Opiate of the massages

A venue that more than deserves its place on Conde Nast's 'Best New Spas In The World' list

Spa-goers can detect a slight change of product temperature. We know whether the therapist's two hands have different levels of strength. We may even count how many drops of oil are dripped on to our bodies.

In the very calm and quiet atmosphere of a spa session, unless we have dozed off, there's almost nothing to disturb our concentration on what's going on on the spa bed. And even an insignificant flaw can make a visit an unpleasant memory.

Against all negative possibilities, my recent experience at Opium Spa was pleasingly remarkable. From the first step into the awe-inspiring premises to all the touches, sounds, smells and temperatures experienced during the treatment, nothing was less than excellent.

No wonder it has been named among the "2013 Best New Spas In The World" by Conde Nast Traveler.

Located in the spectacular The Siam Hotel on the east bank of the Chao Phraya river, the Opium Spa is the world's first spa officially set up by Sodashi, a leading organic spa product brand from Australia.

Not only does it provide a wide range of spa products, it also offers an exclusive range of therapies unparalleled in quality and performance.

Opium Spa's menu is no-nonsense and truly comprehensive. It offers a wide range of programmes for women with an impressive selection of treatments also available for men and youngsters.

Guests can choose from a 45-minute pampering to a four-hour session and multi-day therapy programmes.

As with most upscale spa establishments, guests arriving at Opium Spa are required to fill in an intake form at the reception area, aka "the den", before being escorted to the treatment suite. Impressively, my answer to each question (from relevant medical condition to preferred level of massage pressure) was taken with care by the spa receptionist-cum-consultant in order to help select the treatments that would most satisfy my needs. After a brief discussion (I was also given a choice of product fragrances), I settled on a three-hour programme, which combined a 90-minute Purifying Body Boost (5,900 baht) with a 90-minute Thermal Infusing Facial (5,400 baht), tailor-made to cater to my physical, mental and beauty requirements.

The treatment suite was beautifully decked out and equipped with steam and shower room, a dressing area, two spa beds and an exquisite platform especially for Thai massages. My petite-size therapist was cordial, very attentive and, throughout the session, proved her expertise at what she's doing.

One of the features at the Opium Spa I can't afford to miss mentioning is the hydraulic spa beds that can be adjusted to the correct position for each treatment. I was very impressed to learn that the management decided to invest in these expensive beds from the US primarily to provide the utmost work-related well-being for its therapists whose heights differ individually.

Of course, when the therapist can perfectly adapt her work station, it leads to a better performance and results in greater satisfaction for the guest.

The treatment officially began after I enjoyed a private 15 minutes in a steam room. Advising me to lie face down on the bed, the therapist then started working from my legs up to my back and neck. Using Sodashi aromatic exfoliating cream _ a combination of rich cream and light grains of salt _ and detoxifying body mask, this choice of treatment is designed to purify the skin, stimulate the blood circulation, remove toxins and enliven both body and soul.

The therapist's scrubbing movement was neat and in a relaxing massaging pattern. After the exfoliating cream was rinsed off, the therapist finished this body therapy by carefully applying plenty of very rich and smooth body lotion through an even more heavenly massage.

With my body gratifyingly pampered and now in "hibernation" mode, the therapist then began working on my face. The Thermal Infusing treatment aims to deeply cleanse and nourish the facial skin with a mixture of vitamins and minerals through a warm mask. After the treatment, guests can expect to see the skin hydrated and toned and elasticity and radiance restored.

It started with gentle but thorough facial cleansing using a series of aromatic Sodashi products, followed by the application of the masking paste.

This clay-like substance was cold at first, but gradually turned very warm.

During the 20 minutes that we had to let the mask harden, I was spoiled by a head, neck and hand massage.

When the rock-like mask was lifted off and my face properly cleaned, I could feel that my skin was supple and deeply moist. The Opium Spa has a stunning mosaic and marble, hammam-inspired (read Turkish ) bath house featuring classic hot and cold plunge pools that are complimentary for pre- or post-spa treatments and workouts.

The Opium Spa by Sodashi opens daily, 10am-10pm. It is located at The Siam Hotel on Khao Road, Dusit district. Call 02-206-6999 for more details and reservations.

About the author

Writer: Vanniya Sriangura
Position: News Reporter