13 Best Spas in the World by Conde Nast Traveler 2012
|Raffles Spa - Praslin Island- Seychelles|
|Kiehl´s 1851 New York|
I would like to share with you, a great guide (37 Best Spas) and I think you cannot miss … 13 of the Best New Spas in the world by Cn Traveler:
- ESPAlife at Corinthia - London, England
A 35,000-square-foot space with an entire floor dedicated to thermal indulgences—30-foot swimming pool, vitality pool with massage jets, hammam, steam room, sauna, and waterfall and rain forest “experience showers.” A classy confection of black and champagne-colored lacquered walls, chandeliers, silvered surfaces, and dazzling white marble floors.
- What: A 35,000-square-foot space with an entire floor dedicated to thermal indulgences—30-foot swimming pool, vitality pool with massage jets, hammam, steam room, sauna, and waterfall and rain forest “experience showers.”
- The look: A classy confection of black and champagne-colored lacquered walls, chandeliers, silvered surfaces, and dazzling white marble floors.
- Who goes: Denizens of Whitehall’s surrounding corridors of power; hotel guests from southern Europe and the Persian Gulf.
- The sound track: Effervescent burbling harmonizing with the champagne decor.
- The treatment: Retail Recovery includes restorative massage of the legs, arms, and hands and an Instant Radiance facial.
P.S.: There’s a $126-per-three-hours “usage fee” for non–hotel guests. Massages from $126.
- Spa Nuxe Les Bains de Léa, Grand Hôtel Bordeaux - Bordeaux, France
Atop one of the eighteenth-century buildings that make up Bordeaux’s reborn Grand Hôtel, a sybaritic space with a teak roof terrace with regal views over the rooftops of historic Bordeaux. Fiery Pompeian red and black evoke the decadence of ancient Rome. Decorator Jacques Garcia had a field day with tented nooks, candlelit stairways, black mosaics, and Roman chaises longues, but the centerpiece is the pool: In a dramatic double-height space, water falls from an antique mask beneath a reproduction of Ingres’s La Source.
- What: Atop one of the eighteenth-century buildings that make up Bordeaux’s reborn Grand Hôtel, a sybaritic space with a teak roof terrace providing regal views over the rooftops of historic Bordeaux.
- The look: Fiery Pompeian red and black evoke the decadence of ancient Rome. Decorator Jacques Garcia had a field day with tented nooks, candlelit stairways, black mosaics, and Roman chaise longues, but the centerpiece is the pool: In a dramatic double-height space, water falls from an antique mask beneath a reproduction of Ingres’s La Source.
- Who goes: International hotel guests and the Bordeaux winocracy.
- The sound track: Swan Lake and other gentle classical favorites.
- The treatment: The 90-minute Initiation Escape—a hot-oil massage and deep-cleansing floral facial.
P.S.: Allow time for a swim in the counter-current pool or a healthy light lunch in the mezzanine salon or on the rooftop in summer. Thirty minute massages from $98.
- Uma Spa, Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa
Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits on a bluff where the South American pampa meets Lake Sarmiento. The building is immersed in the landscape and emerges from the hillside. The award winning architecture complements the flow of the geology in this privileged location and showcases the magnificent views of the Torres del Paine National Park, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978.
- What: Whirlpools, plunge pools, and a Turkish-style hammam with awesome views of a turquoise, glacier-fed lake near Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.
- The look: A long infinity pool reflects the scudding clouds so faithfully, it seems a shame to disturb the surface; scattered lamb’s-wool throws and wind-bleached trunks complement the Patagonian palette.
- Who goes: Hikers seeking solace after muscle-straining mountain tramps.
- The sound track: Ask your therapist to turn off the loop of forest sounds so you’ll hear the ibises squawking outside.
- The treatment: The volcanic Patagonian stone massage proves a popular draw, but the aloe vera–based facial is a perfect antidote to windburn acquired on the Paine massif’s craggy folds.
P.S.: Spot soaring condors from the outdoor whirlpool, ringed with glass to protect you from buffeting winds.
- Mission Hills Mineral Springs and Spa - Hainan, China
- What: The world’s largest spa, with 220 natural cold and hot springs in a resort alongside a renowned golf course.
- The look: Southeast Asian with feng shui twists. Furniture and sliding doors are carved dark wood, but the relaxation areas are light-filled and artfully arranged. Each treatment room has a two-person sauna.
- Who goes: The real housewives of suburban China; Western expats in from Shanghai. The sound track: Traditional Chinese.
- The treatment: The 90-minute “Soul Escape” pampers from top to toe— a foot massage, tingling body scrub, and traditional Chinese massage (rather rough physiotherapy-style kneads with pinching of acupressure points) leave skin and muscles smooth as butter.
P.S.: If you still haven’t reached a Zen plateau, grab an inner tube and float down the resort’s man-made lazy river.
- Kerry Hotel Spa - Shanghai, China
A series of soothing, intimate rooms (with private showers) where Shanghainese honchos have aromatherapy, hot-stone treatments, reflexology, and massages inspired by wudang wushu, an ancient Chinese martial art. No-nonsense, with muted, earthy colors.
- What: A series of soothing, intimate rooms (with private showers) where Shanghainese honchos have aromatherapy, hot-stone treatments, reflexology, and massages inspired by wudang wushu, an ancient Chinese martial art.
- The look: No-nonsense, with muted, earthy colors.
- Who goes: Expat wives on expense-account budgets, and rich locals attracted by the hotel’s enormous gym.
- The sound track: Classical Chinese and gentle jazz.
- The treatment: The hour-long wushu-inspired Stress Relief—stretching and relaxing breathing techniques followed by an iron-fingered healing massage.
P.S.: If you don’t have time for the full hour, book it anyway—your therapist will pack an hour’s worth of deep-muscle relief into 45 minutes.
- Spa at the Sanctuary - Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
A sandy limestone fort—complete with an interior mini-moat—albeit with nine treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy circuit. High ceilings, amber-hued blown-glass chandeliers, carved-wood screens, skinny corridors with signs urging guests to remain silent.
- What: A sandy limestone fort—complete with an interior mini-moat—with nine treatment rooms and a hydrotherapy circuit.
- The look: High ceilings, amber-hued blown-glass chandeliers, carved-wood screens, skinny corridors with signs urging guests to remain silent.
- Who goes: Goo-goo-eyed honeymooners and older American couples.
- The sound track: The joyous sounds of silence.
- The treatment: During the 80-minute Sabai Mineral Therapy (which begins and ends when the therapist chimes her Tibetan tingsha bells), a light, loosening massage is followed by deep kneading movements using pieces of malachite (as small as an orange slice or as large as an iPad). They intensify the pressure on knotty tissue, thus improving circulation. Expect sore muscles and the occasional cramp the next day—but trust us, that’s a good thing.
P.S.: Hit the juice bar for a fresh-squeezed treat. Massages from $145.
- So Spa, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt
A hammam, indoor pool, tea lounge, and low-cal restaurant supplementing eight treatment rooms. Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra. Treatment rooms look like medical offices, but a pharaonic temple–themed pool is surrounded by mosaicked pillars.
- What: A hammam, indoor pool, tea lounge, and low-cal restaurant supplementing eight treatment rooms.
- The look: Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey meets Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra. Treatment rooms look like medical offices, though there’s a pharaonic temple–themed pool surrounded by mosaicked pillars.
- Who goes: Well-preserved French repeat visitors; Turkish businessmen on holiday; Americans at the end of luxury Nile cruises.
- The sound track: Treatment rooms are like silent tombs; elevator music blares in public areas.
- The treatment: The 60-minute Nubian massage relaxes tense muscles with sandalwood oil and hibiscus. Afterward, in the beautifully tiled, double-chambered hammam, steam bellows as if from the underworld.
P.S.: Cleaning staff could be more meticulous. Massages from $105.
- Shamana Spa, Grand Hyatt - Goa, India
- What: Stand-alone spa spread over 36,000 Portuguese colonial–style square feet, with an 82-foot lap pool, private “vitality” pools, and steam rooms.
- The look: Tropical luxe. The terra-cotta-ceilinged building is centered on an open courtyard with a blossoming frangipani tree.
- Who goes: Affluent sophisticates from Mumbai and New Delhi, although niftily designed changing and bathing facilities (with unguents in beautiful glass bottles) make you feel that you’re the sole patron.
- The sound track: Better than most—bird sounds that somehow don’t annoy.
- The treatment: A 60-minute traditional Ayurvedic abhyanga oil massage with long strokes that warm and relax. It’s prefaced by a foot ritual for which local herbs and flowers are ground into the treatment oil.
P.S.: The hotel concierge can arrange an elephant tour of a spice plantation where you pick your own ingredients. Massages from $78.
- ESPA at the Leela Palace, Leela Chanakyapuri
New Delhi, India
- What: Not just another ESPA clone—this one has two floors connected by a crystal-ceilinged private elevator, and walls lined in arrestingly quirky, museum-quality modern Indian art.
- The look: Along with the art, there are candles floating amid dark-red damask rose petals.
- Who goes: India’s nouveau riche fat cats, and power brokers in transit from all over.
- The sound track: Somehow mellow and energizing at the same time, engaging and unrepetitious—moving from East to West and back again.
- The treatment: The 60-minute aromatherapy massage is claimed to be customizable as a de-stresser, jet-lag reviver, energizer, muscle relaxer, body toner, or immune booster. Whatever it is, it does feel good.
P.S.: Ask for Kezia for a massage and Laxmi for a facial. And try the ginger-lemon drink at the welcome—it’s refreshing and not too sweet. Massages from $75.
- Akasha Wellbeing Center, Mamilla Hotel -- Jerusalem, Israel
- What: Steps from Jerusalem’s Old City, a spotlessly modern spa equipped with gender-segregated steam rooms, a “meditation theater,” a Watsu pool, and an organic tapas bar.
- The look: A Middle Eastern take on West Elm—gray Jerusalem-stone showers, dim purple-lit corridors to treatment areas, bronze lanterns, and spacious Turkish hammams.
- Who goes: Well-to-do Jerusalemites, touring Americans and Europeans.
- The sound track: Asian meditation music, with the occasional clang of a gong.
- The treatment: The 90-minute Four Elements. First, water: You sit in a Watsu pool while a shiatsu therapist whirls and stretches you into a semi-conscious dreamland. Then an hour of treatments tenuously connected to the other three elements: a full-body hot stone and oil massage (fire), a refreshing scalp rub (air), and hot towel reflexology (earth—since “energies” are tied to terra firma, of course).
P.S.: All staff speak fluent English. Massages from $90.
- Banyan Tree Spa Marina Bay Sands - Singapore
- What: A 20,000-square-foot pleasure palace in the sky, perched on the fifty-fifth floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, with 15 spa suites (including 5 designed for couples), a beauty salon, and a tea lounge for post-treatment lolling.
- The look: A welcoming womb of warm woods, sumptuous silks, twinkling stars, and a tree-of-life motif that starts with the sculpture in the lobby and continues throughout in carvings and decorative details.
- Who goes: Singaporean tycoons who come to de-stress, business travelers looking for a break from their meetings, and vacationers just seeking to bliss out.
- The sound track: Soothing harp and pan flute standards.
- The treatment: The 90-minute Signature Master Therapist Experience. It has no bells and whistles—just a pure, healing pummeling that will leave you feeling that all is right with the world.
P.S.: Do a treatment after dark, when panoramic views of Singapore’s twinkling lights make the experience all the more indelible. Massages from $160.
- Luxsa Spa at the Hansar - Bangkok, Thailand
- What: Eight suites occupying the entire tenth floor of the Hansar Hotel, on a quiet side street in the heart of downtown.
- The look: Like a ranch house occupied by an Asia-loving great aunt. The pan-Asian tchotchkes on display—a Ganesh here, a Japanese lacquered tray there, a Thai sculpture there—feel faintly corny but also warm and intimate.
- Who goes: Hotel guests—think lots of Aussies, mostly on the young side.
- The sound track: Total silence.
- The treatment: The Herbal Healing Thai massage, which uses no oil but rather a series of almost-athletic stretches, skillfully calibrated to your preferred pressure level. It’s followed by a hot compress stuffed with fragrant Thai herbs, which is walked across your back and limbs, and concludes with a neck massage, applied through a warm, damp towel.
P.S.: The spa’s own excellent-smelling products, named for the four elements—fire, water, air, and earth—are worth checking out. Massages from $72
- Talise Ottoman Spa -- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- What: The biggest hammam in the Middle East—plus separate ladies’ and gentlemen’s spas, a couples’ spa, and treatments ranging from 30-minute facials to four-hour rituals using Aromatherapy Associates and Kerstin Florantin products.
- The look: Palatial. Think Ottoman Empire at its height: marble, mosaics, murals, silk drapes, wooden latticing, domed ceilings, and two private courtyards.
- Who goes: Young Arab ladies who lunch, and less-glamorous Western holidaymakers.
- The sound track: Quietly hypnotic Balinese gamelan.
- The treatment: The hour-and-a-half Sultan’s massage combines slow, deep strokes with stretching to leave you both asleep and in tune. Kyrgyzstani therapist Kiyal is supremely good, with a relaxing manner.
P.S.: Schedule your treatment between 9 and 11 a.m. on a weekday and receive a $14 discount. Massages from $130.
If you feel like dreaming a little more you can check the following website, Cn traveler you will find all the links to hotels and spas, …. And if you feel like inviting me, I would love to be your guide … ;-))
And have a great summer holidays ¡¡