Intimidation factor: Middling. The spa boutique, with waterfall walls and orchid galore, feels inviting but the surly front desk staff don’t seem so pleasant on the night. They also wanted us to pay and depart as they were starting to clean at 9 pm.
Number of staff on floor: One, a bit grouchy for the Land of Smiles.
Response time: Slow. We had to wait a bit then spa therapists greets us cordially and takes to the treatment area.
Vibe: sleek teak wooded, colonial period Thai house meets Mad Hatter of employees.
Price range: From 3800 baht for a 1h, 20 mins aromatic massage to a staggering 11,200 baht for a Peninsula Journeys Bangkok retreat package of yoga massage and their ‘ultimate’ facial.
It’s like entering a new world. Just steps from the busy bank of the Chao Paraya river, you’ll find this little urban hideway tucked in the Peninsula Bangkok. Down a secluded walk from the pool and dining area, you will find this pristine, elegant spa.
The ESPA Peninsula spa aims to “awaken the senses witha world-class pampering experience at The Spa. Strip away the worries of the world and slip into a luxurious Peninsula robe in the spectacular urban oasis located in the heart of Thailand’s enchanting capital.”
The menu trumpets its commitment to a treatment worthy of royalty. “With traditional methods from European, Oriental and Ayurvedic philosophies seamlessly combining with modern comforts” – their words.
These are all laudable goals, as is having comfortable slippers, a well-designed and pampering tea lounge/post treatment area and one of the most beautiful tileworks (I’ve ever seen) in the female change room sauna.
In reality, however, the spa is an earnest mess of nonchalant front end staff more concerned with closing shop than giving a royal experience. Our getaway from the getaway marred by staffers who wanted to getaway.
It’s not totally hopeless. The Peninsula Bangkok spa has its moments. The anti-aging Enzyme peeling facial was FANTASTICALLY well-done, as was Mr. Spaist’s 1h 30min Swedish massage with ample stretching and pressure that only Thai masseurs can do. The couple suite was extravagant and very romantic. The website was engaging and very informative. A shame that our getaway turned out not to be our own.