Best Spa Gardens: Shangri-La Hotel


Best Spa Gardens: Shangri-La Hotel

July 2, 2009
Photo by: Blancaneaux Lodge

With high-rises on the skyline signifying the hustle-bustle of Thailand's capital city, unobstructed views of the riverfront and tropical gardens of palm-shaded blue agaves, bromeliads and cycads all go a long way in creating a palpable sense of retreat from the workaday world. In this urban oasis along the Chao Phraya River, the pace is decidedly slower and the mood always upbeat. Those who really want to get away from it all head for the hotel's inner sanctum: CHI, the Spa, in the luxury Krungthep wing. Private suites decorated as contemporary Tibetan temples in sleek wood and split-face stone set the stage for unwinding amid freshly cut lotus blossoms, flickering candles, herbal steam showers and hydrotherapy baths aglow with colored lights. The Garden Suite presents an inviting yin and yang of indoor and outdoor comforts. At more than 1,150 square feet, the palatial space was built around a banyan tree and is framed by masses of white and yellow orchids, ferns, philodendrons and elephant ears. A path of stone pavers set atop a bed of river stones runs the length of the garden between the twin temptations of a cushioned relaxation platform at one end and an infinity bath incorporated in a lotus pond at the other.

Try This: The Himalayan healing stone massage, preceded by a foot wash, is inspired by a centuries-old Tibetan practice. You'll enjoy smooth river stones, inscribed with auspicious symbols by Buddhist monks, that are heated in a steamer, dipped in oil and then placed on your muscles to release tension while being incorporated within a full-body massage to restore energy.

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