THE MOST LUXURIOUS SPAS AROUND THE WORLD
After the worries and stress of this last year, bookings for wellness breaks are set to soar. Whether you’re looking to detox at a mountain retreat or relax and be pampered in the tropics, the world is filled with some incredible spa experiences. Here are 20 of the very best to add to your travel bucket list.
A luxury destination spa hotel set in over 100 acres of forest at the foothills of the breathtaking Himalayan Mountains, Ananda in the Himalayas is built around a Maharaja’s palace estate overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges river valley.
Best for: Complete disconnection, yogis or yoga beginners.
Spa Highlights: The Ananda Wellness Centre is spread over 24000 square feet, with 24 treatment rooms and state of the art facilities. A menu of over 80 spa treatments with a focus on total body and soul rejuvenation through the traditional Indian practices of Ayurveda and modern Western inspired rituals.
What makes it special: This region of Northern India is believed to be the birthplace of yoga and said to be charged with positive cosmic energy. Guests can expect a wholly holistic experience which incorporates the spa’s mystical landscape and combines yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic practices in tailor-made progammes.
Recommended treatments: The Ayurvedic Sirodhara treatment where warm herbal oil is poured slowly and steadily onto your forehead will balance your nervous system and take you into a state of complete relaxation.
SHA WELLNESS CLINIC, SPAIN
Located on a mountainside overlooking the Spanish coast just outside Alicante, Sha Wellness Clinic is a slick, contemporary wellness destination with a beach club vibe but with an absolute commitment to helping its guests understand and manage their health through proper nutrition and a blend of Eastern and Western philosophies.
Best for: Alleviating stress, helping sleep and resetting.
Spa highlights: SHA’s Clinic and Wellness areas span more than 6000 square metres complete with hydrotherapy circuit with two indoor swimming pools, numerous treatment rooms, a treatment suite for couples, medical rooms and relaxation areas.
What makes it special: While the sunny, modern clinic design is impressive, it is the practice of cutting-edge scientific technology together with ancient Oriental therapies which is so groundbreaking here. At Sha you can tackle everything from sleep recovery to genetic testing, aesthetics and ageing to weight loss and even anxiety and concentration at the Cognitive Development Unit.
Recommended treatments: While individual treatments aren’t the thing here (personalised programmes focusing on specific goals are what Sha Wellness Clinic is all about), the facial treatments are of particular note – the detox facial specifically is a facial drainage procedure using glass bells, massage and electrostimulation to tone and tighten.
CHABLÉ YUCATÁN, CHOCHOLÁ, MEXICO
An enchanting, restored 19th Century hacienda set amongst 750 acres of sprawling jungle, Chablé Resort & Spa is Mexico’s most charming spa retreat. Beautifully restored to blend nature and modern comforts with the resort’s heritage and ancient Mayan culture, a stay here focuses on culture, location and transformation.
Best for: Peaceful isolation, the spa is remote! Also, for foodies (the culinary offer was designed by famed Chef Jorge Vallejo who was awarded 12th best Chef in the World and 1st best in Mexico).
Spa highlights: Chablé is one of the only spas in the world with its own cenote, or natural freshwater reservoir of crystalline water believed to be sacred and special to the Mayans, above which the 12 spa rooms float. Many of the treatments incorporate Mayan healing rituals and there are 3 sweat lodges in the grounds where ceremonies are conducted by visiting shamans. A hydrotherapy circuit includes 3 plunge pools, a steam cave covered in golden tiles and a saltwater filled floatarium.
What makes it special: The union of ancestral traditions, nature and comfort in a spiritual environment that inspires relaxation, health and wellbeing.
Recommended treatments: The three ‘Chablé Spa Journeys, each of which has a different energy and aesthetic outcome depending on your feelings and life stage. Choose from: Fountain of Youth Journey, Tree of Life Journey and Heaven on Earth Journey.
LANSERHOF RESORT LANS, AUSTRIA
A modern alpine retreat with spectacular views of the Nordkette Alps, Lanserhof Resort is a medical spa in the truest sense, with detox regimes, fasting, therapies and relaxation all based on the revolutionary approach of the famed Austrian physician FX Mayr and a focus on good gut health at its core.
Best for: Resetting digestion, correcting damage from bad habits, those with time (and money) – there’s a recommended minimum stay of three weeks.
Spa highlights: The medical centre has been harmoniously integrated to blend into Tirol’s stunning Alpine landscape and it is beautifully light and airy, with glass walls looking out on to the snowy mountain peaks. First class treatments use holistic diagnosis to spot and heal various body ailments and imbalances and the expert team of medical practitioners can study your gastrointestinal tract, metabolism and immune system to address problems with skin, energy levels, and sleep plus lots more. And to compliment treatments, there are activities from Nordic walking to Mayr diet-inspired cookery classes.
What makes it special: The spa menu is revolutionary – and with facilities to support the LANS Med wellness Concept, guests will be treated to a regeneration process involving detoxification, purification and de-acidification.
Recommended treatments: Treatments are tailored to your individual needs, with doctors and specialists working to help you with burnout, pain, detox, energy and more. Prepare to be asked to fast for a few days – and to be taught how to chew properly.
THE LEGEND BY LILIANE GOSCHY FRITZ, BADEN-BADEN, GERMANY
Located at the centre of Germany’s famous spa town, Baden-Baden, The Legend is a high-end wellness facility offering holistic therapies, physiotherapy, personal training, beauty and cosmetic treatments, and state-of-the-art spa. Run by health experts Liliane Goschy Fritz and Philipp Strickfaden (both of whom have an impressive list of accolades and experience to their names), The Legend has become THE place for tackling health issues and achieving wellness goals for those in the know. With no accommodation available at the fitness club itself, visitors here can choose from Baden-Baden’s many beautiful hotels and check-into The Legend on a daily basis.
Best for: Benefitting from outstanding expert knowledge, particularly in the fields of physiotherapy and cosmetic treatments – there’s even a ‘children’s posture training’ if you have any concerns about the development of your precious little people.
Spa highlights: With beautiful modern interiors, a highly professional team whose dedication to creating personalised solutions for all clients and an extensive list of available therapies, The Legend offers an impressive service despite its size. The gym (which occupies a stunning space within a listed hall) features pristine equipment and out-of-the-ordinary extras (including a Power Plate) plus Hypoxic Training and Electrical Muscle Stimulation while the club’s spa has everything from relaxing treatments to medical therapies and holistic remedies.
What makes it special: Attention to detail here is exemplary – and the wide range of wellness services available ensure that guests have the opportunity to experience some of today’s most innovative treatments and concepts.
Recommended treatments: The Legend’s physiotherapy department is an absolute must for anyone looking to improve everything from posture and gait to vascular training and even anxiety and depression. And as for a little pampering and relaxation, the hot stone massage and facial reflexology are a must-try.
VIVAMAYR HEALTH HOTEL, AUSTRIA
VivaMayr, a modern chalet style spa located in the charming Austrian town of Altaussee, with stunning views of the Alps and pristine lake waters. has achieved an almost cult like status among its rich, famous and health-seeking guests. Via specialist diet, exercise and lifestyle direction plus medical treatments, therapies and diagnostics, this cutting-edge medical facility is dedicated to restoring health – be prepared to spill all your food weaknesses and addictions – and then to embark on heavy duty detoxification.
Best for: Detoxing and weight loss – good habits and willpower will be reestablished.
Spa highlights: The 15,000 square ft clinic is led by Medical Director, Dr. Sepp Fegerl, and guests follow the ‘Mayr cure’ – an intense detox programme designed to purge the body of toxins and leave you feeling more vibrant, toned and full of energy. In addition to chic, functional treatment rooms there’s an indoor pool, sauna and steam, plus fitness centre.
What makes it special: Like most destination spas, the setting and location here will inspire you to want to live a better, more wholesome life. But really it is the guaranteed results of a strict regime that make VivaMayr genuinely special.
Recommended treatments: A team of doctors and experts will test your blood, your muscles, your everything to tailormake a health programme to include everything from spa treatments to supplements, diet and exercise.
VILLA STEPHANIE, BADEN-BADEN
Situated in the historic spa town of Baden-Baden at the foot of the northern Black Forest mountains, Villa Stephanie offers complete relaxation and rejuvenation in sublimely luxurious surroundings. An elegant mansion house which sits alongside Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, the villa is a former royal residence with a space-age clinic housing some of Europe’s top medical experts in gynaecology, dentistry, cardiology, preventative medicine, holistic medicine and aesthetics and led by expert medic and naturopath Dr Harry König.
Best for: Full health diagnostics and service.
Spa highlights: The spa spans 5,000 square metres over five floors and is connected to Haus Julius, a contrasting minimalist clinic merging holistic health with state-of-the-art expert medical care and even a testing lab to diagnose, cure and help ward off future ill health. If it’s detox you’re after, there are a number of programmes which include organic and medical options, massage choices include pampering or targeted and performed by physiotherapists and there are facials galore.
What makes it special: The synergy between the old world glamour and luxury heritage of the hotel and the most avantgarde spa makes for a truly unique experience.
Recommended treatments: A consultation with Dr König is a must – from which a tailor-made treatment package can include traditional Chinese medicine, colon hydrotherapy and more.
LA RESERVE GENEVA
For safari inspired style (think low-rise lodge-style building and interiors which include dark woods, animal print and elephants – the resort’s symbol) and a stunning lakeside setting, La Reserve is a modern spa and resort that is as welcoming to families as it is to solo spa goers. Designed on the idea of a ‘lost paradise’, La Reserve boasts 10 acres of the most beautiful natural surroundings, an exceptional spa and Michelin starred Chinese restaurant as some of its many amazing features.
Best for: Anti-ageing treatments, the great outdoors.
Spa highlights: The impressive Spa Nescens is a tranquil 2,000 square foot dreamy vision of relaxation with an indoor pool, gym and luxurious treatment rooms. Combining treatments, nutrition and physical activity in order to achieve visible and lasting results, services are provided by a multi-disciplinary team of therapists, coaches and medical specialists with expertise in preventive and anti-aging and aesthetic medicine.
What makes it special: In the summer, a vintage motorboat shuttles guests across Lake Geneva while the colder months bring with them a winter wonderland complete with skating rink, candles and fur blankets. A fantastic kids club means that parents can enjoy the spa while little ones are having fun – and La Petite Reserve at the spa will take care of kids when parents are being pampered.
Recommended treatments: Better-ageing Signature body massage and better-ageing signature face massage. Both using exclusive massage techniques, lymph drainage and an epidermal exercise program to release blockages and ease tension.
AMANGIRI CANYON POINT UTAH, USA
A 600-acre sanctuary of wilderness and isolation in Southern Utah’s dramatic desert landscape, Amangiri (meaning peaceful mountain) is not only a luxury resort and spa but also the perfect place from which to explore the desert, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park and Lake Powell. A cool oasis created of polished concrete, the resort blends seamlessly with the rocky landscape – a modern interpretation of Native American architecture, designed to integrate into the Navajo Nation Reservation.
Best for: Escape, peace and tranquility.
Spa highlights: Spread across 25,000 feet, the Aman Spa reflects the healing traditions of the Navajo, with treatments drawing from the elements of earth, wind, fire and water. The spa seeks to induce a notion of being in tune with self and in harmony with the world through an extensive treatment menu and 5 beautifully designed treatment rooms plus overwater sauna pavilion, ultra-modern floating treatment pagoda, steam, outdoor treatment terraces and yoga pavilion. Treatments draw from Ayurveda, traditional Chinese Medicine and Navajo traditions and use Aman’s all-natural line of skincare products.
What makes it special: There are few setting quite like this – and everything from the rooms to the service lives up to the wow factor. Extras including hiking, yoga, river tours and camping in tented pavilions all enhance the all-encompassing wellbeing experience.
Recommended treatments: The Aman Spa signature menu includes treatments based on the Grounding, Purifying and Nourishing formations of the Aman product range. Try the Grounding Journey for a deep connection to the earth and better sense of self – through a body polish & wrap, massage and Sirodhara scalp treatment.
NIHI SUMBA ISLAND, INDONESIA
A small and exclusive island hideaway on one of Indonesia’s most unexplored islands, Nihi Sumba sits on 175 hectares of tropical forest, rice terraces and grasslands, on ‘the edge of wildness’ with the thriving turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and local traditions. The resort focuses on sustainability, understated luxury and an appreciation for its excellent surfing, beautiful palm tree forests, wildlife and white sandy beaches. There are 28 individually designed villas, beautifully created with traditional Indonesian thatched roofs. Each villa has a private pool and an ocean view overlooking the surf. Boathouse Spa is the resort’s magical wellness retreat, perfectly perched above the crashing waves.
Best for: The adventurous, eco-travellers, reconnecting with a purpose.
Spa highlights: A Sumbanese spa team delivers a range of treatments from sea salt scrubs to mud wraps, massages to coconut hair washes in a beautiful open-air spa with stunning sea views and offers journeys that combine nature with healing and relaxation.
What makes it special: Finding a little piece of the world that feels as authentic and unspoiled as Nihi Sumba is rare these days – and traveling here, in the knowledge that the property has a genuine green ethos with community outreach programmes in the local villages, a turtle hatchery and programmes working to provide clean water and reduce malaria on the island makes this a destination with a real difference
Recommended treatments: The Nihi Oka Spa Safari is a journey involving a wilderness hike to a secluded valley with views of peaceful paddy fields and rolling waves – where 4 bamboo-clad treatment rooms and a selection of treatments await. Guests can finish their spa experience with an ocean dip and choose to get back to the resort via jeep or horseback.
KAMALAYA WELLNESS SANCTUARY, THAILAND
Located on Thailand’s beautiful Koh Samui Island, Kamalaya is one of the most genuine wellness retreats in the world. From the beautiful location to the high levels of care, dedication to comfort and totally complementary approach, it’s impossible to visit Kamalaya and not feel good instantly. Guests have raved about their life changing experience after a stay here – the sense of calm, motivation for self-improvement and gorgeous facilities and surroundings combine to make for a winning formula.
Best for: Emotional and physical wellbeing.
Spa highlights: Kamalaya covers an entire mind, body, spirit concept and their programmes manifest this. The spa centre integrates the beauty of the surrounding area with open-air treatment rooms and views of the beach. There are over 70 certified therapists including naturopaths, nurses, nutritionists, massage therapists and yoga teachers who create bespoke healing programmes for detoxing, stress, fitness, weight control, sleep issues and emotional balance.
What makes it special: At the heart of Kamalaya is an ancient Buddhist monk cave which had been used for meditation for centuries and whose spiritual energy led the founders to create the sanctuary in its current location.
Recommended treatments: Kamalaya Signature Treatment: Three Treasures.
According to ancient Taoist theory, the body has three main energy centres collectively referred to as the ‘Three Treasures’. This treatment combines healing techniques from Tui Na massage, Reiki and crystal healing as well as aromatherapy using Kamalaya’s bespoke ‘Three Treasures’ oil blends.
BORGO EGNAZIA, PUGLIA, ITALY
Elegantly designed to mimic a traditional ‘borgo’, or village, complete with masseria, stone cottages, paved alleys and central piazza, Borgo Egnazia is a fairytale-style resort set among olive groves. Luxury facilities include a Michelin- starred restaurant, multiple swimming pools, 2 beach clubs, nearby championship golf course and a truly outstanding spa with treatments based on ancient Puglian rituals.
Best for: ‘La Dolce Vita’, combining a spa break with culture, food and family.
Spa highlights: The award-winning Vair Spa is infused with the soul of Southern Italy, offering a range of treatments such as ‘sea massages’ inspired by the waves of the nearby Adriatic sea and facials using and herbs from the hotel’s kitchen garden. Beautifully designed to include nine treatment rooms, two hammam rooms, sauna, steam bath, ice cave, indoor and outdoor pools plus heavenly relaxation areas, the spa’s extraordinary team of specialists includes musicians and naturopaths to re-establish peace and happiness.
What makes it special: Effortlessly elegant, Borgo Egnazia has all of the dreamy charm and magic of a traditional Puglian village.
Recommended treatments: The Roman Bath rituals include a candlelit soak in a suite of baths, pure salt scrub plus a bio-sauna, hammam and floatation pool.
ESPACE VITALITE CHENOT AT SELMAN, MARRAKECH, MOROCCO
Set in acres of beautifully landscaped, country club style grounds with views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, the mega luxurious Selman hotel is a perfect fusion of traditional and modern, combining Moorish architecture with extravagant interiors and bold colours. Facilities include three restaurants, incredible outside spaces including an 80-metre-long pool (said to be the longest on the continent) lined by palm trees and loungers and paddocks filled with the owners’ thoroughbred horses. And then there’s The Espace Vitalité Chenot Spa, a stunning space dedicated to health and detoxification.
Best for: Detoxing rather than pure pampering.
Spa highlights: Deeply peaceful and atmospheric, despite its medical roots, The Espace Vitalité Chenot Spa includes candle-lit courtyards and a relaxation pool where daylight filters from above like stars. There are seven treatment rooms, four hydrotherapy rooms, a jet-massage pool and large hammam area, plus two outdoor pools, jacuzzi and beautiful garden. Treatments have been designed to fit with the ‘Chenot Method’ developed by founder Henri Chenot, which combines the principles of traditional Chinese healing with the latest scientific advances in Western medicine to activate the body’s natural defense and self-healing.
What makes it special: The Chenot Method incorporates diet and exercise and Sleman’s 80-metre pool is just about the best in the world for swimming some serious lengths.
Recommended treatments: Detox treatments take place over a period of three to 10 days. Based on an individual assessment, various personalised treatments will be proposed in order to restore balance.
SAXON HOTEL, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Situated on 10 acres of glorious indigenous gardens, Saxon Hotel is a country estate at the heart of Johannesburg’s safe, leafy suburb of Sandhurst.
With an impressive historic past (Nelson Mandela stayed and wrote his autobiography here), the property is calm and classical with a modern African art collection, huge rooms, exceptionally good restaurant and a team of butlers who cater to every whim. The hotel’s breathtaking spa is an absolute haven of peace and tranquility, the ideal place to escape from it all.
Best for: Privacy, contemplation, finally penning that novel.
Spa highlights: Boasting plenty of natural daylight and lovely outdoor areas with cascading water features, the 7,500 square foot spa is a two-floor oasis of wellness which focuses on engaging the senses through sound, touch and sight and taste. The spa’s upper level features a spacious pedicure area with treatments from the highly acclaimed Margaret Dabbs, a tranquil sleep zone, hair spa and dining area serving healthy dishes using fresh produce from the Saxon’s own rooftop garden while the lower level is themed around hydro-based therapies including a floatation pod, steam room, Himalayan salt sauna, plunge pools and hammam centre. A ‘Heaven on Earth’ treatment room allows couples to enjoy a romantic setting in which to enjoy a bathing ritual followed by healthy snacks and sparkling wines.
What makes it special: Everything here is about the good things in life – even the pool plays underwater music.
Recommended treatments: Try the signature Sound Therapy where therapeutic sound vibrations of gongs, cymbals, Tibetan singing bowls and bells are used to balance and restore your energy centres.
CAPELLA, BALI, INDONESIA
One of Bali’s most unique and stunning properties, Capella in Ubud is a luxury boutique tented camp surrounded by Ubud’s beautiful rainforest and terraced rice paddies. Created in a way that preserves as much of the nature which surrounds it, visionary designer Bill Bensley has added playful touches that make this retreat stand out from the rest – each room has design quirks and vintage touches to match its vocational theme whether it’s baker, artist or photographer and there are freestanding copper baths, four poster beds, and huge outdoor verandahs, all with views of the surrounding forest. All tents also have their very own saltwater plunge pool and there is a 30-metre-long outdoor saltwater rainforest pool for lengths amongst the foliage.
Best for: Upscale glamping with all of the luxuries you could wish for.
Spa highlights: Capella’s Auriga Spa is situated in three tents and based on the philosophy that the phases of the moon impact our bodies in different ways, with spa experiences designed in harmony with lunar phases. From Balinese cleansing rituals and traditional Balinese and Hindu-inspired treatments to meditation, yoga and sound healing, there are jungle views and eclectic, whimsical tent interiors.
What makes it special: A massage to the sound of the jungle or the rain pounding on canvas (you can opt for no music) is magical.
Recommended treatments: The Auriga signature experiences are dedicated to particular phases of the moon – New Moon, New Beginnings begins with a foot massage using stimulating oils of juniper, rosemary and fennel before a revitalising sea salt scrub and full body massage.
One of the best known and loved health resorts in the world nestled amongst seven acres of lush tropical gardens leading to a white sandy beach, Chiva-Som in Hua Hin has wowed guests and won heaps of awards over the past 25 years. Blending traditional Thai pavilions with clean modern structures surrounded by foliage and flora, the resort manages to retain a calm, peaceful feeling despite its size. The wellness programmes and the facilities to go with them are nothing short of amazing.
Best for: Digital detoxing (no phones, cameras or computers outside of your room) and specific health issues.
Spa highlights: Wellness at Chiva-Som is not restricted to a spa but to the entire ethos of the resort. While treatments take place in a luxury spa area, the team of world-class specialists will create all-encompassing programmes to help with everything from weight management to mental clarity. The spa is peaceful, spacious and luxurious with attention to detail and impeccable service at its core and every possible facility you would imagine in a place of this calibre.
What makes it special: Exceptional food, even when calories are being strictly controlled.
Recommended treatments: Body Renewal Intensive – combining Balneotherapy, Cleansing Cocoon and Manual Lymphatic Drainage to improve organ health and overall vitality.
EUPHORIA RETREAT, MYSTRAS, GREECE
A 45-room villa amid pine trees and citrus groves, at the foot of dramatic Mt. Taygetos and the UNESCO-listed Byzantine town of Mystras, award-winning Euphoria is the brainchild of a former Greek banker, Marina Efraimoglou, who discovered Chinese medicine after a cancer diagnosis. The realisation of a dream to create an oasis where Taoist remedies and Hellenic healing meet modern science, Euphoria is a see-it-to-believe-it destination where heavenly landscape combines with luxury hotel, nourishing Greek cuisine and an unsurpassable spa to offer something unique and very special.
Best for: Taking time to slow down and reset.
Spa highlights: An authentic place of healing and restoration, the multi-level spa is dominated by a spiral staircase and a maze-like warren of an indoor-outdoor pool. Complete with a tepidarium, hammam, salt therapy room and out-of-this-world hydrotherapy pool which shimmers in magical light, even the spa environment feels transformative. A personalised and holistic approach to healing includes carefully crafted signature treatments and experiences based on the ancient principles of Asclepia and Hippocratic medicine coupled with Traditional Chinese Medicine and modern scientific knowledge.
What makes it special: A genuine commitment to restoring physical, emotional and spiritual balance and to be guided towards the state of ‘euphoria’ as it was known in Ancient Greece – a way to embrace life’s full potential.
Recommended treatments: Euphoria inspiring facial – a signature facial which combines natural Greek products, infused with sea algae and organic plant extracts and herbs with a technique derived from a Chinese beauty ritual, to make your skin glow, your mind float away and your imagination open. Perfect for achieving inner and outer beauty.
TIA WELLNESS RESORT (FORMERLY FUSION MAIA), DA NANG, VIETNAM
Situated on a perfect white sandy beach in Da Nang, a coastal city in central Vietnam known for its picture-perfect looks, TIA is the first Vietnamese resort to offer an all-spa-inclusive concept. Rooms are in the form of 87 Vietnamese villas, each of them with private pool. Five restaurants serve up everything from healthy, organic dishes full of Asian flavour to seafood and light refreshments. Yoga and Tai Chi are the core elements on a group class schedule. Everything here is about feeling good – there’s even a resident DJ whose tracks are chosen for their special healing rhythms.
Best for: Implementing change, creating new habits.
Spa highlights: Minimalist and utterly Zen-like with soft grey tones and warm lighting, the spa’s 22 treatment rooms and relax areas are set around a tropical courtyard-style garden. Beautifully quiet, relaxing here in between appointments is almost treatment-like in itself – and the super friendly team make every effort to help guests on a journey of self-discovery through everything from diet to better managing stress and trying new experience with introductory sessions to meditation and workshops such as natural remedies and blending aromatherapy oils.
What makes it special: All spa treatments are included in your room rate – from manicures to massages and healing experiences.
Recommended treatments: Try an energy treatment by resident Reiki master, incredibly rebalancing and healing.
AMAN SVETI STEFAN, MONTENEGRO
Aman Sveti Stefan’s fairytale location is hard to beat. A tiny picturesque islet, Sveti Stefan is a fortified village dating back to the 15th Century, whose fishing cottages have now been beautifully restored to create the hotel’s 58 luxury rooms. Together with Villa Milocer, a graceful stone residence on the mainland across the bay, the island is now the idyllic beach resort of Aman Sveti Stefan, complete with cobblestone alleys, romantic piazzas, beautifully scented flowers and pine trees. There are over 2 km of beaches spread across the island, 3 pools, beautiful gardens and a huge spa. In typical Aman style, the resort is unassuming, understated and oh-so-chic. Sveti Stefan Island is closed from October to May but Villa Milocer on the mainland remains open.
Best for: Exclusive pampering – the resort has attracted a list of superstars and world leaders including Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor. Aman Sveti Stefan feels more like a private island than a hotel.
Spa highlights: Sveti Stefan’s exceptional spa is spread over two levels and three buildings, overlooking the island’s peaceful Queen’s Beach. An indoor pool is complemented with hydrotherapy suites with sauna, steam room and plunge pools. The regular massages and treatments at Aman are taken to a whole new level with the use of locally sourced wild herbs, plants, olive oil and honey.
In addition to a highly qualified, talented team of therapists, the spa welcomes regular specialists from a variety of backgrounds including craniosacral therapy, yoga, Ayurveda and Pilates. Special wellness journeys are tailormade for each guest.
What makes it special: Service, attention to detail, a ‘nothing is too much to ask for’ mentality – everything here is special to another level.
Recommended treatments: The spa’s signature Adriatic Rejuvenation treatment takes advantage of local medicinal herbs and organic ingredients. After an oat milk soak to rehydrate the skin, the spa’s massage therapists apply an exfoliating blend of mint infused olive oil, wild honey and raw sugar to cleanse, before using lavender and palmarosa oils to rebalance and calm body and mind.
HUVAFEN FUSHI, MALDIVES
A stunning private island resort in the North Male atoll, Huvafen Fushi is one of those ‘see it to believe it’ destinations. Surrounded by the most perfectly turquoise waters, the resort’s white sandy beaches and 44 luxury villas offer the perfect escape. And with a fibre-optic infinity pool which sparkles with underwater ‘stars’ at night, yoga pavilion, wine cellar and world-class spa, it’s little wonder that this gem in the Maldives has earned itself a reputation as one of the world’s best places to relax and recharge.
Best for: Pure relaxation in a picture-perfect setting.
Spa Highlights: The underwater treatment rooms at Huvafen Spa absolutely steal the show. Set seven metres under the lagoon, amidst coral gardens and thousands of colourful fish and with 180-degree panoramic windows through which to watch a kaleidoscope of marine life, this is relaxation on another level. If you prefer to be over-water, there are equally gorgeous treatment pavilions poised above the ocean – and with treatments to rejuvenate and restore plus the perfect blend of modern techniques and Maldivian traditions, an expert team of highly trained therapists and impressive facilities, you’ll feel the spa benefits from the moment you arrive. After your treatment, recharge at ‘RAW Café’ and enjoy organic, cold-pressed juices with panoramic ocean views.
What makes it special: A physical and spiritual connection with the ocean combined with the very best therapies make for a winning combination.
Recommended treatments: Try the ‘Underwater Dream’, designed to promote better sleep and designed by world-famous practitioner Beata Aleksandrowicz exclusively for Huvafen Spa. Combining reflexology, shiatsu, ancient breathing techniques and soothing massage this treatment restores and transforms in a dreamy underwater setting.
By Kaya Scott