Most major shopping centres have at least one nail salon offering cut-price mani-pedi deals. However, the frenzied, fast-paced atmosphere, harsh fluorescent lights, and the whirring and clunking of your neighbour's massage chair can make for less than relaxing experience.
In need of some nurturing, I recently stopped by The Thai Foot Spa in Fortitude Valley's swanky James Street for the signature one-hour Thai spa pedicure. Thanks to peak hour traffic, I arrived late, and very flustered. However, staff received me graciously and calmly, before gently ushering me through to one of the treatment bays.
My detour into bliss commenced with a traditional Thai foot soak and scrub. Although I was still sitting upright at this point, the quiet, soothing, candlelit communal room had already begun to work its tranquillizing magic. By the time I was ensconced on the ultra comfortable chaise, a pot of green tea by my side, and my therapist delivering a Thai foot massage incorporating Asian reflexology, I had succumbed to a state of utter contentment.
Dark wood and rattan furniture imparts an air of the tropics. Image courtesy Thai Foot Spa.
I was still drifting somewhere in the ether when the clipping, filing, shaping and polishing of my nails took place. Being absurdly ticklish, and suspicious of sharp metal instruments being pointed in my direction, this part of a pedicure is normally a fraught and unhappy experience, for both me and the therapist. But on this occasion, I was so deeply relaxed that the serious grooming side of things barely rated a flicker, let alone a kick (as has been known to happen).
I emerged with smooth supple feet, perfectly painted toenails in my chosen shade and a new sense of calm. "You look very relaxed and refreshed," my therapist said, as she slipped flip-flops onto my feet. It is no exaggeration that I felt like I was walking on a cloud as I prepared to step back out of The Thai Foot Spa and into the bright lights and cacophony of the outside world.
Offering a top-shelf experience, the spa has rightly been shortlisted in this year's Luxury Travel Guide awards. Whether you're on your own, or enjoying a soiree with friends (they do some tempting packages), The Thai Foot Spa is a great place for a brief urban retreat. Keen to take some of that peace and beauty home with you? The spa's new Spa.Asian.Home. collection allows you shop online for home and spa products including handmade stone and teak bathroom accessories, handcrafted basket ware, rattan placemats, wooden bowls, cushions, and artisanal items.
Natural ingredients are used. Image courtesy Thai Foot Spa.