Ah, if there is a Spa Heaven, surely this must be it. The world-renowned Banyan Tree Spa was the last stop on our one-hour whirlwind tour its namesake, the Banyan Tree Resort in Phuket.
After resort guests have taken advantage of all the recreational activities available, they can retreat into a sanctuary for the senses. Within the intimacy of individual spa pavillions, a wide range of holistic Asian treatments are offered. I wouldn’t expect anything less.
At the very least, I recommend that you make an appointment to indulge in the classic Thai massage. A set of loose-fitting cotton pajama-like garments are provided for your comfort. The therapist will lead you into a tranquil space where a thick, cloth-covered pad resembling a queen-size mattress awaits on slightly raised platform.
This is sometimes called “yoga massage” because you will be stretched, pulled, twisted and massaged at acupressure points while seated and prone to get the blood and the energy flowing. At times, you may feel woman-handled (or man-handled) but it is ultimately deeply relaxing. You will pay a little more at an upscale hotel spa than at budget storefronts or in open air markets. But consider the difference in experience when administered by a skilled therapist rather than an untrained person with limited English skills.
If you are enjoying a lunch break during a full spa day, the adjacent Tamarind Restaurant serves a light and healthy spa menu al fresco next to that lovely pool. Unfortunately, it was time to leave, no time for me to personally sample either the spa or the restaurant.