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Begin the year refreshed and rejuvenated with a lavish spa getaway

Find your inner peace at one of these idyllic spa destinations and return home feeling refreshed and ready to take on the new year. | By Paul Oswell | January 6, 2023

Start 2023 on the right foot by indulging in a curated regimen of self-care and rejuvenation. Decadent treatments (and some well-deserved pampering) are the perfect way to recover from the holidays, and these world-class destinations are brimming with options. Here are our suggestions for your next spa getaway:

  • Reconnect in Cancun: Regain your natural life balance with oceanside yoga sessions

  • Be mindful in the Maldives: There’s nothing like an over-water spa on a tropical island to promote rest and relaxation

  • Find decadence in Dubai: Traditional hammams meet state-of-the-art beauty treatments in this glistening oasis

Cancun, Mexico

This popular vacation spot on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula has a well-earned reputation as a party capital. Beyond the tequila bars and beach clubs, though, Cancun’s sandy coastlines and the beautiful Caribbean Sea provide an inspiring backdrop for a tranquil spa getaway.

Soak up the invigorating winter sunshine as you begin your new year’s quest for holistic health at Waldorf Astoria Cancun. This gorgeous resort sits in a serene oceanside cove framed by verdant mangroves and lush tropical foliage. Your wellness journey can begin at 7 a.m. with shaman-lead sun salutations and a peaceful movement session. Tune into your body’s needs and your natural rhythms even more with on-site Connection and Balance workshops designed to cultivate inner peace and elevate mindfulness levels.

In homage to the surrounding area and respect for local culture, the resort incorporates indigenous traditions into its wellness offerings. At the Ixcacao Ancient Cacao Ceremony, for example, you can sample the drink of the gods and learn about health-giving benefits that have sustained people for thousands of years. Ceiba trees and locally sourced oils are also used for some of the holistic treatments at the indulgent Waldorf Astoria Spa.

Rangali Island, Maldives

Slip away to a tropical island for an exhilarating way to reset, escape daily pressures and transcend old habits. Tucked away in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives allow you to fully immerse yourself in nature and feel a glorious stirring of the senses.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is a twin-island resort that promotes wellness from the moment you arrive. If you’re traveling with children, then Rangali-Finolhu Island is the property’s family-oriented island, and home to the Spa Retreat. Healing and serenity are plentiful resources here, starting with oceanside hatha yoga classes, which focus on breathing and balance to stimulate self-awareness and inner calm.

Rangali Island is the hotel’s couples-only enclave, and the revitalizing over-water spa is one of its star amenities. A short bridge leads you across the lapping waves to four high-end treatment suites. The illuminating spa program is offered by expert therapists, who channel the crystal waters, essential oils and precious gemstones of the islands into their spa treatments. Glass cutouts in the floor below allow you to watch fish swim by as your stress melts away on the treatment table. Special Sunrise, High Noon and Sunset Surrender therapies have been designed to harvest the benefits of each time of day, with synchronized stages that evaporate stress. A dozen similarly thoughtful spa offerings cater to specific physical and spiritual needs using a myriad of all-natural practices.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Amid the gleaming architecture and sun-drenched marinas and beaches of Dubai is a destination focused on rejuvenation, whether that’s through a healthy bout of retail therapy or at any of its world-class spas.

Public steam rooms – known as hammams – have long been a custom in this part of the world, and revitalizing sessions are a regular part of self-care for many locals. Among the most decadent experiences in the city are the two private hammam rooms at Habtoor Palace Dubai, LXR Hotels & Resorts. The on-site wellness facility, Silk Spa, offers a one-hour hammam ritual beginning with a black soap application for exfoliation and a light steam. This is followed by a wrap with purifying ghassoul, a natural mineral clay that leaves skin feeling as smooth as satin. Silk Spa also has bamboo scrubs and a Turkish bath option that is similar to the hammam, but therapists use a mitt for a cleansing scrub and follow up with a foamy massage.

The resort's spa experts also specialize in hot stone massage, where warm, smoothed basalt rocks release a deep soothing heat that aids the absorption of therapeutic oils. Finally, a full range of facial treatments is available to brighten complexions, even out skin tones and hydrate and firm to restore your natural glow after the stresses of the holidays.

Take charge of your well-being this year with a spa getaway in one of these beautiful destinations. You’ll return home stress-free and invigorated and will begin the new year looking and feeling your very best.

Paul Oswell is an award-winning travel writer, and has been reporting from all seven continents for over twenty years. He is based in New Orleans and is the author of “The Bucket List North America: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small.”

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