We all need an escape from our daily lives from time to time, and luxury hotel spas often come to the rescue, offering blissful mini-breaks to reinvigorate, re-energize, and renew both body and mind. Pampering has reached new heights with extensive gourmet menus and innovative treatments available in beautiful spaces. Give yourself a break and enter the wondrous world of these heavenly hotel spas.
by Anisha Shah
Canyon Ranch Resort
It’s a world of healthy pleasures at this all-inclusive health resort and luxury spa. Outdoor hiking and biking highlight surrounding exotic desert canyons and jogging is through pine-topped mountains. The focus is on wellness: where else can you fine-tune your metaphysical with feng shui and spirituality classes, or unleash your creativity with paintbrushes and cameras? Underwater treadmills, pool cross-training and aquatic therapies are features. The pièce de résistance is an 80,000-square-foot spa, enough to dissolve all aches.
Insider Tip: Try the signature Revitalizing Ritual with flower oils, fruit essence, and cherry blossom polish for utter delight.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Tucson Guide
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora
WHERE: Bora Bora
If the breathtaking beauty of Bora Bora alone isn’t enough to have your pinch yourself, check into The Spa, nestled by the lagoon and surrounded by tropical groves with heavenly views over the translucent Pacific Ocean. Or choose to have treatments in your private overwater villa overlooking the warm emerald sea, soothed to the sight of colorful fish darting through the reef below your glass-bottom floor. The organic earth and sea scrub
Insider Tip: For the most divine scenes and setting, head to the overwater pavilion for early evening yoga as the fiery sun sinks into the glistening ocean before you.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bora Bora Guide
Constance Tsarabanjina Lodge
Laid-back, barefoot, castaway luxury—that is the essence of this newly renovated lodge on it’s own secluded island off the coast of Madagascar. And the signature stamp sings true for the spa. Entirely tailored and made-to-measure, the sensational massages and reflexology leave you relaxed to the core, being lulled half to sleep to the rhythm of gentle waves lapping ashore whilst cocooned by natural warmth of the Indian Ocean.
Insider Tip: The essence of Crusoe fantasy, expect no frills or pretense here—just turn up barefoot and allow the pace of the natural environment to dictate your experience.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Madagascar Guide
Uma Spa at Tierra Patagonia Hotel
WHERE: Patagonia, Chile
The final frontier on the edge of the vast and impressive Patagonia mountain ranges, award-winning Uma Spa sits on a bluff where the South American pampa meets Lake Sarmiento. The indoor infinity pool is encased in glass and sits on the edge of astonishing views across Torres del Paine National Park. In this vast oasis you truly feel like a blip in the awe-inspiring vista.
Insider Tip: As legend has is it, Mongolian Warriors invented “Chuak´a” to rid their bodies of “fear” before they went into battle. Try this unique massage for a physical experience and even emotional experience.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Patagonia Guide
Lava Spa at Ion Hotel
In its secluded position at the foot of Mount Hengill, Lava Spa instantly transports you away the city of Reykjavik, in mind and body. Showcasing the essence of Nordic style, Ion Hotel is minimalistic and luxurious with it. The 33-foot outdoor hot pool is nestled within majestic mountainous lava fields. Retreat here after a day trekking, then delve into signature treatments based on nature’s elements.
Insider Tip: The ‘Ion Earth’ treatment is blissful grounding from top-to-toe and a perfect antidote to the blustery outdoors; feet are scrubbed, soothed in a hot mask, wrapped in a thermal blanket and then massaged in warm oils.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Reykjavik Guide
Waterfall Spa at Blancaneaux Lodge
WHERE: Cayo, Belize
This rainforest retreat is cocooned within lush dripping vegetation, where Waterfall Spa couldn’t be more appropriately named. Soak in the hot outdoor infinity pool, heated by hydro-electricity and carved into rocky boulders, as water spills into cascades over Privassion Creek below. Balinese treatments are set in open-faced suites, enveloped in wild sounds of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve encasing the lodge.
Insider Tip: Hollywood Director Francis Ford Coppola’s sanctuary and former home is Blancaneaux Lodge. Spread over many acres, explore the nooks and crannies of the Cayo jungle reserve with sparse eco-luxury villas woven into the lush oasis.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Cayo District Guide
Como Shambhala Estate
Synonymous with well-being, Como Shambhala is the Queen of luxury hotel spas. Setting the standard from Day One, multiple award-winning Como in Bali consistently innovates, having founded the holistic 360 approach very early on. More than a spa, this is the essence of Wellness Retreat, with dedicated events year-round. Combine a stay with a wellness program to include spiritual adventure and therapeutic pursuits.
Insider Tip: The luxurious confines of The Estate lead the world’s luxury hotel spas, but leave the grounds on arranged walking, hiking and cycling treks through surrounding rice paddy fields to capture more of Bali.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bali Guide
WHERE: St. Lucia
Forget the menu of treatments, at Jade Mountain you have a menu of spa locations around St. Lucia. Choose from Kai en Ciel spa home, Kai Belté on Anse Chastenet beach and Kai Mer spa cottage or simply indulge within the privacy of your own infinity pool sanctuary. Honeymooners should choose the Alchemy of Two ritual starting with a shared hot tub with treats and poetry. Ayurvedic treatments compliment the holistic menu, enhanced by organic nutritious dining.
Insider Tip: We love the complimentary daily escorted walks and hikes through the 600-acre estate and inclusive yoga classes led by a resident instructor.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s St Lucia Guide
Spa Paris, Four Seasons Hotel George V
The name says it all. Spa Paris at Four Seasons George V is a fine and lavish retreat in the vibrant heart of the City of Light, just off the Champs-Elysées. The Four Hands massage alleviates any knots and tensions in an intensively soothing way. Sensational highlights include “All About Chocolate”—a deliciously decadent package encasing chocoholics in chocolate butters and “24-Carat Gold” known for its unique anti-aging properties.
Insider Tip: Shabby chic interior lovers should take a dip in the indoor pool, surrounded by cherubs and paintings in glorious creamy soft opulent accents of the distinctive style.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Paris Guide
Per Aquum Lime Spa at Huvafen Fushi
The pioneer of the underwater spa, the world’s first underwater treatment rooms offer an experience all spa aficionados should have on their CV. Walk downstairs off a pavilion into a below-sea panoramic suite, to be massaged to the pulse and rhythm of the ocean. In this inverse goldfish bowl, watch as curious clownfish, stingrays and even reef sharks swim up to take a peek then disappear into the shallow endless blues. Try the signature Crystal Ritual for crystals, coconut and ice.
Insider Tip: Sip herbal tea afterwards in the relaxation lounge with kaleidoscopic glass views plumbing the depths of the Indian Ocean.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Maldives Guide
Jiva Spa at Taj Lake Palace
WHERE: Udaipur, India
India has deep and ancient roots in well-being, with fabled lifestyles of Indian Royalty at the heart of the palatial Taj hotels. The floating marble Lake Palace hotel’s Jiva Spa is the final word in luxury. Aboard the royal spa boat, the drifting pleasure palace recalls a stately ambiance with a deck-top soak bath, a plush relaxation pad and a wining and dining quarter.
Insider Tip: Start the day with sunrise yoga on the palatial rooftop in the centre of the lake, followed by treatments using Indian exotic spices and herbs.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Udaipur Guide
Le Royal Mansour Spa
Built by the King of Morocco, the Royal Mansour Spa is bathed in natural light, housed in an impressive glazed pavilion and encircled by a moat. Choose all-natural Moroccan products or international favorites such as Chanel and Dr Hauschka. At the heart of Marrakech, don’t miss the central Hammam bathing ritual combining hot saunas, fragranced steam and cold plunge pools. Opt into classes at the attached gym, such as pilates and aerobics or simply ask for a stretching session.
Insider Tip: The rooms here are all private riads, furnished in exquisite opulent Arabian style. Think lavish throws, sensual shades and a lingering scent of cedar wood.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Marrakech Guide
St. Pancras Renaissance Hote
A subterranean sanctuary awaits in this heritage and historical hotel, converted from one of London’s most cherished railway stations. A ticket to tranquility, journey through Victorian times in the below-ground expanse of sauna, steam and treatment rooms. Drawing on the best from around the world in this global city, choose recipes and remedies from Africa, India and the Far East.
Insider Tip: Guests can make full use of the pool, Jacuzzis and saunas without having to book treatments. Escape underground for a sanctuary of peace in the heart of London’s hustle and bustle.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s London Guide
L’Occitane Spa at Le Couvent des Minimes
Nestled amidst the lush honey-blushed rolling Alps of Haute-Provence, the Chateau-hotel is a white-stoned red-roofed retreat, pitched in a perfect countryside scene. With Provence being the home of L’Occitane ingredients, it was a matter of time before this enclave of peace opened in its origin.
Le Couvent des Minimes became the first dedicated home of L’Occitane in France. Enjoy treatments in the six-suite spa or have them brought to your room.
Insider Tip: Due to it’s stunning location, outdoor pursuits are aplenty. Indulge in the heated outdoor pool, floodlit tennis courts or golf in the natural reserve.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Provence Guide
Spa at the Peninsula
WHERE: New York City
Soaring high above New York City, the unrivalled bird’s-eye views set the tone for privileged indulgence at this glamorous 5th Avenue rooftop expanse. Crowning the Peninsula Hotel, the spa offers a host of signature treatments that blend Asian, European and Ayurvedic philosophies in a cossetted holistic experience. Whether you relax with an “Escape from the City” or a “Red Carpet Ready,” the treatments will have you feeling and looking your best.
Insider Tip: Take a dip in the glass-encased swimming pool and end your day with some sunshine on plush loungers on the rooftop sun terrace.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New York City Guide