• Nikki Busuttil

Signature Dreams of CHI The Spa

For the ultimate in sweet dreams and luxurious relaxation, a spa day at least once a year, preferably more often, is the perfect gift to yourself...

A tough job, but someone has to do it: I've been lucky enough to review a vast number of luxury spas in Bangkok over the years. I confess I find it challenging to select just one favourite. However, experiencing the signature treatments at CHI, The Spa, in the Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, is an annual treat I am loathe to miss! November is as good a time as any, since the year draws to a close and my birthday approaches (19th!).

Anyone in need of a reset, recharge and relaxation would be remiss not to reward themselves with a pampering treatment or two at a top wellness spa. Tried and true for nearly 15 years, CHI, The Spa provides guests with a comprehensive range of treatments to boost well-being and tend to body, mind and spirit.

Every aspect of CHI, The Spa, from start to finish, has been designed and orchestrated, to ensure the ultimate wellness experience. In particular, their signature therapies are the pinnacle of indulgence, in this decadently created spa. From body massage, scrubs and wraps, to bathing and facials, the treatments and facilities are the essence of some of the sweetest spa dreams, inducing extreme relaxation.

Walking into the third-floor CHI, The Spa is like stepping into an oasis, far removed from the hectic and silencing the noise of Bangkok, beyond its walls. From reception, you are guided into the large relaxation lounge, featuring the spa boutique with retail lifestyle products off to one side, and flanked by luxurious treatment rooms and suites. Come alone or as a couple, and you are well taken care of, in lavish style.

Here, you take a chilled ginger tea and cold towel, and fill in your consultation form, or are advised by the experts, if you have not already chosen your desired session of pampering. Card filled, I was introduced to K. Oh, my therapist. Her amiability and explanations were impeccable, as she accompanied me through the necessary pre-treatment preparations, and informed me of the room layout, facilities and plentiful amenities.

Leaving me momentarily for privacy, she returned upon the ring of a bell to start my chosen signature therapies, which she politely doubled-checked before commencement, while I sat with my feet in a soothingly warm pot of water. A whole sliced kaffir lime, with antibacterial properties, was added, and she scrubbed my feet with nutrient-rich pink salt. Dried and encased in soft slippers, I was guided to my heated, padded spa bed.

My most delicious poison consisted of two signature therapies, namely the Siamese Massage (THB 2,700++ for 60 minutes) and the Intensely Hydrating Facial (THB 2,900++ for 60 minutes). Most massages are also available for 90-minute sessions, priced at THB 3,600++ (subject to service charge and tax), and you select from four difference scents for your massage oil. From the US brand Zents, exclusive to Shangri-La in Thailand, ‘Oolong’ has a floral tone, ‘Mandarin’ is a refreshing citrus, while ‘Ore’ is euphoric and sexy. My preferred choice, selected back in the lounge, was ‘Sun’ - a calming and sensual blend of vanilla and sandalwood.

The Siamese Massage begins with taking three deep breaths of the scent of the essential oils, you have chosen, which the therapist cups in her hands below your nose, as you lie face down. This not only calms the mind and smells incredible, but also sets the mood for intense relaxation. Then, the true magic begins.

Thai and western techniques combine in this massage, with palms, fingers, elbows and forearms in fluid motion or applying pressure, together with assisted stretching. The therapist instinctively works to release muscular tension, where needed, and helps promote extreme well-being and physical flexibility, and is highly successful in this aim.

Moving on to the Intensely Hydrating Facial, recommended for all skin types, this is a culmination of ten thorough steps, using the luxury French brand of marine skincare products, Phytomer. This treatment works to negate the fatiguing, polluting effects of city life on the skin. CHI, The Spa also offers an Active Men’s Facial, specifically tailored to male skin, at the same price, but gentlemen can also benefit from the one I chose.

A marine mist is sprayed to be inhaled and induce a peaceful state of mind. Your skin is then cleansed and toned, before a resurfacing multi-exfoliate is applied, to remove dead skin cells. Prepped for the pure heating mask, the skin is warmed to ensure pores open, before a cleaning cream helps to remove the mask. The next step is a gentle, but rich, cream facial massage, boosting circulation. A reviving serum combats skin fatigue, further amplified by a skin freshness mask, left on for ten minutes. The final two stages involve removal of the mask with a rose visage toning lotion, followed by moisturization with a face and eye contour sorbet cream.

Fresh-faced, before the whole treatment concludes, the therapist aids in reviving you from your slumberous state, with a few more massage and stretching moves, charging up the blood-flow into sleepy limbs. She leaves you to the comfort of your room, where you can take your time, ready yourself, and prep to reluctantly re-emerge into the outside world. First though, a tea and attractive fruit plate await back in the lounge, so you can linger a little longer, in this blissful ambience.

Since my first visit to CHI, The Spa, many years ago, I have been hooked, as they never disappoint. CHI encourages guests to share their spa needs, in order to tailor packages to suit. There are only three ready-made retreat options on the menu. “We prefer to personalize treatments and packages for our individual or couples guests, since everyone’s needs are different from day-to-day,” notes Ms Nhannaphat. “We want everyone to get the absolute luxurious most out of their visit. Happy in mind, body and soul.”

Located in the Shangri-La Bangkok’s Krungthep Wing, this oasis of wellness is easily accessible by the BTS Skytrain, right next to Saphan Taksin. Advance spa bookings are recommended, to ensure your preferred treatment slot, room and therapist are available. CHI The Spa is open daily from 10:00am to 10:00pm, and gets particularly busy at this time of year. Call ahead on 02 236 7777 ext. 6071-2, or email chi.bangkok@shangri-la.com, for an appointment.

*Certain images courtesy of CHI The Spa.

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© 2019 created and curated by Nikki Busuttil.