HideAway Day Spa, Phuket, Thailand


Sensational Thailand

 Seriously Natural Seclusion
 

By Marie Moon

My session was distinctly wonderful. I enjoy spa treatments of any kind, but this was different for today I encountered real physical therapy. Khun Au worked my back in ways that no one has been able to do before and I will definitely visit her again.

I notice the property each time I go to the Bang Tao area. It’s not only the clever name and the simple black and white signboard that peaks my curiosity, it’s the high brick walls surrounding the perimeter and the thick bamboo that provides a shady canopy across the top; it’s the overall look of encapsulation, seclusion that beckons me, and today I finally visited the HideAway Day Spa.

The grounds are well landscaped; lush and jungly and a narrow jungle path leads to an open reception pavilion. Behind the high brick walls the spa is as attractive as I had imagined but I was immediately surprised to see that it has its own line of spa products. To have broadened into herbal concoctions is normally an indication of a spa that is serious about healing.

The spa philosophy draws upon thousands of years of traditional Thai healing, the kind that was once only practised by Buddhist monks. Mr. John Buckley, founder of HideAway Day Spa explained "In the mid 1980’s, I experienced the herbal steam sauna at the temple in Nai Harn, the only herbal steam sauna on the whole island at that time. I was immediately hooked, I felt fantastic and so relaxed after it, that I would travel down to the Nai Harn temple from Patong 3-4 times a week. The Abbot of the Temple then gave his blessings to open a herbal sauna for Patong residents. When the spa was established in 1987, the concept was to cater for local Thais and the small expatriate community in a natural Thai jungle setting. We utilized several of the natural herbs that the Abbot had been using for many years, in his temple sauna."

One of these aromatic plant was the unique Thai herb known as plai. This amazing herb, which is traditionally used as a skin beautifier, is hailed to ward off asthma, chronic colds, nausea, flatulence, even colic. It is also used as an antiseptic, an analgesic, a digestive and helps to reduce fever. HideAway was the first spa in Thailand to introduce and promote this wonder-herb; they even registered the name "prai" which is the local pronunciation of the word. "We have since researched other Temple wisdom and developed our own herbal recipe for the ultimate in relaxation." 18 years and over 225,000 international and local guests are evidence of the quality and benefits of this traditional holistic Thai healing experience.

HideAway offers a carefully selected array of traditional Thai massage forms. John attested, "All of the treatments found here in Thailand are so pure, we have found no need to commercialize them by combining them with other International therapies. We have taken the formulas of Thai massage from Wat Po and chosen the techniques that are safe and easy for any condition of the body. Many places offer Thai massage that is not adapted to the lack of flexibility of the modern body. If the therapist is not properly trained, the guests will walk away with more pain than they walked in with!"

My session was distinctly wonderful. I enjoy spa treatments of any kind, but this was different for today I encountered real physical therapy. My right shoulder blade has given me repeated back pain since I injured it a few years ago. Although I am a regular massage-taker, I’d not been able to find any lasting comfort, until I met Khun Au, a good-natured and extremely talented woman from Chiang Mai. Khun Au worked my back in ways that no one has been able to do before and I will definitely visit her again.

This therapeutic massage was but the final step in a string of relaxing experiences which all had a cumulative effect. I started the session with some quiet time in the herbal sauna. Nice and dark and built entirely of wood, this steam sauna is infused with relaxing and medicinal aromas and is a perfect way to begin a treatment. Inhaling fresh essential oil laden steam enhances detoxification and prepares the muscles for treatment and a quick dip in the cool plunge pool between steams, revives the mind and sparks the senses.

After the sauna I was lead back to my private treatment pavilion. The pavilions are well presented and appointed, with dressing rooms and lockers, separate bathrooms with deep tubs, shower and toilet, and an open-air treatment area. Khun Au was there and a mattress had been prepared for me. I lay down naked and looked out to the lake that sits between the HideAway and the Laguna property. A breeze rushed in from across the lake and was so delightful that I immediately became a fan of the open-air setting. It’s so natural. A buffalo was crouching just a few metres below the pavilion. Chewing on cud and spitting out the occasional ‘hawww’ he watched me enjoy a khamin and prai body scrub. The spa offers a limited number of specially formulated skin treatments. There is also a prai and khamin body masque and a prai and aloe vera wrap and salt scrub.

After the body treatment I washed off in a bath brimming with orchids. I love floral baths, there are few experiences more luxurious and I savoured every minute. The massage was the next step and I had already chosen a blend of nutmeg and cajeput oil, under counsel of the reception staff who consulted me on which essential oils were best suited to my needs. John said that, "HideAway was the first spa in Thailand to introduce aromatherapy body oils with Thai massage." The various other oils offered include mandarin, wild mint, wild lime, prai, ylang ylang and lemongrass, each with its own healing properties.

HideAway set yet another precedent when it was the first spa to introduce Thai foot massage and hand massage as separate treatments with aromatherapy oils and lotions. The spa also offers an aromatherapy back, neck, shoulder, arm, face and head massage which is suited to people who don’t have the time for a long session.

A lasting impression of the HideAway spa is one of naturalness. Wood, water, wind, trees, cotton, herbs, essential oils; the materials employed by the spa in all areas have a rawness that wholly expresses the spa concept. For serious treatment, natural therapy and luxurious seclusion I highly recommend a visit to the HideAway Day Spa during your next visit to Phuket.

A HideAway spa can also be found in Patong and the newest location, Chalong, opening May-June 2005.


 

 From Benjarong Magazine – March 2004, Volume 8 Issue 3

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Kinnaree Media Marketing
Tel: (66-76) 263737-8 Fax: (66-76) 224113
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This month features
 
 Thailand and Asia
 phuket travel info
 PHUKET HOTEL GUIDE
  USEFUL SECTIONS
Phuket Travel and Tours
  Tropical Living Magazine
  Koh Samui
  Phuket
  Bangkok
  Pattaya
  Krabi
  Recommend this site


Last Minute Hotels
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 Benjarong Magazine - October 2005, Volume 8 Issue 10

 

In Association with

Kinnaree Media Marketing
Tel: (66-76) 263737-8 Fax: (66-76) 224113
E-mail:
info@travel-phuket.com    Website: www.travel-phuket.com
Web design by Andaman Graphics Phuket