Bangkok Post reviews
Euforia at eforea
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: December 11, 2013 at 9:13 am
Pure pleasures in Pattaya
What a blessing it is for the inherently lazy, like myself, that lying down doing nothing is one of the best ways you can serve your "mind, body and soul", as the stock spa saying goes. And one of the ultimate places to do that currently is at eforea Spa, ensconced at the Hilton Pattaya and packaged with ocean views.
Not that the blue yonder matters when indulging in a slap up "Face and Body Sensation" (B6,400 nett), an utterly blissful yet lastingly beneficial three-hour spa journey. However, the sea does somehow accentuate the sense of escape as you are guided from the smooth sculpted naturally scented reception point along a sheltered wooden walkway connecting the spa's string of stand-alone treatment rooms, each set on its own island amidst water that melts into the seascape.
A separate massage pavilion offers a nurturing environment in which to experience the highly specialized and therapeutic Thai massage treatment. A Vichy Pavilion offers a cocooning hydrotherapy spa experience by combining the healing powers of water with the therapeutic benefits of massage in a single heavenly experience. The interactive thermal experience allows you to surrender your stress by embracing the warming elements of aroma infused steam and hydrotherapy massage. A salon provides hair and nail services in a warm and friendly environment.
Ssome of the world's finest spa brands are featured among the treatment products. Kerstin Florian offers a progressive range of results-oriented European facial, body and bath products and treatments sourced from natural resources that include algae, mud, herbal extracts, thermal mineral water and essential oils. The product line is founded on advanced phytotherapy, aromatherapy, thermal mineral, herbal and marine technology. LI'TYA draws on the revitalizing and restorative powers of Australia's native resources to provide a holistic spa experience. VitaMan provides a comprehensive line of Australian-made natural spa and grooming products formulated specifically for men.
Inside the spacious treatment room, the sea is visible through sundimmed glass. One strips down and dons a bathrobe and modesty knickers in the his 'n' hers locker rooms, complete with steam, sauna and Jacuzzi. Once inside the room, there's not much time to check out the ocean-going traffic before the rose-petal strewn footbath. That is followed by sellecting which of the three essential oil combinations you feel like spiking your spa journey with: Reharmonize, Detox or Rejuvenating. I went for the latter looking for a pick-me-up to carry me into the evening on a high rather than something that would send me completely somnambulant. Its lavender and rose hip base that promised to harmonize my internal organs and balance my hormones sounded and smelled just the ticket.
I am bid to close my eyes while an aboriginal blessing ritual, including burning fragrant tree bark and wafting it around my head, is performed and my therapist, K. Kay, recites an incantation that, if effective, sounds just what I'm looking for.
And so to the treatment bed which the spa boasts with justification is among the most soft and body sculpting, as well as expensive, in the business. Certainly there is no fidgeting to find a good position as one lies face down staring into a bowl of floating lotus blooms.
As the ministrations begin, the eyes involuntarily close and the mind goes on an inner journey into dimensions deeper than the ocean.
The treatment is in three parts, each around an hour. A cleansing exfoliation therapy comes first, followed by a "meditation massage" and concluding with a customized facial.
Scrubs are all about treating the skin but K. Kay manages to also imbue the therapy with enjoyment by interspersing applications and removals with soothing massage techniques. The scrub itself imparts a certain pleasure. Salt scrubs aren't painful but this combination of sticky Thai tamarind and finely ground sea shells gets the job done in a more carressive than abrasive fashion and arguably leaves the skin a mite brighter. Each stage of the treatment is expertly executed and the hour goes by in a blink.
With bathroom arrangements ensuite, one remains in one's sensory trance whilst freshening up in the shower, hosing off the gunk and refraining from applying gel so that the skin can retain the benefits thus far imparted.
Now for the massage. Hesitantly, I answered K. Kay's enquiry as to my personal tolerance of the pressure she was preparing to apply to me through her well trained, small but strong hands as "medium-firm". As an irregular spa visitor, my body tends to become quite stiff between sessions and I get the most relief by allowing a little discomfort along the way. Plus I'm a bit of a show off and don't want my therapists to think I'm a softy.
I needn't have worried. She was firm but fair. Using adapted Swedish massage techniques, the modus was smooth and slow while the LI'TYA products ensured that the results were remarkable. I'd asked for a little extra attention to my lower back because I'm a bit of a sloucher and she set me not only to touch my toes but even the floor. It also enabled me to attain my full height, which is a good inch more than my usual posture permits. What's more I felt ready to break dance in a way that belied my seniority.
MEN ARE FROM SPAS
That revelation came later, however. First the men's De-Stress Face Treatment. I'm a fan of facials and I don't care who knows it. Where's the harm in parting the clouds and letting the sun shine out once in a while?
To get to that point, though, first K. Kay had to spend the hour deep in the trenches undertaking a renovation job on a scale to rival spring cleaning Venice. To her credit, she accomplished this without resort to bleach or industrial sanders, relying instead on the excellent VitaMan lotions and potions.
The full step facial treatment began with an exceptionally effective de-stressing massage technique that relieves muscular tension of the shoulders, neck and jaw. Then came the cleansing, smoothing and hydrating, and the unique anti-oxidant, red wine, hydrating face masque. Not much effort required on my part and yet I emerged, at least in my own estimation, looking younger than for a long time.
Job done. Next stop the relaxation room, a kind of decompression chamber for spaonauts where you can collect your thoughts and let the blissful sensations linger longer over hot ginger tea and chocolate chip cookies. Now is also the time to savour the sea view before returning to the real world rather better equipped to deal with its onslaughts.
Worth noting is the spa's current Signature Correcting and Firming Facials Promotion Featuring Microcurrent Technology that makes the skin sronger, brighter and tauter. More frequent spa-goers may also be interested in eforea: spa at Hilton Memberships that bundle in steep discounts and free treatment vouchers for 10,000 or 20,000 nett a year.