Whether you’re looking to purify body and mind or just for the softest skin of your life, here, our editors’ list for the most flight-worthy and best spa treatments across the globe.
Some things are worth flying for.
Head to Geneva, Marrakech, and St. Lucia, where locally-inspired treatments are on the menu and the spa goes hand-in-hand with the destination. Take a dip in a volcanic mud bath in Napa Valley, participate in an ancient Mayan ceremony in Playa del Carmen, or benefit from the healing powers of the almescar tree-sap in Trancoso.
Set in the treetops of UNESCO World Heritage Site between St. Lucia’s Pitons.
MUST HAVE: The Sulphur Seduction treatment involves a morning trip to the volcanic sulphur springs near the resort to bathe in the black waters, followed by a sulphur mud bath and exfoliation treatment. After rinsing off in the naturally warm Piton waterfalls, the finale is a massage back at the spa.
o 3 hours
The open-air treatment rooms at the spa at Nayara Springs are cantilevered over the rainforest so spa-goers hear the sound of tree frogs chirping and a babbling stream below.
MUST HAVE: The VolCanic Mud Massage is inspired by Costa Rica’s ancient beliefs that the application of volcanic-rich mud regenerates and nourishes the skin and provides energy and inner peace. After the treatment, guests can lounge in a private plunge pool overlooking the rainforest.
o 45 min / 60 min
o $90 / $120
Nestled in the remote fisherman’s village of Trancoso, UXUA’s Almescar Spa is truly of the earth. All products are made using the techniques of the Pataxo Indians, incorporating the tree-sap found only in that part of the world – almescar. Even the building itself is made of locally reclaimed woods constructed by native craftsmen.
MUST HAVE: Almescar Facial: Following an exfoliating scrub with a base of Bahian passionfruit sourced from the surrounding rainforest and a bespoke clay mask, an almescar facial cream from UXUA’s cosmetic line is applied. Typically used by the local Pataxó Indians in traditional medicine, almescar is a tree-sap native to the Bahian region providing anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing effects and stimulating cell-regeneration.
- 45 min
- 300 BRL / $80
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
In keeping with Mayan rituals, every aspect of the Kinan Spa has been aligned with the stars to stimulate a positive energy flow: treatment rooms point east to west, representing day and night, and massage beds face east to symbolize new beginnings.
MUST HAVE: Temazcal Treatment: Performed at dusk, this ancient ceremony involves a sweat lodge intended to purify the body. Guests enter the Temazcal for Mesoamerican chants and meditation. Heated rocks are doused with herb-infused water to create an aromatic, healing steam, followed by an application of aloe vera to nourish the skin. After the sun sets, plunge into the sea to leave feeling refreshed and at peace.
o 90 min
The three-story, hand-crafted Le Spa, resembling an elaborate white birdcage, is reason enough to visit the palatial property. The spa’s design incorporates Moucharabieh, an element of traditional Arabic architecture that includes a window enclosed in carved wood latticework.
MUST HAVE: Hammam Treatment: The experience begins in a humid room on a slab of heated marble, where the therapist douses the body in water and black soap, made with olive oil and vetiver. The guest is then scrubbed head to toe with miel d’ambre, before enjoying one final rinse and a dip in the icy cold plunge pool. The body is left spotlessly clean and utterly rejuvenated.
o 1 hour
o 1000 MAD / $104 USD
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, La Reserve Geneve is home to the city’s largest spa, at 20,000 square-feet, and the only Nescens destination spa in the world. Treatments and programs have been developed by the Nescens Swiss Cosmeceutical Company and guests meet with a team of therapists, coaches and medical specialists with expertise in the realms of preventive and antiaging medicine, as well as aesthetic medicine.
MUST HAVE: Better-Aging Signature Body Massage: Developed in conjunction with the scientific committee of the Nescens brand, this signature treatment targets all muscle and energy routes, concentrating mainly on the most sensitive areas. Combined with the use of a lymph drainage device, the massage releases blockages and eases tension.
o 2 hours
o 310 CHF / $320 USD
THE SPOT: Napa Valley
Since the 1800s, visitors have sought rejuvenation in the mineral-rich waters of Calistoga’s natural hot springs and volcanic ash. Today, the quintessential Calistoga experience is the mud bath and the area has become known as the place to “take in the waters.” There are more than 15 spas that offer their take on the treatment.
MUST HAVE: Calistoga Motor Lodge offers the treatment Perfectly Muddled where guests have a private mud bar session to their treatment at the outdoor “mix your own mud bar,” and then relax in the private garden
o On its own: $70
o As an add-on: $50
Indian Springs offers the Classic Volcanic Ash Mud Bath in which guests soak in a warm tub of mud
o 45-50 min
Guests can enjoy Bermuda-inspired spa therapies and signature fitness classes at Hamilton Princess & Beach Club’s 5,400-square-foot Exhale spa.
MUST HAVE: Rum Swizzle Scrub combines golden brown sugar and premium aged rum and citrus to revitalize the skin. Following exfoliation, a whipped shea butter comprised of cocoa butter and Vitamin E moisturizes the skin. After the treatment, guests can keep the momentum going with a complimentary Rum Swizzle, the signature drink of Bermuda.
- 60 min
The FieldSpa at GoldenEye is built into the jungle-like landscape on the edge of the crystal clear blue lagoon, allowing guests to swim or kayak to their spa appointment. The spa features destination-focused treatments, and draws on traditional Jamaican recipes and the healing powers of flowers, roots, leaves and herbs grown locally at the resort’s 800-acre Pantrepant farm.
MUST HAVE: Purifying Lemongrass and Wild Lime Abyhanga is a detoxifying massage that combines warm lemongrass and wild lime coconut. The treatment removes impurities and assists with lymphatic drainage.
- 60 min / 90 min
- $130 / $190