After spending three weeks in Thailand, it was finally time to leave for Rome. FIF would be coming from Japan, and I would be coming from Koh Samui, so we decided to simply meet at the Thai Royal First Lounge. In the travel hacking world, Thai Airways is known to have one of the most amazing 1st Class ground service, and Spa service. So naturally, I was super anxious to finally have the opportunity to experience it!
- An “Around-The-World-Travel-Hacking” Extravaganza!
- ANA Boeing 787 Dreamliner – Business Class (SJC-NRT)
- Thai Royal First Lounge + Royal Orchid Spa (Bangkok)
- Thai Airbus A380 – 1st Class (BKK-FRA)
- Lufthansa First Class Terminal (Frankfurt)
- Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i – 1st Class (FRA-IAD)
Finding the Lounge:
The Thai Royal First Lounge is located in Concourse D of the Suvarnabhumi airport (Bangkok). After exiting from the Taxi, I quickly entered Concourse D, and turned to my left. I didn’t notice anyone near the Royal First check-in sign, but once I walked through the entrance, I was greeted immediately by an attendant.
Next, I was seated in the waiting area, given a hot towel, and asked to hand over my passport. I was the only passenger checking in, so the whole process took less then five minutes.
Once check-in was completed, I had a private attendant escort me to the security line, and then through customs. Everything went smoothly, and I passed through security and customs in seconds. Finally, I took the escalator down to the lounges.
Now here is where the ground service really began to take off! Because at the bottom of the escalator was a private golf cart waiting for me. Apparently, the Royal First Lounge is far enough away that it requires a motorized vehicle.
Riding around in the golf cart was pretty entertaining! Because in order to reach the Royal First Lounge, I had to first pass the Business Lounge (Royal Silk). Therefore, I received a lot of envious faces when the golf cart was escorting me through the Business Lounge!
Inside the Lounge:
After entering the lounge, there is a long hallway which takes you to the main seating area and buffet. Along the way, there are also private rooms that are available, on a first-come, first-served basis. I’ll talk more about these private rooms in a bit.
The lounge itself is quite large and offers plenty of space to spread out and relax.
Here is the main seating area which is next to the bar.
There is even a very roomy couch next to the bathroom for those who wish to socialize here…
Since we were one of the few people in the lounge, we asked for one of the private rooms. However, these private rooms weren’t all that “private”…why? Well, mainly because when people enter the lounge, they have to walk pass these private rooms, and when they do, they automatically look into these rooms to see if they have been occupied. Not the end of the world, but still kinda awkward to have strangers peeping into your space!
At the other end of the lounge there are massage chairs for you to relax in.
Or, if you prefer to catch some sleep, the lounge also has day rooms for you to use.
Finally, the lounge also has shower rooms for you to freshen up before your flight.
The shower rooms even feature a rain forest shower head, my favorite!
Towards the back of the lounge is the restaurant, The Dining Room. Aside from the restaurant, you can also dine from the buffet, but I didn’t try it, as I wanted to try out the lounge restaurant!
The Dining Room is decorated nicely, and actually felt like an upscale restaurant. It’s definitely a huge upgrade from the food court that I’m use to visiting in the airports!
Once seated, I was promptly given the menu, and asked if I would like some wine. Yes, please!
I decided on the Tom Yum Goong soup, and the Thai Style Grilled Pork Chop. Both were excellent and a great way to start my lounge experience.
The Royal Orchid Spa:
This was the part of the lounge which I was most excited to try! I mean seriously, how many places are there in the world where you can have a complimentary massage inside an airport!??
Tip: Since there are only a limited number of massage rooms, it’s a good idea to reserve a time slot when first entering the lounge. For me, I had to wait an hour and a half before a slot was available. This was fine by me, as it gave me a chance to eat at the restaurant beforehand. But if you are pressed for time, then it’s a good idea to take care of this right when you enter the lounge.
Now keep in mind, the full body massages are only available to First Class passengers, so I’m not even going to pretend that I didn’t have a big grin on my face when entering the Spa!
The Royal Orchid Spa offers two different massages, and each lasting for 60 minutes.
- Touch of Silk (Full Body Oil Massage – 60 minutes for First Class only)
Start your journey with a relaxing Touch of Silk, full-body oil massage. Performed with the unique ‘Thai touch’, this massage will help to prepare your body for your onward flight by increasing blood circulation as well as relieving muscular tension and helping to provide necessary hydration for your skin. On completion of your Touch of Silk massage, you will be left with an overall sense of well-being and total relaxation.
- Royal Thai Massage (Full Body Massage – 60 minutes for First Class only)
Thai massage is perceived as one of the most precious of Thai traditional therapies. Royal Thai Massage helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduces edema caused by traveling and reduces body fatigue. With its unique acupressure techniques, expertly applied to your body, you will find your mind relaxed and muscles relieved, following the stress of your journey.
The Royal Orchid Spa is actually located outside of the Royal First Lounge, but only a 2 minutes walk away. Also, when it’s time for your massage appointment, an attendant will escort you to the Spa. So no need to watch the clock!
It took me awhile to decide between the two massages, but since I was in Thailand, I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a traditional Thai massage!
Once I reached the Spa, my masseuse was waiting for me at the entrance, and she escorted me to the massage room. The room was very nice, and also had a bathroom and shower. Since I had just arrived from Koh Samui, I decided to do my masseuse a favor, and take a shower first!
Next, my masseuse asked me to undress everything, and to only wear the provided fish net underwear….I attempted to put on this weird uncomfortable underwear, but it didn’t do a great job at covering up “everything”, and was pretty transparent once worn, but hey, when in
Finally, I laid down on the massage table, and began the 60 minute treatment!
The massage itself was really good! I was so glad I choose the Thai massage over the Oil massage. But I think overall, most people would prefer the Oil massage, as it is more relaxing. But since I had previously spent five days scuba diving in Thailand, I had a few knots that needed attention. So after an hour of weird yoga like stretches, muscle compression, and deep pressure, all my knots were gone. It was perfect!
After the massage, I was given a choice of tea, and some snacks were available. The perfect ending to a great massage!
After the massage treatment, it was back to the private room, and some more food! I got stuffed pretty quickly, so I made friends with the attendant, and we talked about scuba diving in Thailand to kill some time. Otherwise, the attendant will simply stand outside the private room, and peep in every now and then to see if we wanted something. It felt kinda awkward to me, so I just struck up some conversation with her so she wouldn’t be overly bored.
Then, it was time to board the plane, and in true Thai 1st Class fashion, there was no need to walk! Suvarnabhumi airport is massive, and since there is only one Royal First Class Lounge, they will personally escort you to the gate by golf cart! The ride must of lasted fifteen minutes, and we probably received over a hundred sneers from passengers who had to walk! But I didn’t mind one bit, and simply lived in the moment =)