Considering Hoi An’s confusing profusion of spas on every corner, Pandanus Spa is a standout. Owned by husband and wife, An and Anh, this little place is clean, relatively cheap and provides a consistently good massage. So good in fact, that this reviewer, after paying, walked home with glassy eyes and her shirt on back to front.
‘I’ll have the Swedish Massage,’ I uttered, somewhat wryly because, unless you’re in the ritzy spas, all massages – no matter which you choose – end up the same. Still, as long as they’re good.
Feet now soaking in warm water on the outside patio, I felt a trickling calm descend as my tiny masseur scrubbed away the day’s aches.
Normally I ask for a strong massage but it was clear from the moment the massage started that this would be a perilous declaration. Working on pressure points around my back, this deceptively strong slither of a woman practically pushed her fingers through my spine. Fearing she would ease off totally if I spoke up, I endured this decidedly painful experience for around 15 minutes before, for the first time in my life, asking a masseur to ‘ease up’.
I had already had a fantastic massage here and had hoped to promote this little place as a ‘find’ but clearly things were not looking good. In mild disappointment, I found myself being swallowed up by the music: soft, lulling, like waves on the shore, gently rhythmic and calming, played at the perfect level.
A further ten minutes in and my spirits began to lift: deep tissue kneading, manipulations, pressure strokes up and down my spine, tapping, slapping, poking, pushing, a couple of strolls on my back and: ‘oh, la, la’ – things were looking up.
Lost in the rhythmic flow of the music, I experienced that wonderful out-of-body experience one gets from a good massage. But all good things come to an end and all too soon, the usual eye-watering menthol was wafted around my nose, bringing me back to Earth.
Pandanus Spa offers the standard services of scrubs, wraps, waxing, facials and nails, in addition to massage and I should never have doubted: it’s a real ‘find’.
A short taxi trip from Hoi An Old Town, Pandanus Spa is especially convenient for those staying in Homestays in or around Ly Thai To Street and patrons of the very busy Sunshine Hotel that sits opposite.