Spas, traditionally, were towns where public baths, hospitals or hotels were built on top of mineral springs so that people could come and make use of the healing properties found in the water and its mud for medical purposes.
These days, a spa doesn't have to be a town built on natural thermal springs. It can be a place anywhere that anyone can go to, to relax in tranquil surroundings with a variety of treatments administered to recontour and rejuvenate the body and mind.
Modern spas usually focus on a holistic approach - tending to the mind, body and soul and promoting quality in terms of lifestyle. There are four such places in Bangkok.
Banyan Tree Spa , 51 st to 54 th floor of Thai Wah Tower II, South Sathon Road. Tel: 0-2679-1052, 0-2679-1054. www.banyantree.com.
Grand Spa & Fitness Club , Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel, 250 Sukhumvit Road. Tel: 0-2653-0282.
JW's Health Club & Spa , JW Marriott Hotel, Soi 2 Sukhumvit Road. Tel: 0-2656-7700.
Oriental Spa Thai Health & Beauty Centre , 48 Oriental Avenue. Tel: 0-2439-7613-4. www.mandarinoriental.com.
Swiss Perfection , in the Regent Bangkok Hotel, 155 Ratchadamri Road. Tel: 0-2255-5519, 0-2255-8218