Listopedia: the world’s best hotel spas
There’s something about a hotel spa – from the sense of calm that envelops you as you walk through the door to the ease of tired muscles as you sink into a Jacuzzi. Whether you want to stretch out on a massage table in the open air or under the sea, or steam in a traditional hammam, here’s our Listopedia of the world’s best spas.
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley
Nestled underneath an escarpment inside Wollemi National Park just beyond NSW’s traditional Blue Mountains locations, Wolgan Valley is the spot to sequester yourself away from the world and soak up the fresh bush air. Doze away the afternoon in the deep spa tubs before blissing out with a facial or spend your treatment listening to the sounds of the bush on a massage table out in the middle of the trees. This is one of the easiest spots to get in touch with nature.
The Barai, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, Thailand
Big, bold and beautiful is the best way to describe this spa. Housed in its own complex at the Hyatt Regency in Thailand’s resort town of Hua Hin, The Barai has not only treatment rooms, but its own spa suites. They start at 126 square metres in size and go up from there. More of a villa than a suite, each of the eight suites has his and hers walk in wardrobes and bathrooms, shower room with built in hammam steam, enormous spa bath, day beds, in room massage table for two and custom made emperor king beds. And then there’s the spa. Walk through a maze of rock gardens, contemplation pools and hidden passageways until you cross a small stream to reach your room. Book in for a night massage when the entire spa is lit up with hundreds of tea lights.
Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, South Africa
This luxury lodge in the heart of South Africa’s famous game reserve knows how to look after tired bodies. There’s nothing like six hours a day driving around on safari to have you calling out for a massage. The Londolozi spa is kept busy in the hours between morning and evening safari drives – reflexology, deep tissue, relaxation – they can do just about anything. And there aren’t too many places around the world where a soundtrack isn’t needed – the sounds of the wild are all around you. It’s hard to resist popping your head up from the massage table to peer at baboons hooting at the waterhole.
The Spa at The Omni Homestead Resort, Viriginia, US
Dating back to 1891, the sprawling Omni Homestead sits at the base of the Allegheny Mountains and makes the most of its natural assets. The sprawling Spa club house has access to the resort’s natural hot springs, which were apparently once used by Thomas Jefferson. Send your kids to play in the hotel’s two acre water park (also fed by the springs) while you experience The Geothermal Reflexology River Walk through the hot springs. Save time to sit by the outdoor fire pit after a soak. A Mineral Springs Mud Wrap will finish off the day nicely. Send your teens to the spa for a massage too!
PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
You won’t want to put your head face down for a massage in this spa. You’ll be too busy looking through the glass walls – this is the world’s first underwater spa. Yes that’s right, underwater. Walk down the stairs into PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi’s Lime Spa, where coral sways in the gentle current and fish swim past all day long while you’re pampered under the sea. More an aquarium than a spa, it’s certainly a new way to be pampered and is fresh from a revamp. Although like we said, you’ll be looking at the scenery outside.
Grand Tremezzo, Lake Como Italy
Italy’s Lake Como is the spot to see and be seen and that’s no different in the Grand Tremezzo’s brand new TSpa. Housed in its own 18th Century Villa, the spa’s piece de resistance is a sprawling relaxation area and infinity pool looking straight out at the lake. Hide away in the treatment rooms or Hammam for a few blissed out hours and then find a spot on the terrace to soak up the view. If you’re after a little privacy, book into one of the rofftop Junior Suites which have their own plunge pools on rooftop terraces.
Opium Spa, by Sodashi, The Siam Bangkok, Thailand
Escape the bustle of Bangkok at this opulent spa decked out in dramatic black and white. The entire bottom floor of The Siam hotel is given over to the spa, fitness area and private Muay Thai boxing ring. Make a beeline for the spa’s Bath House, which brings the Turkish hammam to Thailand, with plenty of marble, plunge pools, dry and steam saunas and a traditional dais designed for the Hammam soaping ritual.
Lembah Spa, Viceroy Bali, Indonesia
Ubud is well known as a health and wellbeing hotspot. How do you choose between the luxury hotels and five star spas? If you’re going on views alone, the Viceroy’s Lembah Spa wins hands down. Perched over the Petanu River Gorge, the spa’s cantilevered relaxation decks seem to soar above the world. Treatment rooms make the most of the view as well, with huge windows looking out to the lush landscape. Traditional Balinese therapies and Western treatments will keep you occupied for a few hours.
Away Spa, W Beijing Chang’an, China
The interior design of this five star spa is a little different to your traditional day spa. There are no soft drapes or beige colour schemes at the W Beijing Chang’an’s Away Spa. Bright, light and a little psychedelic, the spa is designed to resemble a beehive, with honeycomb-esque nooks and crannies. The Honey Sweet treatment is part of the theme, with a sweetly scented honey bomb body scrub followed by a honey nectar massage. You don’t go to a W hotel without checking out the pool – notorious for their cool designs, they’ve delivered again with LED projection lights all along the indoor swimming pool.