Sure, heading to your local luxury spa and booking a full day of treatments––a massage, facial, the works––is guaranteed to be a real treat. But what about taking your regular spa experience to the next level?
Relaxing in a spa within a rainforest, watching giraffes and elephants from the comfort of a massage table in Africa, experiencing wellness treatments infused with pinot noir grapes––these are just a few of the out-of-the-ordinary experiences you’ll find in our compilation of unique luxury wellness retreats. If you’re looking for a way to relax and unwind in style, and you’re ready to swap out your regular spa for something a little more unique, then we’ve got you covered.
Below, we’ve highlighted 10 destination spas that go above and beyond relaxation and rejuvenation. Located all across the globe offering wide arrays of holistic and revitalizing spa experiences, these wellness retreats are worth planning an entire vacation around.
Located in Southern India, this five-star resort spa is nestled into 180 acres of stunning rainforest. That’s right––you can enjoy your traditional Ayurveda therapies and signature experiences (like the Gudda bath and the Samattva yoga treatment) from deep within the calming rainforest.
Located within the Mara Bushtops Wild Luxury Camps in Kenya, just five kilometers from the storied Mara National Park, the Amani safari spa overlooks the majestic African bush. Guests can relax in the sauna or steam room (where you can have an Arabian mud-cleansing treatment), or on the beautiful wooden deck, where wild game can be spotted in the distance. The spa uses only organic Terres d’Afrique skincare products, which utilize local and traditional African plants.
“True indulgence on the rails” is the mantra of Belmond Royal Scotsman train journey. On board, you can enjoy a signature spa experience on one of Britain’s finest luxury trains while being whisked past stunning Scottish scenery. Imagine rugged, green pastures whizzing by while you receive a Bamford Body Signature treatment, which fuses Shiatsu, meridian, and Swedish techniques.
Breathtaking location aside (scenic Oregon wine country), the Allison Inn & Spa has a particularly unique draw to its spa treatments. Here, specialists utilize botanicals from the surrounding Wilamet Valley. More specifically, they use pinot noir grapes for various and extensive treatments, like the spa’s signature “Pinotherapy” treatment.
In terms of location, Huvafen Spa in the Maldives likely takes the cake as the world’s first underwater spa. Yes, you can indeed enjoy a massage in either an underwater or overwater treatment room, completely surrounded by the entrancing magic of the deep blue.
“Set like a gem between sky and sea” in coastal Italy, this spa is housed in a watchtower at a five-star hotel, and uses the natural thermal waters of Ischia for specialized mind-body treatments. In front of the hotel is both a private bay and beach, so after your thermal treatment you can stretch out in the sand––now that is the epitome of relaxation.
Named the top international destination spa by T+L World’s Best in 2018; Schloss Elmau is nestled deep within the cool colors and rushing streams of the Bavarian alps, just 100 kilometers from Munich. The hotel is home to six different spas, specially designed for families or exclusively for adults: the Badehaus Spa, Oriental Hmam, Lady Spa, Nature Spa, Family Spa and the Shantigiri Spa. Major bonus? The hotel just happens to house a concert hall, where guests can experience a regular schedule of musical and literary events.
Guests who partake in the Aro Ha Wellness Adventure Plus programs get to experience the ultimate combination of mind, body, and nature. Hike through New Zealand’s World Heritage parks, learn mindfulness and meditation, experience incredible massage and enjoy soothing and rejuvenating treatments in an Obsidian spa––all overlooking a stunning lake in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.
Relax, reconnect and find balance at the base of one of the world’s most sacred and magical locations. This award-winning luxury spa nestled within the foothills of the Himalayas in India on a 100-acre estate has a focus on both eastern and western healing practices, and honors the legacy of the nearby birthplaces of ancient practices like yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda.
“Luxury summer camp” is how the team at Carmel Valley Ranch describes an experience at the centrally-located yet sprawling ranch in Monterey, California. The spa––considered one of the Golden State’s finest––sits high within the treetops overlooking the beautiful property below. Treatment rooms feature private outdoor terraces, and both locker rooms have a eucalyptus steam room.