Whether you opt for hydrotherapy, massage, aromatherapy, or curative treatments, the spa experience is designed to promote relaxation, balance, and well-being. Discover these luxurious locales from around the world and see how environment and atmosphere can be combined to create an entirely unique healing experience.
1. Ayung Spa - Gianyar, Bali
When people think about spas, they often think of the azure water and luxurious beach houses of Bali, but the Ayung Spa at the Ubud Hanging Garden Hotel and Resort takes the spa concept deep into the heart of the country. Located in the jungle rainforest, within sight of volcanoes and rice terraces, Ayung reveals a lusher side of this country's beauty.
Ayung Spa - Gianyar, Bali — Photo courtesy of Ubud Hanging Gardens Luxury Hotel & Resort
Committed to harnessing the natural health effects found in the local environment, Ayung take a holistic approach to well-being. Ayung boasts state-of-the-art facilities, but perhaps the best way to consider this paradise is from the edge of one of Ubud's infinity pools.
2. Six Senses Spa - Paris, France
From a traditional experience to the avant-garde, this luxury spa is part of the Six Senses brand which has locations across Europe and Asia. The 2,700 square foot Paris, France facility is especially notable for its treatment "cocoons." Designed by French architect Pierre David, the space features six banded oakwood pods (two double and four single) in which visitors can experience signature treatments.
With an eye to the best use of light and space, Six Senses is designed for maximum tranquility, but unique features like the real-time digital projection of the Paris skyline never let you forget you're in the City of Lights.
3. Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa - Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Located just 20 minutes from Iceland's Keflavik airport and 40 minutes from the Reykjavik city center, the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa is a marvel of human ingenuity and the natural world. The spa consists of human-made pools filled with geothermal waters from the hot springs created by volcanic action on the island. The water–over 1.5 million gallons of it–is renewed every 40 hours, which means that cleansing additives like Chlorine are not needed, and is rumored to have curative powers.
The stark contrast between the icy jagged rock environment and the steaming blue pools give this location an other-worldly feel. The Blue Lagoon has been recognized with the Blue Flag accreditation for communities that manage their water environment in a sustainable way.
4. Aspara Spa - Malang, Indonesia
Located in the Tugu Hotel in Malang, Indonesia, the Aspara Spa is named after the Aspara dancers who were the dancers of gods and kings sent from Nirvana, according to Javanese legend. Adding to the sense of ancient mystery, the hotel itself is home to a vast collection of local antiques.
Malang is known as one of Indonesia's most beautiful cities, with a rich colonial past, and it is the starting point for travelers on their way to Mount Bromo.
5. LIME Spa - North Male Atoll, Maldives
With opulent bungalows on stretches of private white sand beaches, pristine water, world-class cuisine, and adventures tailored to your every whim, Huvanfen Fushi, located in the Maldives, is the embodiment of absolute luxury. The facilities at the resort's LIME Spa – the world's first with underwater massage rooms – are no exception, offering a truly other-worldly experience.
At LIME Spa, guests are invited into submarine treatment rooms decorated to echo the peace and tranquility found under the sea while outside the glass picture windows, fish swim by.
6. Aman Spa - Canyon Point, United States
Located on 600 acres in a serene and remote valley near Canyon Point, Utah, Amangiri ("peaceful mountain") lives up to its name. Designed using natural materials, hues and textures to blend into the landscape, the Amangiri Resort grounds suggest a timelessness that begs relaxation.
With their dining area, cellar, living room, library and gallery, Amangiri is a full-service facility with a focus on the creative spirit. The 25,000 square foot Aman Spa is a complex of water, stone and light with a variety of therapies available in the steam rooms, sauna and plunge pools – a true oasis in the desert.
7. Jigokudani Monkey Park Spa - Yamanouchi, Japan
"Jigokudani" means "Hell's valley", a name that reflects the otherworldly landscape in the frigid Yokoyu River Valley in Shimotakai District, Japan. Part of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, Jigokudani is at an elevation of nearly 2,800 feet, and is located down a narrow road. Although getting there might be tricky, it's worth it for a glimpse of this unique environment which includes snowy peaks and steaming waters caused by nearby volcanic activity.
If the landscape doesn't wow you, the monkeys will. This outdoor spa is famous for its large population of Japanese Macaques, also known as Snow Monkeys, that come out of the surrounding forests in the day times for a dip in the warm waters.
8. Vythiri Resort - Wayanad, India
This 150 acre eco-friendly resort is located deep within the forests of Wayanad District in North Kerala, India. Wayanad, which is in the Nilagiri Biosphere, is a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, and is the most species-rich region in peninsular India with an estimated 80% of the flowering plant species of the entire mountain range.
This spectacular region is best explored by foot, and what better way to rest after a day exploring than to bed down in your own private treehouse? Vythiri's luxury accommodations–in addition to a selection of cottages, the resort also has four treehouses–were built by indigenous workers with local materials.