Lists can already create a bit of a stir because taste is so deliciously subjective. By no means am I claiming these are the best spas you can visit, but they are my favourites for a variety of reasons, presented here in no particular order.
SHA Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain
Within the vicinity of the beautiful Sierra Helada Natural Park, the Mediterranean beaches of Albir and Alfaz del Pi, the picturesque town of Altea – and offering stunning panoramic vistas of the Sierra Helada Mountains – a visit to SHA will breathe tranquillity into you before you even arrive at the clinic itself.
ESPA Life at Corinthia, London, England
Marketing itself as “the Next Generation of Spa”, the pioneering concept at ESPA Life is to offer fully integrated, tailor-made Lifestyle Programmes delivered by a globally acclaimed team of wellness experts including naturopaths, traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists and herbalists, osteopaths, personal trainers and spa professionals.
Lanserhof Lans, Innsbruck, Austria
Having won the Award for Europe’s “Best Medical Spa” every year for the past seven years, it’s hard to argue against the merits of Lanserhof Lans. The wellness resort is harmoniously nestled in a spectacular natural backdrop and its new therapeutic package “Healthy Joints”, scored particular praise among awards judges.
Palace Spa at Gstaad Palace Hotel, Gstaad, Switzerland
Blending seamlessly with the hotels authentic, elegant and unique design, Palace Spa radiates a magical charm that features a stunning architectural masterpiece. Fifty tonnes of rock, sourced from the nearby Blausee region, were cut into small pieces by skilled craftsman and carefully integrated with the interiors to give the Spa an authentic mountain ambience.
Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
Set within a luscious tropical rainforest, the Como Shambhala sits on the banks of the Ayung River near Ubud, boasting a 9-hectare estate. Making the most of its stunning location, the resort encourages outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing but also offers signature massage therapies and beauty treatments.
Acquaforte Thalasso Spa at Forte Village Resort, Sardinia, Italy
Named as the “World’s Leading Resort” for 17 consecutive years by the “World’s Travel Awards” panel of judges and set by the Mediterranean sea in natural surroundings, Forte Village is ideal for luxury family beach holidays and its Acquaforte Thalasso Spa offers a unique and exclusive combination of thalassotherapy treatments.
Ma’in Hot Springs, Sowayma, Jordan
This former Six Senses property boasts a natural oasis-style compound as it is constructed within and around the waterfalls and hot mineral springs of Ma’in. It offers a wide variety of treatments including mud wraps, hydro-jet baths, underwater massages, mud facials and electrotherapy, as well as transfers to the Dead Sea which is a short drive away.
One&Only Spa at One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Insulated from the rest of the resort, the One&Only Spa at Reethi Rah is set within lush manicured gardens offering private villas and relaxation pavilions that overlook the Indian Ocean. Among the comprehensive range of treatments are indigenous Ayurvedic therapies, individualised facial treatments and signature wellness experiences.
Dheva Spa at The Dhara Dhevi Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand
The Dhara Dhevi resort’s design draws heavily from the architectural influences of the Lanna Kingdom and is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful properties in the world. The perfect setting for soothing relaxation, its Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre is a palatial sanctuary embellished with ornate sculptures depicting symbolic Buddhist motifs.
Karkloof Safari Spa, South Africa
Picture the scene. Through the huge windows of your private treatment room nestled within a mist-belt forest, you watch the sunset over the Karkloof Valley to the soothing sounds of local wildlife as you sink into a hydrotherapy Jacuzzi with a chilled glass of champagne in the world’s finest safari spa.