The most precious thing in the world? Forget diamonds, gold and even cold, hard cash. A little me-time is all too often what we don’t allow ourselves to indulge in, and stressed, exhausted, waiting-to-exhale is no way to live your life. Make yourself the VIP in your life with some pampering with some amazing spa treatments and the world's leading spas. A visit to a local day spa is fine if that’s what your schedule and bank account can afford, but if hopping on a flight is an option (start putting away pennies to make it an option), here are some top-notch spas around the world that you need to get yourself to.
Top spas and spa treatments for 2013
Talise Ottoman Spa, Dubai
You’ll truly feel like a princess in her palace at this spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray: with the domed ceilings, stunning marble, and intricate mosaics, the space itself is as breathtakingly stunning as Ryan Gosling is foxy. Opt for the thermal moor mud treatment and have your body enveloped in the therapeutic earth and enjoy a scalp massage while mud works its magic.
Willow Stream Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona
If the golf and indulging in great grub at Scottsdale’s restaurants hasn’t quite been enough to get you feeling totally at ease, putting yourself in the skilled hands of a registered massage therapist at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Royal Princess hotel will get you there. After a luxurious, reinvigorating 90 minutes of their signature Well & Being massage, relax in the warm Arizona sunshine on the Mesa rooftop to the comforting sound of the spa’s Havusupai waterfall.
You may be vacationing in the Caribbean, but the Asian Spa at the Oprah-approved LaLuna may trick you into thinking you’ve escaped to Bali. Book a couples massage or relax as you get your tired soles tended to with a pedicure as you enjoy a view of the lush greenery of Grenada. Afterwards, make sure you get cozy in the spa’s tranquil seating area to read a few chapters of a book (or to enjoy a snooze).
Chiva Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
Although you can’t go wrong with any of the spa treatments at this award-winning spa that encompasses seven acres of lush gardens, if you’re keen to decompress, one of Chiva Som’s new treatments, Oriental facial acupressure point, should be on your spa itinerary. Based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine practice of acupressure, the treatment focuses on improving energy flow in the face, which in turn results in glowing skin, a calmer mind and lowered stress levels. No doubt you’ll return home desperately seeking an acupressure expert in your city.
Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris, Toronto
Skip the CN Tower and book yourself a visit to this spa in the Shangri-La Hotel instead. Toronto may be filled with concrete and bad traffic, but here you’ll swear you’ve been transported to Morocco. Breathe in the soothing steam in the luxurious hammam before a gommage spa treatment, during which a therapist scrubs your skin with a traditional black Moroccan soap before rinsing you with warm water. Skin soft and glowing, kick back in the lounge afterwards to enjoy delicious complimentary mint tea and baklava.
More amazing spas and spa treatments in Paris, Panama, Bangkok and more on the next page ...
Image courtesy of Spa My Blend by Clarins, Paris
The Spa at Bristol, Panama
This brand new spa on the rooftop level of the Bristol Panama offers sweeping views of the city, but you may be too blissed out from your Solace facial to give the sights much attention. While the focus of this facial is on soothing your complexion (along with your neck and shoulders) with an aromatherapy oil, followed by a calming mask, this signature treatment so ultimately relaxing, you’ll feel rejuvenated from head to toe.
Spa My Blend by Clarins, Paris
In between nibbling on Ladurée macarons and shopping at Colette, a custom facial at Spa My Blend by Clarins at Le Royal Monceau is absolument nécessaire. You start with having your skin analyzed by high-tech devices and answer some questions about your lifestyle and skin concerns so that the aesthetician can select the products that your skin needs. You may never be able to return to a run-of-the-mill type facials ever again after these spoils.
Oriental Spa, Bangkok
You’ll regret not opting for the Oriental Organic Journey signature treatment while you’re at this spa at the Mandarin Oriental, so you might as well just book it right off the bat. This two-and-a-half hour treatment tends to your body with a full-body scrub (using a mix of jasmine rice, green bean, coconut oil and grated coconut) and your hair with a natural herbal concoction. Enjoy a steam and then move onto the rice-milk-cream massage portion of your journey, before finishing with a refreshing shower.
Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, Florence
Even the most patient traveller may find themselves getting frustrated with the crowds of tourists in Florence. Escape the maddening tour groups by devoting some time at this spa in the heart of Florence. Get bling-bling bragging rights—and firmer, glowing skin—by opting for the signature Gold facial treatment, which uses the unique properties of the precious metal and other skincare ingredients to smooth and plump skin.
Ananda in the Himalayas, Himalayas
If this renowned spa is the only thing you experience on your trip to the Himalayas, you wouldn’t be left wanting—you can get a closer look at the mountains on your next visit. With Ananda’s daily schedule of activities including everything from yoga and golf to meditation and vedanta, having nothing to do will never be an issue (unless of course, that’s what you want to do). And with superb treatments available—including chakradhara (where the flow of warm herbal oils help to balance the fluctuation of the chakras) and rose quartz glow facials—you’ll go home from this destination spa not only glowing but with a sense of renewal.
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