I had often driven past the Anantara’s front gates, but I had never ventured inside. When the chance to experience the Anantara’s ‘Signature Massage’ presented itself, I jumped at the opportunity to indulge in the luxury of a 5 star spa, and to explore the grounds of ‘a retreat fit for royalty’.
Upon entering the Anantara, I was immediately struck by its timeless, Thai beauty. The resort is designed to reflect a traditional Thai village with rooms that are clustered within lush, tropical gardens. I explored the expansive 14-acre resort, weaving past pool, through the restaurants, and down to the beach where hammocks and sun beds dotted the sand. I wandered back along the path, through the verdant gardens, toward the spa. As I entered this exclusive section of the resort, I was presented with a vista of an incredible, lotus-filled lagoon. I forgot that I was on the outskirts of Hua Hin, and I was immediately transported to secret getaway along the banks of a Thai river.
The Anantara Spa overlooks the lagoon with six luxurious treatment suites. Each suite opens onto a private garden courtyard complete with outdoor rain showers. Three of the spa suites are accessed via a wooden jetty, which is lit at night by flaming oil lamps that run around the entire edge of the lagoon. It is little wonder that Anantara Spa was the South East Asian regional winner of Luxury Hideaway Spa for 2017.
Khun Kamonwan, the spa manager, welcomed me and offered me a refreshing, cold towel and a glass of infused water. She described their Signature Massage and confirmed my preferences for the massage to ensure maximum benefit: Was their an area of my body that required more attention; What level of pressure would I like? Was I familiar with Thai massage techniques? Their 60 minute Signature Massage is performed with a special oil blend, and combines western and Thai massage techniques. It is designed to stimulate circulation, promote deep relaxation, and restore energy flow.
I was introduced to my masseuse, Khun Nicha, who guided me to my garden suite. My massage experience began a relaxing footbath followed by a harmonious full-body massage. It was a mind and body experience that considered all senses: The smell of the oil; the gentle music; the temperature controlled room; the tranquil garden setting; and the deep, rhythmic pressure from the hands of an experienced masseuse. She confirmed that she was using the right amount of pressure and honed in on the areas of my back and shoulders that I had initially identified with long, languid strokes. She soothed my legs and feet and ended with one of the most glorious head massages I have ever experienced.
Anantara stems from ancient Sanskrit, meaning ‘without end’, and this is precisely what I had wished for during this spa treatment! When Khun Nicha informed me that the spa treatment had ended, she advised me to take my time. The thought of staying in the room crossed my mind… Would the staff realise I had not left the suite? Would my husband realise I had not returned home? Surely the dog would miss me!
While I was changing back into my clothes, Khun Nicha was preparing a pot of hot, ginger tea. A table and chair had been set for me in the shade along the wooden jetty by the lagoon where I was able to sit back, totally relaxed, and ponder my next visit to the Anantara Hua Hin Resort’s Spa.