Best of Bangkok

Divana Spa Review

Monday, June 12, 2017

I consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to massages and spas.  Living 5 years in South East Asia and sampling the best Balinese deep tissue massage on a birthday trip to Indonesia and experiencing Thai massage at some of Bangkok’s most renowned establishments, I always enjoy it, but perhaps have become a bit of a massage snob!  There are usually elements I critique and improvements that can be made or service that is sub-par.
Usually!

….not so with our experience at Divana Spa!  My husband and I left exclaiming it was “the best massage we’d ever had”.  (and he does not impress easily!)  They have raised the bar in all aspects; customer service, quality for money and luxury of treatment.

With nearly 10 locations to their name, Divana keeps expanding but is un-compromised in their commitment to quality and excellence!  Their newest establishment, the “Nurture Spa” is located in the heart of Asok.  With shuttle service directly from the BTS, your every need is catered to and you can relax from the moment you step into the spa tuk tuk.  Tucked away from the hub-bub of the area, you’ll find a converted old Thai residential home that has been beautifully renovated in classic Thai style as an oasis, combining elements of light, water and nature to create a sensory exhilarating experience that will relax both mind and body.  You’ll find the lotus flower (a symbol of longevity and youth) incorporated subtly throughout the decor, the scents and the treatments.

En suite bathrooms offer guests every comfort and personal privacy.  14 double rooms and 2 tripe rooms make up an extensive spa offering 34 beds, each with modern amenities and individual steam room/showers.  Staff is exceptionally trained and clearly have undergone a vetting process ensuring guests receive treatments provided only by qualified professionals.

We opted for the Longevity Phikat Bua half-day treatment making our visit more of a “retreat” than just a massage.  Unhurried, we were pampered and polished, scrubbed and massaged, reminded to slow down, to breathe a little deeper, to tune out the busyness of life, to enjoy the moment and to rest!  Exfoliation and collagen gel hot compress rendered me completely relaxed and the steam room was invigorating.  Half way through our treatments, we were offered tea and refreshments and Im not going to lie, sleep found me half way through the last portion of the oil thai massage and hot stone therapy.  Alas, all things must come to an end and the reality that I have seven little ones waiting for me to come home and fix dinner meant our visit had to end.  However, a little slice of heaven came home with my by way of Divana’s signature scent collection.  Products on sale following your treatment allow you to pocket a bit of pampering for later!

This is the spot to request a gift-certificate to for your next birthday or Mother’s Day.

71 Sukhumvit 11, North Klongloey, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Telephone : 02 615 2916
Fax : 02 615 2908
Email : dn@divana-avn.com
Website:  www.divanaspa.com/NurtureSpa
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DivanaThailand
Instragram: divanathailand

 

 

Whose Who of Thonglor

Sunday, May 21, 2017
Bright lights, big city……the whole of Bangkok pulses with the beat of karaoke bars.  The smell of street food trucks bustling for their place alongside bike stands crowd the sidewalks as pedestrian traffic jockeys for position.  Its a weekend night on Thonglor and we’ve taken the guesswork out for you on where to find the best bars and bistros, spas and salons, restaurants and relaxation!

Best Spa
Lets Relax Onsen & Spa


Ill be honest, I had to google “what is an onsen” when I first heard it mentioned.
Hungary has their public baths.
Russia has their Banyas.
And now, thanks to the brand new Grand Centerpoint Hotel’s Lets Relax Spa, Bangkok has an authentic Japanese inspired Onsen.  Nude bathing may be a concept new to us in the western world, but be assured that every precaution is taken to protect your privacy….(no phone or camera devices or anything allowed on the premises of the the baths).
Set aside your inhibitions (and your towel) and “When in Rome…

Hot springs bathing surrounded by waterfall, bamboo and pristine sauna and steam rooms, directly in the heart of Thonglor.  This is undisputedly one of the most sensory exhilarating spa experiences Ive ever encountered!

Men and women have separate wings allocated for bathing in pools that each contain properties beneficial for health and mindfulness.  5 pools of varying temperatures and components for relaxation, rejuvenation and refreshment with the ultimate opportunity to unwind, unhurried.  The hot mineral bath alleviates joint pain, silk bath infused with oxygenating bubbles is good for the skin, the soda bath is detoxifying and whirlpool bath with therapeutic jets to massage and invigorate will render you fully relaxed. Slip into the frigid temps of the cooling bath to support your body’s metabolic function and circulation in between your hot bath soaks!


For the ultimate treat, lounge in sauna or steam room with a built in shower.
Bathed in hot steam while sitting in the jet of a cool shower is the epitome of paradise!
If you need a break from the intensity of the baths, shower off and take a rest in the “hot stone bath” (reminiscent of childhood summer days laying out on sunbathed concrete and being warmed through to your core!?) or the “cooling room” (a nook that rapidly cools and balances you after prolonged exposure to heat in the baths).  There is a “relaxation room” as well adorned with pillows and lounge mats to just unwind and hydrate before going back to the baths for another round.


Onsen can be enjoyed alone or you can tack on a massage treatment or spa package for a real pampering treat!  Your Onsen experience comes with no time limit making this the ultimate spa experience!
Onsen is 650 baht per person (buy 10 vouchers, get one free)
6 month and year-long memberships also available for the true Onsen enthusiast!  (25,000 – 40,000 baht)

 

 

Best Foot Massage
Nami

Step away from the hub-bub of crowds and chaos and take a load off.  We’ve sourced foot massage spots all along the Thonglor strip and believe we’ve unearthed the best!    In the heart of the Japanese district on Thonglor, is a sister-run business which we return to over and over!  Just a few meters from Samitivej hospital down Soi 13, you’ll see the glass front shop of Nami.

While cleanliness and ambiance take a backseat in some street-side spots, Nami is an immaculate haven for the weary soul and tired feet.  But a great foot massage isnt the only thing that sets Nami apart.  Our favorite feature is the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus which greets you upon entering the spa.   Competitive prices for superior treatment makes this an easy choice among the plethora of massage options.  Comfy cushioned chairs and the glass windows to the outside world give this spa an open, airy ambiance.  You’ll find the staff consistent in uniform and technique which also gives Nami an edge over other massage spots in the neighborhood.  We’re certain you’ll leave feeling pampered with plans to return again!
Open daily from 9:30am – 11:00pm

 

 

Best Salon
CHALACHOL

Going for a haircut can be daunting, especially if you do it as infrequently as I do.  Im afraid that hair-care gets bumped to the bottom of the mile-long-priority-list most of the time and  I sadly resign myself to the ‘mom-do’….the ponytail.  Baby #7 did a number on me and I had a lot of thinning in the months postpartum thanks to hormones.  It was high-time my tresses got some tender-loving-care.

CHALACHOL undertook the brave mission of makeover for my hair.  We all know that the hard water here is no friend to hair and the humidity fosters frizz.  My hair was pretty damaged and lifeless.  CHALACHOL carefully assessed the situation and got to working their magic.

Ill be honest, the shampoo was the best “me time” Ive had in weeks.  I may have fallen asleep during the 15 minute head-massage.  Bliss!  And there is just nothing like that good “squeaky clean” of a salon shampoo!  An expert hairdresser assessed my hair and concocted a special formula to restore shine, softness and smooth my damage and split ends.  After administering and sitting under a steam for 15 minute, the scissor-master then took over with a swift and efficient trimming out of my split ends while still maintaining the length I love.
While English was limited among the staff, I found them very helpful and if you have a picture of what you are going for in hairstyle (as I did), they are excellent at emulating your desired look.  And a week and several washes and blow drys at home later, I can honestly say I can tell a considerable difference in my hair health, luster and manageability!

CHALACHOL is a trendy hairdressing shop on the corner of Thonglor 9.  They offer the full gamut of styling services and hair care specialties for men and women.  Good news for those living outside the Thonglor area…in addition to their swanky salon on Thonglor 9, they have 17 other locations around the city and even in Rayong and Chiangmai!

Best Bar
SNAIL


Snail gets a thumbs up from us mostly for the location and entertainment.  This unconventional bar is situated in the Arena 10 complex on Thonglor 10 and attracts the night crowd with their unique venue that is set up like an outdoor amphitheater with live music every night.  Grab a table anywhere in the two-tier enclosure in which there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  If the steamy Bangkok climate is too much for you, there is an air conditioned room (which we opted for) that still has great acoustics and view of the entertainment.  Fun atmosphere and mood lighting.  Here you can chill with friends over cocktails and enjoy entertainment of first rate bands and soloists or watch a soccer match on the TV.

SNAIL is open from 6:00pm until 2:00am for you night-owls!

Red Oven Drunch Review

Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Growing up in a family of eleven kids, Mother’s Day was an annual cause for celebration in our busy home. On this day, mom got to put aside her endless responsibilities.  I fondly remember as a child, dressing up in our “Sunday best” and all going to brunch at a fancy hotel after church every Mother’s Day.  We’d linger for hours frequenting the bountiful delights of the dessert spread that are now exaggerated, Im sure, in my childhood memories! With Mother’s Day just around the corner, (this weekend friends!!) we’ve done the scouting for you and are excited to share three of our top recommendations for Mother’s Day Brunch to treat that special someone in your life to a family feast that will honor her with the memories of her little ones gathered around a beautiful brunch that she didnt have to prepare!!

Red Oven So Sofitel “Drunch”
International Buffet
Suggested Business Casual Attire
$$$$$

This no-expense-spared high end buffet is at the top of our family favorites, offering one of Bangkok’s most lavish and extensive weekend brunches.  In addition to Sunday brunch, their Saturday “Drunch” combines the concept of drinks and brunch (“drunk-n-brunch”), with signature cocktails as part of their buffet spread.  Weekend afternoons from noon-3:00, the restaurant, built around an industrial size Red Molteni Oven, displays a vast assortment of appetizers, entrees and desserts all inspired by the concept of 9 distinct street food stations.
There is something for everybody from the most sophisticated foodie to the fickle five year old in your family.  With the expansive selection at every station, you will be wanting for nothing as you return time-after-time to feast your eyes and tastebuds on beautifully displayed decadent cuisine.

Start with a fresh caesar salad and mix in your own proportions of shaved parmesan, bacon crumbles and anchovies.  A side plate of rich camemberts and brie’s will go nicely with the warm fresh-out-of-the-oven rolls served hot to your table.  The cold cuts and hummus make for a great starter course and the free-flow wine pairs nicely with your fresh made-to-order sushi from the Japanese corner.  Seafood lovers will be in paradise selecting from the bar laden with Alaskan king crab, giant prawns and Belon French oysters.  Traditional brunch fare such as waffles, crepes and pancakes are available with all the favorite sweet temptations for drizzling and topping.  Made-to-order dishes such as burgers and pastas are available in addition to a wide selection of Thai and Western favorites on the buffet such as pizzas, stir-fry rice dishes, noodles, quiche, vegetables and a carving station with succulent beef and tender lamb shank.

Little ones will delight in the cold stone creamery which allows you to select from homemade cold concoctions at the ice cream counter and mix in favorites from the topping jars.  The dessert case exhibits miniature cakes, pastries and tarts all sized proportionally so you can guiltlessly sample more than one!  And then there is the chocolate fondue with fruits, marshmallows and cookies for dipping – sure to be a winning feature with the kids around your table!
The free-flow wine selection of red, white, rose and sparkling truly makes this Mom’s first choice for celebrating her special day!

The Red Oven restaurant sits perched on the 7th floor of the So Sofitel hotel with a breathtaking panoramic view of the vast green of Lumphini park and guarantees an unforgettable and unmatched brunch honoring Mom with a special family experience!

PRICES

Brunch is 1,950 ++ per person, including juices and hot teas.
Upgrade to 2,350 ++ for soft drinks and free flow wine.
Children ages 5-12 years are half price, and kids under five dine for free.

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