Housed in a restored historic mansion, Bangkok's latest spa offers treatments inspired by Thai and Asian plants
House-hunting is a part of the job for spa entrepreneurs Kisana Ruangsri and Laksuree Detrerkpan. Their tireless efforts always pay off even though they may take some time - even years.
Four years ago they spotted a beautiful house on Srivieng Road in Silom. The time-worn colonial style mansion enchanted them and they felt renovation would surely revive its glory. Eventually, the owner of the house rented it to them, and the 100-year-old property was transformed into the Divana Virtue Spa, which opened its doors in August.
"We've been in the spa business for over 10 years, and fortunately have found lovely houses for our spas," said Kisana.
"They are warm and homey and spa-goers may prefer this type of setting. When you enter the Divana Virtue house, you may feel a certain energy that enhances spa therapy."
The restoration of the historic mansion aimed to keep its original charm while providing five treatment rooms with an exotic Thai interior design. In the garden, a new wooden construction was built to house four modern style spa villas equipped with Jacuzzis.
As old as the magnificent white mansion are ancient trees standing in the garden and the treatment rooms are named after them, for example the pikul (bullet wood), moke (kurchi) and peep (Indian cork).
The signature package is also related to a tree, the kisana, or agarwood, which has long been regarded as an auspicious tree with its fragrant wood used in religious ceremonies, traditional healing and perfumery.
The spa entrepreneur's name also refers to the agarwood, but the inspiration was drawn from the tree's self-healing power that produces a dark aromatic resin in response to attack.
Kisana, who's in charge of Divana's R&D, then thought of putting the agarwood resin in a body mask and its essential oil in a massage oil for the signature White Orchid & Kisana treatments.
"Divana Virtue Spa's concept is luxury Asian beauty, and the treatments are inspired by Thai and Asian plants," said Kisana. "The agarwood's self-healing quality and the white orchid's benefit in promoting skin radiance come together in this 'white reborn' programme."
Two therapists perform this sumptuous 225-minute pampering (9,850 baht), which starts off with a foot scrub, followed by a warm white orchid aroma body cover and scrub. The body is then enveloped with a peel-off mask containing agarwood resin, honey and beeswax.
A herbal steam is an interlude before jumping on the treatment bed for the agarwood essential oil massage employing hot stones and a roller to help the absorption of a collagen, vitamins C and E cream. A refreshing facial is given along with the relaxing body massage, and the finale is a soak in a milky bath with floating white orchids.
Besides signature packages, the menu also offers an interesting range of facials and body massages, for instance the Growth Hormone & Ruby Hot Stone massage (120 minutes, 3,350 baht) and the Concentrate Caviar Facial Age-Defiance (90 minutes, 3,550 baht) that will complement the treatment programme of the Divana anti-ageing clinic, opening next door in December.
The Divana brand is very popular among Asian tourists, particularly from Japan and Hong Kong, and the new spa is likely to be as busy as its two sister spas, Divana and Divana Divine, located in the Sukhumvit area.
Advanced reservations are highly recommended. Limited parking can be a problem but you can easily get to this luxurious spa by BTS, taking exit 1 at Surasak station.
Open 11am-11pm on weekdays and 10am-11pm on weekends, Divana Virtue Spa is located at 10 Srivieng Road, Bang Rak. For more information, call 02-236-6788 or visit http://www.divana-dvn.com
Full review at: http://www.bangkokpost.com/entertainment/entertainscoop/200335/the-virtue-of-trees)