Traveling with Lupus, I often seek opportunities to soothe my aches and pains by way of massage. I am usually a fan of the Swedish massage but am getting used to Thai massages while in Southeast Asia. I love giving people spa and massage suggestions because it makes such a huge difference in my life. Here is my experience with Thai massages in Chiang Mai:
Now, I love a great deal just as much as the next budget traveler. I've gotten over 10 super cheap store-front massages while on vacation in the past six months. I'm talking five dollars or less kind of cheap. But as much as I love saving money, those experiences also come with chaos, a bit of anxiety, and sometimes not-so-great results - the opposite of what I am looking for!
While in Thailand, I decided to take a break from cheap Thai massages and head to a spa. This article is a comparative review of my visit to Kiyora Spa in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The experience left me yearning to explain why sometimes you just need to break from the dirt cheap Thai massages and head to an established specialist.
1. Door to door transportation:
For me, the worst part about going to get a cheap Thai massage is having to walk through the street in uncomfortable heat to get there and back. Post-massage, the mixture of humidity-induced sweat and discomfort cuts my relaxation experience short every time I head back to my hotel.
When I booked with Kiyora Spa, they included free door-to-door service in a sleek vehicle with air conditioning. This small gesture was big enough to start my relaxation journey on the right foot.
2. Warm greetings and tea:
Upon arrival, our hostess greeted us with an array of teas offering a variety of health and aromatic benefits. I chose the de-stress tea and Alex chose relaxation.
$5 dollar Thai massages, on the contrary, try to sell you two hour session instead of one, direct you over to a floor mattress, and get to work after instructing you to change your clothes. There is no real greeting and the visit is sometimes a bit pushy if they are busy. Depending on the location, your session can give you anxiety from the moment you enter.
3. Thorough consulting:
While we enjoyed our tea at Kiroya Spa, we filled out paperwork that asked about any injuries or pain. You have the opportunity to highlight any concerns and are supplied with an anatomical diagram where you can circle the areas of the body you want to be focused on. This type of evaluation wouldn't exist for a $5 massage.
4. Luxurious decor:
From the moment we arrived at the tucked away property, escaping the madness of the city traffic around us, we entered what felt like a time warp. Teak wood architecture decorated the entrance patio and waiting area, and dim lighting set a sanctuary ambiance.
5. Disposable undies:
Need I say more!? Instead of wearing the standard Thai massage uniform, Kiyora Spa provides disposable underwear granting you the freedom to enjoy your massage without restricting garments or previously used clothing.
6. More massage options:
Frankly, an establishment like Kiyora Spa (instead of a $5 storefront) gives you more options! You don't have to choose just between a foot, neck and shoulder, or full body Thai massage. There are a number of packages, time slots, and style variations to choose from.
We got the Sooth n' Bliss spa package which included a Traditional Thai massage, herbal warm compresses, aromatherapy massage, and a scalp massage for 120 minutes (2 hours). Since we wanted to be together, we got a double room for simultaneous packages.
7. Real massage beds:
Have you ever tried a $5 Thai massage? Sometimes they are awesome... but I still can't really get over the uncomfortable beds (mattresses*) they use. Kiroya spa uses real massage beds with a padded hole to comfortably lay your head/face down while still being able to breathe. I never realized how much I would appreciate those massage beds until I didn't have them.
8. No pain!
It may be too much to ask, but I really love not having any pain after a massage. Needless to say... that's not always the case with $5 massages. I've experienced masseuses who text while massaging; head to get a drink of water while a second masseuse comes in to cover for her; and even have a full conversation with the woman next to her and over-massage one area until I was in pain. I had soreness for two days thereafter.
Again, I love a good deal, and I realize that by paying $5 I am forfeiting all complaining passes, but it is just nice to finish a massage experience and actually feel relaxed. Sometimes you just have to step away from the sale price and treat yourself to a real spa sanctuary.
To learn more about Kiyora Spa visit: www.kiyoraspa.com
The spa package we experienced was called Soothe n' Bliss and is priced at 1,950 baht (roughly $54 per person) for two hours.
Kiyora Spa has two locations in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Visit their website to see which one is a great fit for you.
Share this Kiyora Spa Review with someone who's going to visit Thailand!