While Bangkok boasts many great spa options for a quick, post-work relaxation sesh, at the weekend we like to pamper ourselves with an extended spa treatment for the ultimate indulgence. To dedicate a day to total rest and relaxation, your best bet is to head to one of Bangkok’s luxury hotel spas, many of which offer deals that encompass a premium spa treatment, with world-class spa facilities, and even a luxurious, overnight wellness retreat.
Nestled in the garden of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, i.sawan Residential Spa & Club is one of our favourite destinations for a weekend retreat, harbouring a world-class spa, a 25-metre free-form swimming pool and delightful dining options all under one roof. Set in tranquil bamboo gardens, i.sawan offers an invigorating escape from the bustle of the city with spa treatments that are best described as pure, authentic and results-oriented, that is, the Hyatt Spa experience.
Perpetually suffering from creaky shoulders, stiff upper back and having my skin constantly exposed to pollution, I was thrilled to find that the five-star spa offers a three-hour Signature Escape package — an indulgent spa treatment comprised of the spa’s best offerings; a body scrub and moisture wrap, a full body massage and a hydrating facial. Each session lasts for 60 minutes.
i.sawan has two types of spa suites: three deluxe treatment bungalows, which contain twin treatment beds for couples, a shower and an outdoor terrace; and six single ensuite treatment rooms, of which two rooms have a partition wall and the beds are specifically designed for Thai treatments with raised floor beds.
After a brief welcome tea at the i.sawan reception, I followed my therapist Lek as we walked through the bamboo garden, before entering one of the spa’s single suites: a warmly lit room that feels like its own calm sanctuary, boasting decors with a neutral colour palette that embodies the signature Hyatt touches, from aromatherapy products to plush bedding and bathrobes. In lieu of a central changing area, the treatment room is fully equipped with a wardrobe, toilet and shower facilities for use before, in between and after the treatments.
I sat down and had my feet rinsed in petal-filled water and lightly massaged, while Lek talked me through the Signature Escape process. Using the reputed Italian Comfort Zone skincare products, the blissful treatment started with cooling white lotus skin conditioning body wrap and jasmine rice and lemongrass cream scrub. A thick layer of white lotus scented lotion was gently applied all over my skin and I was wrapped up in cling film and towels, while the bed underneath me was heated. As someone who is active and sweats easily, I have to say the feeling of the heat trapped between the thick lotion and my skin was more uncomfortable than soothing at the beginning. But, knowing that I actually got to detox more and kick the toxins out of my body, I lay down still and started to feel the calming effect of the moisturising wrap.
Once the cling film and towel came off, and my skin was able to breathe again — this time feeling refreshed and pampered. Then came the body polish; with circular, firm movements, Lek scrubbed my back and limbs, using a blend of jasmine rice and lemongrass that aimed to slough away dead skin, stimulate circulation, boost metabolism, and give the skin a baby-smooth finish. After the scrub was complete, I hopped into a hot shower, rinsed off the creamy scrub to reveal insanely soft, silky skin and came out smelling like a garden in full bloom.
After drying off, I got back on the bed for the much-anticipated 60-minute massage; a unique combination of Swedish, aromatherapy and Thai. Lek started by instructing me to breathe deep as she held out the sweet-smelling massage oil, warmed in her hands, for me to inhale. The oil is a blend of lemongrass, cypress and Thai herbs, which is meant to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. Deeply invigorating and comforting, it’s a perfect accompaniment to lull you into a state of bliss.
Using this blend, Lek started straight from my feet, working out the tension in my calves, seemingly knowing exactly which tendons and muscles were sore and diving straight in to these areas. Then she moved her way up to untwist the knots in my lower back to the shoulders, taking her time to slowly knead away knots, stretching away muscle tightness and pressing acupressure points before stopping at my fingertips. It was all too easy to drift in and out of sleep.
The last part of the session entailed a 60-minute hydrating facial, using Comfort Zone’s Hydramemory skincare line, which is designed to restore the skin’s natural silkiness and vitality with moisture-replenishing ingredients. Feeling relaxed and slightly dazed, I was told to turn on my back so that Lek could clean my face and apply the mask. You know it’s a good spa treatment when you start to drift in and out of blissful sleep, and this was exactly what happened as Lek continued to press and massage my head and scalp while the mask was allowed to sit.
By the end of the treatment, I woke up feeling pleasantly relaxed, my originally dehydrated skin emerged clean, smoothened and dewy, and my pores smaller. It was definitely the softest and brightest my face had felt for a long time, so much so that it felt like my daily skincare routine was barely enough to match that level of deep hydration. That’s all good news: it only means there’s all the more reason for me to come back.