Relax and recharge with a decadent spa getaway
Vacations are for indulging your senses and rejuvenating. From soaking in a Turkish bath to indulging in a warm stone massage, these restorative spa getaways will leave you feeling rested and relaxed. | By Paul Oswell | June 29, 2022 (Updated March 6, 2023)
Taking a vacation from your busy life is one thing, but if you want to go the extra mile to ensure serenity, a sense of re-energizing and time to reflect, then a spa getaway is the best way to spend time. From holistic, deep-tissue massage with organic oils, to mineral-enriched facials and beauty treatments, there’s nothing like a spa to completely refresh your outlook. So, get ready for some rest and relaxation, here are our suggestions for destination spas this summer:
Bathhouse balms: Soak up the regal ambiance in a traditional Turkish bath and reap the benefits of Istanbul’s centuries of traditions
Tantalizing tropics: Sink into a blissful state in the Seychelles, where exotic oils and warm-stone massages transport you to divine levels of serenity
Polynesian Paradise: Thousands of years of holistic rituals mean that the age-old treatments in Bora Bora are among the most replenishing in the world
Spas and bathhouses have been an integral part of Istanbul’s history and the Turkish lifestyle for 2,000 years. Turkish baths are renowned for their reinvigorating properties and can be found around the world. Here in Istanbul, though, the Turkish bath (or hammam) has been raised to an art form and the city has some of the most decadent bathhouses in Europe.
One of the most famous is the Hurrem Sultan Hammam, which, as the name suggests offers truly regal surroundings — the space was built for Hurrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. White marble, framed by elaborate gold and black coving results in striking treatment rooms that make for a transcendent experience. Try the Ab-i Hayat treatment: A traditional pouch application is followed by a full-body foam massage and allover clay mask. This is then followed by additional massages using aromatherapy and Judas tree oil before ending with a plate of fresh fruit to enjoy.
NUSPA is part of the exclusive Mars Athletic Club and is a thoroughly modern spa facility that employs ancient methods. The contemporary ambiance has calming black interiors and soft neon glows. Their spa services feature a diverse mix of Turkish and Asian massage techniques and beauty treatments that include options such as scented sea salt scrubs.
Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus has its own beautiful hammam, and you can book a treatment at the hotel’s Spa Soul and experience true relaxation in chic gray and black marble surroundings. The offerings follow historic Ottoman traditions, whether it’s a foam massage, a scrub or a full exfoliation treatment. The spa also has customized massage options, with Moroccan, Hawaiian, Thai and Balinese traditions all honored by the expert staff. Dead Sea salts, organic honeys and powdered alum crystals are all available to add to the unforgettable experience.
Escaping to an idyllic string of tropical islands in the Indian Ocean is a wonderful first step if you’re looking for a vacation filled with tranquility and time to reflect. The warmth of the climate, the serenity of the ocean lapping on golden sands, and the feeling of being transported to a kind of Eden are all vital elements for a thorough rejuvenation of body and soul.
Relaxation and indulgence can be found in droves at Mango House Seychelles, LXR Hotels & Resorts. This intimate, former family home of Milanese fashion photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri, has only 41 rooms, each of which includes a balcony. So, you can enjoy your solitude, along with some refreshing sea air and soothing views of the Bay of Blue Chickens (Anse Aux Poules Bleues). The property’s on-site Anpe spa (which is Creole for “at peace”) also overlooks the Indian ocean. The signature treatments here include the incredible Lavi Anpe, a full-body massage with banana oil and heated granite stones. Another stand-out for tired couples is the Moonlight Ritual, with an application of enzyme-enriched steam and desert sand massage table.
Bora Bora is an equally exotic destination for a wellness retreat that focuses on pampering and bliss. Polynesian wellness treatments date back some 5,000 years and are designed to heal physical and spiritual pains. The ancient Taurumi massage runs from head to feet and aims to create a deeper connection between two people, transferring the masseuse’s enthusiasm and positive energy to the guest.
The Hina Spa at Conrad Bora Bora Nui is an exceptional retreat and boasts sweeping island views from its idyllic vantage point atop the volcanic hills. You can see the turquoise ocean and hear the waves lapping against the white sands from the light and airy, Polynesian-themed treatment rooms. Signature treatments include Tahitian and Balinese massages, and the island’s natural bounty, including sea salt and vanilla, is incorporated into revitalizing body scrubs and wraps. Feel the stress melt away in the spa’s sauna and steam room. And let’s not forget all the amazing accommodation options and amenities designed to encourage further relaxation. From overwater villas with private infinity pools and hammocks to garden suites with shaded terraces and lagoon views, Conrad Bora Bora has it all.
Wherever your destination is, one thing is certain: Vacation time is precious, and an exclusive spa getaway guarantees that you return home with your stress lifted and your spirits revived.
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.”