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Akiira Spa is located within New Star Beach Resort & Spa on the hill overlooking Chaweng Noi bay. The resort’s modern, airy feel carries through to the spa, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, orange and yellow hues, and comfortable furnishings. My visit was during torrential rain, so it made a great escape, watching the weather outside from the massage bed through expansive windows as palm and banana trees swayed in the storm.
The treatment rooms are sparkly clean and fresh, and every detail has been considered, down to the fragrant oil burner, typical pan-pipe music playing and the bowl of perfectly arranged floating flowers to gaze at through the hole in the bed while lying face down.
My treatment included an hour-long aromatherapy massage (1,700 baht) and a half-hour mini-facial and eye-brightening treatment (1,200 baht). The therapist was professional, checking if the pressure was satisfactory, and her instructions were clear — I’ve found often in Thailand that massages can be a little confusing, when the therapist has little English but prods and pulls to indicate you should turn over or lift an arm.
The facial was interesting, and could be equated to falling face first into your breakfast bowl — in a good way, that is. It started with a yoghurt cleanse, and was followed by a gentle banana and honey scrub. Licking lips when the therapist left the room was tempting.
The eye-brightening part is designed to dramatically reduce dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. By this point I was caked in honey and banana, with pads resting on the eyes, so I’m not quite sure what was used, but to be honest, I did look a little refreshed afterwards. Apparently the product is by Australia’s Jurlique, as are the rest of their facial products.
Although not cheap, the spa’s prices compare favourably to others in upmarket resorts. There’s a three-hour package that includes a Thai herbal steam and jacuzzi, a lychee and mango scrub, a full massage and a choice of facial, for 3,700 baht, as well as a choice of scrubs and wraps, using products made on the island by Dao Siam Cosmetics. (Pop into their lab-cum-shop in Choeng Mon, if you are passing). These are quite delectable, with ‘flavours’ such as coconut, coffee, orange sugar, aromatic green tea, and lychee and mango making up the scrubs.
Manicures and pedicures, assorted facials for men and women, as well as slimming treatments are also offered. If you’re visiting Ko Samui with children, they have treatments for five to 12 year olds, such as a ‘twinkle toes or fancy fingers’ pedicure or manicure. First little hands or feet are soaked in a milk bath with Thai herbs, then nails are trimmed and moisturiser is used before nails are painted from a choice of colours.
Should Akiira be out of your budget, don’t despair! You can always try a Samui beach sala massage for around 250 to 300 baht; foot scrubs and mani-pedis go for around 300 baht too.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 6th March, 2015.