What: Thai Herbal Massage
Where: Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
The experience: Koh Kood is one of those rare things: a Thai island that’s yet to be swarmed by tourists, and when it comes to spa retreats, that is a very good thing.
Soneva Kiri’s team of highly skilled international and Thai therapists have made it a destination for those who are serious about luxury pampering or restoring the balance. The specialties here are Ayurvedic treatments, yoga and Thai therapies, with an emphasis on using local herbs and vegetables, grown and mixed in-house.
The spectacular 20,000-square-foot spa boasts eight couples treatment rooms, four of which have private steam rooms, a Watsu pool, Spa Beach Sala with three treatment bays, a fully equipped and lemongrass-scented gym, a yoga pavilion, male and female relaxation areas with steam rooms and infrared saunas, two consultation rooms, four outdoor stone beds, a bamboo mist shower and an organic garden.
We chose a simple 90-minute Thai Herbal Massage (US$250, approx. RM980) from the long menu of holistic and traditional treatments. We were then shown to the open-air shower, slipped on a robe and ambled slowly to a private treatment pavilion that overlooks the ocean, ready to be rejuvenated.
Something that really surprised us was the use of Himalayan singing bowls pre- and post-treatment, which the therapist moved around our bodies. The sound and vibrations fostered a deep feeling of calm and relaxation and we soon found ourselves drifting off to dreamland.
After a full body oil massage, local and traditional Asian herbs and spices such as plai, ginger, turmeric and lemongrass were formed into a heated poultice and applied to specific pressure points, using gentle and rolling movements to condition the skin and induce a sense of wellbeing. The herbal compress is said to reduce inflammation and remove tension in the muscles, which is certainly a welcome relief for jet-lagged bodies. We left smelling a little like a dish from the resort’s Khun Benz restaurant, but feeling completely calm and centred.
Soneva Kiri, 110 Moo 4, Koh Kood Sub-District, Koh Kood District, Trat, Thailand. Tel +66 82 208 8888.
This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of UNRESERVED.