Just a few blocks away from Thailand’s high-end shopping cluster in Siam, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit exudes serenity; and its Le Spa with L’Occitane a lair for an indulgent escape.
THE DEAL: As one of the most renowned urban spas in the Thai capital, it’s fitting for its chauffeured car to come with steaming coffee and freshly baked croissants; but after a red-eye flight that touched down at 4am, I was especially grateful for the warm welcome that morning. After a few hours of shut-eye, I opened the doors to the hotel’s wellness level on the ninth floor, an olfactory tide of lavender rushing out to greet me. Among an outdoor swimming pool, beauty salon and the SO Fit gym is Le Spa with L’Occitane – a 414sqm area of dark mahogany and timber, with petit bouquets of Immortelle, the French label’s signature flower in almost every corner. Fusing French elegance and a warm Thai hospitality, the spa comprises seven suites, including two Thai massage rooms (meaning lower, wider beds), double and single suites dedicated to balneotherapy and an outdoor massage area. The integration of East and West doesn’t end with the decor, Le Spa with L’Occitane uses French skincare labels Ystara and Themae.
THE LOWDOWN: I sunk my head into a massage bed face cradle overlooking a brass singing bowl filled with red and pink petals as therapist Tikki thoughtfully slipped two towel rolls under my ankles. She started with my legs, pressing her elbows and knees into my thighs, back, spine and arms and sending ripples of relaxation through my entire body with every stroke.
Tikki is intuitive and after learning of my focus points of neck and shoulders, she spent the majority of the treatment in that area. More importantly, she alternated between using her fingers, elbows and palms depending on the pressure points and tension in the area she was working on. On the neck, for example, she nudged her knuckles into the flesh around the spine and underneath my scalp, and the post-flight heaviness that has been weighing me down suddenly eased off. Though I was only halfawake from the relaxing treatment, I was in awe of her thoughtfulness.
Hoping 90 minutes could go on longer, my feet were returned to fluffy slippers, and I was escorted to the Socialising Patio for a cup of hot lavender tea and a macaroon from the hotel’s French bakery to end the treatment.
THE BENEFITS: Though running on only three hours of sleep prior to the treatment, I felt more awake, my muscles were no longer in knots from flying and my circulation improved substantially.
THE VERDICT: Great location, great spa and terrific therapist. Tikki’s attention to detail and care would bring me back in a heartbeat. The convenience of a single wellness floor means guests can walk around without make-up, bringing nothing more than slippers, a robe and a credit card for a day of complete unwinding. For the time-pressed, I highly recommend the 90-minute Relaxing Aromachology Body Massage: you’ll be up and running even with minimal sleep, and definitely worth the investment. www.sofitel-bangkok-sukhumvit.com