The Best Hotel Spas in Asia to Pamper Yourself With

by Mavis Teo
LIFESTYLE  |  May 25, 2019
  • Your mind and body will thank you
    1 / 8 Your mind and body will thank you

    Travel these days seems to be less about ticking to-see items off a list. As slow travel catches on, people see travel as a means to unplug and to reconnect with themselves. And this includes unwinding and catching up on rest.

    Recognising this fact, hotels are investing in their spa offerings, from hardware such as decor and facilities such as cold and hot baths and even a special rest area, to software such as giving regular skill upgrades for their staff, and using the best possible products. Their objective is to relax, rejuvenate and even revive their fatigued guests, so that they start their holidays on the right foot.

    Here are our top picks in Asia.

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  • The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    2 / 8 The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    (Also read: 5 Organic Spa Treatments to Try in Singapore)

    Where: 168, Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    For more info: Visit or call +60-3-2142-8000

    Besides top-notch service standards, winning F&B options and sumptuous rooms, this Ritz Carlton, still fresh after a major refurbishment in 2016, is also well-known among the local ladies who lunch for its spa.

    The spa (as well as the hotel) is owned and managed by the YTL group, a Malaysian conglomerate known for its Spa Village concept that offers treatments based on traditional recipes.

    Our top pick for royal treatment is the Chinese Peranakan treatment which uses natural ingredients. Start with meditation to relax, followed by a facial, then Chinese moxibustion to remove toxins and improve metabolism, and rattan tapping qi-gong to improve blood circulation. The treatment concludes with an oil massage incorporating Chinese and Malay techniques.

    Photo: The Ritz Carlton, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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  • Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand
    3 / 8 Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand

    Where: 151 Ratchadamri Road, Khwaeng Lumphini, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330, Thailand
    For more info: Visit or call +66-2-846-8888.

    Since its opening last year, the Andre Fu-designed hotel has drawn aesthetes and bon vivants for its clean, sweeping curves, and extravagant touches. In the Waldorf Astoria Spa, the same elegant design theme prevails.

    Though there are only three treatment rooms, each one of them is spacious yet gently cocoons guests in an atmosphere of calm with a cream colour palette and plush soft furnishings.

    Surrender to the gentle ministrations of a therapist in a 90-min Waldorf Signature massage which is tailored according to the individual’s needs and health issues.

    Photo: Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, Thailand

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  • The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore
    4 / 8 The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore

    (Also read: I Tried Super Vibrator At Spa Esprit And Walked Out Feeling Super High)

    Where: 15 Stamford Road, Singapore 178906
    For more info: Visit or call 6368-8888

    If you are so time-strapped and a staycation is the next best thing to a holiday you can give yourself, check in to the latest luxury opening in town. After all, the Kempinski outpost in Singapore is housed in the adjoining former Capitol Building and Stamford House that strikes a chord with most Singaporeans.

    Opened late last year after a long delay, the historic building has been beautifully restored by award-winning architect Richard Meier and the late Jaya Ibrahim. Guests in need of R & R should check out the hotel’s saltwater pool, apparently the first of its kind in Singapore and has relaxation benefits.

    Though the spa is compact with only three treatment rooms, you will not be left wanting. French brand Themae known for incorporating the anti-oxidative powers of tea in its products is used in the body treatments.

    Try the signature Singapore Massage, a 90-minute treatment using the principles of Chinese traditional massage, Malay abdominal massage, and an Indian foot massage. You might fall fast asleep.

    Photo: The Capitol Kempinski Hotel, Singapore

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  • JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Vietnam
    5 / 8 JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Vietnam

    Where: Bãi Khem, Phu Quoc, Kien Giang, Vietnam
    For more info: Visit or call +84-297-377-9999

    Design maven Bill Bensley (famous for his highly imaginative and theatrical hotel concepts) has imagined this resort to be the campus of a defunct academy called the “Lamarck University” in colonial Vietnam. The narrative was inspired when he first witnessed the wild beauty of the tropical paradise of Phu Quoc Island. This fictional university, that was once dedicated to the study of evolutionary sciences, was then “restored” as JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa.

    In line with this imaginary theme, Bensley also designed an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed fantasy spa called Chanterelle Spa. Mushroom motifs are a big feature in the décor. Drawings of fungi deck the ceiling and the staff are dressed like characters from the CS Lewis’ novel. Book the signature Four Hand massage, which as the name suggests, has two therapists work on you at the same time. You get double the calming and soothing effects, lulling you to sleep before you even realised it.

    Photo: JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay, Vietnam

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  • Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan
    6 / 8 Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan

    Where: No. 158, DunHua N Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10548
    For more info:  Visit or call +886-2-2715-6888

    Some say The Mandarin Oriental Taipei is the most luxurious hotel in Taipei. The in-hotel spa is also the largest among all Mandarin Oriental spas in the world. Spread over two floors, there are 12 treatment rooms, including four couples suites and two VIP suites, a small sauna and a steam room.

    For a sense of place, try the Formosa treatment. Bearing the name that the Portuguese who visited Taiwan in the 16th century gave it, the treatment starts with a foot massage using sea pearl powder blended with salt for its cleansing and whitening properties.

    Next, you will be covered with white clay to draw out toxins. You will then be cleansed before a full body massage using butterfly massage techniques is administered. To put a glow on your face before you leave, you will be given scalp and face scrapping to increase blood circulation.

    Photo: Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Taiwan

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  • Rosewood Beijing, China
    7 / 8 Rosewood Beijing, China

    (Also read: These Multi-Tasking Skincare Products are Like Spa Treatments in a Bottle)

    Where: At Jing Guang Centre, Hujialou, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100020, People’s Republic of China
    For more info: Visit or call +86-10-6597-8888

    The rapidly expanding luxury hotel brand is well known for paying tribute to the host destination it opens in. This is done through F&B offerings, artworks by local artists in the common areas, and even its spa treatments.

    The Empress Dowager Cixi Facial is a nod to the most famous concubine in Qing dynasty, the last imperial dynasty in China. Cixi was known for her beauty regimens. In this treatment, a jade roller, a popular beauty tool in the Qing dynasty, is used to massage the face and neck to promote elasticity and improve circulation in the skin.

    Photo: Rosewood Beijing, China

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  • The Sukhothai Shanghai, China
    8 / 8 The Sukhothai Shanghai, China

    Where: No.380 Weihai Road, Shanghai, China, 200041
    For more info: Visit or call +86 21 5237 8888

    When designing the hotel, Neri&Hu Design and Research had envisioned it as an oasis in China’s most populous city, which explains the clean lines and soothing colours used.

    The same design ethos is extended to the cavernous spa in the hotel basement. A long and moodily lit corridor leads to the large treatment rooms and suites. The spa menu here has an Asian bias.

    A very popular treatment here is the Retreat Detox Massage. The kinks and knots in your back are dealt with through Chinese acupressure massage, followed by a Malay abdomen massage to aid elimination of toxins. “Body wind” is then expelled from the body through Indian foot massage with a “Kansu bowl”.

    Photo:  The Sukhothai Shanghai, China

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