Breathtaking views, exotic locations, state of the art treatments, what is more luxurious than a trip to an exclusive spa? Feel like a king or queen in one of these outrageous spas selected for you by the Swide team.
“Mens sana in corpore sano” is the mantra of this exclusive spa in Milan. Rediscovering the health benefits of the Roman baths, Aqua Calide is a true heaven in the city centre. As in Ancient Roman baths there are three rooms: the “Tepidarium”, a hot room equipped with its own acillae for salt rub massages, the Calidarium”, the hottest room, reaching a temperature of 50°C, and finally the “Frigidarium”. You’ll be sure to emerge feeling like a Roman Emperor.
The Mandarin Oriental chain is synonymous with unabashed luxury, and the London spa does not disappoint. Eight treatment rooms, an amethyst crystal steamroom, (yes, really!), a vitality pool and a zen relaxation area make up this Asian inspired gem. Treatments range from typical spa offerings to Chinese medicine. The Jo Malone products are a fitting finish to a truly lavish experience.
Kerala is the choice destination for traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine and is well stocked with spa hotels, but none are more beautiful or luxurious than Vivanta. With beautiful south Indian beaches on one side, unique Keralan backwaters on the other and further afield lush green mountains the atmosphere is truly enchanting. The Jiva Spa is exceptional both due to the range of treatments and the beauty of the actual spa. Water is a constant; streams, fountains and even its own waterfall help relax you while indulging in ancient Indian massages, wraps and facials. For a more complete experience choose a yoga session or saline water inner cleansing treatments. Regardless how far you decide to step into ancient Ayurvedic practices Vivanta is not to be missed.
The Carabbean islands are traditionally associated with swish, jet setting winter sun seekers, one of the most popular being Barbados. Coral Reef has had to fend off some tough competition on the island since its conception 20 years ago, but what sets it apart from the likes of the Sandy Lane and friends is the spa. Recently redeveloped the spa is carved out of luminous coral-stone and offers a plethora of excellent treatments. The Natura Bissé products, Caribbean ginger and lemongrass and the shaded gardens to relax in have been meticulously studied and make it a spa experience to remember.
This is possibly the best spa in the world- the king fish of luxury spas. Kamalaya has won prizes and accolades from every beauty and travel magazine as well as a well-deserved cult following. There are no pore clogging creamy facials or half-baked holistic theories- this place is the real thing. But what makes Kamalaya so special is not only the state of the art treatments, but also its Edenic beauty. The golden beaches, dragonfly ponds, beautiful bedrooms and an ancient Buddhist cave to boot are enough to keep busy even the most reluctant detox-er. And if that wasn’t enough the food is as good tasting as it is good for you. Overall it’s a once in a lifetime experience (or if you can afford it, once a year).
Its not surprising that one of the most cutting edge spas can be found in Japan. Utoco, the brainchild of cosmetic giant Shu Uemura, is on the island of Kochi, just an hour’s flight from Tokyo. This spa is based on the healing, invigorating and relaxing elements in water. Seaweed wraps, marine mud massages and water jet massages are just some of the water themed treatments available. Worth noting is also the exceptional restaurant awash with healthy and exotic dishes.
The latest offering of chic chalet in this celebrity ski hot spot is worth the hype. Its cream sofas, lantern lit terrace and small but perfectly formed spa make Alpaga a sumptuous place to relax after a day on the slopes. Soothing massages and Comfort Zone facials restore every inch of your body, so you can enjoy the happening après-ski scene.
Africa’s best kept secret. Set on the edge of the crystalline ocean that bathes the Kenyan coast, Lion in the Sun is a relaxing and novel experience. Italian detox king Henri Chalot has set up a system consisting of a Bio-Light diet and bespoke therapies that will transform you. There are no spa menus and every treatment is unique to the client, ranging from ancient Chinese cupping method, hydrotherapy, miracle facials and even meditation in the sea. Let the sapient staff take care of you and by the end you’ll feel like the King of the Jungle.
Only a 90-minute drive from the bright lights of Tinsel Town, this spa is set on a rolling estate with a three-acre herb garden and fittingly framed by imposing mountains. It is tranquil and picturesque, despite being much larger than other luxurious spas. The tennis courts, pools, gym, golf course, dance studio for pilates, power yoga and meditation, and painting lessons are sure to keep you busy when you’re not in the spa. The unique Kuyam ritual is definite worth trying. Dry heat, inhalation therapy and desert clay are combined with a guided group meditation- very Californian.
Punta dos Ganchos is a veritable paradise; rolling verdant hills, cobalt blue water, white sandy beaches. The hotel serves excellent food and the atmosphere is laid back, traditionally Brazilian. The spa consists of three small pavilions each featuring its own private garden. Each pavilion has a different view: one faces west, providing the best view of the Latin American sunsets, one looks out onto the islands surrounding the peninsula and the final one looks out at sea. As postcard perfect as the setting may be, the spa treatments are memorable too. Very well executed massages are available, but why not try a self-healing Reiki session?
Written by Valentina Zannoni