One of the best things about Kathmandu is the availability there of some really nice places where one can get a special Spa treatment or a simple foot or body massage. There are at least three establishments bang in the middle of Thamel, Kathmandu's tourist district, that have clean and air-conditioned cabins and trained English speaking masseuses who provide very good quality spa treatments at very reasonable prices - Kathmandu Spa, Zen Spa, and Tranquility Spa. For example, a 60 minute body massage will cost around 2000 Nepali Rupees and a 45 minute foot reflexology treatment will cost around 1000 Nepali Rupees at one of these establishments. Free disposable underwear is provided to the customer and a free cup of coffee or green tea is offered at the end of the treatment. A 10% service charge is levied on top of the printed prices which means there is no need to tip the therapist unless someone has really earned it. Thamel actually has dozens of establishment that offer massage services and most of those are genuine places offering clean massage services without any hanky panky. But when it comes to recommendations available online, only three names are usually mentioned. I have been to all three of them and found their services to be value for the money. The names and addresses of the three spa services are given later in this page. All the five star hotels in Kathmandu offer spa services but I also learnt that many of these "five star" spa services are outsourced to one of the three names mentioned below. Let us first see different types of massage services on offer in Kathmandu and which one to choose:
|The Zen Experience Spa Thamel Kathmandu|
1. Deep Tissue (Trekkers') Massage
This one is on the menu of each and every spa in Kathmandu and is an ideal choice for those returning from a trekking or mountaineering trip. In this massage, the therapist applies maximum pressure and force on your body. It even hurts at times but fortunately, the therapists keep asking during the massage if the client is comfortable with the force being applied. Some kind of oil is used in this massage which is kept hot in an insulated bottle. This massage has the elements of both Thai Massage (direct deep pressure) and Ayurvedic Massage (use of hot oil). Minimum duration of Deep Tissue Massage is 60 minutes (NPR 2000) and an ideal duration is 90 minutes (NPR 2500-3000). A hot shower is advisable before the massage but not after. Just wipe the oil from your body with a towel.
Unlike the Deep Tissue Massage, Aromatherapy is a gentle treatment which uses an essential aroma oil which is applied with gentle, smooth movements aimed at general relaxation. A choice of five to six aroma oils / gels is generally available but the customer needs to ask about the choice of oils. If the customer does not ask, the therapists use an oil of their choice. A 60 minute Aromatherapy session costs upwards of NPR 1700. Essential aroma oils get absorbed well into the skin and a shower after the treatment is not advisable.
3. Traditional Nepali Massage
A Traditional Nepali Massage is somewhat similar to Aromatherapy except that instead of a single source aroma oil, a cocktail of herbs and oils is used coupled with a lot of rubbing which generates heat and relaxes the body. It is an ideal massage therapy for the winter season. Traditional Nepali Massage is costlier than Aromatherapy. A 60-90 minute session of Traditional Nepali Massage can cost between NPR 2500 - 3500. It is a specialised treatment and is not offered by all the spas.
4. Foot Reflexology, Head, Neck, & Shoulder Massage
This one is the most popular and starts at NPR 1000 for a 45 minute session. The cost depends on whether the customer chooses to have only a foot massage or a combo of foot massage with head & shoulder, etc.
Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic treatment which involves a gentle flow of warm aromatic oil or another liquid over the forehead, particularly on the Chakra Point above and in the middle of eye brows. The oil is allowed to flow over the scalp and through the hair. The client's head is later wrapped with moist towels to allow the oil to work on the scalp. This treatment is aimed at general relaxation but is also considered useful in the treatment of some conditions like insomnia, and memory loss, etc.
Other treatments is Kathmandu spas include very specialised treatments like acupressure, acupuncture, hot stone therapy, and general services like facials, pedicure, manicure, steam & sauna, etc. For the specialised treatments, it is better to be sure about the competence of the therapist before taking the treatment. Ask the front office and also your therapist about the training and experience they have in the specific treatment that you intend to take.
Addresses of reputed Spa Services in Kathmandu
1. Kathmandu Spa Get a 20% Discount at Kathmandu Spa, read more information
Near Vaishali Hotel, Thamel
2. The Zen Experience Click here for detailed information
Opposite Kathmandu Guest House, Thamel
3. Tranquility & Serenity Spa Chain Click here for detailed information
Near Nepal Investment Bank Building, Thamel and other locations
|Posted by Narinder Singh|