Unique spa treatments to try around the world

“Spa-cations”: The New Normal – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

As the world continues to recover from more than a year of confinement, relaxing and rejuvenating getaways will be high on most travelers’ wish lists. Besides going for pampering stays in exotic places, why not make your next trip a journey of well-being and healing with a unique experience of getting back to nature?

Here are a few places around the world offering elemental (earth, water, fire and wood) based spa-cations that will refresh, revitalize, and get you back in the mood for some international travel – whenever you feel like you are at home. comfortable to go back.

Huvafen Fushi – Maldives

Underwater wellness at Huvafen Fushi, MaldivesUnderwater wellness at Huvafen Fushi, Maldives – Image courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Topping the list in unique spa venues is the Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives. The Huvafen is home to the world’s first and only underwater spa, where reef-facing treatment rooms are located 30 feet below the sea. The therapists here have all been trained with renowned massage expert Beata Aleksandrowicz, designer. of the Pure Massage Spa training method.

Overwater bungalows and lodges with plunge pools ensure you drift into another world, and the secluded hideaway on North Male Atoll is as romantic as it gets.

Elite Springs Villas – Anxi, China

Find your inner Zen at Elite Springs VillasFind Your Inner Zen at Elite Springs Villas – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Hot springs have long been prized for their healing properties, and a good hot bath will make even the most hardened of traditional wellness skeptics believe. In Anxi, China, Elite Springs Villas offer private luxury villas each with their own spa pool.

Thermal mineral water extracted here from the mountains is renowned for relieving rheumatism and arthritis, as well as hydrating the skin and delaying aging. The beautiful South Chinese tea terraces provide a backdrop and serve to enhance this Zen-like retreat.

137 Pillars Suites – Bangkok, Thailand

Hot stone magic, 137 pillarsHot Stone Magic, 137 Pillars – Image courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

For a novel treatment using the element of fire, 137 Pillars Suites in Bangkok, Thailand offers a hot stone massage using heated volcanic stones placed on trigger points to penetrate muscles and relieve tension. At the chic property’s Nitra Serenity Center, you can also opt for traditional Thai massage sessions, Reiki treatments, herbal compresses, and even an Ayurvedic Indian head massage.

Plus, you can float after your session in one of the hotel’s two infinity pools, with suite guests having access to a private rooftop pool.

Tanjong Jara Resort – Malaysia

Heated sand treatments, Tanjong JayaHeated Sand Treatments, Tanjong Jaya – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Another interesting hot treatment is the heated sand therapy “tuam pasir” offered by Tanjong Jara Resort in Malaysia. The hot sand is combined with fenugreek and black seeds, heated in a frying pan and then put in a cotton bag, which is then used for pressure massage. This treatment is known for its therapeutic effect on joint pain and inflammation.

An added bonus here is the magnificent resort, built to resemble a 17th-century Malay palace and set against a pristine beach, tropical jungle, and the South China Sea.

Sankara Hotel – Yakushima, Japan

Relaxation on Yakushima IslandRelaxing on Yakushima Island – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

For wood-based treatments, try the Sankara Hotel in Japan. The resort is located on Yakushima Island, famous for its 7,000-year-old Jomon sugi cedar, believed to hold magical healing powers. Old cryptomeria cedars here contain more cedrol (a musky terpene found in evergreen essential oil) than normal cedars, and the oils are used for healthy sleep and to reduce stress and anxiety.

Some spa treatments here at Sankara Sana Spa even include hiking packages to accompany treatments that include salt baths and other delicacies. The villas here are built with dark cedar wood, and the forests of Yakushima are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for their natural beauty.

Baros Maldives

Wood-based treatments, Baros MaldivesWood-based treatments, Baros Maldives – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Baros Maldives is also worth a visit for the “wood” treatments. Located on a small private island, the dazzling resort’s Serenity Spa offers a TheraNaka East African Wood Massage, where small blocks of citrus-infused shea butter are massaged / melted into the patient, while that rhythmic patterns of wooden musical instruments accompany acupressure, resulting in a soothing and restorative care for a tired body.

Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary – Neyphu Valley, Bhutan

High altitude herbs at Bhutan Spirit SanctuaryHigh altitude grasses at Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary – Photo courtesy of Small Luxury Hotels of the World

For an earth-based treatment, why not head to the Himalayas and the Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary at high altitude? This refuge in Bhutan’s Neyphu Valley is built to resemble a traditional Bhutanese dzong fortress. While you are here you can have a private consultation with a traditional medicine doctor (included in your room) and then enjoy a spa treatment using some of the Sanctuary’s collection of over 100 traditional high altitude herbs. . The staff will even offer you a walk in the herbal garden to describe all the healing properties of the plants you engage with.

Wherever you choose to go and whatever type of spa treatment you choose, remember that the journey itself is just as important as the destination, and as the wise Chinese philosopher Lao commented. Tzu, “The journey of a thousand kilometers begins with one step. . “

And, of course, make sure your landing point and recovery is just as enjoyable, if not much better.

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