Relaxation should be a part of any holiday and Phuket, Thailand delivers luxury resorts, fabulous beaches and sunshine which are all very conducive to putting your feet up and letting life pass you by for a little while. But when you really want to relax you can’t go a treatment or two and there are a plethora of options for pampering in Phuket. Want to know what’s available? Read on for all the details …
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Pampering In Phuket
Options for pampering in Phuket abound but I am going to focus on the most common …
You can barely walk 10 metres in Phuket without the distinctive cry of “Massage Massage” from half a dozen ladies or so ladies trying to entice you to avail of their services. On top of this, most hotels offer luxury spa options, at a cost of course. My preference is for the budget variety so that I can indulge daily without breaking the bank. While I know shopping around can be tiresome, I really encourage you to check out a few before making your choice. I’ve even been known to go as far as to ask people coming out what they thought. Prices are fairly consistent and while you may find a few baht difference here and there, it is so small it is not worth making this the focus of your choice. This trip we decided to try Bali Hai given that the location was convenient to our hotel, they offered the milk massage I prefer (many don’t), it’s larger size meant almost always no waiting and the staff were friendly without being too pushy. Massages start at 300 baht (AUD$12) per hour for traditional Thai and foot massages and go up from there. My choice, the ‘Cleopatra Milk Bath’, was at 500 baht (AUD$20) the most expensive on offer but still way cheaper than I would pay at home. They also offer body scrubs (700 baht AUD$28), combined scrubs/massages (900-1000 baht AUD$36-$40) and facials (300-600 baht AUD$12-$24) but we stuck with the massage. They are open until midnight 7 nights a week and we got there just before 11pm for the last appointments of the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the milk massage, it was relaxing but with a firm enough pressure that you know the kinks were being worked out. There were elements of a more traditional Thai massage at the beginning and end where we felt the full body weight of the masseuse and ended up in some interesting positions. A word of warning if you decide to go with the traditional Thai massage, expect to have your body pushed, dragged and stretched into positions you never thought possible. Not for the faint hearted and not very relaxing! There are two branches but we went to Rat-U-Thit Rd.
Just like Bali Hai, many of the massage parlours offer facials but we wanted a more spa like experience without having to paying the prices in the hotel spa. We decided on Pimnara (beachfront in Banana Walk). From the street it looked slick, modern and inviting. They are open to 11pm and we went for the last appointment of the day at around 10pm. We chose the 500 baht special (AUD$20) but they had lots of options. Unlike a traditional Sydney salon where you are escorted away to a private room, you are lead to a very large room with about 20 treatment beds. The service was speedy and we were straight in. The facial was divine and my skin felt silky soft afterwards. The only strange thing was that they appeared to finish off with powder but he-ho when it Rome right …
With my toes on show more than in a Sydney winter I felt the need to get them sorted fairly early on. Manicure and pedicure options abound in Patong but we chose to visit Nice on Rat-U-Thit Rd (opposite Jungceylon) largely because this is where the Mini Enablers were getting their hair braided which took about 2 1/2 hours. Hey we had to fill the time somehow! Unlike some of the cheaper options about town they have proper spa pedicure chairs and free Wi-Fi which is always a nice touch. Basic pedicures are 300baht ($12) but we chose the 600 baht ($24) option which included skin removal. Great selection of quality polishes as well. Not to be left out, the little ones got their toes painted for 200 baht each ($8). There are cheaper options around if cost is the major driver for you a basic pedicure can be obtained for around 150 baht ($6).
Maybe it doesn’t actually qualify as ‘pampering in Phuket’ but I always feel better when my crazy hair is under control! Humidity is not my friend so keeping my hair in check in Thailand was a challenge. Luckily hair services are very affordable so you can get it sorted for next to nix. I got a blow dry in Bangkok for 300 baht (AUD$12) and we all got braids at Nice in Patong. The girls got the full head while The Enabler and I decided on a more sedate side braid option. Mr Enabler also got a hair cut for 300 baht so the whole family was sorted. The girls braids not only looked good but meant their hair stayed neat and tidy for the rest of the trip with little maintenance. I say little because there were a few bead reattaching sessions lol. I personally wouldn’t let anyone but my hairdresser do any permanent treatments (colours, cuts, perms etc) but if you are game I heard Nice quote one client 2500 baht (AUD$100) for a colour and treatment, considering I just paid $220 for foils at home it’s a significant discount but buyer beware I say.