Spas are sanctuaries, allowing relaxation and rejuvenation that isn’t always possible to achieve at home. Traveling to a spa can combine those feelings with the joy of experiencing a new culture in a fresh way. The spas on this list are destinations in themselves, offering a reason to travel to exotic locations like Iceland, Argentina and Bahrain for unique treatments that may be so inviting you may not need to sightsee to make it worth your while. Ancient and modern relaxation techniques combine with serene settings for all the properties on this list, which extend from subterranean caves to 116 floors high above city streets.
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, Manama, Bahrain
Relax during halotherapy in the hotel’s Salt Inhalation Room, leave your cares behind during a deep tissue massage using oud oil or smooth away the worries of your work life with a Precious Pearl Ultra Lift Facial at one of the best spas in the Middle East. For an even more indulgent experience, take a sensory journey through Morocco with the Ceremonial Massage.
Montage Kapalua Bay, Lahaina, Hawaii
This 24-acre oceanside resort is home to the Spa Montage. Here you can experience a Hawaiian massage in an outdoor hale that lets you enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the lush tropical breeze. Themed wellness journeys offered to guests are inspired by the West Maui landscape and include an algae body mask, sea salt exfoliation and bamboo and local fruit body polish.
Wine Country Aesthetics
Entre Wine Hotel and Spa Hamam, Mendoza, Argentina
Surrounded by grapevines that make Malbec wine in the heart of Luján de Cuyo, is Latin America’s first and only authentic traditional hamam. The spa offers hot stone stimulation, scrubs, massages, facials and baths and serves lunch during some treatments. Yoga, reflexology, aquatic relaxation techniques and waxing are also on the menu.
Four Seasons Resort Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
Beautiful any time of year, this resort holds special appeal for those who love winter weather. Enjoy a day of skiing and then head back to this lodge-inspired resort to unwind and soak away the muscle aches of the day. Choose from a full range of spa amenities including a soothing eucalyptus steam treatment, Melting Moments massage or Breath of Clarity aromatherapy.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont
This countryside farmhouse retreat features gourmet dinners and freshly baked pastries at breakfast. Enjoy the lush countryside with hiking and biking in the summer or skiing during the winter months. Schedule an individual treatment, like time alone in the Japanese furo at the Bridge House Spa to unwind, and add on everything from facials to massages to personalized training sessions to make your stay like no other.
Relaxation and Ritual
Spa Matilda, Hotel Matilda, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Treatments here are designed to relax the body and stimulate the senses. The recently completed Zen Garden will make your work worries seem worlds away. The spa’s new Chipauha ritual features a purification ceremony, complete with an altar and copal incense, and includes a body scrub, ceremonial herbal steam and body mask.
Retreat Luxury Spa, Blue Lagoon, Grindavik, Iceland
This spa takes a visit to this geothermal attraction to the nth degree and is a must-see for wellness-focused visitors. Admission includes access to the spa itself, plus the Blue Lagoon with its milky blue waters and dark lava rock surroundings, the Retreat Lagoon, eight subterranean spaces, a unique mineral experience and more.
Nourishment and a Nosh
Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest, Budapest, Hungary
Known as the city of spas, Budapest has 118 natural thermal springs. In this architecturally stunning hotel, you can enjoy Hungarian cakes, tarts and coffees beneath a glass cupola and then relax at the Zafir Spa. It offers a variety of massages and facials and the opportunity to unwind in a Finnish sauna or relaxation pool.
Aroma Boma Spa, Ulusaba, Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, South Africa
Located within Sir Richard Branson’s private game reserve, Ulusaba is an exclusive experience from its lodging to its remote spa where your only disturbance from the serenity of a massage may be a passing elephant. Hallmarks of the property are unique treatments developed using local ingredients like rooibos, aloe and African potato.
Over Water Spa, Conrad, Ragali Island, Maldives
Here, guests are invited to “detach from the mundane and step into the sublime” as they cross over a bridge to a private space where they receive their spa treatment with the sea breeze flowing through the buildings. The spa’s treatments integrate themes of harmony, light, gemstones, nature and calm into a variety of relaxing treatments, all received seaside.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Hong Kong
Sitting 116 floors above the hustle and bustle of city life in Hong Kong, The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers stress-busting treatments for travelers and locals alike in its 11 treatment rooms. The indulgent Harbour View Spa Suite Retreat includes use of a couples treatment suite and a three-course meal designed to calm your mind and body, keeping thoughts of life at street level at bay.