By Lauren Jade Hill
Whether encompassing natural hot springs or embracing indigenous wellness traditions, some of the world’s most luxurious spas take the most pride in authentically reflecting their surroundings; while some incorporate the land’s natural products into indulgent spa treatments, others introduce guests to the destination’s unique customs. Here’s our selection of the best luxury spa experiences that are certainly worth traveling for.
Cheval Blanc, Courchevel, France
Tucked into Courchevel in the picturesque French Alps, this Cheval Blanc resort boasts spectacular views, as well as direct access to the slopes. Here, the Cheval Blanc Spa focuses on indulgence and relaxation, with restorative treatments that are ideal for skiers’ aching muscles, incorporating contrasting hot and cold sensations.
Singita Ebony Lodge, South Africa
This stand-out safari lodge sits on South Africa’s Sand River, within the privately owned game reserve Sabi Sand. And while it’s primarily celebrated for its abundant wildlife, this isn’t the only reason people come here; the safari experience is enhanced by the lodge’s elegant yet contemporary design, and by Singita Spa, where treatments have been designed to complement the beauty and tranquility of the wilderness. Signature treatments include the ‘I Dreamed of Africa’ body ritual, which incorporates Inkaba massage.
Since opening in 2016, the chic hot spring Aman resort Amanenu has been the garnering international attention for its isolated setting on Japan’s Ise-Shima peninsula, as well as for its spa. Not only does the spa here incorporate natural hot springs, which draws on Japan’s deeply engrained onsen tradition, it also harnesses the knowledge of specialist wellness experts, including a practitioner of the water shiatsu treatment, watsu.
Four Seasons Casa Medina, Colombia
Situated at the heart of Bogota’s gastronomic district, Zona G, the luxurious Four Seasons Casa Medina is the ideal base from which to explore the city. But it’s worth spending time in hotel too, where you’ll find the exceptional Casa Medina Spa. Treatments here utilize natural local products, while incorporating Colombian healing traditions. Guests can expect treatments like a detoxifying white gold coconut scrub, or Colombian slimming green coffee wrap.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia
Set with 100 acres of rainforest, on an 18th-century sugar plantation, Sugar Beach is flanked by the Unesco World Heritage Pitons and the island’s white-sand shores. The spa here reflects these verdant surroundings through the use of natural resources such as coconut, aloe vera and cocoa butter, while also utilizing St Lucia’s volcanic springs and distinct wellness traditions.
Ashford Castle, Ireland
It’s not often you come across a historic hotel that’s as majestic as Ashford Castle, which fuses an ancient façade with sumptuous interiors, and a vast estate of woodland and landscapes gardens. The Spa at Ashford Castle was designed to impress too, as a significant part of the castle’s recent $75-million renovation. Within this beautifully designed spa – just take a look at the mosaic walls – guests can opt for holistic treatments, as well as facials and massages.
For more inspiration, take a look at our pick of each destination’s best luxury hotels, resorts and spas.