Some holidays are adventure-filled extravaganzas, where you investigate new cities and explore new horizons.
And some are… not. There is a season for everything, and though sometimes an action-packed itinerary is exciting, there’s also many scenarios in which what you really, really need on your vacation is the chance to unwind, relax and do absolutely nothing at some heavenly spa.
Here are a few of our favourites around the world to inspire you for the next time you’re in need of some truly relaxing time off.
Amangiri, the US
The Aman chain is famous for its other-worldly architecture and top-notch spas, and its outpost in the middle of the Utah-Arizona desert is one of its best. Here, amid the red canyons and lilac sunsets, is a location for true rest and relaxation.
Book into the award-winning spa, go for a dip in one of the hotel’s outdoor pools or simply take a seat on your balcony and gaze out upon the meditative landscape. Just don’t be surprised if, while grazing at the hotel’s restaurant, you spot a familiar face. Amangiri has become a bit of a celeb hotspot, with everyone from Rosie Huntington-Whiteley to Emily Ratajkowski checking in.
Cliveden House, the UK
Where did Meghan Markle spend the night before her royal wedding? At Cliveden, a five-star hotel and spa nestled in the Windsor countryside just outside of London. Originally the palatial abode of the Astor family, the manor house has since been turned into a 47-room hotel but has retained all of the building’s historic charm and cosiness.
Staying here is less like checking into a hotel and more like being the guest at a very posh, very welcoming country house. If that country house had a luxury spa, where you can enjoy full body-scrubs and mud wraps before sinking into their indoor heated pool. Heaven.
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Sao Lourenco do Barrocal, Portugal
When it comes to Portugal destinations, the wine region of Monsaraz is still relatively under appreciated. Which only means that visitors planning on heading to the stunning countryside in the near future will have the opportunity to experience it before the tourist crowds coming rushing in.
If you’re planning a trip, might we suggest booking into the farmhouse hotel Sao Lourenco do Barrocal? Comprising rooms and suites designed in the traditional pastoral Portugese style, the hotel is a picture of unstudied excellence, with a stellar spa run by cult Austrian beauty brand Susanne Kaufman to boot. (We recommend a soak in the Japanese-style Cedar hot tub.) If you need any more convincing, the hotel’s farm-style buffet breakfast has got to be one of the best on offer at any hotel around the world.
Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco
The air is heavy with spices in orange blossom and gardenia at the Royal Mansour Marrakech spa, which is a good indication of what you can expect from the treatments. Inside a traditional Moorish garden, the spa boasts two traditional hammams and as well as a host of other treatments, including pedicures from Bastien Gonzalez, the world’s most renowned nail technician. This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Borgo Egnazia, Italy
Puglia has become one of Italy’s most popular destinations of late, and it’s not hard to see why. The jagged coast line and glittering azure beaches has everyone snap-happy on Instagram.
If you head to Borgo Egnazia, though, where each hotel room is mini villa of its own, you might never even make it to the ocean. That’s how good its spa is, with its ode to wholistic wellness courtesy of meditation, crystal sound baths and energy healing. Get ready to unwind.
It’s one of the most famous spas in the world, famous for changing the lives of the guests lucky enough to secure a room. Here, in the surrounds of the lush Thai Malay peninsula, Chiva-Som offers total life overhaul, starting with massage and beauty treatments and moving into nutrition, exercise, lymphatic drainage, meditation and more.
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Reposting @condenasttraveller: ⠀ …⠀ "Chiva-Som is the undisputed grande dame of spas. And after a full-on redesign, the wellness institution is better than ever, with an amped-up zen atmosphere, a fresh fitness centre and exceptionally good food. Read more in the Spa Guide, on sale with the March 2019 issue at the link in bio. @chivasomresort @healingholidays"
COMO Shambhala, Bali
Like Aman, COMO has become a bit of a byword for luxury in the hotel spa business. There are many COMOs in the world, including one location in Perth, but it’s the COMO Shambala in Bali that wins a spot on this list. That’s because it’s tranquil spa has become the destination for a full-service wellness overhaul.
Before checking in guests take part in a consultation to determine the problem areas requiring attention. From there, therapists use Ayurvedic teachings to treat guests, providing everything from hydrotherapy to Balinese healing.
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Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Thanks to Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo has become something of a tourist destination, with many flocking to the bar for one of the hotel’s signature cocktails. Despite this, the Mandarin Oriental never feels truly crowded or busy, thanks in part to its location nestled high in the sky on the top floors of a skyscraper, and its decor of pistachio-hued silk wallpaper and carpets.
You can also credit the hotel’s superb spa in crafting this atmosphere, too. All of the Mandarin Oriental’s trademark high end treatments are there, but given a Japanese spin. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the spa’s stellar facilities, too, which include a crystal amethyst steam room, plunge pools and a dry sauna with a view of the surrounding city that is second to none.