I didn’t have the best experience the first time I went for a Thai massage – I went to a salon that was slightttllyyyy on the rough side and the whole experience was messy. Fast forward a few years and you can barely move for the Thai massage salons open in Manchester (my town!). It’s interesting how such a specialist area has become popular enough to warrant so many new salons but after a few more positive treatments, I am now a keen follower of Thai massage.
I have visited 3 salons recently in Manchester (common link: I had Groupon offers for all three!!!) and every experience was decent…
The Eastern Spa is located outside of Manchester City Centre, near Old Trafford in an old warehouse which looks dodgy, but it actually a hotel. Inside, there’s a really nice exposed brick work kinda feel. It has a nice intimate, quiet atmosphere and the rooms are perfect for relaxing in.
I had a 90 minute oil massage here which definitely had the hard edge of thai massage, and a lot of shoulder work – it was intense and there were only a few times when it was hard to take the pain (on my sides and shoulders!). The lady who did my massage was small but lethal (they all are) and there was some back climbing like in a traditional thai massage and spreading out the muscles.
This place was the best place for a medium-hard massage…it definitely isn’t a wimpy treatment, but at the same time didn’t leave me in tears and I felt really relaxed afterwards. If there were any weaknesses they were specific to the day I went for treatment which was, the room was a bit too cold and the music a tad too loud, even if the decor itself is lovely.
The One Thai Massage is located in the City Centre – when you walk through the frosted doors it’s actually quite sparse inside! The reception area has a desk and a sofa, but that’s it – it looks more like an office than a spa (no wonder the windows are frosted).
There was some confusion over the appointment (is there TWO of you?) – er no, just me – but once we got into the treatment, it was fine. The room was sparse (I thought PLEASE LET THERE BE MUSIC IN CASE I PUMP), but it wash’t too uncomfortable overall.
The treatment itself is the most gentle of the thai treatments I’ve had and it felt more like a deep tissue massage (no climbing on my back) – definitely bearable if you are scared of massages. The lady was very friendly ‘You have niceeee skin, I like this massage” etc. but it was a really nice treatment overall without any tears involved.
Nattaya Thai Massage
I didn’t have much hope for Nattaya Thai Massage, maybe because I was judging on where it was located (Cheetham Hill Road).
Inside is a reception area that looks like a spa but also like an auntie’s front room – it’s not a problem at all, just a very traditional look. The rooms are nice and dark, nice temperature and are relaxing.
This massage is one of the hardest ones I’ve had, and the closest to a traditional treatment. It is, despite the fact I thought I was going to burst into tears, the best massage of the lot because I felt loosened and better afterwards. One of the things she did is cracked all my toes and fingers (OUCH) which…although I wanted to cry, takes some skill to do.
I am totally converted to Thai massages now purely because I find general body treatments don’t do ANYTHING (why would I pay you £50 to put a mask over my legs?) at least Thai massages take some real welly and make you feel better afterwards!