The Best of Thailand’s Spas


Thailand has become one the world’s premium spa destinations with the finest treatments, a long and authentic tradition of healing arts, a focus on natural products and the warm nature of the Thai people. As the inaugural Thailand Spa and Well-being Awards occurred this year, the scope, quality and innovation shown among the winners caught global attention. The industry awards, which had various categories such as innovative spa treatment and environmental conscience, honored the best in the Kingdom. Created by the Thai Spa Association and supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the event highlighted that Thailand’s spas are not only of paramount quality but the modernization and dedication being seen is world class, ensuring Thailand’s position as a premier spa destination internationally. Voting in the respective categories was conducted by event exhibitors at the World Spa & Well-being Convention (Exhibition category), spa operators (Industry categories) and spa consumers (People’s choice categories). To ensure voting transparency, all votes were tallied by KPMG Phoomchai Audit Ltd.

Thailand’s first destination spa, Chiva-som International Health Resort, Hua Hin was founded in 1994. With their comprehensive treatments, stunning location and dedication to nature they have been awarded some of the highest spa accolades from around the world – including Luxury Travel and Spa Magazine 2008; ‘Top 3 Overseas Spa Retreat.’ It is this dedication that enabled Chiva-som to win three awards at the Thailand Spa and Well-Being Awards 2012 – Innovative Spa Cuisine, Environmental Conscience and Spa Educator. Chiva-som sources all its ingredients from their own specifically created organic farm on site, which means that the chef’s custom nourishing diet is always fresh and free of pesticides. The concept is to create a divine tasting healthy cuisine using herbs, spices and fresh flavors. The chefs also develop a new menu on a daily basis. Meanwhile guests can also attend cooking classes or buy the Chiva-som cookbook to learn how to recreate the famous cuisine.

Environmentally speaking, they are also supremely dedicated. One of the biggest initiatives and reasons why Chiva-som believes they won the Environmental Conscience award is that they have a water purifying system on site that cleanses all water in a multi-stage treatment process consisting of carbon and sand filtration so that there is no environmental footprint. Rainwater is also collected while solar cell panels heat water for spa treatments. Their accolade for Spa Educator was based on the excellent standard maintained at their own International Academy. Founded as an answer to the escalating demand to create a standard training facility dedicated to the human resource needs of the Thai Spa Industry. The academy is internationally accredited and is recognized at a premium facility for training and education in the spa industry.

It was a heavenly-sounding bamboo based treatment whereby heated bamboo is applied to the body for increased circulation and lymphatic drainage that allowed Banyan Tree Samui to take out top honors for Innovative Spa Treatment. This use of a natural product for a specific treatment unanimously won over voters for its eco approach.

Banyan Tree Gallery – the famous brand’s spa product and local crafts shop – won top Spa Product along with I plus Q Co., Ltd. The Banyan Tree Gallery began after visitors to their spa wanted the items used during the treatment to purchase and take home as they were so unique. Thanks to this, now you can buy Banyan Tree products such as apple and green tea hair care and Banyan massage and essential oils. I plus Q is a company that provides spas with the highest quality of essential oils and therapeutic spa products with a focus on Western holistic approach and Asian traditional homeopathy. Alongside the house brand, I plus Q also creates custom spa products for various private labels – following closely all company specifications. They also have a dedication to using only locally sourced products such that the quality is authentic and unsurpassable.

The winner of the best Organic Product was SpaRitual. Their products include vegan nail care and polishes that are DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene-free as well as a custom-blended multipurpose system of seven Spa Treatments and three Bath Salts. All their formulations have been designed for holistic and streamlined manicure, pedicure and body care. SpaRitual uses naturally colored vegan ingredients from around the world, including many plant essences that are wild crafted and organic. The system is also naturally colored and free of synthetic dyes. Dedicated to the spa tradition, the company is committed to also creating eco-friendly products and packaging perfectly crafted for the enlightened consumer.

The Creative Spa Design accolade was given to Coqoon Spa at Indigo Pearl Resort in Phuket. The most standout part of this location has to be The Nest area in the spa – something incredibly unique and stunning. This is a must-try for spa enthusiasts with a luxurious spa suite suspended midair and accessed only by a flying bridge! This set up was created for guest to literally be in his or her own world, while close to nature.

The champion for the highly competitive Best New Spa was Bangkok newcomer, So Spa at Sofitel. Taking up the entire 11th floor of the hotel it is themed as a mythological forest of Thai tradition. Here the idea was for rejuvenating traditions from around the world to meet world-class French cosmetology. Filled with dark wood accents and with a vista over Bangkok, the architecturally designed space is as eye catching as it is comprehensive with its array of treatments, infinity pool, 24-hour gym and more.