Monday, 23 November 2009


I thought I had a good job, but can you imagine being on the judging panel of the AsiaSpa Awards? You’d spend your whole day being pampered from hair follicles to toenails, being blissed out by heavenly lemongrass aromas, soothing chimes, and having their chi and chakras realigned. Now sometimes these poor people have to toil inhumanely long into the evening, just to bring you -- the reading public -- the results of just who is better than who.

But pity them. After a hard day’s work, it’s not like they can really look forward to a good massage. They’re over it already!

And after all that hard work, what did they tell us? Nothing new: Thailand is still the best by a smile. Er, mile. Voted the Spa Capital of the Year 2009.

No surprise really. The Thais have been at it for several thousands, if not millions, of years. They have it down to a fine art, and in Thailand, there’s a spa on every corner that there’s not already a 7-11 on.

Thailand also cleaned up in these categories:

Destination Spa of the Year: Six Senses Destination Spa, Phuket.
Medi-Spa of the Year: S Medical Spa, Bangkok.
Men’s Spa Treatment of the Year: i.sawan Residential Spa & Club, Grand Hyatt Erawan, Bangkok.
Spa Academy of the Year: Banyan Tree Spa Academy, Phuket.

Now here’s the rub. All those winners will be going flat out to hold onto their mantle next year. And all those who got pipped into second and third place will be going at it even softer and gentler and more soothingly this year. That’s right, they’re not taking defeat lying down.

So, pity those judges again. They’ll hardly have time to recover before they’re back on the mat again judging the 2010 awards. They must have hot rocks in their heads.

Question: My best spa experience was at the Banyan Tree in Phuket, which was absolutely otherworldly and sublime. How about yours?

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