How to Choose a Day Spa in Bangkok

A trip to a day spa in Bangkok is the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. Whether you’re there for a massage, facial, manicure or sauna, you’re guaranteed to feel more refreshed and reinvigorated when you leave.

In days gone by, a trip to a spa was like a mini-vacation and reserved for the rich and famous. Not so anymore, day spas have risen up to overtake in popularity and prevalence these old school “destination spas”.

While a smaller day spa won’t offer as many treatments and facilities as a larger resort spa, what they make up for brevity they make up for in convenience and cost.

But how can you know if a particular day spa is the right choice for you? Here are three tips to help you make the proper selection.

  1. Menu
    Just because a place calls itself a spa, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to have the exact services you’re looking for. The quality and quantity of what’s on offer varies a lot from place to place and country to country.

Here in Thailand, most “basic” spas will offer beauty services like waxing and a range of massages, but if you’re looking for a full-service day spa, do your research (either online or via the phone) in advance to know whether or not they offer the following:

  • Manicure and pedicure
  • Facial treatments
  • Body wraps
  • Hydrotherapy, steam room, sauna
  • Laser hair removal
  • Therapeutic massage (i.e., sports or deep tissue)

Note: Some spa may offer more advanced therapeutic treatments like lymphatic drainage and Botox, but these require advance booking with a physician.

  1. Etiquette
    If this is your first visit to a day spa, don’t panic the employees will graciously show you’re the ropes, so you know what’s to be expected of you and the esthetician.

Having said, it’s still a good idea to learn about spa etiquette ahead of time. These are general guidelines that all spas adhere to. For example, for a massage or body wrap, you’ll be required to remove all your clothing and wear the provided bathrobe and/or disposable underwear.

Secondly, be aware that spas are busy places and adhere to a strict booking schedule. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time so you can peruse the menu at your leisure and ease into the experience. If you’re running late, your session might be cut short.

While some spas may include a “service charge” in the bill, it’s still standard practice to offer the therapist a small tip at the end of your treatment. In general, it’s about THB 100 / per hour.

  1. Cleanliness
    As your grandma always said: cleanliness is next to godliness! This maxim is nowhere more accurate than in a day spa in Bangkok.

A good spa will have clean towels, bathrobes and sandals available for all clients.

All treatments should be performed under strict sanitary conditions, avoiding any means to catch harmful germs or bacteria. In particular, body wraps, facials, massages, saunas, pedicures and manicures are a breeding ground for disease and infection under the wrong conditions.

Don’t be embarrassed to ask about their safety standards and see how the clean equipment before and after use. If you spot anything you don’t like, simply leave; better safe than sorry!