With its idyllic location on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, The Peninsula Spa is the perfect place to soothe mind, body and soul simultaneously. We go for a good dose of care.
We’re all so overwhelmed with technology, from our phones to our laptops, that one fine morning I decided to switch off and head to the famed The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Bangkok. The property itself is suitably grand – you feel like you’re on a luxurious tropical vacation the moment you walk in – and once I arrived at the hotel spa, I was ushered along a wooden walkway and transported to another time; a simpler time, an analog time. However, that’s not to say the Peninsula Spa is outdated. Quite the contrary, in fact, as it merges the best of traditional spa techniques with modern spa technology.
Led by water lilies into my colonial-inspired private suite, I was mesmerized by its beauty – truly the epitome of the term ‘urban retreat’. Overlooking the pool, which flows over three levels where the terrace meets the Chao Phraya River, the view on this sunny Saturday was breathtaking. Inside the treatment room, surrounded by richly dark teak wood, jewel hues on silk, and exotic aromas, I was definitely savoring the moment.
I chose ‘The Essential Mind’ treatment, which I lovingly wrote as the ‘ultimate trinity’. More than just a quick massage with a pleasant smelling oil, this holistic treatment speaks to the mind, body and soul. It was developed by Dr. Buathon Thienarrom, who drew on her training as a nurse, as well as her expertise in Taoism, sound healing, Tibetan medicine and mind training. Her philosophy lies in “emotional alchemy” and empowering the mind to form a harmonious relationship with the body. Dr. Buathon herself trained the Peninsula Spa therapists in carefully created techniques that combine thousands of years of ancient medicine with a contemporary understanding of the body.
Still on the theme of the “trinity”, the treatment consisted of three stages, appealing to three senses: smell, touch and hearing. Starting with smell, I was overwhelmed by the velvety, soothing scent of osmanthus honey. The sense of smell is powerful – a single puff can evoke romantic memories or inspire creativity – and in this case, time slowed down for me as I floated on a sea of serenity.
The touch was next, and the massage was given in three homogeneous parts. My therapist knowingly divulged that it was not like the traditional oil massage one expects. To treat the mind, she explained, each touch needed a purpose and a powerful combination of essential oils to deeply heal the mind-body relationship. First, a blend of soothing basil and invigorating peppermint oil was expertly applied to my upper back and gently pressed to relieve the tension I so obviously carried. My therapist then used lemon kaffir lime and jasmine floral oil, applied in circular motions. Finally, my acupuncture points were treated with a heady blend of cinnamon and clove oil. With each nuanced technique, I could feel my body and mind align.
The final element of “The Essential Mind” is sound, using centuries-old Tibetan singing bowls, which emit a deep, palpable sound that promotes peace. Tibetan monks have used them as powerful meditation tools for centuries, and they are now very popular in current practices as well.
For this segment, I was laid down on a comfortable spot on the floor and covered with a cozy blanket. Eyes closed, the vibrations of the singing bowls made their way through my body. It was a transcendent experience as the waves relaxed, protected and restored me. And with that, my body gave up the last of its control and I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was quite amazed at the difference I felt in myself. It was the first time in a long time that I could isolate myself from the outside world and practice mindfulness.
After a refreshing oolong tea, I had some time until my next treatment to enjoy the steam shower and hydrotherapy bath. Given the tremendous inner work done that day, my outer appearance also required some attention, so I opted for the “Super-Lift Haute Couture Facial”, which uses Margy’s skincare for its plumping and plumping properties. to collagen.
Margy’s high-performance Swiss-made skincare comes from the prestigious city of Monte Carlo and is the brainchild of renowned skincare expert Margie Lombard. She personally designed this treatment to be incorporated into robust facial massages to generate noticeable effects from the first treatment. Margie herself flies around the world giving facials to the rich and famous, and she’s highly sought after due to the incredible results she delivers.
My skin was first cleansed with a gentle lotion, then deeply exfoliated (without any irritation). Now soft and supple, I was ready for the series of facial masks and massages that followed, each step infusing my skin with much-needed hyaluronic acid and collagen, plus a host of other actives. I could feel my face tightening as my therapist skillfully manipulated my muscles. The final step was a pure collagen mask – so concentrated that I felt a reassuring tingle on my lips and cheeks as I was transformed – and when I looked in the mirror afterwards I was thrilled. My skin was brighter and firmer, I had cheekbones again, my eyes were smoother and years had been taken from my face.
My stay at the Peninsula Spa ended, I left a whole new person. With such an extensive treatment menu, one would be forgiven for thinking the Peninsula Spa is a place for facials and massages only, but it’s best described as a place to escape the everyday; recharge, rebuild and renew.
For more information on the different treatments at the Peninsula Spa, visit Peninsula.com.