Across the river from the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, The Oriental Spa is its own private retreat. Board a boat to cross over to the palatial, century-old mansion. Once inside, a sari-clad receptionist gives a warm welcome and a concierge kneels on the floor to take your shoes, present slippers and place them on your feet. Then, you're guided up the grand teak staircase beyond the floor housing luxuriant treatment rooms—each with shower and steam facilities, and four reserved just for couples.
The spa offers Ayurveda therapies and tailors the treatments to individual needs for optimal benefits. A variety of other luxury services are offered. The 90-minute treatment, called Keraleeya Abhyangam, starts with a traditional foot bath during which the therapist kneels on the floor, washes feet and explains the session. The Keraleeya body treatment implements warmed oil to release muscle tension. Afterwards, you're led into the herbal steam bath, called 'swedanam,' which helps to eliminate toxins and is followed by a dunk in the huge copper tub with silver-coated claw feet. For this customary cleansing bath, herbal powders called 'snanam' are used.