To start, let me share where the pictures I posted were taken.
The ice cream picture was taken at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. Seriously, it doesn’t get any classier than the Lufthansa First Class Terminal. More on that in the trip report, though Lufthansa probably offers my favorite first class product nowadays (given that I’m left disappointed by Singapore Airlines).
The Drugs Exchange picture was taken at the night market in Bangkok. I only had an evening in Bangkok so that was the extent of what I got to see this time around, though it’s always entertaining, I suppose. It’s funny to be approached by people with massage menus, only to be approached seconds later by someone with… “massage” menus. No thanks.
The most recent picture I posted was of the Westin Siray Bay in Phuket, Thailand. I’ll be posting a full trip report later, though I’ll share just a few thoughts now. First of all, you can’t beat Starwood Platinum status in Asia (for all the complaining I’ve done about Starwood). On a rate of $100USD per night I have a massive suite, free breakfast, free cocktail hour, free internet, etc. It’s an unbeatable value. And the resort really is beautiful, basically set on a big hill.
The service has been fairly lackluster by Thai standards, though here’s my real “issue” — half of the fun of going to Thailand is the cheap massages. Yes, I realize massages are still cheap on the street, but I was damn well shocked by the spa prices at the Westin.
I expect to pay a huge premium at a resort, but the spa prices here are higher than in much of the US. A 50-minute massage costs $107USD all-in (which is equivalent to a $128USD hour-long massage). Like I said, I’m not expecting a $5 massage, but I wouldn’t think a massage would run me more than $60-70USD/hour all-in. Over $2/minute for a massage at a mid-range hotel in Thailand? Seriously?
I wasn’t going to let that ruin my stay, so I still got a massage. Actually, I did one of the “packages.” I’m a numbers guy, though sometimes apply logic selectively. On a per hour basis it was much cheaper to do a 2.5 hour package, though of course I didn’t factor in the diminishing enjoyment.
But here’s the thing — the treatment wasn’t even that great. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine. But the spa doesn’t have any sort of an area to ease you in/out of treatments, so you literally sit in the heat until your treatment room is ready. Want tea? Better hurry up, cause you have to drink it while your junk is hanging out in a woman’s extra small bathrobe.
The package (no pun intended) included a facial. Not my favorite thing in the world, but they’re usually nice enough. The masseuse left the room for 15 minutes during the treatment while cream sat on my face. Fair enough, I realize it has to “work” (or whatever), but usually you get a scalp or shoulder massage while that happens.
Not meaning to nitpick too much, but when I’m paying $128/hour for a massage, I expect much more.
Despite that I’m having a great time and would recommend this property. I’m also looking forward to a change of scenery tomorrow.