Avarin Spa: blending aromatherapy with exotic Thai herbs

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It seems fairly common practice among Asian spas these days to advertise techniques and products originating in Western countries.  So much so in fact that they tend to overlook the quality offerings from closer to home: Thailand for instance grows many unique herbs that can be incorporated into many spa treatments.

For our spa review this issue we would like to introduce you to the Avarin Spa at the A-One Royal Cruise Hotel on Beach Road in north Pattaya.  Whilst the hotel is certainly hard to miss, with its unique ocean liner design, the spa itself is a little more difficult to locate as it is situated at the back of the hotel, but a bit of persistence paid off and I soon found my way to the reception desk.

The spa features 5 double bed rooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs.The spa features 5 double bed rooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs.

Avarin Spa is decorated in a simple but aesthetically pleasing way and upon entering the senses are immediately hit with mild aromas of lemon grass and camphor, both of which open the airways and help you breathe more easily.

The spa’s floor space is moderate, neither too big nor too small, and there are 4 Thai massage rooms, 5 double bed rooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, and one double bed room without a bathtub.

A sauna helps to detoxify the skin before a treatment.

When I visited there were 5 well-trained therapists in attendance and Nainapa Sirilert, the Spa Manager, said that Avarin places a stress on using natural therapies by incorporating herbs in the treatments rather than using any chemical or manufactured products.  This was especially so for the facial treatments that utilise only fresh herbs.

Avarin Spa uses traditional products and techniques to leave you feeling refreshed, pampered and relaxed.Avarin Spa uses traditional products and techniques to leave you feeling refreshed, pampered and relaxed.

During my visit I elected to try out the ‘Touch of Avarin’ spa package.  It began by soaking the skin in mineral water mixed with milk for 15 minutes and letting the water jets relax my muscles.  With the mineral properties combined with the milk, my skin was noticeably softened after this treatment was complete and it was a pity I had to leave the tub when the 15 minutes were up.

A team of attentive and skilled therapists await you at Avarin Spa.A team of attentive and skilled therapists await you at Avarin Spa.

The therapist then towel dried my skin before applying a local herbal concoction consisting of tamarind, oats, milk powder and honey, which is the signature formula of Avarin Spa used for exfoliating dead skin cells.  While scrubbing away the therapist meticulously cleansed my skin thoroughly, alternating with massage techniques that are unique to the ‘Touch of Avarin’ therapy, which made the treatment quite impressive.

The spa’s treatment rooms are tastefully decorated and infused with herbal aromas.The spa’s treatment rooms are tastefully decorated and infused with herbal aromas.

After the body scrub I had a shower before undertaking the aroma massage.  The spa staff were very attentive throughout and served me sweet fruits and a cold herbal drink in the private reception room while letting my body adjust for the massage.

The aroma massage began by applying fragrant oil that brought me to an almost dreamy state.  The therapist massaged my body up and down using her palms and fingertips to circle and stress on tensed muscles, alternating with kneading the leg tendons to increase blood circulation throughout the body.

Next up was the facial treatment using fresh herbs that can be applied at home as well, because most of the products can be found at any Thai market.  The treatment began with a cleansing of the face with yogurt, which helps soften up the skin, and this was then followed by an application of fresh cucumber juice, used as a toner to open up the pores.  The massage itself involved the application of brown sugar by the therapist followed by a moistening of the skin with honey and cucumber slices.  It left my facial skin feeling both renewed and refreshed.

Along with the treatments mentioned above, the Avarin Spa also extends its foot massage services into the lobbies of the two main buildings of the hotel.  Special promotions are now on offer, but be quick as they only last until the end of June:  Thai massage is down to 700 baht from 1,500 baht, foot massage 400 baht from 800 baht and the Avarin Massage is only 1,500 baht, down from 2,500 baht.

In the near future, Avarin Spa plans to add the Hot Stone, Swedish massage and Twin massage to its menu of services.  For more information and reservations, call 038 259 555 ext 4800 or visit www.a-onehotel.com.

Avarin Spa manager - Nainapa Sirilert.Avarin Spa manager – Nainapa Sirilert.

Service with a smile – Avarin Spa style.Service with a smile – Avarin Spa style.

Rungratree Thongsai graduated from the Taralai Thai Massage School with professional qualifications in Spa Management, Thai Traditional Massage, Original Western Technical Massage, Reflexology Foot Massage, Aromatherapy Swedish Style Massage, Body Spa, Body Lift-Up, and Business Management of Thai Massage. She also holds a professional spa certificate from the Ministry of Health and a Spa for Health operator’s license.