Is there anything more indulgent than a spa day? We think not, especially considering the treatments we found at some of the world’s most relaxing hotels. For when the tension in your shoulders just isn’t releasing, venture to the Tuscan countryside for an outdoor soak, or to the Sonoran Desert for al fresco meditation sessions and plant-based tasting menus. From exfoliating salt rubs infused with lavender and rosemary to fitness programs that include smoothie breaks by the pool, these wellness retreats around the world promise to relax and reinvigorate you. So if your stress level isn’t abating and only the finest spa pampering will do, here are some glamorous treatments guaranteed to leave you feeling well cared for and fully rested.
Monteverdi Hotel and Spa, Italy
You’ll be a changed person after indulging in the Full Monteverdi, the Tuscan hotel’s 120-minute signature treatment. For €290 (about $330), you’ll get an exfoliating salt scrub – enriched with lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, and sweet orange – and ample time to soak in an outdoor tub overlooking the grand Val d’Orcia. A revitalizing massage will finish it off, after which we highly recommend a soak in their inviting serenity pools.
Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Mexico
At this ritzy Auberge resort in Cabo San Lucas, you can have your beach and bliss out to it, too, with a spicy sounding Cabaña Lime massage. For $165, you’ll receive a 90-minute open-air massage that mimics the ocean’s rhythm, complete with a compress of lime. You’ll find the use of natural, local ingredients common in spa treatments here – think of it as one more way to truly and authentically experience your surroundings.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Puerto Rico
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico is just the place to unwind, preferably with a chilled margarita. While you’re not imbibing, spring for the two-hour Spa Botánico Ritual (price on request), which starts with a cool foot bath followed by a gentle soak in an outdoor stone tub. You’ll finish with a healing massage, prepared with a custom blend of dried and fresh botanicals.
The Golden Door, California
If you must choose just one of the many luxurious treatments at this resort in Escondido, California, the 90-minute Flower Shower Anti-Aging Massage is perfect. For $265, you’ll be “showered with petals,” with pure mists of neroli (orange oil) and rose that drift across your skin “like a fragrant whisper.” Let the rejuvenation continue with a stay at the Japanese-inspired resort, which boasts calming green space, fitness and yoga classes, and produce sourced from the on-property gardens.
Blackberry Farm, Tennessee
Need to clear your head? Then make like model Lily Aldridge and visit Blackberry Farm in bucolic Walland, Tennessee. The 50- or 80-minute Galvlati massage (price on request) features not one but two therapists who’ll work their magic to ease your mind and nix muscular tension. Once you’ve recharged, take a fast-paced hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Opt for Grounding Massage Ritual ($400) at Amangiri, an A-list approved retreat in Canyon Point, Utah, near scenic Lake Powell. The ever-opulent retreat is known for their Ayurvedic and South Asian-inspired spa treatments and the grounding massage specifically borrows from Tibetan healing practices. As a precursor to your treatment, center yourself with Amangiri’s Yoga on the Rocks, where you hike to a remote space for your practice, and spend some quality time soaking in the floating pavilion.
Yeotown, United Kingdom
Who wouldn’t want to visit the gorgeous hills of North Devon, England? Especially if you sign up for the eco-conscious retreat’s five-day total wellness program (starting at £1,950, or about $2,470), which consists of afternoon yoga, meditation, and plenty of core strengthening. The Meditation Station offers a respite from city life, while the Kitchen serves up healthful goodies like wasabi dip and fresh-pressed juices.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Set in a restored farmhouse in the hills of the Douro Valley, this Portugese spa is the place to go for a holistic approach to wellness, from forest bathing for the adventurous souls to a gorgeous indoor pool overlooking the garden for the by-the-book wellness advocates. Among the services offered is the three-hour Destress Ritual, which starts with a steam bath, followed by a full-body massage, a head massage, and then a hand and foot treatment.
Château Saint-Martin and Spa, France
This stylish Oekter hotel in the south of France, just a short ride from Nice, describes its signature 50- to 80-minute Haute Couture Rose Tango Treatment (€150 to €240, or about $170 to $270) as a “poly-sensory journey,” but if you ask us, it’s best described as bliss. This treatment is designed with one aim, and one aim only: to completely remodel your skin, with the help of rose oil, which has natural healing and anti-aging properties. The French Riviera spa, by La Prairie, has serene open-air treatment rooms for a semi-al-fresco wellness experience using only the finest botanical ingredients.
Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, Arizona
From Civana Wellness Resort & Spa’s meditation labyrinth to their daily yoga, meditation, and fitness programming, to the healing sound baths and astrological consultations, you will emerge from this Arizona retreat a completely new person. Their poolside smoothies and exceptional vegetable-centric menu by chef Scott Winegard will leave you feeling nourished and light, and you’ll be reticent to tear yourself from the spa, which fuses elements of water, fire, and earth to help guests find balance. Indulge in a 90-minute deep muscle relief massage ($240) – and finish it off with a luxe European-inspired aqua therapy circuit, or a quiet moment on the spa terrace as you watch the sun set behind Black Mountain.
Hoshinoya Bali, Indonesia
There are few places on this planet that achieve uncompromised serenity quite like the Hoshinoya Bali. For the ultimate rejuvenating morning, enjoy breakfast in their cafe gazebos, an entirely open-air steel treehouse suspended over the Balinese jungle. At their spa, the lush, green surroundings and Balinese spirituality collide – experience them to their fullest with a holistic full massage and treatment, which includes a body oil massage, facial, body scrub, body wrap, head massage, and flower bath.
Ystad Saltsjöbad, Sweden
Coziness, or mys as they’d say in Sweden, is an integral part of Swedish tradition – and that coziness is best found at the country’s exceptional spas. Ystad Saltsjöbad, in Sweden’s southern Skåne county, right on the Baltic Sea, takes hydrotherapy to the next level, with indoor baths, heated pools, and outdoor hot springs. Treat yourself to a hybrid hot stone-deep tissue massage and let the aqua therapy seal in the treatment.
Blue Lagoon Retreat Spa, Iceland
Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon harnesses the power of the rare volcanic earth to rejuvenate its guests. Book four hours at the Retreat Spa ($355) and you’ll get to experience the Blue Lagoon Ritual, which they describe as “an exhilarating cycle of wellbeing based on the Blue Lagoon’s trinity of natural wonders: silica, algae, and minerals.” The ritual takes place in a “spacious sanctuary of three interconnected chambers [where] you cover your body with the treasures of geothermal seawater, becoming one with the rejuvenating powers of the volcanic earth.” If you’re in such a relaxed state that you aren’t ready to leave, book a room at The Retreat Hotel, a chic, Icelandic refuge.
The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko, Japan
Newly open as of July 2020, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko is actually the first-ever Ritz-Carlton property to delve into the extremely healing world of Japanese onsens (or hot springs). The indoor and open-air onsens at Ritz-Carlton, Nikko source water from the mineral-rich Yumoto Onsen. While the onsens themselves can do wonders for the skin, those keen on Japanese skin care can also try the 60-minute Moist Pearl Facial ($182). Alternately, if you’re traveling with your partner, book a Spa Suite Retreat ($96), which allows you two access to the hotel’s private onsen, and follow it up with massages.
Andronis Concept Wellness Resort, Greece
Andronis Concept Wellness Resort may be in Santorini, one of Greece’s busiest islands for tourism, but you’ll never encounter crowds here – only restorative bliss and solitude. Perched on a hilltop, the wellness resort is actually one of the highest points in Santorini, removing guests from the bustle of the island and instead offering them a private infinity pool (in every suite) overlooking the water. While the sunsets here are restorative in their own right, Andronis Concept Wellness Resort also offers daily hiking, yoga, personal training, and other fitness classes, as well as nutritionist-rooted cooking classes that promote a Mediterranean diet. Their Kallos Spa is known for using CBD and Ila balms and oils to heal the body with all-natural ingredients.