Nov 11 2012
What better way to take a break from sightseeing or shopping in Saigon than a massage and facial? My Spa is a well-located, mid-priced spa, and if you can make your way safely through their dark and crowded hallways you may be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the treatments.
On a recent trip to Ho Chi Minh City I briefly considered trying out Thao Dien Village Spa, but lacked a swimming costume and was too lazy to travel, so I tried out centrally located My Spa instead. First sight may leave you wondering what you’re letting yourself in for: the entrance is hidden behind a virtual forest of greenery and inside the lighting is very low and it’s decked out with tassels and yet more plants. If it hadn’t been recommended to me I’d have questioned its legitimacy.
The menu is conventional: facials, nail care, waxing and body treatments plus set packages running three or four hours, such as a jet lag relief combo. Prices are higher than those you’ll pay at many other streetside establishments – those which have staff outside handing out leaflets and calling ‘massage, massage’ – but are very reasonable. Expect to pay around 420,000 VND for an hour’s massage and 110,000 VND for a manicure, for instance.
I opted for a hot stone massage, a standard facial and a manicure and before I even had a chance to sip on the complementary herbal ice tea I was whisked upstairs by my therapist. I say ‘whisked’ but in reality I walked slowly: lighting is not high on the agenda here so I approached the stairs with caution.
The treatment room was small and contained two beds. Initially I was alone, but by the end of my two-hour session there was a woman enjoying a massage on the other bed. I didn’t find this a problem, but if you want more privacy you’ll need to look elsewhere.
Both the facial and the massage were very good. The facial included a steam and an array of cleansing, buffing and moisturising, including use of various electronic devices to scrub and suck. The hot stones for the massage were the ideal temperature – not too hot to hurt but hot enough to aid relaxation – and the massage firm and efficient, not quite as firm as the massage I had at Huong Sen.
Manicures and pedicures are conducted downstairs, in the open room next to reception. From here you can watch the comings and goings and a lot of comings and goings there are: book in advance as it gets busy. The manicure was excellent and the polish lasted nearly a week — a good excuse to avoid washing the dishes.
Overall, for the price and the quality of the treatments, My Spa is a good choice. If you want a more budget-friendly option then stay around Bui Vien or Hai Ba Trung/Dong Khoi, where you’ll be spoiled for choice, but if you’re happy to spend a little more and are not so fussed about privacy, try it out.
15C4 Thi Sach St (a small road parallel to Hai Ba Trung St), District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
T: (0989) 973 309
Open daily 10:00-23:30
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