Wanderlust Is Here: The Top Ten Destination Spas In The World
10 minutes read
If there’s one thing we could all benefit from, it’s a luxurious and indulgent visit to the spa, or better yet, a trip to one of the top destination spas in the world. So whether you want to feel the sun’s warmth on your face, the lapping of a wave at your feet, or even a cool and refreshing breeze on a mountain top, here is our bucket list of the best spa vacations in the world — wanderlust incoming.
What to expect at a destination spa
We seek out the spa when we need rest and renewal. Not only can we pamper our body, but a genuinely excellent spa experience will also nourish the mind and soul and create bespoke wellness packages targeting specific concerns – and a true escape from day-to-day life.
One of the most obvious perks of a destination spa is breath-taking surroundings you may not find at home. You can find tranquillity in new spaces, where it’s infinitely easier to switch off. Some spas offer a huge range of activities on-site, so think about your schedule. Relaxation is important, so tempting as it may be to crank up the pace and slot in as many pursuits as possible, try not to stretch yourself too thin.
While some spas serve alcohol, others don’t, so if an evening glass of crisp white wine is essential, be sure to do your research in advance. Destination spas will vary in their menu, from indulgent feasting to health-first fare or even some restrictive fasting techniques. Travelling also means unlocking new treatment styles, so it’s a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something different. Think about what you want to get out of the experience, and we guarantee there’s a spa tucked in some lovely corner of the world that will offer it.
P.S One top tip? When you book your dream break, contact the spa immediately and see what packages they have happening over that period. Some resorts will have visiting practitioners that are booked up well in advance – so it’s always worth touching base and exploring appointments before you land on exotic soil.
Top 10 Destination Spas in the World
USP: If your body is a temple, this utterly ethereal spa might just as well be nirvana. Nestled in the heart of Paris, this city is the home of the ground-breaking My Blend by Clarins, created by Dr Oliver Courtin. The treatment formulas offered are entirely customised. This is a tailor-made package that brings real results.
Best time to go: We are very much of the belief that there is no bad time to take a trip to Paris, but in Spring, when the tree-lined avenues are bursting with blossom, c’est parfait.
What to pack: Raffles Paris is a historic landmark and one of the most luxurious establishments in the world. Just a stone’s throw from the Champ Élysées, so be sure to pack a pair of exuberantly high heels to pop into Le Bar Long in the hotel or L’Oiseau Blanc Bar just around the corner for a post-treatment champagne.
Standout treatment: My Royal Detox
The ultimate reboot for your body that doesn’t require exhausting sessions in the gym or a drastic lifestyle change. The package includes a delicious breakfast, a one-hour coaching lesson, a Rebalancing Massage or Firming Age Corrector Treatment, plus access to the spa facilities. Prepare to leave feeling like a brand-new person.
USP: There aren’t many spas in the world that can claim to sit atop their own island. If you’re seeking peace, sitting in the middle of a private lagoon, this place is perfect. Ideal for those who need to take a moment for their mental health, you’ll leave calm yet rejuvenated.
Best time to go: Head to Bora Bora’s shores between November and April to make the most of the sun-dappled islands, with temperatures swelling between May and October.
What to pack: Bora Bora is a water baby’s paradise, so take multiple swimsuits for lounging on the pristine beaches or discovering local wildlife while snorkelling in the turquoise waters.
Standout treatment: Polynesian Massage
Tahitian medicinal plants are put to work in this Taurumi massage, a unique style from Tahiti. Therapists use traditional Polynesian techniques to release tension, plus their Mana (inner strength in Polynesian) to help both mind and body enter a state of blissful relaxation.
USP: Sitting between sparkling sea and lush gardens, this spa prioritises holistic wellness, offering an extensive selection of sports and fitness activities and a balanced nutrition menu. Unique and elegant, this destination makes for an unforgettable spa trip.
Best time to go: The temperatures start to scorch in July and August, so visiting in April to June means the sun is gorgeously hot and the sea feels like a warm bath.
What to pack: There’s so much to see in Sardinia that a trusty pair of trainers is essential to take in the stunning architecture of the Stella Maris Church and the famous stalagmites of the Grotta di Ispinigoli.
Standout treatment: Dolce Far Niente
This treatment is all about taking a guilt-free moment for yourself and finding inspiration in the Italian concept of doing ‘sweet nothing.’ The massage induces a state of indulgent tranquillity and aims to relieve tension, promote circulation, and relax the nervous system.
USP: The exclusive home of My Blend by Clarins in the Americas, the spa menu is bursting with innovative treatments, and it’s the massages whose praises we are singing today. Offering a selection of ancient massage techniques from around the world, it makes for a perfect couples’ spa trip.
Best time to go: The autumnal colour palette of Ontario is world renowned and for good reason; the sunset shades of the trees and the orange glow of the still-warm sun make for a heavenly holiday spot.
What to pack: Something spectacular for eating out as you can’t visit Toronto without experiencing the dazzling dining scene. A foodie’s paradise, the hotel is a short stop away from famous spots Canoe and Avelo, which offer fine vegan dining.
Standout treatment: The Holistic Stress Buster
A state of utter bliss has never come so easily. A refreshing foot treatment to start, followed by a top to toe body scrub before hydrating creams are lavishly applied, and necks, shoulders, and scalps rubbed. Feet are enveloped in warm paraffin, and you’ll be wrapped in a soft blanket for your facial.
USP: This unique hotel is perched halfway up Mount Myoko and its famous ski slopes. Above the clouds, on a clear day, you can see to the Sea of Japan. So if you want to truly switch off, we can’t think of a better spot.
Best time to go: If it’s a soft and luscious powder you’re after, take a trip in January or February when the snow season is in full swing.
What to pack: You don’t want to miss out on the stunning ski scene in the mountains, so be sure to pack your winter essentials and, most importantly, your thermals.
Standout treatment: Art of Touch Massage
After an exhilarating day on the slopes, the perfect tonic relieves sore muscles by revitalising and regenerating head-to-toe rub. Post-treatment, enjoy the healing properties of the nearby open-air hot spring baths.
USP: This spa has a truly magical setting, with the Atlantic Ocean sitting at the foot of the hotel and the lush national park Teide serving as its backdrop. A unique eco-spa, take a trip for their extensive hydrotherapy circuit and its chromotherapy showers and bi-thermal foot baths.
Best time to go: Tenerife is famously beautiful all year round, but when vitamin D starts to seriously deplete in the UK as the year draws to a close, we recommend getting a Spanish dose.
What to pack: Known for its volcanoes, Tenerife’s landscape is uniquely breath-taking. But thanks to its warm climate and clear skies, it’s equally striking at night. So take advantage and download a stargazing app before heading to one of Teide’s lookout points.
Standout Treatment or Package: My Blend Youth Synergy Facial
Demonstrating pioneering methods that utilise plant extracts, this ritual begins with a skin diagnosis so your facial can wholly target your specific needs. Then, using rigorously selected skincare, you can expect fine lines to be reduced and your complexion to be more luminous no matter your age.
USP: Spas are about so much more than just a nice place to get a relaxing rub down. Clinics such as Sha offer transformative experiences, utilising exciting medical innovation, natural therapies, and healthy nutrition to boost long-term health. Integrating eight holistic disciplines, it is so much more than a detox.
Best time to go: Alicante is beautiful at any time, and residents of soggy Britain will be thrilled to hear that the area only experiences 20 days of rain per year on average.
What to pack: Don’t forget your hiking boots as you won’t want to miss trekking a winding trail through the local mountains and drinking in stunning views of the Mediterranean.
Standout Treatment or Package: Rebalance Health Programme
This is a comprehensive overhaul of your lifestyle, so we recommend staying for at least a week. You’ll receive a personalised health plan, natural therapies and technological treatments tailored to your needs. In addition, you’ll learn habits that will promote a long and healthy life.
8. Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
USP: This retreat is for those who want real change in their lives, promising 360-degree wellness and the facilities to match. Expect a nutritionally optimised breakfast every morning, outdoor activities, and one-on-one time with their resident experts, including a yoga teacher, Ayurvedic doctor and a live-in dietician.
Best time to go: With only two seasons, the rainy season, and the dry season, we recommend visiting during the latter, which falls between April and October.
What to pack: Don’t forget your camera as close to the estate are ten stunning waterfalls. We recommend an early morning trip to capture them at their most enchanting.
Standout Treatment or Package: COMO Shambhala Bath
After dry brushing your body, expert therapists apply a sea salt and sugar-packed body scrub to exfoliate and soften any dry patches. Then an invigorating bath is taken before you can enjoy the long, calming strokes of the estate’s signature massage—top-to-toe relaxation.
9. Vivamayr Medical Health Resort, Austria
USP: The unique health concept offered here works with the latest technology and innovative scientific methods to create personalised and holistic diagnoses and treatment plan. The end goal? Long-term health and a renewed quality of life. And it doesn’t end when you depart; the clinic’s expertise is on-hand when you get home to keep you on track.
Best time to visit: While high summer brings glorious sunny days to Austria, in Spring, the weather is still excellent for outdoor activities, but the crowds are a little sparser.
What to pack: Nestled on the shoreline of a picturesque lake, you’ll want to bring a book with you for a lazy sun-lounging session on the clinic’s pier. Come rain or shine – these views are outstanding.
Standout treatment or package: The Vivamayr Classic Program
Vivamayr offers a whole host of programmes tackling concerns from stress control to weight care, but their tried and tested classic programme is the perfect place to start. Entirely customised, it includes all necessary medical care and a variety of tests and treatments.
USP: Sitting on a rocky outcrop on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Peace Haven does precisely what it says on the packaging. Overlooking the Indian ocean, it’s the perfect place to explore the world of Ayurveda by enjoying one of their award-winning treatments. There’s even a Slumber Guru to ensure sweet dreams.
Best time to visit: The temperature in Sri Lanka rarely drops below 25 degrees, but it’s best to avoid two monsoons that affect the Island’s climate, so aim for January-March.
What to pack: Kalametiya Bird Sancutyar is a little-known bird park not far from the resort. Set sail across the lagoon and discover a fantastic variety of marine and birdlife. Bring your binoculars and get spotting.
Standout treatment: Chakra Crystal Balancing
This balancing ritual is a purifying massage using a crystal infused oil blend of your choosing. Let singing bowls draw you into a deep state of relaxation as precious stones surround your body.
For more information or inspiration on Clarins spas – click here
Skin & Beauty