After Sirirat Fungkhajon and Chinese entrepreneur George Zhang opened the first I Spa in Beijing, they spent the next six years expanding the business domestically as well as promoting Thai treatments in China.
The Javanese Mandi Lulur body scrub rounds off with a rebalancing yoghurt rub.
The traditional Thai spa branched out to 15 five-star hotels and serviced residences while winning many awards for its operations. At least two Thai therapists are based at each spa in order to ensure that guests experience the real thing.
After China, where would this upscale spa chain go if not Sirirat's homeland.
In 2012, the first Thai branch opened its doors at The Landmark Bangkok with a broader spa concept offering Asian healing therapies based on local wisdom from China, Indonesia, Japan, India and Thailand.
What was previously The Landmark Bangkok's 750m2 parking space became a wonderful sanctuary for those seeking Asian treatments.
Balinese Boreh mask contains herbs and spices that generate natural heat for the body treatment.
Located on level nine by the swimming pool, I Spa is hidden behind a wooden door that opens into the sanctuary where you are welcomed by an invigorating eucalyptus aroma.
Walking down a flight of stairs then leads to the reception area where dimmed lighting and the sound of flowing water along with the aroma prepares you to unwind in one of the 10 treatment rooms, some of them with a view of an indoor garden.
The spa menu presents many options and a consultation helps you pick a treatment or a package, the latter more economical while delivering the full I Spa experience.
The signature Salt Pot Therapy is a twist on the hot herbal compress Thai massage using a luk pra kob (healing ball) with herbs wrapped in a piece of cloth. Instead coarse salt, camphor, plai and Thai herbs are placed in a heated clay pot that serves as a herbal stone, which is then wrapped with a cloth before using it for a light-pressure massage, especially on the back to relieve muscle tension. This soothing massage is combined with a plai scrub and turmeric mask for the 150-minute Exotic Thai-ness package (4,200 baht).
Plai is known for its anti-inflammatory and healing effects, whereas turmeric provides astringent and cleansing properties, and the synergy of these two herbs helps promote smooth and healthy skin.
Turmeric is also a key ingredient for an Indonesian pampering treatment called Javanese Mandi Lulur, which was once reserved for princesses, who had to do the treatment for 40 days preceding their wedding day in order to beautify themselves.
The Salt Pot Therapy employs a heated clay pot that serves as a herbal stone.
The body scrub is a mix of turmeric, cinnamon, sandalwood and jasmine to exfoliate the skin, which then gets a rebalancing yoghurt rub.
Even though wedding bells won't be ringing, you can still try this body scrub, but for the full Javanese indulgence, check out the 150-minute Indonesian Traditions package (4,200 baht).
It was a tranquilising treatment package as we nodded off for the most part of it while the therapist worked on the body scrub, which was followed by a Balinese Boreh mask that came with a zesty aroma and natural heat from herbs and spices. Balinese farmers were the first to use this herbal therapy in order to improve circulation and soothe muscle pain.
A full-body, deep-tissue massage, the Balinese massage then further relaxes mind and muscles through acupressure, reflexology, stretching techniques and aromatherapy.
For a longer spa package, the Thai and Indonesian body treatments can be combined with a Western facial using Pevonia organic skincare products.
The delivery of the Asian treatments is accompanied by high service standards set by the founders, whose aim is to to make guests feel at home, as if the spa were their own abode.
The letter "I" thus refers to oneself and the spa serves as a place to rediscover yourself.
With I Spa's success in China, Zhang and Sirirat aim to make it as big in Thailand by adding more branches in Bangkok and Phuket.
For more information call 02-252-9444.
A treatment room to unwind and experience Asian spa therapies.
About the author
- Writer: Noko