The huge twin doors decorated with two rather fierce looking Thai warriors are in no hurry to open. Worshippers at the Oriental Spa Garden in the 5 star Hotel Botánico in Puerto de la Cruz have to wait patiently before they can enter this palace of relaxation, sensuality and pampering. It’s a neat and deliberate trick.

Oriental Spa Garden in Hotel Botanico Puerto de la Cruz

The unhurried doors are a subliminal way of slowing you down; a visit to the Oriental Spa Garden is not to be rushed, it is one to be pleasurably savoured.

The walkway to the Oriental Spa Garden leads past rows of elephant carvings and blue, glazed pots overflowing with delicate flowers beside a long pond inhabited by oversized carp. Uniquely Thai touches that rouse a feeling of serene familiarity; a sense that I know this place even though it’s my first visit.

As I finally pass through the ornate portal the sense of deja vu intesifies as the perfumed air adds a further sensory pleasure and the soft trickling from a waterfall cascading into one of the heated pools adds yet another. Towering palm trees and gently swaying fronds lend the gardens a lush tropical ambience aided and abetted by the presence of a wooden pagoda; an inviting temple for traditional open air Thai massages.

Oriental Spa Garden in Hotel Botanico Puerto de la Cruz

The reason this exquisite scene feels familiar is that I’ve experienced similar scenery and décor in the past ““ but in exquisitely luxurious hotels around Thailand itself. The Oriental Spa Garden captures the style, the look and the gentle tranquillity of Thai culture perfectly. It is a little bit of Thailand in Tenerife

The Oriental Spa Garden is beautifully elegant, sophisticated and very, very romantic.

The Oriental Spa Garden Experience
There’s no denying the Oriental Spa Garden has the looks but what about the spa experience itself?

Hotel guests can simply enjoy luscious surroundings and a thermal circuit that includes heated indoor and outdoor pools with underwater massages; jacuzzi, Turkish baths, Japanese saunas and ice temple and water beds.

Oriental Spa Garden in Hotel Botanico Puerto de la Cruz

But it would be a shame to not to take advantage of a heady selection of spa treatments. These range from standard massages to bathing in milk bubbles, papaya body wraps and, the ultimate couples” shared treatment, the private Gold Dragon Spa ““ two and a half hours of Turkish peeling with moisturising soap foam; aromatic baths and massages; moisturising with seaweed cream and a Turkish bath. Champagne, fruit juices and infusions are all part of the package, rounding off a deliciously decadent day.

Our particular ‘couples” treatment involved the Oriental Ritual ““ an invigorating ex-foliation and massage followed by a hot mud wrap with Arabian soil and finally a full body, aromatic massage that left me feeling as though someone had sneaked in and stolen the bones from my body. In between each treatment we retired to a sauna/shower where we were served with infusions. Drinking tea in a sauna was a first for me. It felt strange initially, probably partly down to the dream-like element of being served tea when you’re not wearing a lot (understatement). But it actually turned out to be a very refreshing and novel way to drink tea.

Oriental Spa Garden in Hotel Botanico Puerto de la Cruz

As relaxing, yet exhilarating experiences go the Oriental Ritual was right up there with the best of them. If I’ve ever felt so relaxed I really can’t remember when. The skin-softening treatments, calming Oriental themed surroundings and the expert touch and professional staff who make you feel completely at ease combined to deliver an experience that is addictively pleasurable and leaves you feeling 10 years younger. A post Oriental Ritual relax on water beds seemed an appropriate way to end the Oriental Spa Garden experience as by that time both of us felt as though we were floating anyway.

As we waited for the ornate doors of this Thai pleasure palace to swing open, we were in complete accord about one thing, this might have been our first Oriental Spa Garden experience… but it wouldn’t be our last.

The Oriental Spa Garden’s facilities are available to guests at the Hotel Botánico and Club Spa members. Whilst entry to the Oriental Spa Garden is free to guests, special treatments cost from around €32 to €445 for a full day of luxurious pampering. The romantic Golden Dragon for two experience costs €295. For more information have a look at Hotel Botánico’s website and imagine yourself being pampered in a sumptuous Far Eastern paradise in the north of Tenerife.