A Luxury Spa break will feed your spirit, invigorate your soul, ease tension, exhaustion and remove stress. So welcome to our guide to the finest relaxation, restorative beauty, diet and wellbeing experiences to be found worldwide.
1. Layana – Koh Lanta – Thailand
Best for: Garden of Eden setting
Why we love: Mountains on one side, Andaman Sea on the other and set on heavenly Ko Lanta, the aptly named Linger Longer Spa offers air-conditioned treatment rooms, outdoor foot massage salas, shock showers and hydro-massage pools. This adult’s only tropical resort set within botanic gardens is the epitome of effortless Thai hospitality.
Best for: Rainforest Calm and Charm
Why we love: Described as “an act of kindness,” massage is a national pastime in Thailand. With traditions passed down from generation to generation, the Pathway Spa at The Sarojin harnesses Buddhist teachings and local wisdom, ancient remedies and herbal practises. The range of treatments is complemented by secluded couple’s baths, yoga and tai chi platforms, plus tantalising body rituals such as ‘Goodbye Jetlag’ and ‘Stop the Clock’; time stands still at this serene resort enveloped in rainforests and national parkland.
3. Indigo Pearl – Phuket – Thailand
Best for: Fantasy Treehouse Retreat
Why we love: The Indigo Pearl’s Coqoon Spa contains a big hint of the experience that awaits you within its name. This five star resort is a private oasis of wellbeing, a blend of style and unwavering opulence, while the award-winning spa is designer jungle luxury. The centrepiece of the resort is the treatment rooms that are tantalisingly referred to as ‘nests’. The image above ably demonstrates why.
Best for: Serenity Swimming Pools
Why we love:
This is a contemporary all-pool villa resort where the infinity pool is perfectly placed to capture the sun as it sets on this beautiful stretch of beach in Danang
, while you gaze out dreamily from your resting place on the massage table in full knowledge that all spa treatments are included in the price.
Best for: Heavenly Hillside Hideaway
Why we love: Allow the wooded slopes on the island of Bali to cast their spell on you. Here the sound of monkeys chattering while distant drums mingle in the tropical mist. At the Spa at Maya, you’ll easily forget the outside world exists; at this environmentally certified resort there is little evidence of anything else but your wellbeing and the river that runs beside your swimming pool.
Best for: Seaview Sanctuary
Why we love: CHI, the spa, located on a cliff top peninsula overlooking the Indian Ocean, is the ideal spot for a relaxing massage. The tranquil spa is secreted away from the rest of the resort and possesses one of the most extensive treatment menus available in the Philippines. With the sensual curve and soft golden sands of the Punta Bunga Beach laid out beneath you, we have every reason to assume you will never want to leave this Pacific Island sanctuary.
7. JA Manafuru – the Maldives
Best for: Dreams of Marine Healing
Why we love:
A delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit is always carefully observed at the JA Manafaru. Where else but at an overwater villa resort on a far flung Indian Ocean
atoll can you celebrate the restorative power of nature? The Calm Spa specialises in Ayurvedic and Shidehara traditional healing rituals. A stroll along the jetty across the lagoon from your overwater villa will reveal a sensual spa secreted away in the herbal infused Relaxation Garden.
Best for: Colour of tranquillity
Why we love: Based around authentic Mauritian traditions at the Seven Colours Spa Village, guests choose colours that appeal to their mood. Surely one of the most beautiful spas to be found anywhere in the world, with design cues from tropical colonial grandeur. The Seven Colours Spa is set in the tropical heartland of the Domaine de Bel Ombre, a haven of serenity on the colourful isle of Mauritius.
Best for: Treatment Room with a View
Why we love: Many of our top spas are stunningly located, within forest gardens or close by infinity pools. The Waterfront Spa at Coco de Mer one is situated on the cliff-top where the spectacular panoramic views are complemented by a highly personal wellbeing service. Providing massages and facials, body wraps and scrubs and beauty hair and nail treatments; all offered with typical Seychellois charm. Imagine yourself surrounded by an abundance of nature including fruit trees, tropical birds, turtles, and swaying palms overlooking the glittering Indian Ocean.
10. The BodyHoliday – St Lucia
Best for: Holistic Holidays for the Healthy
Why we love: Consistently voted one of the best spa experiences in the world, The BodyHoliday resort in St Lucia is the only luxury spa resort on our list that is dedicated to wellness. The team of highly dedicated staff are specialists in innovative new treatments and practitioners of the ancient arts of healing.
They say: “Give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind”
We say: “Sure. What time’s the next flight to St Lucia?”
Note to Self: St Lucia
was awarded ‘Best for Spa Holidays’ at the inaugural Telegraph Caribbean Travel Awards in 2015. Views like the one below may have something to do with it.
11. Sugar Beach at Viceroy – St Lucia
Best for: Nestling in the Natural World
Why we love: Voted ‘one of the coolest spas in the world’ by Marie Claire, the Sugar Beach at Viceroy Resort nestles in the valley of the Pitons and harnesses the properties of nearby volcanic springs and cocoa plantations; all natural rituals are free-from chemicals. This World Heritage Listed region is regarded as the heart of St Lucia and might claim to be the most geologically advantageous site for restoration and renewal.
12. Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf and Spa Resort– Cancun – Mexico
Best for: Adults Only Side-By-Side Serenity
Why we love: On a sugar-white beach just north of Cancun, reconnect and rekindle your flame with that special other one in a totally private escape. At Secrets Mujeres you’ll find a complete service for you and your partner, including massages, body scrubs, and facials and there’s a hydrotherapy circuit with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and cold plunge pool, and a number of massage cabins including special couples hideaways where the ocean will gladly act as your lullaby.
13. Breezes – Zanzibar Beach Club & Spa
Best for: Après-Safari Soothing Sensation
Why we love: After witnessing some of the most astonishing wildlife scenes on safari, take time to unwind and reflect upon your experiences at the Frangipani Spa. With evocative body rituals including ‘Kili Foot Treatment’ and Après Safari Treatmenta, the Frangipani Spa is specifically designed to soothe and stimulate after your holiday on Africa’s wild savannahs. This makes Breezes situated on Bwejuu beach just about the most ideal multi centre option to unwind on after your wild travels through the bumpy bush.
Best for: Best for Entertaining Friendships
Why we love:
The tree-lined lanes and dramatic ocean view provide a calming backdrop to Pelican Hill, just outside Newport Beach, California
. This luxury spa resort is just the place to connect with friends and family for weddings and bachelorette parties, to share a few days of personal pampering at Conde Nast’s number one voted resort in the USA. Offering 22 treatment rooms including the women’s and men’s Acqua Colonnades, this will make an invigorating weekend break, just an hour from LA, a few moments of bliss at the Forbes Five Star spa will create memories to last a lifetime.
Best for: Mountain scenery
Why we love: Some people find solace by the sea, others prefer magic in the mountains. With the Rockies as a spiritually uplifting backdrop, the panoramic views will silence your soul while high levels of oxygen intensify every waking moment, allowing the Willow Stream Spa to facilitate its healing properties. Built close to sacred waters, Banff Springs now has central spa pool with pulsating waterfalls to reawaken your senses.
These are just a few of our favourite hotels. Have we missed any? Feel free to tell us your favourite spa resorts from around the world.
For more inspiration on luxury holidays visit our Holiday Types
Written by: Clive Wedderburn