the writer in me asked for a good tap on the Meridien lines, hence the Lanna Ceremony that features ‘Tok Sen,’ a Thai northern body-tapping therapeutic massage.
This Lanna Ceremony also features many Thai northern cultural staples and herbs. Bai miang or traditionally pickled tea leaves of the Northern cuisine with its refreshing substabces is infused in the foot bath – the first cleansing step in the treatment. Also, ‘fang’ or ‘sappan’ with its natural red hue and loads of natural healing substances is a major restorative ingredients in the body wrapping and scrubbing. Fang is known for promoting blood circulation and strengthening the skin’s natural structure. Awesome.
Above: The Oriental Suite spacious with marble bath, treatment facility, luxury shower with massage jets and private living room.
‘Tok Sen’ is a hammer massage that has been around in Thai northern or Lanna areas for centuries. After being neglected for a long period of time, the ancient therapy has been revived and brought back to many modern day’s spa treatments. The idea is to lightly tap along the body’s Meridien lines with wooden wedge and hammer (small one, so do not worry) to release muscle tensions and encourage ‘pran’ or natural energy to flow smoothly throughout the body.
Tok Sen can be a little vibrating. But you will get a soothing oil body massage afterward. A great choice of therapy for those, like me, who spend hours sitting in front of computer. But if you happen to find ‘Tok Sen’ a bit too much, you can always tell your therapist, but it is worth it to try this ancient wisdom from the Thai north.
Above: Isaan-style bamboo massage, Lanna-style ‘tok-sen’ tapping massage and Thai herbs in Essence of Thailand packages.
Mandarin Oriental Spa debuted in 1993 and instantly it has become one of Thailand’s luxurious spa destinations. In 2015, Forbes magazine voted the facility to be Thailand’s first Five-Star Recommended Spa in its Travel Guide. And since then, it seems, the spa has still been keeping the position.
The price of the package includes a standard room. But you can always upgrade to a deluxe suite (Bt2,500++ per hour) or the signature Oriental Suite (Bt2,800++ per hour).
Above: Mandarin Oriental shuttle from their front pier to the spa facility.
For more information and all the details about the Mandarin Oriental Spa, visit their website. Booking can also be done online.
The Oriental Spa at the mandarin oriental bangkok
Daily: 09.00 – 22.00, T: (+66) 02 659 9000
*Photos courtesy of the oriental spa