Back in end Sep 2015, it was my first and only and likely last visit to Healthland. Despite reading its mixed reviews online, we decided to give it a try as we wanted to experience something more luxurious than the usual 200-250B massage.
Here’s a lengthy review on my disappointment with my visit to Health Land Asoke.
On the morning that we wanted to do a massage, I used the hotel’s phone (which I had to pay 10B) to call the Asoke outlet which we were planning to go. I told the reception (who could speak English) that we wanted to book the Aromatherapy Body Massage (1 hr 30 mins; 950B) for 2 people. We told him that we will reach in 30 minutes and he told us not to be late. So after our 7-11 breakfast, we grabbed a taxi and reached that place approximately 10 minutes late as there was a bit of traffic jam.
When we reached, we were informed that the only choice we had was the Ayuverdic & Wellness – Abyanga Massage (1 hr 30 mins; 1500B). There was a convenient pricing signage beside the counter which he brought us over and told us that it was the only one that was available. Then, he said the Aromatherapy massage needs to be booked 3 days in advance. At the moment I was really pissed as he could have told me over the phone that it was not available rather than informing me only when I’m there. The receptionist was pretty rude and did not even bother apologizing that he did not inform me when I made the booking. He just left us alone to decide on whether we want to accept the 1500B treatment and the “feel free to leave if you are unhappy” feel. Sighs.. It was an obvious trick to make tourist pay more for the expensive experience. (Just read from tripadvisor that there was a review with experiences similar to mine) My friend was ready to leave the Spa facility as it was plainly unreasonable but I decided to just.. pay as it was our last day and I did not want to waste time traveling to another Spa place.
You have to pay in full before the massage. *kaching* money is gone and you are asked to sit at the quite well decorated lobby with free wifi. We waited approximately 20 minutes before getting called. Next, we were asked to sit down and change into their slippers while the staff kept our shoes. We were brought up to the second floor and the setting was pretty decent given the price we paid. We were brought to a room with 2 massage beds and an open shower concept *cringes*.Thankfully, face-the-wall bathing was possible and we kept awkwardness to its minimum. We had to remove our clothes, wrap ourselves in towel and sit down on the chair whereby a simple “Floral Foot Ritual” is done. The “Ritual” is simply soaking your feet in water (with some dissolved crystals) and then wiping it dry for you. I think there was a bit of head massage at this point too. Anyway, My masseur came in like 10 minutes later and there was no compensation of any sort as we both ended our massage at the same time.
The Abyanga Massage felt pretty ordinary to me despite its flowery description. I didn’t really feel super relieved or relaxing throughout the massage.
Abyanga is one of the most popular forms of traditional Ayurvedic massage, involving the use of soft- to medium pressure and warm herbal oils applied from head to toe. The herbal oils seep deep into the skin and release fat-soluble toxins from body tissues, improving muscle recovery and flexibility. The treatment has a stimulating effect on the skin, the heart, muscles and veins, as well as the circulatory and nervous systems.
Anyway, so the supposed 1 hr 30 minutes treatment starts the moment you enter the room. The waiting for masseur, changing time, bathing time is all included. So all in, you only receive a 1 hour massage.
After the entire session, we were given a small bottle of water and there was a hair dryer in the room too. What I did not like was that the masseur kept knocking and asking if we were done. I don’t see how relaxing this treatment can get if they keep rushing us. I mean the entire deco and setup of the room was pretty decent for the price we paid; but the most important factors like service and quality was very bad. I’ve done massages in many southeast asian countries and this was the first time I actually had to be rushed for bathing -_-
For tipping, we gave only 40B because the next note we had in our wallet was 100B but didn’t feel like giving 100B as we have already been cheated of 550B from the beginning. Furthermore, given the service and quality standards, I don’t see why I should give more though I know it may not necessary be the masseur’s fault. Anyway, I re-confirmed my stand when the masseur I gave commented “only 40B” after I gave her the tips (mixture of notes and coins). I can’t decipher if her only 40B comment meant as a calculation of the notes and coins or that she was trying to express her disgust that I gave so little. I did not bother to turn back and just walked down the stairs. We were presented with Ginger Tea as the so called “Refreshments” and changed back into our shoes.
I don’t usually write terrible reviews for anything but this was probably the worst 1,500B (SGD 60) spent in my entire trip. It could even top the charts as being the least-value-for-money massage experience that I ever had overseas.
Steer Clear from Healthland Asoke (Not sure if the other branches are of similar “standards”). Hopefully their management will wake up one day and realize that they are on the downhill and do something about it.
Feel free to share your bangkok massage experiences with me. I would be glad if you could recommend a value-for-money massage place for my next visit 🙂