Men: Bangkok’s spas want you!

Men: Bangkok’s spas want you!

Put aside preconceptions and let these Bangkok havens of hedonism pamper you. Because you're worth it
Bangkok spas
Treatment room at i.sawan, in the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel, where hot rocks and oils are on the relaxation menu.

Men who dismiss spas as alien enclaves filled with aging, cucumber-masked ladies marinating in mud do themselves a profound disservice. Today’s spas are fully co-ed and they’re eager to double their business via imaginative offerings tailored specifically for men.

From a top-notch massage to untangle those world-weary muscles to a shave and haircut that puts most barbers to shame, Bangkok’s thriving spa scene has something for every guy.

The Go-Tos:

The S Medical Spa, an enormous 2,700 square meter compound on Wireless Road, is tranquil and calm-inducing. Its many offerings for men include:

  • "Cool Guy Massage" (90 minutes): Designed to eliminate stress and rid the body of toxins, it will leave you relaxed, limber, and ready to take on the world. Or maybe just a nap.
  • Men’s Facial (90 minutes): We know what you’re thinking, but just trust us-- you’ll enjoy it. The men's facial (trust us-- look you’ll enjoy it, ok?) will render that rough mug of yours imminently more kissable.
  • “Men’s Secret” (90 minutes): Feeling especially indulgent? This package includes the facial and a "four hands massage" (that would be two masseuses, presumably). Double your pleasure!

Inquire at the spa for prices, as special promotions and packages may be available.

2/2 Bhakdi Building, Wireless Road, Lumpini (near the Ploenchit BTS station), tel +66 (0)2 253 1010

i.sawan Spa, in Bangkok's Grand Hyatt Erawan hotel, was designed by American interior designer Tony Chi and is one of Bangkok's biggest, covering over 7,000 square meters. Offerings include:

  • "Man Space Sports": Rigorous massage aimed at easing soreness and muscular damage after physical exertion.
  • "Man Space Tranquility": Sounds painful, but hot and fragrant oils play a central role in this massage regimen.
  • “Man Space Healing Balance”: A more spiritual endeavor, replete with hot stones and crystals, that will “bring balance to the meridians, chakras and the internal organs" and a "deeper level of self-healing and relaxation." Sounds seriously groovy.

These treatments cost 2,900 baht for 60 minutes or 3,900 baht for 90 minutes.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri Road, BTS: Chidlom, tel: +66 (0)2 254 6310

Nail care isn't just for the ladies

Let’s face facts: one of the few things separating men from beasts is the ability to tame our gnarly claws properly. And while most of the foot massage spas throughout Bangkok offer pedicure services, if you're going to do it -- and truly, there's nothing like having your feet professionally cleaned -- then do it right. Go to a dedicated nail salon.

NIC Nail Salon
is sparkling clean, professionally run and the service is exceptional.

  • Pedicure: Fret not -- pedicures for men are about hygiene, not nail polishing (unless you want that). Removing the dead skin on your feet and trimming your nails helps prevent in-grown toenails, and will prevent small children from fleeing in terror every time you slip on flip-flops. (800 baht)
  • Manicure: A basic manicure will leave your fingers clean and presentable. Nothing is more off-putting than a man with long, dirty finger nails. The ladies will appreciate it, even if you feel ridiculous doing it. (500 baht)

306-307A, 3rd Floor, Times Square Next to Sukhumvit soi 12, near the Asok BTS station, tel +66 (0)2 250 0322

De-scruffify thyself

After all that pampering, it's time to get a proper haircut. Just because there are barber shops in Bangkok that offer 50 or 100 baht hair cuts doesn't mean they're worth the bargain. If you spend a little extra at a real salon, the stylist will give your hair shape so it stays presentable, even as it grows out.

At Chalachol, on the second floor of Amarin plaza, steaming hot tea and a great choice of English-language magazines make your time in this spacious salon pass quickly. Perfect for those who like to be seen -- and what man doesn't want strangers watching him get a hair cut? -- it's giant windows offer great views of the BTS Sky Walk that leads from Chidlom to Siam.

A wash, cut and style is 550 baht. If you're lucky, you might get one of their trademark neck massages, too.

2nd Floor, Amarin Plaza, 500 Ploenchit Road, BTS: Chidlom, tel: +66 (0)2 251 1941

Reward yourself

Okay, so you've had a rigorous day of massages, nail treatments and haircuts. Time to cut loose and reward yourself for rewarding yourself. No, it’s not a spa, but Pacific Cigar Company's The Divan @ 494 offers arguably even better forms of relaxation: Cuban cigars and single malt whiskeys.

Located in the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel's lower lobby (conveniently, a neighbor of i.sawan Spa), The Divan offers wine and over 70 varieties of whiskey. Kick back in their plush leather chairs and couches under sumptuous dark wood paneling and congratulate yourself on a day well spent.

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Lower Lobby, 494 Rajadamri Road, BTS: Chidlom, tel: +66 (0)2 254 1234 ext 494

Newley Purnell is a freelance journalist in Bangkok. His work has appeared in the New York Times, on AFP, ABC News Radio, ABCNews.com, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, and more. He has been blogging at http://newley.com since 2002.

Read more about Newley Purnell
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