Wellness wonders - Soul Soothing Spas
What better way to start 2020 than to head off for a rejuvenating recharge?
The start of a new decade could be the perfect time to begin a quest for invigoration. A dedicated spa hotel is the 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.
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.
ANANDA IN THE HIMALAYAS - INDIA
Along with its lofty location in the foothills of the Himalayas, restored Maharaja’s palace Ananda has sky-high accolades, including a Conde Nast Traveller award as the number one destination spa in the world. Guests travel from afar to experience this hallowed retreat, cocooned above Rishikesh, known as the birthplace of yoga. Views pan over the Ganges, and the surrounding sal forests provide the cleanest air you’ll ever breathe.
Be greeted by warm smiles and white kurta pyjamas, which replace Western clothing, and a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor will analyse your goals before embarking on an immersive programme. Most seek spiritual perspective through the balance of holistic therapy by a raft of gurus, yogis and healers and everyone leaves feeling as light as the clouds that caress the Himalayas.
"Start a journey of wellness at Ananda in the Himalayas surrounded by health experts at the top of their field."
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.
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The Spirit Of Southern Spain
Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Andalucia on this privately guided tour that combines the Spanish capital with the World Heritage cities of Toledo, Córdoba, Granada and Seville.
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