FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Thailand, Sampran Riverside, The Arusaya Thai Wellness Spa

Sep 1, 2013
2013 / September 2013

Nothing works the kinks out after a 17-plus-hour flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok like a famous Thai massage. Sadly, I arrived in Bangkok too late to do anything more than check into the hotel and fall into bed, so my restorative massage would have to wait.

No time for a massage the next morning either, as I was headed off for the Sampran Riverside, about an hour’s drive from downtown Bangkok. Sampran Riverside is what I would call a destination resort. Located by the Tha Chin River in Nakhon Pathom Province, about 20 miles from Bangkok, this unique 70-acre property has been family-owned since the 1960s.

Besides a 4-star hotel on the river, four restaurants and a spa, there is the 10-acre Organic Farm and Thai Village Cultural Centre. Activities include cultural shows, elephant demonstrations, traditional arts and crafts workshops, cooking classes and tours of the farm.

My room wasn’t ready when I arrived, so I headed for the Cultural Centre, where a show was in progress. Beautifully dressed men and women were performing traditional Thai dances on a large stage. When the dances were over, the audience was invited outside to watch another show featuring mahouts and their trained elephants.

A mahout is the keeper and trainer of an elephant and often has been with the same animal since an early age. Elephants in the Sampran show demonstrated their strength by hauling tree trunks and their agility by twirling hula hoops with their trunks. Needless to say, the kids in the audience were enchanted.

The show over, I started strolling leisurely from the Cultural Centre toward the hotel. I noticed the sky beginning to darken fast and ominously. Wisely, as it turned out, I picked up the pace and reached the hotel just as large raindrops were starting to fall. I was barely through the door and into the lobby when the heavens opened and rain fell in torrents. This was no gentle rain shower; this was one of those tropical deluges that produces instant floods.

Clearly the trip I’d planned to the Organic Farm was out, but I was assured the cooking class would go ahead as planned, on a covered patio instead of out in the open.

The rain calmed down a little by the time the cooking class was over, but it still wasn’t dry enough for the farm tour. So with an afternoon free and outside activities not an option, what better way to spend the time than in the spa? I was in luck — despite a busy afternoon, there was a spot open. Finally, I was going to get the massage I’d been craving since my arrival in Thailand.

I drove up to the Arusaya Thai Wellness Spa in an electric cart with zip-up, water-repellent side curtains. Good thing I hadn’t tried to walk because the rain started again in earnest. As I scurried inside the century-old antique Thai house containing the spa, I immediately felt more relaxed. The lighting was dim, and the rich, dark teak wood radiated warmth. The music was soothing. The staff spoke in soft, lilting tones. I felt I should whisper so as not to disturb the sense of peace and harmony.

The lovely old building overlooks a lake and has seven private air-conditioned treatment rooms, each with an en suite bathroom; there are also three steam rooms and a Jacuzzi. The spa places a special emphasis on natural healing, using homemade products and fresh herbs from the organic farm in each treatment and massage.

Like me, many guests simply come to the spa for a relaxing and restorative massage. However, the spa also offers a more comprehensive treatment plan. Individuals can have a one-on-one consultation from a qualified therapist who analyzes their needs and then recommends the appropriate types of natural healing and treatments.

After a cup of tea made with herbs from the resort’s organic farm, I met my massage therapist, who ushered me into one of the spa’s rosy-colored treatment rooms. There were two mats on the floor and two partially curtained windows with lake views. Since I’d had Thai massages before, I knew my loose-fitting comfortable clothes would be fine. I also knew I was a massage wimp.

Thai massage at Sampran Riverside © Ellen Clark

Thai massage at Sampran Riverside © Ellen Clark

While most of my Thai massage-addicted friends want their deep-tissue massage to be as intense as possible, I tend more toward a moderately gentle touch. I explained this to my therapist, who actually went a bit overboard, even for me, in the gentle department. It might have been the only time I ended up asking for more pressure rather than less.

For over an hour, I was perfectly stretched and massaged. Despite the strength of my therapist’s hands as she worked to get rid of knots and tension, the sound of the rain falling gently on the wooden roof almost lulled me to sleep.

The only fault I could find with my first massage of the trip was that it was over too soon. But all good things must end, and I found myself once again sitting in the lounge, sipping a refreshing cup of herb tea and dreaming about my next massage. Wherever it might be, I was hoping it would be soon.

Sampran Riverside

Km 32 Pet Kasem Road
Sampran, Nakhon Pathom
73110 Thailand
tel 66 34 322 544
sampranriverside.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Sep 16, 2021

Rosewood San Francisco to Open in 2026

Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

September 2021
Sep 15, 2021

Slow Down and Unwind in Easy-Going Phuket

It’s not even 9a.m. in the sleepy fishing village of Rawai on Thailand’s famous Phuket Island, but already the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea swarm with local fishermen casting their lines and releasing their nets from the bows of rustic long-tail boats. The scents of lemongrass, incense and sweet pandan leaves season the air as the villagers slowly rise from their beachside bungalows to start their day. In just a few more hours, the fishermen will return with their catches, filling the stalls of the iconic Rawai Seafood Market with buckets of shellfish and displays of fresh filets. Visitors line up each afternoon for the catch of the day, selecting their fish with care before hauling their purchases across the well-worn road to the restaurants opposite the market to have the fish cooked for 100 Thai baht per kilo.

eFlyer News
Sep 15, 2021

MMGY Global Reveals How Vaccinated, Unvaccinated Plan to Travel for Holiday Season

MMGY Travel Intelligence released findings from its 2021 fall edition of its Portrait of American Travelers survey. It revealed the vast majority of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are planning trips in the months ahead, but the types of trips are different.

Register Today for the Most Important Gathering of Business Travel Professionals

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.

eFlyer News
Sep 15, 2021

Airbnb Community Supports Afghan Refugees

Airbnb.org is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in moments of crisis, sheltering those displaced by natural disasters, offering frontline workers a place to stay at the height of the pandemic and, now, helping Afghan refugees.

Italy
Sep 15, 2021

AG Group Partners with Hyatt Hotels

Italian hospitality brand AG Group announced an international collaboration with Hyatt Hotels. AG Group’s IL Tornabuoni, slated to open in Florence in October 2021, will be part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Tribune in Rome will become part of JdV by Hyatt in October 2021.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

September 2021
Sep 14, 2021

Hotels Take Steps to Prioritize Diversity in the Industry

Hotel diversity isn’t where it could be, but it’s a work in progress. Fueled with new energy that emerged from the racial reckoning of 2020, there’s more of a sense of urgency ... and with good reason. There’s plenty to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the hotel industry.