FIVE SENSES SPA $ – $$
Five Senses Spa is, and always has been one of my favorite Hoi An spas. The reason? Simply put, they employ the best masseuses in town and once you find your dream massage why go elsewhere? That is why I, like many other regular customers, keep coming back year after year.
First of all: Position! Position! Position! Phan Boi Chau is a pretty, atmospheric street on the edge of Old Town and only a few doors up from that well known expat haunt Mia Coffee. A short stroll and you stumble upon the Central Market, and the Ancient Town center itself. A perfect day out can be had, when combining some shopping, a visit to the tailor maybe, a coffee or two with friends, and then a relaxing visit to Five Senses Spa.
Everything is within a stone’s throw of everything else which is so convenient, particularly in the enervating summer heat. If you choose an evening visit, maybe after a cocktail or three at happy hour – as long as you don’t fall asleep and miss the whole thing – Five Senses Spa offers a very pleasant finish to your evening.
Put your best foot forward and watch the world go by from the pleasant elevated verandah, as the ladies work their magic … get a foot-massage, manicure, pedicure – whatever you please, or enter the cool and newly-renovated interior, where you can retreat from the world for an hour or so of pure bliss with one of the very skilled and professional masseuses.
My personal favorite – although they are all absolutley fabulous – is Nhia. She is soooo good, seriously – I have had more massages than your average Sybarite and it’s hard to think of anybody who could beat the strong yet soothing touch of this mature, professional lady. ‘Firm’ in Vietnamese massage lingo is similar to ‘uncomfortable’ in medical jargon, ie there can be a fair bit of flinching, gritting of teeth, and the odd yelp or two involved. Not so with Nhia, or come to that with any of the other ladies at Five Senses Spa. They give a good strong massage, and at no time do you want it to end.
Deeply satisfying and therapeutic, when you re-enter the glare of the world once more you are as relaxed as a bendy toy.