Spa days are not like your regular days in any sense of the word. They can be relaxing, rejuvenating, refreshing or just down right fun. While most any spa day is good for the soul – why not try a luxury spa on for size. You may find that you enjoy relaxing in a place designed to make you feel both luxurious and fabulous all at the same time!
Enjoy my personal selection of the Top 10 Luxury Spas in the World. From Panama to Paris. So whether you are a hedonist or a purist there is something designed for you in mind!
Grand Velas Riviera Maya – The $15-million spa at Grand Velas Riveria Maya is the region’s largest spa, and it strives to embody cultural authenticity. Un-describable. That’s all I kept thinking, as I first viewed the hydrotherapy area that went on forever. For a moment, I felt sad, knowing no words could do it justice – just one more reason you have to visit yourself. I fell so in love with the clay room and the ice room that I could have stayed there indefinitely if not for the multiple hydrotherapy pools calling my name. Treatments blend the finest modern amenities with the best of ancient practices, and the products center around ingredients important to the Mayan culture. I was treated to the Bacal Massage, an authentic Mayan body treatment using corn, one of the Mayan’s most sacred plants. It uses a detoxifying honey exfoliation and an essential oil massage that utilizes Mayan corncobs for pressure. During my travels, I have had massages utilizing golf balls, bamboo, poultices and more, but the corncobs seem to hold something in them that was unspeakable. They seem to take on a life of their own and embody the Maya Culture themselves.
Aria Las Vegas – When you vacation, a typical person might go to the spa once. But in Vegas, that would be missing a lot. Each spa at the MGM Resorts has different aspects that make them supreme. The best personal spa suite I have ever encountered to make one feel special is at the spa at Aria Las Vegas, a MGM Resort. But then who wouldn’t feel like a VIP when your spa suite is roped off with a red velvet rope announcing to others the exclusivity of your cocoon for the day. Even if you do not opt to secure a spa suite for the day, you will still feel like a VIP as you relax in one of their opulent Zen zones. From the Shio Salt Room to the Ganbanyoku Heated Stone Beds, all can find a place to seek solace from their day here.
Westin Playa Bonita – I am so thankful to the Westin Playa Bonita in Panama for enlightening me to my love of a pediluvio. Their special Pediluvio Stream is where one massages their feet as they wade through shallow water with the pressure of the small smooth pebbles underneath. It is part of the star attraction at the Aquabella Spa, which is their hydrotherapy wellness circuit. If my husband had not been with me on this trip I do not think I would ever leave this area. You begin the circuit with the Raindance Rainmaker Experience Showers, then move on to the Vitality Pool. Afterwards, the cold plunge seals in the warmth to soothe your muscles. Also in this area you will find an Herbal Sauna for dry heat and the amazing Amethyst Crystal Steam Room. Do not forget to check out my secret spot – a small hidden bench area halfway through the pediluvio stream – for for reflection. After this experience retreat to your spa-like Renewal Suite and continue your adventure by viewing the nearby Panama Canal and BioMuseo!
Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles – Make yourself red carpet ready by indulging in a luxury spa experience at Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. This urban oasis in the heart of downtown is unparalleled when it comes to the red carpet treatment. This spa evokes classic Hollywood glamour throughout their 8,000 sq. ft. of luxurious Zen. Unwind in their co-ed Sanctuary, private men’s and women’s relaxation rooms or the eucalyptus steam rooms and cold plunge showers. The Spa also features a signature Couple’s Suite, a full-service hair salon and Spa Boutique. While there I opted for opulence and delighted in the Champagne and Shimmer Body Treatment. It was as if I had stepped into the life of a Hollywood star preparing for a gala evening. Champagne seeds and oils fight free radicals and soothe the complexion. A final dusting of 24-karat gold powder provides the ultimate indulgence and leaves you with a long-lasting luminance worthy of an Oscar.
Mandarin Oriental Atlanta – What makes this spa on the list this year is their newest spa treatment – The Year of the Fire Monkey. The Mandarin Oriental spa created this special treatment as a way to bring in the Chinese New Year on the best possible note — energized and revitalized, ready for the new year ahead. The treatment was carefully crafted to shed negative energy and awaken your natural defenses. This multi-dimensional treatment includes these highlights – a root ritual, a purifying chrysanthemum & detoxing Himalayan salt scrub, a pomelo water shower, and “singing bowls”. One will leave the treatment empowered to take on the year.
Ritz-Carlton Charlotte – One does not need to forget their love of Mother Earth during a luxury spa day. The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte is an LEED eco-friendly facility. This luxury spa will knock out your stress and refresh you with their Vitality Lounges including a eucalyptus steam room, a dry sauna and experience showers. Also not to be missed is the Zen-Inducing Aqua Lounge, which includes a pool, whirlpool and refreshments. I can’t wait to spend more time relaxing in the Aqua Lounge and enjoying the lovely view of Charlotte through floor to ceiling large windows. It is a lovely place to relax, reflect and refresh!
Brenners Park Hotel & Spa – This Germany destination sits within a luxurious spa town – Baden-Baden. Brenners Park Hotel & Spa enables one to not sacrifice luxury and style while trying to achieve maximum effectiveness. They have the largest variety of experts available including holistic, physiotherapists, nutritionists, dentistry, ophthalmologist, and preventative all within their luxurious walls. With the new Villa Stephanie, this now one of the best destination spas in the world. Villa Stephanie is an entire villa set in a park setting, where it sits on the grounds just behind the main hotel. It was created for those embarking on a true extended spa holiday and features 5 floors of lavish spa surroundings. This hotel is part of the famous Oetker Collection.
Le Bristol Paris – The Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie lives in Paris within the walls of one of the top hotels in the world – Le Bristol Paris. Like Brenner’s Park it is also a part of the Oetker Collection. Known internationally for dining through their restaurants like Michelin-starred 114 Faubourg at the Le Bristol Hotel, this hotel makes certain every part of their guest’s stay is perfection. Find most anything your spa visit requires from a Russian Banïya to a Kid’s Club. My day of cycling through the arrondissements of Paris had left me in need of a spa visit. Here one can refresh in their Eucalyptus steam room or head up to the roof where a lovely terrace is just off the side of the pool. The terrace was my personal retreat while there, since it uplifted me as it embodied me with the aroma of fresh rosemary from the rooftop garden.
St. Pancras Renaissance – I found the spa at the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel in London a Subterranean Sanctuary near this throbbing transportation hub. Here though I found something truly spectacular for the weary traveler. A spa on the lower level. Check-in was a calming experience itself with a cup of green tea and a magical mushroom-like growing hand towel. After my check-in, the spa attendant guided me to the changing area, which housed a locker with the most luxurious robe I have ever found. After changing, I flowed toward the relaxation room. This room was so relaxing, I feared I would drift off to sleep before the attendant called my name. Miraculously (even with jetlag & a late night trip through the chunnel via Eurostar), I was still awake when the attendant arrived to lead me down the dim hallway to my treatment room. Within the spa itself is a Victorian-tiled relaxation pool with hydro loungers, which creates a sophisticated and tranquil oasis. Perfect for reviving a traveler is the spa treatment called “Arrive and Revive.” The treatment journey starts with soothing and relieving sore muscles, softening the skin and boosting the circulation. With a choice of recipes from their Spicy Aromatic Scrub to a Black Soap Scrub, there is something for everyone.
Island Hotel Newport Beach – After an adventurous duffy boat excursion around Newport Beach Harbor and an indulging dinner at Executive Chef Marc Johnson’s Oak Grill, I found myself in need of a bit of recovery. The Travel Recovery Massage at The Spa at the Island Hotel Newport Beach is what one needs to unwind. The essential oil sequence results in both balance and rejuvenation. This chic coastal resort spa includes a relaxation lounge and a eucalyptus steam room for even more recovery time!