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A spa with a view at Anantara Resort Golden Triangle
01 Jul 2006
With views over three countries, air laden with the scent of lemon grass and the sound of birdsong wafting through the open windows, one of the hidden treasures of northern Thailand is undoubtedly the Anantara Spa.
Located within the Anantara Resort Golden Triangle, the eponymous facility is a serene and superlatively sensual retreat. On arrival at the three-storey high reception room, guests are offered a cup of warm ginger-honey tea and given time to relax in one of the two huge muslin-draped swings as they take in the Thai and Burmese jungle canopy, the Mekong valley and the misty, green hills of Laos in front of them.
After choosing their treatment, guests are ushered through to one of the spa's five terrazzo and teakwood suites. Measuring approximately 4.6 square metres, each suite was designed for couples and features its own shower and herbal steam room. Music volume and air-conditioning can be individually-controlled to suit guests and floor vents allow the cool air to slowly circulate upwards rather than descending like a cold blanket.
Those wanting to shun air-conditioning, often unnecessary in the cooler climate of northern Thailand, can open the balcony doors and listen to the forest's bird chorus. Each suite balcony features either an alfresco sunken soaking tub or a Thai massage platform, both of which can accommodate two people and be enclosed within muslin drapes for extra privacy.
The Spa's treatments are all deliciously indulgent. The elixirs and oils all use the finest and freshest indigenous ingredients, nutrient rich and luxuriously aromatic. Using traditional beauty essences such as sandalwood, ylang ylang, patchouli, mandarin, lavender, lemongrass, ginger, cinnamon, bergamot and natural ingredients such as Thai coffee beans, natural volcanic pumice, sweet woods, powdered spices, yoghurt, carrots and cucumbers, all the treatments are designed to deliver radiance, relaxation and a sense of well-being.
The Anantara Spa Golden Triangle's signature Culture of Anantara is a lusciously exotic treatment that begins with a relaxing aromatherapy massage using a choice of four specially blended oils. This is followed by a wrap embracing the essential goodness of wild honey, brown sugar, fresh pumpkin and bananas, which will leave your skin feeling moisturized and nourished. The journey concludes with a beautifully aromatic bathing experience.
To experience traditions of ancient Thailand and therapist skills, and for stiff or sore muscles, the four-hour Traditional Thai Ritual is a must. Perfect for those who have yet to be introduced to Thai herbal therapies, the journey begins with a Thai Herbal Steam Bath to soothe tension. This nurturing regime is followed by a Thai Aromatherapy Facial that consists of an eight-step regimen of specially-blended Thai herbal preparations which are massaged into the skin to refine the complexion and clear the mind.
The body is then treated to a Luk Pra Kob Hot Herbal Compress treatment - an ancient aromatic treatment dating back to the Ayutthaya period and designed in that era for war-weary soldiers to soothe their aching muscles. In practice for over 200 years, steamed herbal pouches containing five different Thai herbs known for their restorative and rejuvenating properties are used to massage the body for healing and pleasure. The ritual is completed with a 90-minute traditional Thai massage using pressure points along the body's energy channels to release blocked or congested energy, increasing awareness and vitality.
Those seeking to release mental tension and find a calm state of mind should book a 60-minute Indian Head Massage. Considered one of the most powerful Ayurvedic treatments available, it uses Ayurvedic oils and traditional Indian head massage techniques to relax and revitalise the body. This treatment is excellent for those suffering from insomnia, chronic headache, migraine or sinusitis.
If balance, energy and a sense of peace are being sought, then the Anantara therapists might recommend the Elemis Aroma Stone Therapy Massage, a luxurious 60-minute aromatic massage harnessing the healing power of warm Volcanic stone. Small pebbles are placed on key energy points and using the deep penetrating heat from within these, the body is massaged using traditional techniques to release muscular tension and balance the spirit. It's the perfect treatment for loosening stiff and sore muscles resulting from over-exercise and stress.
Anantara facials also use nature's healers with anti-oxidants such as green tea, chamomile, rose and lavender and traditional Thai skin care products containing skin beautifier and moisturiser, prai and khamin. Also on offer are a range of luxurious Elemis facials, including some specifically designed for men and centred around deep cleansing and therapeutic grooming.
For spa-loving couples, the Spa Bliss Ritual is a four-hour retreat of white sesame scrubs, honey and milk-infused baths, Swedish massages and rejuvenating facials.
Dedicated spa-goers who are willing to escape the limits of time can immerse themselves in longer and more encompassing indulgences with three or seven-day spa journeys that can be customised to suit guest's needs.
Anantara Resort Golden Triangle is located 60km north of Chiang Rai's international airport. For enquiries and reservations, please call + 66 (0) 5378 4084 or + 66 (0) 2 477 0760 or email email@example.com.
Anantara is taken from an ancient Sanskrit word that means 'borderless water', a name chosen for this element's association in many Asian cultures with wealth and good fortune. Inspired by local architecture and sensitive to the indigenous culture, Anantara Resorts are currently located in the seaside town of Hua Hin (220kms south of Bangkok), on Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand and in the Golden Triangle in the country's north. Anantara Resort Maldives opened in September 2006.
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