We might be all about adventure and exploration, but here at The Flash Pack we know all too well about the importance of some proper R&R. Whether it’s a few days of down time after a hectic getaway, a recovery break after a mammoth hiking adventure, or you just fancy getting away from it all and spoiling yourself rotten, nothing beats a spa break for total relaxation. From rejuvenating health spas to pampering beauty spas, we’ve found ten of the most impressive, indulgent and incomparable hotel spas from across the globe; from breath-taking beaches and awe-inspiring vistas to remarkable treatment menus, they’re calling out for a visit…
As if anyone ever needs an excuse to hit the Caribbean, Providenciales on the Turks and Caicos has just been voted the ‘Best Island in the World’ by Trip Advisor; with its dazzling turquoise seas and miles of untouched glistening white sand it’s easy to see why – it’s a veritable paradise. The Elevate Spa, situated at both The Beach House and Blue Haven (the newest resort on the island), offers a series of al fresco treatment spots allowing you to really make the most of the idyllic views, with the Beach House even offering every one of the suites in the resort its very own Pamper Pod on the white powder beach. With treatments including the Nourishing Coconut Sunburn Wrap, using coconut oil from the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Mango Mojito Anti Ageing Experience, featuring a coco sugar scrub, anti-ageing mango enzyme body wrap and detoxing facial, you won’t be able to resist a tropical treat.
Machu Picchu might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of spas, but what could be a better recovery after hiking the Inca Trail? The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, a stone’s throw from the iconic citadel, is the ultimate forest vacation paradise. The 85 casitas are set out in an Andean style village amongst 12 acres of secluded beauty, with stunning views of the Vilcanota River. The hotel’s Uno Spa combines the classic nurturing of a spa with a uniquely Andean approach; all products are 100% natural, derived from local botanical extracts. With an Inca Purification Treatment, featuring a mask made from coca leaf applied to the whole body, and an Andean Sauna using heated stones in a candle-lit eucalyptus hut, it’s a completely unique spa experience like no other.
Related trip: Peru group tour for solo travellers in their 30s & 40s
Pathways, the in-house spa at The Sarojin, a five star resort in Khao Lak in Thailand, is made up of thatched treatment rooms, each with outdoor waterfall showers and secluded baths for couples. Hidden at the end of a winding walkway over a natural canal, the spa is tucked under the canopy of mangroves and hidden from view amidst lush tropical gardens, looking out across the estuary to a deserted coconut grove and beyond to the Andaman Sea. Having won a multitude of awards, including “Asia’s Best Beach Spa” as voted for by Condé Nast Traveller, it’s a world away from the full moon parties of Thailand’s party islands, yet less than 50km from Phuket airport. With a design incorporating indoor and outdoor elements, including a stilted yoga deck, it’s the perfect place to unwind with the signature treatment – the four-handed Faa Fairt Massage, a unique blend of Thai, Swedish, Balinese, Shiatsu and Hawaiian massage styles.
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is an experience in itself, but the addition of a spa weekend at Monastero Santa Rosa to your trip is sure to make it one you’ll never forget. Perched in the side of a cliff with breath-taking views over the Gulf of Salerno, the spectacular former 17th century monastery consists of a small but perfectly formed portfolio of 20 rooms and suites with sea views. With a heated infinity pool, landscaped gardens spread over five tiers and a restaurant serving mouth-watering local fare, it’s the ultimate Italian retreat. A labyrinth of historic monastic spaces, the spa also includes a private spa suite, a spa within a spa if you will, providing the perfect opportunity to unwind in the utmost privacy. New treatments for 2015 include the Restoring Aloe Fresh Facial and Aloe Coulis Body Wrap, both created to harness the natural revitalising and cooling properties of aloe and perfecting for treating sun damaged skin.
If the budget won’t quite stretch to a sunshine break abroad, home still has more than it’s fair share of envy-inducing spas, and none more so than the ESPA Life at London’s Corinthia Hotel. A far cry from the tourist bustle of neighbouring Trafalgar Square, this subterranean wonderland was recently voted the “UK’s Best Spa Hotel” at the Condé Nast Reader Travel Awards, as well as the 35th best travel experience in the world. And to think, it’s right on our doorstep. Spanning an impressive 3,300 square metres over four floors, ESPA Life at The Corinthia offers not only one of the most heavenly treatment menus in the capital, but revolutionary lifestyle programmes incorporating complimentary and alternative therapies. Treatments are carried out in the 17 oval treatment pods, with a new range of ‘Rush Hour Beauty’ treatments recently created for maximum results whilst slotting in to a hectic city schedule. As well as the extensive thermal floor where guests can totally unwind, the spa boasts a swimming pool, vitality pool, glass amphitheatre sauna, steam room and heated marble loungers.
As the first and only luxury resort in Tibet, the St.Regis Lhasa Resort stands on the “Roof of the World” at 12,000 feet above sea level, boasting awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas and the Lhasa Valley, plus a number of the hotel’s rooms and suites offer views of the Potala Palace, once home to the Dalai Lama and now a World Heritage Site. Distinctive architectural details and décor blend modern luxury with traditional Tibetan elements, inspired by the nearby Sera Monastery and the hotel grounds, surrounded by crimson walls, feature a meditation garden and the hotel’s Iridium Spa, one of the world’s highest, the centrepiece of which is stunningly unique Gold Energy Pool. A traditional Tibetan approach to therapies means each guest receives a consultation to determine their dominant constitution the treatments and herbs that will be most harmonious and beneficial. With a 24-hour butler service on hand to arrange anything from yak riding excursions to private tours of the Potala Palace, it’s an otherworldly experience if ever there was one.
Your winter may not be complete without an action-packed ski trip, but for a break from the slopes what could be better than slipping into a fluffy robe in front of a roaring log fire and watching the snow fall? That’s exactly the agenda at Austria’s Relais & Châteaux SPA-Hotel Jagdhof, with its ground-breaking Spa Chalet, newly opened just this February, an extension of the hotel’s away-winning jSpa. The sanctuary includes relaxation bids and a terrace to enjoy the alpine vista, while the private 100m² Spa Suite is the ultimate self-indulgent retreat. Unwind in the infinity duo pool, stimulate the senses with music and colour mood lighting in the steam room, ease muscles in the stone pine sauna, book simultaneous pampering on the double treatment beds or take time out in the swing-loungers. Add three relaxation zones, indoor and outdoor heated pools, a choice of 20 saunas, baths and steam rooms, an amethyst steam grotto, tropical showers, an ice-crystal tower, a Kneipp circuit, waterbeds and an Aqua Meditation room and you’ll wonder whether you’ll ever make it back to the slopes…
Though COMO Resorts have a plethora of destinations around the world, for total peace, tranquillity and complete rejuvenation the original COMO Shambhala Estate near Ubud in Bali cannot be beaten. Located on a jungle-covered riverbank, the estate – celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2015 – offers a wealth of wellness programmes as well as reflexology, yoga and Pilates, Ayurveda, nutrition, acupuncture and hydrotherapy for its guests. With a state of the art gym, nutritionally balanced cuisine, cooking and juicing demos, canyoning, guided hikes and a host of other outdoor activities available, it’s the perfect retreat from modern life. With only 30 rooms, including private villas, unlike other destination spas that focus on pampering COMO Shambhala provides a total 360 degree holistic experience tailored to each individual’s needs, offering comprehensive lifestyle as well as healing programmes to mend the mind, body and spirit; for a total mind and body overhaul it’s the only destination you need.
Related trip: Go on a sunrise trek in Bali
The stuff that dreams are made of, The Four Seasons Bora Bora is 100% the ultimate picture perfect postcard getaway; find yourself here and you may well need to pinch your arm to know that it’s really real. Voted the Number 1 hotel in the South Pacific by Trip Advisor, it’s spa – nestled at the edge of a lagoon and surrounded by tropical groves – features awe-inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean. Treatments incorporate the natural ingredients of French Polynesia, such as monoi, tamanu, kahaia, and vanilla, while echoes of ancient traditions, therapeutic disciplines and Western practices are linked together to nurture and rebalance the body. With overwater bungalow accommodation, traditional cuisine and dazzling lagoon, it’s truly an out of this world experience.
Beloved of A-listers, Mexico also has its fair share of luxurious resorts; set on 500 yards of pristine Mexican beach, the Zoëtry Paraiso de La Bonita boutique spa resort also offers the first Thalassotherapy Center in North America, along with. With 90 beachfront suites (a selection of which have outdoor plunge pools), a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant, Bulgari bath products, a thrice daily maid service, an in-house scuba diving center – with the world’s second largest coral reef on the doorstep – and a private 48 ft. Catamaran, this is serious Hollywood luxury. The 22,000 square foot spa, composed of an outdoor therapeutic saltwater pool, 16 wet and dry specialised treatment rooms, fitness facilities, separate male and female saunas and steam rooms and a Temazcal (a traditional Mexican steam bath), incorporates both ancient traditions and modern health science to offer a wide range of treatments including personalised facials, specialised massages and native Mayan treatments.
Laurel is a fashion PR, freelance writer and sewing teacher with a love of travel and a penchant for gin. Fashion & Beauty Editor for AllinLondon.co.uk, catch her on Twitter and Instagram @LoveLaurelx.