The Thai people believe that massages should be a part of your regular beauty regimen, and I couldn’t agree more. Fortunately, the choices in this unofficial massage capital of the world are endless, ranging from the affordable luxury of a $10 per hour leg massage, to the traditional (but somewhat torturous) Thai treatment, to luxury spa menus at the city’s top hotels. Weary tourists should plan to ease their tensions daily with an inexpensive foot, back, and shoulder massage—the bread and butter of this town’s wellness offerings. But, that being said, here’s a word to the wise: unless you’re a seasoned Bangkok massage goer, it’s best to avoid the storefronts with young women goading customers to enter. With so many options, sometimes it’s hard to know where to go. Here’s a list of five options that hit multiple price points and guarantee to leave patrons relaxed and rejuvenated.
The opulent spa at the Mandarin Oriental offers luxurious spa pampering in an Asian-healing-meets-Western-methods kind of way. Before arriving in Bangkok, I recommend pre-booking the “jetlag massage” to zap sluggishness. The Oriental mud wrap and QMS Medicosmetics Facial are other top treatments. But really, you can’t go wrong with any of the spa’s offerings.
I.Sawan Residential Spa and Club
Known as the “fifth level of heaven,” I.Sawan in the garden of the Grand Hyatt Erawan is a spa focused on total relaxation. Book one of their six residential cottages—an overnight retreat that includes a treatment room—or one of their nine treatment bungalows for a full day of indulgence.
A chain of large wellness centers in Bangkok serving up facials and massages, Health Land is the go-to place for a traditional Thai massage. Be sure to hydrate after the treatment—it’s a no nonsense method for working out your kinks, and be sure ask your hotel to help you book appointments at least one day in advance.
Divana Massage Spa
Nestled in a quiet garden, this spa offers an extensive menu in beautiful, private treatment rooms. For ultra pampering, try the 210-minute super detox, matcha charcoal service that includes a body scrub, oil massage, salt bath, and a facial done with a mix of bamboo charcoal blended with green tea matcha.
One of the best values for your money, The Touch has two locations on Soi Ruamrudee. Walk-in appointments are frequently available for popular treatments like the body scrub and the Thai herbal compress massage. And for only 350 Baht, or $10 USD, you’ll find one of the best hour-long foot, shoulder, and back massage here as well.