Top 10 ultimate spas in the world
Relax at the best spas around the world
Spas are places where you can get away from it all and come out feeling refreshed, relaxed and invigorated. If you want to visit some of the finest spas around the world and you’re prepared to spend for the experience, then check out our guide to the world’s ultimate spas and get planning for your overseas visit!
Ultimate spa 1: Ananda Spa, Tehri Garhwal, India
The Ananda Spa in the Himalayas is considered to be one of the most calming places in the world – which is not surprising, considering the region is the birthplace of yoga. The spa is housed in a converted former maharajah’s palace, and there is also an outdoor pavilion on location where guests are actively encouraged to participate in yoga and breathing sessions. The on-site wellness area has 13 treatment rooms and offers more than 70 types of treatment, including massage, scrubs and facials. The resort strives to combine Eastern and Western treatments, but there is a particular emphasis on Ayurvedic treatments, which were developed in the local region.
Ultimate spa 2: Grand Velas Hotel and Spa, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico
Grand Velas is massive five-star resort that overlooks the impressive turquoise waters of Bandera Bay on the Mexican Pacific Coast. In addition to over 160 suites, the resort contains a state-of-the-art spa and 20 elegant treatment rooms, which offer everything from shiatsu and reflexology to lymphatic therapies and hot stone massages. In total there are around 80 spa treatments available, including massage therapy, body scrubs, body wraps, facials and hand and feet care. However, the speciality at Grand Velas is their hydrotherapy ritual, the ultimate treatment for rest and relaxation! Meditation, yoga and Pilates classes are also held daily.
Ultimate spa 3: Gellert Baths, Budapest, Hungary
This spa is situated on a scenic stretch of the River Danube in Budapest, ‘the Paris of the East’. People are drawn to Budapest because of the abundance of hot springs in the city, including 123 thermal springs and 400 mineral ones, but for sheer opulence and grandeur you should definitely check out the Gellert Baths. The architecture of the spa is impressive and is almost oriental in design, featuring ceramic mosaic tiles, tinted glass, and ornate columns. There are 13 therapeutic pools on location, and all manner of services are available from physiotherapeutics and mud therapy to hydrotherapy and beauty treatments.
Ultimate spa 4: Sandy Lane, St James, Barbados
Pristine white sands and azure seas provide the backdrop to this venue. Sandy Lane is a an exclusive hotel and spa frequented by the rich and famous. Having enjoyed a refurbishment, Sandy Lane’s massive spa facility is now even more impressive. There are Pilates and yoga classes available here – but if you just prefer to be pampered, you can select treatments from a vast menu, which contains therapies inspired by the Caribbean, the Far East and Europe. While here, you should also check out the spa’s hydrotherapy suites, which have their own gardens, and sample ‘The Ritual’: a special package of a full day of pampering, including facials, wraps, and a hot stone massage.
Ultimate spa 5: Chiva-Som Health Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
The spa of Chiva-Som – which means ‘Haven of Life’ – is situated on the Gulf of Siam in the Royal Thai resort of Hua Hin, Asia’s first dedicated spa resort. Its classes and treatments reflect the Asian emphasis on spiritual and physical health. There are more than 50 treatments to choose from and Chiva-Som’s exclusivity means it regularly attracts famous celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Liz Hurley and Naomi Campbell. All the complementary therapies you can think of plus some you've probably never heard of!
Ultimate spa 6: Spa Village at Pangkor Laut Resort, Perak, Malaysia
Pangkor Laut is a private island resort in south-west Malaysia, comprises private wooden Malay-style chalets perched atop stilts, connected by wooden boardwalks over the green sea. Pangkor Laut creates an effect that is rustic and natural, yet uncompromisingly sophisticated and luxurious. Each roomy villa is adorned with warm wood interiors, uncluttered contemporary wood furnishings, king-size beds, and writing tables with Malaysian arts and textiles throughout. Spa and sea villas sit on stilts, with big picture windows that open out over the water. Lower-priced hill and garden villas are housed in double-story buildings, hill villas commanding the best sea views. Spa villas connect directly to the resort's full-service Spa Village, a seaside collection of landscaped buildings and pavilions where you can select a range of treatments developed from Malay, Chinese, and Indian natural beauty and health secrets. Categories of treatments include ‘Rejuvenation and Longevity’, ‘Beauty and Slimming’, and ‘Relaxation and Stress Reduction’. The house speciality is a traditional two-hour Malay treatment – which includes a flowered footbath, a Chinese foot massage, a Malay bath and body scrub, and an all-over body massage.
Ultimate spa 7: Banyan Tree, Mahe, Seychelles
This spa is in one of the most eye-catching locations on the planet, and will provide you with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. It’s set among tropical trees and plants, and the location also has a picturesque backdrop featuring granite mountains. ‘The Royal Banyan’ is the resort’s signature treatment, which involves a style of massage that has been used for centuries in the Royal Thai court. Other options here include a choice of seven body scrubs and six body wraps, as well as Thai, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Balinese massages. However, the ultimate treat at Banyan Tree is the seven-hour-long ‘Banyan Day’ package – which aims to pamper you from top to toe!
Ultimate spa 8: In:spa, Marrakech, Morocco
The In:spa venue in Marrakech has a magnificent backdrop containing palm trees and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, and is located in the exquisite Jnane Tamsna villa in the famous Palmerie area of Morocco. The spa here is a luxury detox retreat where you’ll have your toxins pummeled out by a regime of exercise, alternative therapies and a cleansing diet! While visiting, you’ll have the option of going on morning hikes and cycle rides and doing rooftop yoga, alongside getting some extensive massages and relaxation treatments.
Ultimate spa 9: Westin Trianon Palace, Versailles, France
Westin Trianon Palace is an impressive building, and was originally built by Louis XIV as a haven for his family. It was converted in 1910 into a hotel, and had a complete overhaul in 2001 – which means it’s now a top spa facility. The 30,000-square-foot on-site Spa Trianon has an arcaded swimming pool as well as a sauna, a steam room and exercise facilities, and the extensive range of spa treatments on offer includes facials, massages and seaweed wraps. Guests can also jog, horseback ride, play tennis or do archery in the palace gardens, and can drink and dine in the palace’s bar and three gourmet restaurants.
Ultimate spa 10: Villa d’Este, Lake Como, Italy
The Villa d’Este is a historic residence built in 1568 and is set on the banks of Lake Como. This spa is the ultimate place for serenity and seclusion, and can only be reached via an underground passageway. The spa combines light, color, and water to create a Zen-like environment for relaxation, and the treatments here are more traditional than experimental. There’s an excellent selection of hydrotherapies on offer, as well as face and body treatments such as deep-tissue massages and body firming. As an exclusive hotel, the Villa d’Este’s celebrity guests have included Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie.