For the ultimate feel-good holiday there’s no better escape than a spa break. Make it a super-spa and you’re on to a winner.
But what constitutes a hotel super-spa? That’s all down to the person ready to de-robe into a white gown and spa slippers, i.e. you… Some have jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art facilities that warrant their own Instagram account, others are more like holistic havens with therapists that deserve medals for their transformative powers.
Whatever your preference, find your super-spa and you’ll probably leave feeling like a more well-rested, improved version of the person who checked in. From the Baz Luhrmann-styled technicolour spa fantasy, to ancient Roman Bath ceremonies with silent handmaidens, these are our pick of the most luxurious places in the world to be pampered.
Say hello to the spas worth flying to…
Yes, you’ll spend a lot of your time in gown and slippers, but what about the remainder of your restorative stay? Here’s what to wear to a super-spa.
Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco
This spa has a separate entrance to the rest of the grand hotel and it’s truly deserving. The entrance via the Moorish citrus garden sets the tone for the three floors of spa decadence ahead. Designed in typical Moorish style, the Instagramable cut-out iron walls look like white lace and the lobby is a cavernous glass atrium that’s reminiscent of a giant bird’s cage. With a whopping 2500sqm, you can expect 10 treatment rooms, three private spa suites (Beauty, Water and Wellbeing), two hammams, Watsu pool, sauna, gym and hair salon.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: The Royal Mansour Signature Hammam (1600 MAD for 75 minutes). A signature hammam exploring three iconic Moroccan regions which you can choose from according to your mood and scent favourites.
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland
It might be set in a traditional, Alpine James Bond-style backdrop but the inside of the Chedi Andermatt’s hotel mega-spa is distinctly Asian-inspired. Think clean lines, glass rooftops and floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the Alpine scenery but make you feel oh-so-Zen. As well as 10 deluxe spa suites, you’ll find a myriad of luxury spa experiences including Tibetan relaxation lounge, bio and Finnish saunas, scented steam bath, outdoor pool, hot and cold plunge pools, hammam and flower bath. It’s worth checking out the curated menu of Far Eastern healing treatments, like The Chedi Chakra Balance Massage using ancient techniques.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: The Chedi Alpine Massage (300 CHF for 90 minutes). A bespoke, full body massage that makes the most of the spa’s Swiss Alps setting.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Bali
A jungle paradise hotel that takes its traditional Balinese heritage very seriously. If you want to be at one with nature, immerse yourself in the setting of the Ayung river which runs through the spa’s manicured gardens, or hang upside down doing antigravity yoga in the middle of a paddy field. From traditional healing sessions by a ‘Balian’ in their home, to signature Riverstone Bathing Rituals, Bali’s rich culture runs throughout the treatment list. Don’t miss the Sacred Nap – cocooned in the tranquillity of the Sayan Valley, you’re soothed into an ‘air nap’ as you’re suspended from the ceiling of the bamboo Dharma Shanti yoga structure in an aerial silk hammock.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: Balinese Massage (1700000 IDR for 60 minutes). Experience the unique techniques of traditional Balinese massage passed down through the generations with the ultimate al fresco Bali backdrop.
Faena Hotel Miami Beach, Florida
If you want your spa experience to be in uber-technicolour, check in to Faena’s Tierra Santa Healing House, which is packed with South American vibrancy. With striking artwork from Juan Gatti and Damien Hirst, it’s like spa-meets-gallery – the hotel’s creative interior design is by Catherine Martin and her husband, Baz Luhrmann so the spa is every bit as fantastical as you’d expect. Inside the 11-room spa sanctuary, you’ll find unique shaman-developed body healing rituals and treatments along with one of the largest hammams on the East Coast.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: Tree of Life Vibrations (400 USD for 110 minutes). Treating your body like a symbolic ‘tree of life’, this nature-inspired therapy draws on ancient healing traditions using sacred oils, hot stones and sound therapy.
Set high on the 33rd floor of a glass tower, the Aman Spa is a like a light-filled oasis in the Tokyo skyline. Set over two floors and combining a clean-line Japanese aesthetic with contemporary Asian design, it’s every minimalist’s spa dream. With panoramic city views, the 30-metre black granite pool creates the illusion that you’re floating in the clouds as you swim. You’ll also find large Japanese-style hot baths and steam rooms, dedicated yoga and Pilates studios, and modernist treatment rooms offering ancient healing arts, like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: Aman Tokyo Signature Journey (150 minutes). Inspired by the 16th-century tea ceremony, this signature treatment focuses on reconnection with a full body scrub and massage that combines Shiatsu and Western massage techniques.
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia
Not your average hotel spa, Vair Spa curates experiences like six-day Happiness Breaks with personalised programs to reconnect with yourself. An ultra-serene spa experience in picturesque Puglia, every corner of Vair has been designed to elevate the mind, body, and soul on the cliffs of the Adriatic Sea. With cream sandstone walls and floors throughout, barefoot therapists in Grecian gowns guide you through the labyrinth of cocooning wellness spaces, from the Roman baths and indoor pool, to the infrared sauna and meditation room.
THE SIGNATURE TREATMENT: Roman Thermal Baths: The Energy of Water (235 EUR for 120 minutes/410 EUR per couple). Just like the classical Roman tradition, you’re guided by a silent ‘ancella’ (handmaiden) through the hot and cold water of the Roman Baths, followed by a pure salt scrub and washing ritual on stone beds.