Krabi’s lush greenery and tropical climate make this the ideal location to indulge in a spa treatment. Most spas in Krabi take full advantage of Krabi’s natural assets and are situated outdoors in fragrant gardens with old-style Thai wooden pavilions and inspiring views.
Pampering is the order of the day in Krabi spas; you will not find the strict dietary and exercise regimes or ‘health farms’ of Koh Samui or Koh Phangan here. Massage, body scrubs, wraps and facials are the most common treatments available, and most spas offer herbal steam and Jacuzzi facilities as well.
Most of the spas in Krabi are upmarket affairs, usually attached to a hotel – although outside guests are welcome. Two-hour packages start at around 2,500 baht (~US$80) and go up to several thousand more for a full-day’s pampering.
Here, you are mainly paying for the ambience and service: beautiful gardens, private pavilions and undivided attention from discreet, professional hostesses and therapists. There will be many ‘extras’ – herbal teas, floral foot baths, silk robes, cold towels – that will make the experience memorable.
If all this is not important to you, there are also a number of cheaper places where you can receive similar treatments in more prosaic surroundings. Facials, manicures, waxing and massages will be less than a third of the spa price in most beauty salons in the beach areas of Ao Nang and Phi Phi.
Wherever you choose to try it, a traditional Thai massage is a must on any visit to Thailand. Combining ancient Ayurvedic principles with Chinese acupressure and elements of yoga, this interactive massage is a workout for your whole body.
Recommended spas in Krabi
Beautifully laid-out and relaxing, Radarom is one of the best standalone spas in Ao Nang. Therapists are smart and professional and there’s a good choice of treatment options, including coconut hot oil massage, body scrub and reflexology. Gives the resort spas a run for their money. 43/2 Moo 2, Ao Nang, tel: (075) 695 524, website: www.radaromspa.com.
Ao Nang Haven Massage
Stands out among the standard massage places in Ao Nang, with divine full body massages in a safe and clean environment. Professional, choice of rooms and great prices. Good compromise between the resort spas and cheapo beach back rubs. 564/3 Moo 2, Ao Nang, tel: 091 825 4356, website: www.aonanghaven.com.
Adora Spa, Krabi Town
Located in a peaceful corner of the vast Maritime Park Resort complex, this is one of Krabi’s ‘best-kept secrets’. You can spend an entire day here: start in the outdoor four-poster Jacuzzi tub that ‘floats’ in the middle of a lake, or try a whole host of body scrubs and massage in an air-conditioned suite, and perhaps finish in their beauty salon. 1 Tungfah Road, Krabi Town, tel: (075) 620 028, website: www.maritimeparkandspa.com/adoraspa.
Kantawan Spa, Koh Lanta & Krabi Town
For something to suit the smaller budget, Kantawan is a great little spa concept with two branches; one in Krabi Town (Maharat Road) and the other in Koh Lanta (Long Beach). Both are set in Northern-style teak houses and offer good quality, traditional Thai treatments, such as herbal steam, massage with hot compress, and tamarind body scrub. Open: 10:00-19:00 (closed Wednesday); 29 Maharaj Road, Krabi Town, tel: (075) 622 145, website: www.kantawanspa.com.
Pimalai Spa, Koh Lanta
Pimalai is another top-of-the-range spa, set in the lush grounds of the Pimalai Resort in Kantiang Bay. The scenery alone will transport you to another world, while treatments include detox massages and body wraps, leaving you feeling like a new person. 99 Moo 5, Ba Kan Tiang Beach, Koh Lanta, tel: (075) 607 999, website: www.pimalai.com.
Thai massage at Krabi spas
Unusually, for those used to Swedish-style massage, the Thai style concentrates mainly on the feet and legs, before moving up to the arms, back and head. Although this sounds strange, you’ll be surprised just how much tension is locked up in your lower limbs!
Institute in Bangkok – as we have heard stories of people being badly bruised by unqualified masseuses, usually those touting their services to sunbathers along the beach.
More on massage in Krabi.