Decadence With A Twist

Published in Reader’s Digest, Asian edition, November 2004.

Delicious foods are not just good enough to eat – many of Asia’s most hedonistic spas will wrap you in them, scrub you with them, and even let you wallow in the bathtub with them.


Chocolate lovers can take the plunge in Thailand at the Sofitel Central Plaza Hotel inBangkok, Sofitel Central Resort in Hua Hin and Novotel Central Sukhonta Hotel in Hat Yai. Claiming that chocolate is a powerful muscle relaxant, the spas offer a dark chocolate body wrap, after dinner mint massage and whipped cocoa bath.


The Tasmanian Bathing Milk Company, which sells milk baths to spas and salons, has now also poured red wine out of the glass and into the tub. The Australian company says the grape acids in the fine Tasmanian pinot noir wine soften, sweeten and moisten the skin, while natural antioxidants in the wine protect skin cells. The Red Wine Bath can be enjoyed in the privacy of your home or at Hobart’s serviced apartment hotel, Somerset on the Pier.

Honey and herbs

Herbal body scrubs are on the menu at the Anantara Resort and Spa inHua Hin,Thailand, while the Windsor Hotel Toya in Hokkaido, Japan, offers a body scrub made from honey sesame and green tea. New Zealand’s unique Manuka honey is used in the body polishing and exfoliation treatments at the luxurious Polynesian Spa Lake Spa Retreat in Rotorua.


US President George W. Bush, former tennis player Boris Becker and actress Elizabeth Taylor are among the celebrities who have been pampered at The Oriental hotel spa in Bangkok. Guests can be wrapped in bananas, honey and salt crystals, the fruit nourishing the skin and the salt removing dead skin cells. The Oriental also offers a papaya body polish, which is less abrasive than a scrub. The acid in the papaya gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and soft.

Green Tea

Fancy a blend of papaya, pineapple and aloe vera smoothed all over the body? At the Ana Mandara Resort, overlooking the sea at Nha Trang,Vietnam, guests can enjoy this and other spa treatments, including a body scrub made with green tea, renowned for its antioxidant qualities.

Ginseng and Yoghurt

Boreh, a body scrub made from ginseng, corn and carrot, is used to buff the skin atBali’s Well Being Spa, where the treatment is followed by a cooling yoghurt body mask. Yoghurt is also used to cool down guests at Bali’s Radisson Spa & Fitness Center, where those who have spent too much time in the sun can also be soothed with a cooling cucumber or avocado body mask.

© Christine Salins


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