Massage and feast at Let's Relax Spa and D.Bistro Restaurant, Chiang Mai Thapae
Have you been working too hard lately? You need a spa day ;)
I've been working very hard for the past month or so on some truly fantastic and inspiring projects, and I'm really excited about them. But, once I get my teeth into a project, I find it incredibly difficult to take breaks to stretch, move, eat, drink and sleep. I'm sure it's no surprise to you that my shoulders, back and hands were super tight after such silly work habits.
Let's Relax Day Spa fixed me. Pim, I think I love you.
Oh, my. My masseuse, Pim, was an angel. She was incredibly strong and talented, and she wasn't at all "fake". She was super-smiley, but her smiles were real. She chatted away as we walked to the private massage room, and it didn't feel like she was just going through the motions. She tried to understand my really bad Thai, and we had a great laugh together.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Let's Relax Spa and D.Bistro are nestled inside a gorgeous, European-style building.
I knew it was fancy the moment I parked my motorbike and looked up! A guard welcomes guests in, and all the staff greet you with warm smiles. Lemongrass, jasmine, frangipani and sandalwood aromas fills the air, and sunlight spills through huge windows. The whole place is light, airy and cool, and pretty wildflowers and orchids decorate the clean, clutter-free surfaces. Let's Relax Spa Thapae is definitely fusion: modern, slightly industrial European chic meets Lanna. I love it. I was very excited to begin my Aromatherapy Oil Massage.
My experience began with choosing which Siamese Wellness Lab massage oil I wanted to use.
Sweet! I love these little touches that personalise a spa treatment. I was torn between Sweet Bloom, bursting with heady feminine floral scents, and Green Tea, because I'm currently obsessed with green tea latte smoothies. Because I've been so very work-focused recently, I decided to use this spa treatment to begin focusing on my feminine strengths of intuition, receptivity, collaboration and feeling. I really need to improve my masculine / feminine balance right now, so Sweet Bloom won!
After filling out a questionnaire, I met Pim. We stepped inside an elevator and traveled to the top floor, where all the private treatment rooms for oil massage are found. The room had two massage benches, robes, towels, flowers and a shower. Pim left me to take a shower and wash with shower gel, shampoo and conditioner crafted by Siam Wellness Lab. I was very impressed that they included conditioner - most places only provide shower gel and shampoo, and I *need* conditioner. That definitely earned them a point! I've never really bothered with fancy bath and shower products before.... woah. It was like washing with essential oils. My skin felt so nice and dewy after using the Relaxing shower gel. I want some. Please.
I dressed in the black knickers Pim gave me, and lay on the soft massage bench.
Pim was just, magic. Let's Relax Spa - you've got one kick-ass masseuse.
She began by warming the Sweet Bloom oil and dabbing it on pressure points on my face, neck and shoulders. I'd made the right choice, the scent was so light, romantic and feminine. When I was breathing deeply, she worked on my neck and shoulders. I couldn't believe how sore and tight they were. Pim kneaded in exactly the right places.
Then, she massaged my feet, legs and back for around 40 minutes. She listened when I wanted more pressure, and when I asked her to be softer on my sore shoulders. Her final movements were designed, I think, to wake me up and re-invigorate me, but I was super spaced out. It was divine.
Lunch date in D.Bistro restaurant
After the massage, I met my friend Abbie for lunch in D.Bistro restaurant. Just like the reception area and coffee shop in the front, light pours in to the restaurant and I love their awesome industrial style softened by wildflowers and orchids. The restaurant is located behind a little garden showcasing Thai artists' sculptures - look out for the really cute terracotta caterpillars!
We really spoiled ourselves. D.Bistro's food is so. freaking. tasty.
Oh. My Gosh. I haven't eaten anything else today! Enjoy this photo essay of indulgence:
|Homemade roti and Burmese curry|
|Lanna pork and chili dip served with rice crackers and cucumber.|
|Aromatic coconut milk and chili soup|
|Chicken katsu curry|
|Mango sticky rice|
|Poached baby pineapples in cinnamon honey syrup and ice cream|
|Fried banana profiteroles dipped in chocolate fondue|
The food tasted even better than it looks. The Thai food was full of fresh, aromatic flavours and locally sourced ingredients. The puddings were insanely decadent. Clearly, a lot of thought and preparation had gone into each dish and it paid off - this was certainly some of the best Thai food I've eaten in Chiang Mai. My favourite dish was probably the sumptuous poached cinnamon pineapples with ice cream. It was so very pretty, and tasted just like Christmas. It's been particularly chilly here in Chiang Mai, and everyone's wearing jumpers and jeans, and I see fairy lights everywhere... so I've been feeling really Christmassy! The dessert was perfect.
After eating, we took a peek inside the deliciously aromatic Blooming shop, where you can buy hundreds of Siam Wellness Lab products. I want them. I want them bad. I only ever use cheap products from Tesco, and I'd feel so incredibly fancy using these essential-oil-filled ones.
So, would I go back to Let's Relax Spa, or eat again at D.Bistro?
All the yes! I recommend Let's Relax Spa to people who prefer a more modern, casual, city-style spa. It's elegant, opulent and a truly refreshing take on the Chiang Mai spa experience. D.Bistro is great for special lunches, casual romantic dates or grabbing coffee and cake with a client. It's amazing value for money - the humongous Summer Paradise and banana profiterole desserts were 120 baht each, and most mains cost around 150 - 200 baht.