Winners of First Ever Thailand Spa and Well-being Awards Announced

Posted on September 25, 2012

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History was made last night in Thailand where a glittering black-tie event honored the best in the Thai Spa business. The inaugural Thailand Spa and Wellbeing Awards were held at Grand Diamond Ballroom, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok where winners and guests alike enjoyed the five-star event. And surprisingly, it was a mix of large and established Spa businesses as well as newcomers and innovators that took out top honors.

‘It was a night of celebration like the Thai Spa industry has never seen before. There were some expected winners, but also many surprises too. This shows the broadening base of quality spa operators in the Kingdom’ says Mr. Andrew Jacka, President of the Thai Spa Association.

Big winners on the night included the Banyan Tree line of spas based in Phuket, Samui and Bangkok taking four of the top honors – Innovative Spa Treatment, Spa Product, Amazing Hotel Spa and Amazing Resort Spa. Their heavenly-sounding bamboo based treatment whereby heated bamboo is and applied to the body for increased circulation and lymphatic drainage really won over voters for its eco approach as did their incredible standard of locally sourced spa products.

The Hua-Hin based spa, Chiva Som also won the three awards for innovative Spa Cuisine, Environmental Conscience and Spa Educator. The fact that Chiva Som uses its own organic farm for its cuisine, uses solar power and has its own water filtration system as well as international standard Spa school is what ensured them the win.

Most fittingly for the event, the most prestigious award handed out – The Hall of Fame award – was presented to a lifelong advocate of the Thai spa industry and much-loved society figure, Naphalai Areesorn. The current Editor-in-chief of Thailand Tatler, Ms. Areesorn founded the Thai Spa Association and was its first president – and is now acting as an advisor to the association. Having dedicated countless hours to growing and developing the Thai spa industry, being able to present her with the Hall of Fame recognition was the most fitting thing, says Mr. Jacka.

‘It was an honour that Khun Naphalai could receive this award. Without her work and belief ten years ago to set up the association, and ongoing support right up until today, none of this would have been possible.’ All winners were voted by event exhibitors at the Thai Spa Convention, spa operators, consumers and the Thai Spa Association Board. And to ensure voting transparency, all votes were tallied by KPMG Thailand. Treated to local cuisine and colourful cocktails, the perfectly turned out guests wore evening suits and ball gowns.

Adding an exciting element to the retinue was the concert by leading songstress Jennifer Kim and celebrated saxophonist, Koh Mr. Saxman. Appearing on stage together, their duet numbers had the audience entranced. And a professional troupe of dancers in intricate costumes performed two contemporary dance items, choreographed to the theme of spa and wellness. As an event in the making for several years, this first show will mark Mr. Jacka’s swan song for the association – announcing that this will be his final year in his role.

A bittersweet moment for the passionate President, he is glad to leave knowing he has established the annual awards for years to come and hopes the success will continue and the industry continue to evolve. ‘We really broke ground with this event.

This is the first time that we’ve ever done anything like this and we really celebrated the Thai Spa industry. It was a phenomenal event. ‘I’m very proud at what the Thai Spa Association has been able to achieve. At the end of the day it was a team effort. It’s an incredibly gratifying and humbling thing to be a part of. ‘

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Posted in: Thailand