The spa at the Rayavadee hotel, Krabi, Thailand
We can’t believe that it’ been nearly 4 months since our belated honeymoon to Thailand and our simply amazing spa treatment at the 5 star Rayavadee Luxury Resort. And when they say luxury, they mean luxury. Before we start to talk about the spa, let us try to put into words just how beautiful this tiny corner of Thailand really is, apologies to those who have already read our Krua Phranang restaurant review. The Rayavadee takes up almost the entire tip of the stunning Phranang Peninsular, right on the edge of the Krabi Marine National Park. With beaches on all three sides (Phranang Cave Beach being one of the most beautiful in Thailand) and a breathtaking backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs. Categorised as of the leading hotels of the world, the Rayavadee is like nowhere else on earth…
I’ll set the scene of that day… It was possibly the hottest day of our holiday, I’m not good in the heat and Saff was still recovering from a sick bug that had left her room-bound the previous day. Because of this we had to cancel a speedboat trip to Phi Phi Island, so as a substitute we decided to hop on a long tail boat over to nearby Poda Island. Two ‘return’ tickets cost just 400 Baht (about £8), not bad we thought. That was until we realised that the return journey wasn’t till 4pm, the exact same time as our spa appointment… In spite of this little setback we thought we’d spend the morning wandering around Poda Island and worry about getting over to the Rayavadee later… We’d cross that ocean when we got to it!
Poda is beautiful and if you walk for about twenty minutes, from the where the boats drop you off, you’ll find an almost deserted beach with the clichéd crystal clear blue sea and powdery white sand. After a couple of hours it was time to head back to make our appointment at the spa. We had to haggle for the fare to get us back… I was getting stressed. I could feel, no see, my shoulders tensing up! I’m really going to need that massage. Eventually, about thirty minutes and £25 later, we arrived at Phranang Cave Beach and had to rush to make it to the spa in time. I’m really, really going to need that massage NOW!
We raced amongst the exclusive bungalows and tropical gardens to the Rayavadee Spa, situated right in the middle of the resort. As we walked into the huge reception, all sweaty and out of breath, we were greeted with a smile and a bow. Once our names were taken we were shown to a small outside relaxation area where we could wash the sand from our feet, we loved the little brass birds on the taps – a nice little touch. The interior was beautiful, just how you’d imagine a traditional Thai luxury spa to look. Taking inspiration from the stunning natural surroundings, dark wood, aged brass and weaved palm leaves are used to full effect. There seemed to be lots of carved monkeys, very detailed carvings as you will see from our pictures! We had a real feeling of being outside, which added to the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.
In fact the attention to detail wasn’t just obvious with the decor, the service was impeccable too. As we started to fill in our treatment forms Saff mentioned that she still had a slightly sore tummy from her sick bug. And before we had finished our paperwork a tray with a couple of cold towels (for my still sweaty head) and a pot of fresh Ginger tea to settle Saff’s stomach was served for us. (A drink that we continue to make if we feel a bit ‘delicate’.)
Right, on to the actual treatments. There are far too many packages, massages and therapies to go into detail (thirteen pages worth if you download the PDF), but all incorporate ancient Thai healing techniques. The philosophy of which is that through the well-being of the body, mind and spirit you can achieve a deeply felt sense of relaxation.
For obvious reasons we decided to go for the Honeymoon package (About £90 each for two hours and fifteen minutes). We were led through by our private treatment room by two lovely and polite Thai girls. First we had our feet washed and the massaged, we could feel the tension and stresses melting away. Then we were encouraged to sit in our sauna for fifteen minutes before spending half an hour in a calming floral bath for two with essential oils and tropical petals. Saff only lasted about five minutes in the sauna, I only managed another five, boy was it hot… The bath wasn’t much cooler, we blame our slightly sun burnt skin from our day on Poda. Eventually we lounged in the bath, completely chilled as the scent of lemongrass candles filled the air.
Then for a spot of unintentional comedy… Our Thai girls came back in and asked us to change out of our swimsuits and into what can best be described as extremely tiny dark blue net pants! Now, I’m not a small fella (I’m talking waistline here) and once I had these pants on and looked down at the over stretched netting, I began to chuckle! ‘Looks like a bag of sprouts!’ I whispered to Saff. Well this set us both off laughing uncontrollably. We hopped up onto the treatment tables and as I looked over to Saff I could see her shoulders shaking as she was trying to silently hide her giggles, like a naughty school girl at the back of the class…
Back to the aromatic massage. We had already requested the target areas and ‘strength’ of our massage. Saff, who suffers from severe neck pain asked for a hard deep tissue massage on her neck and shoulders. While I went for a more relaxing medium pressure on my lower back and thighs (my shoulders still being a bit tender from the sun). Our modesty was covered with soft thin towels as we laid still waiting for the main event to begin.
The girls worked their magic, and it was magic, as they jumped up on to the table (and on to us) and inched their way up our bodies using their knees, elbows and hands to squeezed every last drop of stress. This might sound clumsy and painful but it wasn’t, it was strangely calming with every movement controlled, deliberate and delicate. The oils used smelt (and felt) amazing, it’s hard to describe the exact smell without sounding vague. The main scent was citrus but with a floral almost sweet hit. They also massaged our hands and feet before turning their attention to our requested target areas… Heaven!
Next up was a Mini Facial, well if this was a mini one the maxi one must be epic! First we had our heads covered with a hot towel before we were blindfolded – we hope this is so we could relax but I think it’s so we couldn’t look up their noses! We lost count of how many times we were cleansed, toned, scrubbed, face mask on, face mask off… You get the general idea. The creams and toners were cooling, light and smelt of cucumber, the mask and scrub also had a slight wheaty smell. Finally our faces were cooled with a cold towel before we were served some herbal tea.
As we dressed, it felt as if we were floating. The last two hours had flown by, we didn’t want the treatment to end… As we said our goodbyes and waited for our little golf buggy to take us to the Krua Phranang restaurant for dinner we wished we had really splashed out and gone for the ‘Totally Rayavadee’ spa package (£210 each for four and a half). Now that would have really special…