Drawn to DRAWN

Well, when something excites me, I don’t hesitate one bit to come forward and share with as many as I can and hence, this blog post.

Sharing all about this brand, “DRAWN” to which I am literally drawn to and can’t wait to get shopping. Here are few reasons for it-

  1. If you chek out their styles- you’ll feel that finally someone gets it that looking fashionable can be effortless for you just slip into one of their dresses and get ready to turn heads! Whether its the big bold sleeves or the perfect slight- the brand does make looking stylish very easy!
  2. Bold prints, don’t shy-yes, time for some confession, I absolutely love bold colours and prints and sometimes, I do make my mom cringe with my choices but mostly she compliments my confidence to be able to carry them off! And boy, check out their prints for they are so unique and cool! And don’t forget, ” Fashion, is an instant language.” So, pick well!
  3. The price factor- I would say the brand is affordable for what looks like good quality stuff!

Now, without further adieu- let me share with you some of my favourites and guess what? They are soon coming up with a brand new collection too.

The Art Deco Shirt
Isn’t this shirt just a piece of art? Can’t wait to wear this for an evening out with nice funky gold earrings!
The Anti Stripe Oversized Shirt
Add some volume to your upper body with this cool shirt and it is going to look uber fashionable with your favouirte pair of jeans!
Drinks at 9 AM/PM ‘Too Much Colour’ Off Shoulder Dress
Running late for a date? You shouldn’t think too much and just opt for this one ūüėČ
Hi, Sunshine! Midi Dress
Remember- It’s always summer somewhere. It’s my recent favourite and it looks gorgeous, soothing and comfortable.
‘Don’t Cry Over Spilt Paint’ Shirt and Pant
Leisure sets are a hit these days when you don’t have to get into the business of, “What will this go well with?”

P.S. This is absolutely not a promotional post but an admiration post for a MADE IN INDIA brand that deserved a shout-out! Hence, more power and success to them!

The Solid Type!

The Bold Type has been trending on Netflix for a while now and chances are slim that you would have missed watching the series! Though at different stages in life, one has been hooked on to the “Sex and the City” and “Gossip Girl” series, post which one is always hesitant whether one will take to another series through and through!!! I will be honest, initially it did require a bit of an effort but now I am clearly hooked to it. So much so that I got inspired to write about it as well.

Well, most of these shows though invite enough eyeballs and fans, there is always a section of society that comes up with harsh criticism. Though I am yet to come across pieces on, “The Bold Type” but I am sure there would be someone dissecting it left, right and centre. I don’t necessarily have a problem with that but I feel a fun watch should be taken in the spirit it is intended to cater. There are definitely some bold instances and personalities in the series but so are they in real life too. Also, it touches upon and openly discusses about some important issues, for it is the “BOLD” type!

Let me focus on what I enjoyed and loved the most as I am currently just nearing the close of Season 4!

  1. New York City– Everytime I have seen the skyline or the streets of New York in the series, I have just wished to be magically transported their in no time. The buzz, the vibe and just the coolness- has been very pleasing and inviting. I too want to sashay down its streets in fancy heels and softly curled hair with coffee in a hand and on a mission to get somewhere asap!

    And yes, checking out a new bar every now and then or perhaps trying something fun and unique with my girlfriends in the city would be a big YES for me!
  2. Girl Power- I cannot stress enough how therapeutic is just being around your girls. Yes, we do love the men in our lives but the time spent with the girl gang is unmatched. Just watching that bond on the show has been a delight and has made me remember and treasure all the fabulous women in my life more than ever! Whether it is salon date together or just knocking at each other’s home post work- best time is guaranteed even doing nothing!!!
  3. Fashion and Beauty Inspiration- I will be honest I relate most to Sutton’s (show name) dressing style. But overall the series is high on some good fashion and beauty trends. I have fallen for good eye make-up ever since I have seen the gorgeous looks spotted by Jacqueline Carlyle (show name). Well, office wear gets a whole new meaning in the series and I am not complaining for I too choose to dress well to work well.
  4. The Big Boss- The show thankfully for a change shows that you can be lucky with a good boss as well. Not all of them are tyrants. And Jacqueline is just the boss you would dream off. She is confident, secure and excellent at what she does! She stands up for her employees and is just so inspirational to work with. Well, icing on the cake being she is willing to take risks no matter what!
  5. Beauty and Brains– These girls are undoubtedly well turned out but there is more to them than just that. They take some bold life decisions, don’t hesitate to not follow the herd, be change makers and yes, stand up for what they believe in.
    You may not necessarily agree with all their decisions nor did I but maybe we don’t agree with everyone all the time!

Waiting for Season 5 already!

Image Credits: The Bold Type official instagram page (@theboldtypetv)

Pondicherry Diaries

Well, I just had to break my blogging fast and what better way than to do it over a pleasant and memorable staycation!!! What makes this post even more special is the fact that it revolves around a place which both me and my husband wanted to visit for long time, i.e., Pondicherry.

And yes, our holiday was most relaxing and rejuventaing for it is a peaceful and quaint place you wouldn’t ever mind.

Our Stay

We, both opted for villa stays and because we wanted to experience as much over our short stay, hence, we stayed a night at the suite available at Villa Shanti which is also extremely well known for its food and the second night we stayed at La Villa. We learnt later that both these places have the same owner. La Villa is quieter we felt, one of the reasons being it has very few rooms but no complains as the place is very modern, clean and comfortable. Sitting out in the mornings and evenings was truly blissful.

Villa Shanti
La Villa

Eating Out

There are lots of good cafes to check out in Pondicherry. One of the most popular and loved ones is Coromandel Cafe and it does live up to all the hype as the food was great and good quality. Also, when in Pondicherry- you have to binge on crepes and croissants because they are just too yum. For croissants, we would enjoy them throughly at the breakfast offered by our villas. And for crepes, we headed to Cafe des Arts in White Town itself. For bakery items, you just have to visit the Baker Street. Another cafe we had checked out was the PY Cafe which not only is done up well but it also promotes the idea of hand-written letters and posts them for you. And while we were hungry and hunting for a place to eat, we landed up right in front of The Promenade and opted for a buffet.

Breakfast at Villa Shanti
Breakfast at La Villa

Auroville

Auroville is a beautiful story in itself. There’s just so much on offer here. And yes, there is great shopping and eating too.

Shopping

When in Pondicherry, do pick up chocolates, jams, peanut butter, mustard and such items as we did too. And yes, I picked up lots of cottons- dresses, skirts and tops and I love them all. Pottery from Pondicherry is famous too.

This was my take, now I am waiting for yours.

Love,
Sonali

Deyga- For the love of Natural Skincare

Well, I would have to accept something straight up for not only am I quite proud of this habit but this entire move has educated me immensely on the subject of skincare- I have genuinely started exploring quality products and do play close attention to what goes on my skin or hair.

And as they say, “Better late than never.” I am quite happy that I now closely monitor the ingredients and certainly believe in the magic of natural products and most importantly I don’t follow the herd, instead I go with what my skin says yes to!!!

I was fortunate enough to have encountered this amazing Indian brand which is 100% pure, handcrafted and natural making use of sustainable practices and traditional recipes- Deyga.

I tried these following products over the last few weeks and this is what I have to say about them:

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A peek into the products

  1. Rose & Mulethi Skin Brightening Pack– Well, Mulethi as an ingredient for the skin was new for me as I have used a lot of Multani Mitti in the past but Mulethi instead I felt conditions the skin well. You need to apply the pack regularly and actually see for yourself a brighter face with lightened dark spots. I realized that it cleanses the face rather well giving it a rejuvenated and refreshed look. The application process is quite simple, you mix the powder with milk and form a past and apply on your face and neck. As the pack dries up- wash your face and feel as well as see the difference! For those who are intrigued, its ingredients comprise of Native Roses, Mulethi, Oat Meal and Skin Cherishing Essential Oil.

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  2. Beetroot Lip Balm- No girl can ever have enough lip balms. However, few of them little to no good but Deyga’s Beetroot Lip Balm is truly a blessing for parched lips. It does infuse some life in them. The lip balm has a subtle natural smell and is made up of Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Beeswax and Beetroot extract. For someone like me who has had dry lips- it has worked well to moisturize and smoothen them! It does add a good shine to the lips and works as an excellent base for lipsticks! While it is always giving me company during the day, I love to even apply the Beetroot Lip Balm before going to sleep to ensure I do not wake up to dehydrated lips.

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  3. Sweet Almond Oil- I have started hearing the benefits of Sweet Almond Oil often and far too many and hence, wanted to give it a definite try. Sweet Almond Oil is full of Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Mono Saturated Fatty Acids, Protein, Potassium and Zinc.
    Vitamin E does well to protects one’s skin from UV radiation damage while keeping it soft and smooth. The best thing about this product is that it can be used head to toe. I have used it mostly on my face and it definitely ensures that my skin doesn’t look dull and dry. It truly makes the skin look and feel healthy. We don’t need to apply large quantities, just a little bit massaged well and evenly on the face is good enough. It is also known to heal brittle nails, contributes to healthier hair and works well as a natural make-up remover.
  4. Sunscreen SPF 30- I am always up for investing in good sunscreens for I reckon- it is imperative to protect your skin from sun exposure. This sunscreen adds a good sheen to your skin and is made up of Raspberry Seed Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Shea Butter and Sunflower Oil.
    It should be ideally applied 20 minutes before you plan on stepping out and should be applied at regular intervals of 3 hours or so. It is 100% natural and well suited for everyday use. Its compact size even makes it easy to carry and move around with. Last but not the least, it is also believed to soothe irritation, repair sunspots and other signs of sun damage.

I would like to sum-up by saying that Deyga certainly is a brand to look out for and you wouldn’t feel guilty investing in its products even a bit for they are natural, cruelty free and loaded with goodness! To get their products, log on to: http://www.deyga.in

Love,
Sonali

BEST OF BALI, PART-2

Well, I have shared quite a bit and continue to do so for our love for Bali should come across loud and clear. In this post, let me highlight few experiences which you too can indulge in on your next holiday.

1.Bali Safari and Marine Park- It is slightly expensive but for someone like me who hasn’t ever experienced night safari before- we didn’t think much but just went ahead and booked! I would say- it made for a fascinating experience moving around and getting to feed the animals through the caged bus and then ending the evening with a cultural performance and dinner. In our case, we took out that extra moolah for some chilled beer! I must add that the way the entire tour is handled is very smooth and professional!

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2. Bali Swing- It is truly a wonderland for a girl who loves Instagram. You can take the experience a notch higher by hiring an outfit and professional photographer from the site itself. But be ready to stand in a long line waiting to experience the Swing.

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3. Spa Time- Well, when in Bali- a good massage session is a must! While most hotels do have worthwhile spas, you can always explore quality and standalone spas too. We experienced the Sundari Day Spa in Seminyak for a foot massage and absolutely loved it, half way through the service both husband and I had dozed off which for me is a sign of an excellent experience.

4. Uluwatu Temple- Well, in case you are staying in Seminyak, then I would recommend heading to Uluwatu for a day trip. You should visit the temple too! I have to say the location of the temple would leave you awe-struck!

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6. Seminyak Village- It is a cute little mall but if you are looking at buying some quick gifts for family and friends back home, then I would definitely recommend this place. Also, its location definitely makes it very convenient to visit!

Ubud & Us…

Well, this was my first time to Bali and my husband’s and mine first time ever to Ubud and while after all the wedding madness- I was quite kicked to visit what seemed from pictures like a very relaxed place, my husband- Ishan wasn’t too excited but on reaching Ubud- we both were instantly on the same page and absolutely fell in love with it!

I feel Ubud is nice quiet, the quiet that you cherish and not the quiet that haunts you.

Here’s sharing few notes on Ubud and I truly hope that they come handy on your next visit!

Our Stay: We stayed at Alaya Resort which was on a fun and relatively bustling street. But just putting it out there quite clear that Ubud didn’t feel like a place for night-outs, so don’t really expect otherwise. We loved our hotel- the staff was extremely helpful, the pool though small was fun, the breakfast spread was decent and delicious and yes we were truly happy with our room as it was really well done up and from the balcony- we were witness to ample greenery.

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Shopping: Truthfully, by my normal standards I didn’t shop much but I did pick up lovely stuff for our home. Also, you can pick up amazing gifts such as handmade jewellery, dream-catchers, cane bags and so on. Also, the boutiques though very fancy stocking fashionable stuff are on the expensive side.

Food: There are umpteen options to binge!

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We quite liked this placed called Simply Social! Also, we tried coffee at several cafes and at all places it was really good! Also, when in Ubud, a smoothie bowl is a must!

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Nearby Attractions: I have never before been on a Night Safari and opted to go with the husband and it truly made for a worthwhile experience. Also, Bali Swing is a must for those looking for lots of instagrammable pictures and take our advise, hire their photography services. Both places offered meals and we decided to end the Night Safari with a cold beer each!

I must add that there are several waterfalls in the vicinity and a visit to at least one is a must!

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We loved to walk around so I’d suggest carry/wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen is a must as the sun was strong while we were there at least which is beginning December. There are several temples throughout Ubud- we definitely did stop by at one of them! There are also plenty of Departmental Stores where you can pick up your essentials from! We didn’t really visit the Monkey Forest as we got a feel just walking past it but you could plan a visit there!

On our next trip- we are looking at trying several spa treatments, visiting the rice fields and yes some yoga classes for me ūüôā Ubud, call us back soon! And I have to say that every local we encountered was a gem and ever so cheerful and helpful!

Happy Travelling!
Sonali

ON GRATITUDE

Today, I am getting back to writing for my #LoveLife series and would like to share about the concept/attitude of gratitude.

I have to say it first up, having a heart of gratitude is having the key to a happy life. Over the years, I have realized that most of us have this tendency of focusing on things we do not have. For instance, seeing the glass half empty instead of seeing it half full. However, if the focus changes to what we have or who I am- it truly can become a game changer! We shall wake up each morning feeling genuinely grateful for the little things such as the delicious home-cooked dinner we had last evening or the amazing weather in the morning or even looking forward to dressing up for work or most importantly, feeling healthy!

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A heart of gratitude is truly an enriched and beautiful heart for it appreciates and celebrates life. And trust me, everyone loves to be around people who appreciate and are grateful. With gratitude being our foremost attitude not only do we feel good but instead we uplift the spirits of another life too! For instance, it maybe routine for mother to cook, but try and compliment her for the meal and see the big smile on her face!

Also, I feel gratitude reduces the room for complain for you try and look at the good or positive in every challenging situation as well.

Lastly, I would say always be grateful for this life, our families and friends, the person we have become and are becoming and cherishing each and every necessity of life we have been blessed with from our home where we live to the clothes we wear!

Having said this, celebrate the little things in life and you would realize that you are celebrating ever so often. Share your celebrations, involve others in your celebrations, make them feel a part of being the reason itself to celebrate. Also, always have gratitude for the things you wished to own one day and with your hard work have been able to!!!

For me, my heart wells up with joy and happiness each time I think about the trips I have made and I can’t be grateful enough for those plans having become a reality!

P.S. I have and shall continue to have gratitude for all my dreams getting fulfilled. And writing this makes me realize how about some gratitude for having the will and courage to dream itself?

Best,
Sonali

On Top Fashion Gear with Avnni Kapur

Well, truthfully you can’t ever really have an overdoze of weddings considering quite a few celebs got married lately but fact is that the wedding season is on and the charm and beauty of a bride or the excitement of the groom are sights which seldom go out of demand so to say.

Weddings are beautiful, no matter how simple or lavish they maybe- weddings are just beautiful. And the most talked about are the brides at these weddings (sorry guys but guess you know it too). Also, we reckon the looks for the pre-wedding day celebrations are rather important as they let you truly experience and create a build-up to the big day!

So, since it is the wedding season and we want our brides to look their gorgeous selves- we got talking with one of our favourite designers from Delhi. Well, not that she just has a youthful take on design herself but her clothes are unique, colourful and playful. And I must add that every time I visit Avnni Kapur’s store- I am always pleasantly surprised by something or the other for the pieces wouldn’t be very routine.

When asked about the Mehendi celebrations, she said, “A trend that is hitting this season for Mehendi is the mid-length skirt and crop top which is comfortable and allows the wearer to show their beautiful Mehendi designs. What is more is that it is practical and very easy to carry.¬†People are also trying to experiment with more vivid and vibrant colours, therefore no greens.” Further commenting on the hues for Mehendi, the designer said that to feel and look different, she would recommend trying colours like lilac, shades and tints of bright blues, or maybe even corals.

And with the hits, you also got to know the other side. Avnni said,” A complete no-no for Mehendi will¬†be over-accessorizing with Jewellery, a little bling is what is needed but do not go overboard with it. Also, a no-no to Churidars please.”

And no such celebrations are going to be complete without the bride’s squad. Yes, we are talking about our bridesmaids. Avnni suggested, “The bridesmaids can always opt for something simpler like dhotis, crop-tops and skirts or maybe a jacket with cigarette pants and can have that element of co-ordination with matching dupattas, maang tikkas or even same colour skirts.”

And the most action-packed function has to be the Cocktail night! The designer said,”The brides of today are keen on having an Indo-western look for their Cocktail with stylish cuts. They also prefer unique drapes, unconventional tops or even long capes. Keeping it traditional yet modern is the way for the brides of 2018-19.” We do agree with our ace designer, don’t we?

Lastly, do check out the fabulous work of our designer-

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Perks of staying in Pratunam, Bangkok

Well, with the airport less than an hour away, there sure are some fancy perks of staying in the bustling Pratunam area of Bangkok.
 
Talking from experience, I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay at hotels in Pratunam on each of my trips besides the times I have stayed with my friends at their residence in Sukhumvit.

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Be on a Shopping Spree:
 
There is never a dull moment especially when you are staying in this area. During the day, no matter how much time you spend- you shall still be left wanting for more at the Platinum Fashion Mall. What’s more is that a newer building of the mall has been developed as well.¬†
From clothes to bags to shoes to accessories to beauty products-this one is an absolute haven for girls and from the point of convenience- there is a floor where you can leave behind the love of your life or even better if he is not accompanying you, then take back something for him from that floor.

One of my personal favourite shops is the Pink Pvssy for their gorgeous and stylish clutches.
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Handy Hacks for the Platinum Fashion Mall:
 
1. If there is anything particular you have in mind- seek their Help Desk and they give you the exact shop numbers dealing with the requested category of products.
 
2. Their food court is a must visit, there are ample choices and you would get a very affordable meal.
 
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3. Carry a big empty bag as you land up shopping enough to stress your arms and hands- a bag with wheels would be a true blessing.
 
And, for the tech-savy, just few steps away is the Pantip Plaza.
As you step out of the Mall, do grab a slice of Pizza at Crispy Pizza or a Japanese Soft Serve at  Demi Concept or how about some Mango Sticky Rice?
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Some of the other malls not too far would be:
 
Almost a 10 minutes ride away would be the very well known MBK Mall and then not too far from MBK are the Siam Malls for all the branded shopping.
And must mention my current favourite- Central World.
 
And, as the sun sets down- the streets of Pratinum also liven up further with the night markets. My recent most discovery was the Neon Night Market- it was quite fun and casual.
 
However, a market I truly recommend for the evening would be Asiatique The Riverfront  which though would be about half an hour away from Pratunam but would be totally worth the visit. There are plenty of shops, amazing restaurants by the river, live entertainment and there is just this fabulous festivity in the air.
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Hotels at Pratunam, My picks would be:

¬†–Centara Watergate Pavillion Hotel- you would love their breakfast and land up clicking umpteen pictures here for sure!
 
The Berkeley Hotel-the room size is a complete luxury and we thoroughly relished all the dishes we ordered in our rooms. The location for me was perfect.
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When looking for hotels, make sure you cross-check that it is not too in the interiors or isolated as then you would be far-off from the action. 
 
Binging Big:

Just about five minutes away from the Platinum Mall is this cute place called Hungry Nerd. From their pasta to their burgers- I have always loved everything here.
Another favourite place in this area which we love for desserts is the  B Story Cafe.
 

Hope this information comes handy and connectivity isn’t really an issue with Grab, regular cabs, tuk-tuk and so on.

 
Wishing you an ever amazing trip to Thailand!
xoxo,
Sonali

The Oasis Spa for an experience like no other!!!

Okay then, some of the finest things take time… Hence, this review is coming now- well, I was in Bangkok in February like many of you already know and a ritual of sorts for me is to pamper myself at the top quality and extremely rejuvenating spot- The Oasis Spa.

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Once you enter its surreal setting, you’re sure to leave behind all your worries and stress and trust me on this, I always feel when I am here that I am no longer in a city but truly in heaven.

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It truly is an Oasis of everything pleasant and positive! The tranquility develops as you pass through the gate into an exotic world of beauty, serenity and pleasure. Here you are in company of a place of lush foliage, wooden bridges and walkways, waterfalls, reflective ponds and private treatment villas encompassed in the arms of ancient venerable trees.

The manner in which you are greeted as if they were only waiting for you (even though they keep quite busy), the welcome with fruits, towel and a drink that follows, then the entire process of ensuring you get the most appropriate and effective therapy taking into consideration several factors- everything is dealt with utmost care and professionalism.

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I am not new to this spa at all as have been visiting it for years but this time around I wanted a loved one to try it for she is getting married soon. And with the wedding preparations comes enough anxiety and stress, so I thought this would be the most ideal spa date and gift for her! And while I shall take you through our treatments, I must share upfront itself that my lovely was blown away by the services and the experience and towards the close of our trip, said without a doubt that the visit to The Oasis Spa was the highlight of the entire trip for her!

While she opted for the King of Oasis Signature Massage which is a two hours massage and ensures utmost level of release, relief and contentment using a unique combination of ‚ÄúEast meets West‚ÄĚ massage techniques. It employs kneading, thumb pressure, stretching and compression combined with a warm aromatherapy oil massage and a Thai Herbal Hot Compress. Tired muscles are soothed to allow stretching that removes energy barriers and re-open all the body‚Äôs energy pathways. Eventually you find relief from stiff muscles and muscular discomfort, and gift yourself improved sleep and reduced stress.

King of Oasis Spa Signature Massage

 

And I this time around went in for the Queen of Oasis Signature Massage which is also a two hours massage combining the best of Eastern and Western therapies to promote a woman’s health and sense of well-being. The ancient oriental massage integrated into this therapy concentrates on the Meridian Lines to detoxify, improve organ function and promote self-healing. The Swedish, Hot Stone and Aromatherapy massage further restores and enhances vitality. It realigns a woman’s life-energy, improves digestion and promotes inner harmony. And you know what? This treatment quite rightly has been compared to doing yoga without the effort while receiving acupressure treatments!

And let me make an honest confession here that the hot stone therapy is absolutely blissful. I also believe that a good spa experience always helps you get some relaxed sleep and guess what? We both woke up totally refreshed post our treatment, still wanting more.

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I always say this and shall say this again- when in Thailand, a visit to The Oasis Spa is a must!!! The Oasis Spa has over 10 branches in Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations of Bangkok, Chiangmai, Pattaya, and Phuket. This is a special year for the brand as it completes 15 years of excellence in 2018!

Happy Spa-ing you all!!!

xoxo,

Sonali