Makeup & nails

Six strange spa treatments to indulge in

Madara Spa, Atlantis, Paradise Island Author: Elle Canada Credits: Madara Spa, Atlantis, Paradise Island

Makeup & nails

Six strange spa treatments to indulge in

While everyone deserves a relaxing trip to the spa, not everyone wants to be covered in damp hay or bathe in beer. You may have heard of the 24k gold facial or facials made with nightingale excrements (also known as bird poop facials) but here's a rundown some other unusual spa treatments for you to consider. These treatments may seem bizarre but each one has unique health and beauty benefits. We've rated each of them from the highest to the lowest challenge level. 

1. HAY BATH, Hotel Heubad, Völs am Schlern, Italy; (32 €, 15 to 20 minutes) ($42 CAD)

Challenge level: MEDIUM

Located in the Italian Alps, the Hotel Heubad has become world renowned for The Original Vösler Hay Bath®. Hay baths, or "bagni di fieno" in Italian, have been used for over 100 years; in fact the first hay bath was documented in 1871. The hay isn't just regular hay, it's gathered from the high alpine meadows of the Schlern and Seiser Alm. Visitors are first covered in hay that has been soaked in warm water. Afterwards they lie down in a waterbed for 15 to 20 minutes, giving just enough time for all the essential oils and nutrients from the hay to seep into the skin. Once the initial treatment is complete, visitors are wrapped in sheets with the hay residue still on their skin and treated with a gentle massage.

2. SNAKE MASSAGE, Ada Barak's Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa, Talmei Elazar, Israel; ($80, time varies)

Challenge level: HIGH


Yes, you read that correctly.  It has been reported that Ada Barak's Carnivorous Plant Farm and Spa located in northern Israel offers visitors snake massages. Snakes are first placed on the visitor's face and body. The massage therapist/snake wrangler guides the snakes onto different parts of the body while the visitor attempts to relax. At first the snakes are cold but eventually they acclimate to the visitor's body temperature. This truly unique treatment is meant to help visitors relax and even relieve pain but that may not be the case for everyone!

Not adventurous enough for you? Check out the other spa treatments on the next page.

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3. GOLFERS' MASSAGE, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; ($165 to $220, 50 to 80 minutes)

Challenge level: LOW

This one's for all the golf enthusiasts. The Golfers' Massage offered at Four Seasons Resort Scottdale at Troon North helps relax tense and tired muscles before or after a day on the green. The treatment is simple yet highly effective. Lie down and unwind as warmed golf balls are massaged onto your body. The Golfers' Massage also uses stretching techniques to ease golf-related stiffness.

4. BEER BATH, Chodovar Brewery, Chodová Planá, Czech Republic; (660 CZK, 45 minute session: 20 minute bath and 25 minute relaxation period) ($35 CAD)

Challenge level: MEDIUM

Why not bathe in beer? The Chodovar Brewery located in the small town of Chodová Planá in the Czech Republic famously offers the chance to soak in beer. These baths consists of mineral water, active beer yeast, dehydrated crushed herbs and of course Bathing Beer made in the Chodovar Brewery. Visitors immerse themselves in this warm bath for 20 minutes, with the soft aroma of freshly brewed dark beer filling the air. This treatment is said to reduce skin aliments like psoriasis, cellulite and acne as well as improve blood circulation.

Fancy a challenge? Try the other strange spa treatments on the next page.

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5. MILK RITUAL, Mandara Spa, Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas; ($160, 80 minutes, add a 25 minute back massage for $50)

Challenge level: LOW

Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed milk, and the Mandara Spa at the Atlantis Paradise Island gives visitors the chance to bask in this lavish treatment.  The Elemis Exotic Coconut Rub and Milk Ritual Wrap begins with a scrub made from a traditional Balinese recipe that has coconut, mungbean, spices and lavender. After, a warm milk bath is poured over the body. The treatment ends with a calming foil wrap and is sure to leave your skin feeling silky smooth and moisturized.

6. COLD SAUNA (CRYOTHERAPY) TREATMENT, Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, BC, Canada; (One introductory treatment: $40, 3 minutes; 10 treatments, $300)

Challenge level: HIGH

As Canadians we may be used to brutally cold temperatures but Cryotherapy gives a whole new meaning to the word "cold." The KurSpa at Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon BC is the first spa in North America to offer this chilly treatment. Dressed only in light clothing, a protective headband, face mask, gloves, socks and shoes, visitors first pass through two pre-chambers set at -15 Celsius and -65 Celsius. The main chamber is set at -110 Celsius and visitors can spend up to three minutes inside. Repeated cryotherapy sessions are said to relieve inflammation, arthritis, joint pain and some skin ailments.

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Makeup & nails

Six strange spa treatments to indulge in