In the forced downtime of the past couple of years, the world’s best spas have been busy refining everything from their physical spaces to the wellness treatments they offer. Here’s a handful of stunners to bookmark for a rejuvenating 2022 holiday!
Maldives – Cheval Blanc Spa
You know you’re in for something special at this spot when you realise this spa haven is located on its own little island, set apart from the main Cheval Blanc Randheli resort. A luxury version of a local boat known as a dhoni whisks you there across the water.
Once the dhoni has pulled up to the spa, you’ll be in the very capable hands of the “Spa Ambassadeurs”. You can choose a relaxing or energising visit, depending on your mood – there are a wealth of Guerlain treatments and massages on offer. The Randheli Sun Ritual, for example, is a great introduction or sweet finale to a day in the sun, as it both prepares the skin for tanning and prolongs its natural glow. Alternatively, with the surrounding Noonu Atoll offering a tropical paradise that’s made for underwater diving excursions, the After-Diving Experience is a soothing treatment that restores muscles following a day spent among amazing underwater flora and fauna.
Switzerland – Cinq Mondes Spa
Cinq Mondes Spa lies within Lausanne’s famous lakeside luxury hotel, the Beau-Rivage Palace. The 1,500-square-metre spa escape is set up as a cocoon of calm and serenity – an atmosphere designed to “cast a spell on body and mind”.
Cinq Mondes means “five worlds”, so it’s no surprise to find on the menu a five-day World Beauty Spa Break that allows guests to enjoy a range of global massages and treatments inspired by ancient traditions. It features a hammam experience, a purifying and detoxifying wrap in Moroccan rassoul cream, a revitalising Taoist massage, Japanese aroma and flower baths, a “Ko Bi Do” facial treatment massage used in Japan to preserve smooth skin and a porcelain complexion, an invigorating Indian Ayurvedic massage, a Siam-inspired “Papaya Purée” radiance scrub, and a Balinese wrap massage.
The UK – The Lanesborough Club & Spa
Located within one of London’s “Grand Dame” hotels, The Lanesborough, this spa took out the top award for urban spas at the Good Spa Awards 2021. No huge surprise: it’s one of the city’s most exclusive fitness and health clubs.
The Lanesborough Club & Spa is the first in the UK and only the second hotel in the world to welcome The Anastasia Achilleos Method, a multi-platform spa treatment that focuses on transforming the way people look and feel rather than on pampering. Anastasia Achilleos believes every person requires a bespoke beauty treatment; she has spent over 20 years developing sophisticated techniques around cranial sacral therapies and massage. Anastasia herself trained the therapists at The Lanesborough first-hand, and also offers personal one-on-one sessions for guests.
Malaysia – The Datai Spa
The Datai Langkawi is situated on the peaceful northwestern tip of Langkawi, surrounded by an ancient rainforest and perched on the edge of its own stunning ocean bay. So you’re off to a good start even before you set foot in The Datai Spa!
The spa’s signature seven-hour Malay Wellness Journey is little short of epic. It starts at dawn with a “sensory journey” into the rainforest surrounding Langkawi’s second-highest peak, Mount Machincang. At the edge of a forest stream, you’re led through some light breathing and stretching exercises; then, enjoy a dip in the cooling waters of The Datai’s own crystal-clear jungle stream, with a ritual designed to regulate circadian rhythms for better sleep and wellbeing. It’s then off to The Spa for an invigorating Urut Melayu massage to help loosen sore muscles and encourage healthy blood flow, using a Datai Spa signature blend of oils prepared with local herbs.
France – Spa Saint-Martin
A short drive from Nice, Château Saint-Martin & Spa is a luxury hilltop hotel in the French Riviera whose Spa Saint-Martin by La Prairie was voted “Best Luxury Spa Destination in Europe” in the World Luxury Spa Awards. The four elegant treatment rooms are infused with natural daylight, with one designed specially for couples. You can also opt for a treatment in the hotel’s gardens under a flower-strewn gazebo.
There are plenty of highlights in a spa menu of more than 50 pages; one that’s not to be missed is the signature Haute Couture Rose Tango Treatment. In the words of the spa, it’s a “complete modelling to sublimate your skin and to relax and transport you in a poly-sensory journey with delicate fragrances of Tango rose.” The active ingredients of rose oil act as a natural anti-ageing remedy, repairing cells and accelerating their regeneration.
Thailand – Chiva-Som Hua Hin Resort
Set in the Gulf of Thailand on seven acres of tropical greenery, Chiva-Som isn’t a resort that has its own spa – the whole resort is a spa. The entire place is devoted to rejuvenating and restoring the body and mind to the peak of health and wellness.
Amongst all the Pilates, yoga, meditation, tai chi and nutritional fine dining you can do at Chiva-Som, there’s a wide range of treatments, from facials to body therapy, chakra balancing and more. The transformative Siam Ritual Cocoon treatment begins with an active herbal scrub with sea salt. Next, you choose a Contemplation Oil to relax frazzled nerves, or a stimulating Zing Oil to relieve tired joints. You’re then wrapped head to toe in aloe vera and nourishing body butter. As the cocoon cools, it soothes sensitive skin to complete renewal.
Italy – Armani SPA
Keen to try Giorgio Armani’s take on a luxury spa? Try this quiet corner on the eighth floor of the Armani Hotel Milano; the breathtaking views outside to Milan’s fashion district are offset by a stylish ambience within. In addition to treatment rooms, there’s a relaxation pool, and a spa trail with saunas, steam baths and even an ice waterfall.
Treatments at Armani/SPA are divided into three collections. “Mu” comprises soft and delicate touch treatments designed to induce a deep relaxation. “Libertà” is aimed at freeing mind and body from deep physical stress; it soothes aching muscles and dissolves tensions while also alleviating pressure on tired joints. And “Fluidità” offers purifying treatments to rebalance and harmonise, to reinvigorate your essential functions from within.
This article first appeared in the January 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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