Wellness wonders - Soul Soothing Spas
What better way to holiday than to head off for a rejuvenating recharge?
A soothing holiday could be the ideal time to begin a quest for invigoration. A dedicated spa hotel is a perfect way to banish winter blues and boost body and mind.
Chablé Maroma - Mexico
From the outside, Chablé Maroma is a striking resort, set on a lesser-explored blindingly white Mayan Riviera beach. Thatched casitas are dotted amid the jungle, each with a turquoise-tiled private pool, and nearby oversized daybeds invite afternoon siestas. On the beach, azure waters meet silky sand and plates of ceviche matched with zesty margaritas give you a taste of Mexico.
But step into the spa and you’ll feel the atmospheric presence of Mayan culture. Enter past the sacred ceiba trees and delve into a world of ancient rituals. This is the place to bring a spa-loving partner to begin a wellness journey together. Detox in a pre-Hispanic temazcal (sauna), have a healing ceremony with a shaman and enjoy a Mayan-style massage with herb compresses. Afterwards, the aquamarine Caribbean Sea beckons – relax and re-tox on the beach with a mezcal cocktail.
"Add another level of Mexican culture by visiting nearby Mayan ruins Chichen Itza and Uxmal."
While you’re here, give your eating habits an overhaul. The Raw Bar serves octopus, oysters and ceviche; fresh juices are readily available at the Juice & Smoothie Bar, which come cold-pressed with just-picked mangoes, avocadoes and lime.
Lily of the Valle - Saint Tropez, France
Saint Tropez has long been known for its hedonistic pleasures, and now a new hotel aims to provide wellness-seekers and the partied-out glitterati with a seriously soothing place to replenish the soul. Located in the quiet, authentic village of La Croix-Valmer, Lily of the Valley has the advantage of being just 50 metres from Gigaro beach, considered to be one of the prettiest in the area.
Clever Phillipe Starck-designed interiors mean the modern hotel melds gloriously into its ﬂourishing gardens and rustic-luxe suites have views onto the sparkling Cote D’Azur. The ‘wellness village’ extends to an impressive 2,000 square metres, with a huge hammam, snow shower and on-site naturopaths. And although guests come here to enrol in wellness programmes for anything from quitting smoking, yoga ﬁtness or ‘new mum’ wellbeing, partaking of lightly blushed rosé and superb French food is thankfully encouraged.
"Overseen by talented chef Vincent Maillard, the food at Lily of the Valley is a highlight, with wholesome salad bars, fresh fish and Provencal flavours gracing the menu."
If you’re staying for a week, you may well want to venture out for forays around the Cote D’Azur. A driver can drop you in Saint Tropez where you can people-watch at Pampelonne Beach before a refreshing citron presse on the sunny Sénéquier café terrace.
Joali BEING, Maldives
As if coming to the Maldives wasn’t relaxing enough, Joali BEING has upped the ante when it comes to Indian Ocean wellness with its purpose-built wellness resort, set on its own island in the tropical Raa Atoll. Spa lovers will be in heaven with its gargantuan wellness dome Areka which you could happily lose yourself in for days with its hammam, herbology centre, Russian banya, Himalayan salt room, sound and vibration studio, watsu water centre among plenty of spaces to relax in front of perfectly framed jungle views or tranquil water gardens.
The focus here tends to be for those looking for a specific goal in mind, with its programs based around the four pillars of wellbeing – Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy and within this, your personal aim might be linked to sleep, weight loss, anti-ageing or digestion. With your own personally devised program, you feel in very good hands, backed up by tech-based diagnostics and one-to-one consultations to monitor results. On top of this, you can also indulge in the usual Maldivian island pleasures such as boat trips, snorkelling and sunbathing on the beach or simply relaxing in your soul-enhancing, architecturally-designed overwater villa.
“World-class facilities, exquisite natural beauty and on-site experts in their field means Joali BEING has the holy trinity of wellness.”
Be sure to make time to try out Joali BEING’s state of the art wellness technology including Intelligent Movement Analysis, a unique tech-based tool that analyses how you move and integrated health assessments that track your progress to see what works.
EUPHORIA RETREAT - GREECE
Just a short ﬂight away and you could see yourself checking in to appropriately named Euphoria Retreat – a spa hotel set on the remotely beautiful Peloponnese Peninsula. At this peaceful retreat, holistic programmes are based on the Greek philosophy of Ef Zin – the Mediterranean art of living well with guests’ goals ranging from weight loss and detox to mindfulness. Its stunning location built into the craggy Mount Taygetus means hikes and yoga amid citrus groves, ﬁr trees and archaeological ruins help with mental and physical wellbeing.
The cutting-edge spa is set over four ﬂoors, with an intimate, cocooning atmosphere. The meeting between holistic wellness and high-tech ensures great results – saunas have infrared to moderate the body’s temperature, a hydrotherapy pod aims to rebalance, purposely created spaces encourage meditation, and medical practitioners are on hand to tailor your spa journey. Succumb to Euphoria and feel your stresses slide away.
"Wellness highs don't get much better than at this Mediterranean idyll located on pine-clad Mount Taygetus."
Euphoria’s yoga program works particularly well for those seeking to top up their physical, spiritual and mental health. With a focus on breathing and postures, you will attain a feeling of balance. And with excursions into the pine-scented forests for outdoor movement meditation, you’ll be brimming with good health in no time.
SIX SENSES VANA, INDIA
Set in a sal forest and located near the foothills of the Himalayas, coming to Six Senses Vana means completely letting go, an action that’s encouraged by the symbolic donning of the loose, ‘kurta’ pyjamas and the crimson dot on your forehead marking the start of your holistic journey in India.
Programs can be undertaken with a minimum of five nights, and some require longer, for example the Ayurveda Panchakarma needs 21 days to complete the cleansing rituals to full potential. There are also programs to support detox, weight loss and good sleep habits and most days start with yoga class or meditation, followed fitness classes, chanting or a nature walk. There’s plenty of opportunity to talk to experts in their field plus evenings are a chance to listen to informative lectures. Food is a highlight here – with an emphasis on wholesome Indian cuisine, seasonal fruit and vegetables, herbal teas and juices.
“The place to come for a gentle, mindful overhaul, Six Senses Vana is backed by the principles of Ayurveda, yoga, Tibetan medicine and natural healing therapies, supported by gurus, healers and practitioners.”
The Tibetan healing program at Six Senses Vana is one of the most immersive and impressive we’ve seen. Soothe your soul with ancient Tibetan medicine including a Tibetan consultation and screening, meditation, treatments and natural healing therapies.
VELAA PRIVATE ISLAND - MALDIVES
As you descend towards Velaa, you’ll have the ﬁrst of many jaw-dropping moments as the turquoise-rimmed island shimmers into view. Meet your butler who will facilitate your every wish, so you can concentrate on your journey of rejuvenation. Your huge over-water villa will immediately de-stress with its endless ocean panorama, circular free-standing tub and sundeck with private pool. However, the spa is where the real reawakening occurs.
Thatched cabins hover over aquamarine waters and within is a sauna, steam and a snow room (the ﬁrst of its kind in the Maldives), plus a womb-like snooze pod. Although designed with relaxation in mind, the spa provides state-of-the-art therapies including DNA proﬁling. By unlocking your genetics, skilled professionals can analyse your lifestyle, creating goals that are unique to you. Become the best version of yourself.
"Created by a multimillionaire who never quite felt that his needs were met in the Maldives, Veela is a resort that very much focuses on the guest experience."
If you’re a foodie, you will be very well catered for at Velaa. From seafood barefoot dining, Japanese fare to Mediterranean gastronomy, the choice is of excellent quality. Pair your food with an astonishing selection of wine – stored in a three-floored wine cellar covering fine wines from around the world, or pick your bubbles from the Champagne Bar.
KAMALAYA - KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
Known as the jewel in the crown of Asian spa hotels, there’s a reason why devotees return again and again to Kamalaya, located on Koh Samui. Warm tropical hospitality welcomes you to a foliage-clad resort, perched above a white-sand beach overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. It’s a nurturing place which equally suits wellness-seekers to those looking for a spiritual, soul-searching break, or guests who’ve experienced an emotional life change.
The combination of luxurious villas, uplifting ocean views and top-level therapists, Ayurvedic doctors, acupuncturists, yogis and gurus is an intoxicating mix. Centred around a monk’s cave that once served as a place of meditation for Buddhists, the calm spa is the starting point for tailored wellness programmes which merge science and spirituality. Treatments leave you glowing and totally re-calibrated, and even better, a glorious Thai beach awaits.
"Set on a glorious Thai beach, Kamalaya successfully combines its tropical location with holistic wellness creating the perfect backdrop for rejuvenation."
Eastern and Western cuisine merges at Kamalaya, and if you wish, eating healthily is easily achieved with delicious freshly made dishes that steer clear of dairy, sugar, fat and additives. Wine is also available and not discouraged in the slightest.
SOOTHING SRI LANKA
Santani, near Kandy
Backed by the dramatic, mist-swirled Knuckles Mountain Range, the location for Santani, is wild, remote and encircled by nature. So far, so soothing, But Santani is more than just a picture-perfect panorama. The modern structure with self-contained cubes that jut out into the landscape is just the start of its contemporary and mind-opening approach to wellness. Meaning ‘harmony’ in Sanskrit, the focus is on personal goals, be that detox, weight loss, immunity or dealing with loss. You’ll be set on a specific Ayurveda program, with a specially chef-created menu for your stay, plus additions like massages, yoga, meditation or hikes in the surrounding nature. On-site coaches, healers and trauma experts help assist your personal journey.
We’d recommend a week here to allow plenty of time to see results and feel immersed in your surroundings. After this, we could plan an itinerary to see some more of this fascinating country, such as cave temples, monolith rock fortresses or elephant safaris. You may like to continue the theme of relaxation and rejuvenation – allow us to book you into a luxurious hotel or staffed villa on Sri Lanka’s tropical coastline.
"With Sri Lanka's immersive culture, a spa retreat at Santani allows you to work on yourself whilst enjoying the pleasures of this naturally beautiful country."
Come to Santani for a full overhaul, dietary included but also enjoy excursions to tea factories, birdwatching, bike rides or visits to the temple of Kandy to open up your senses to Sri Lanka’s absorbing culture.
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