The Best Spas In The World Right Now

In an age where notifications reign supreme and self-care is confined to good intention, it’s time to bring the focus back to you, we've some of the most incredible spa experiences in the world right now...

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

by Harriet Charnock-Bates |

Whether you're looking for a high-energy escape to set your pulse racing or a beach-side retreat that requires minimal movement and a lotta chill-time,... we've got you covered with our round up of the best spa breaks across the globe that cater to every need. Now all you need is the flight ticket...

Best spa breaks to switch off your mind

Find inner-peace at these soulful spots...

Ananda in the Himalayas, India - Best for: Emotional clarity

Ananda in the Himalayas, India

Those seeking positive transformation can call off the search. High in the hills above Rishikesh - the very birthplace of yoga - Ananda promises to reacquaint you with the best version of yourself. Treatments are governed by Ayurvedic healing principles, moments of quiet contemplation are actively encouraged and upon arrival, clothes are switched for cotton kurta pyjamas. Whether you’re struggling with grief, reeling with existential despair or simply running low on serotonin, this other-worldly spiritual refuge will set you on the right path.

We say: Carefully-considered itineraries might feature yogic flame-gazing and therapeutic stretching alongside Shirodhara - a calming practice during which herbal oil is poured over the ‘third eye’ - and soul-soaring treks to the sacred Kunjapuri temple. The whole experience is life-affirming and truly extraordinary - words simply don’t do it justice.

Try this: The powerful Reiki Healing with Crystals unleashes trapped energy, bringing the mind, body and spirit back into balance, and inducing a long-lasting sense of stillness.

The Rebalance programme begins at £565 per person per night; anandaspa.com

Monastero Santa Rosa, Italy - Best for: Rest and recuperation

Monastero Santa Rosa, Italy

Cliffside sanctuary, Monastero Santa Rosa offers a welcome slice of calm away from the ever-increasing crowds of the Amalfi Coast. Marrying head-lolling views with exceptional food and a bill of impressive botanical treatments, this 17th-century former convent is a honeypot for headspace-seekers and foodies alike. Along with clay wraps aimed at fighting fatigue and stress-melting facials, the cool, cocooning spa offers two hour-long extravaganzas that relax the nervous system and restore the body’s natural biorhythms.

We say: Carved into the rock face, this candlelit spa truly takes tranquility to new heights. Centred around a labyrinth of vaulted thermal suites, it’s invitingly sleepy with a roster of Farmacia Santa Maria Novella immersions to untie emotional knots and send pent-up tension packing. The therapists here are gentle and intuitive; moving mountains to ensure you feel at ease from the very beginning. Pre-treatment, hop between the rock sauna and the aromatic showers, sipping fresh Sicilian lemon juice as you go, then afterwards, reflect on the loveliness of it all with a stroll around the lemon-lined gardens.

Try this: Massage for Relaxation and Peace - a rebalancing rub-down of sorts that combines warm, fragrant oil blends with the most mellowing of movements. You’ll emerge loose-limbed with a significantly clearer head.

Rooms from €400; monasterosantarosa.com

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand - Best for: calm amid the chaos

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, Thailand

Along the Chao Phraya River, just a short stroll from the all-hours buzz of Bangkok, this elegant institution exists as an inner-city Zen den for stressed-out souls. Guests in need of next-level respite can take the charming teak boat across the water to the atmospheric spa - framed by frangipani and scented with lemongrass - where mind-mellowing treatments await.

We say: So much more than somewhere to slip off to for a great facial or knot-softening massage - though that’s not to say those are off the menu – the spa ceremonies on offer draw on age-old methods to realign out-of-kilter bodies and stressed-out minds. Treatment rooms are spacious, softly lit and bordered by temple-style polished wooden panels, and there are peace-promising tai chi classes to join. Evenings come to a close at Terrace Rim Naam, where you’ll find inventive twists on authentic local dishes.

Try This: Performed atop a futon, the Traditional Thai treatment melds rhythmic acupressure with assisted stretching. Expect a few crunches and cracks, but the re-energising effects can be felt right away.

Rooms from 22,525 THB (approx £550); mandarinoriental.com/bangkok - Emma Stoddart

DOCTOR’S ORDERS

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Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany, best for: A full-blown health overhaul

Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany

Underpinned by the gruelling (yet eye-wateringly effective) Mayr method, Lanserhof Tegernsee leaves no stone unturned. The crack team of doctors are a force to be reckoned with - employing the latest in tech wizardry to address issues spanning arthritis to chronic digestive disorders - and there’s a brand spanking new sleep laboratory to get over-ticking brains in check. Stints here are no picnic but if you’re hell-bent on to hitting the reset button, this is the place to do it.

We say: A vision in larch wood and glass, this Bavarian medi marvel is entirely deserving of its stellar reputation. Following an exhaustive roster of tests, herbal compresses are administered to kick stagnant livers into action, colonics to sort out sluggish bowels, and then there’s reflexology, amino acid infusions and salt baths galore. When you’re not hooked up to electrodes, the dashing saltwater pool beckons, though the drastic diet switch-up - aimed at giving your gut a much-needed rest - may render you weary for the first few days. Regardless of your reason for checking in, you’ll leave feeling bright-eyed and buoyant, with a new-found respect for your insides.

Try this: In the 50-minute-long Detox Drainage treatment, a peppermint oil blend and slow, sweeping movements encourage the expulsion of toxins, supporting the body’s cleansing process.

A 7-night stay begins at 5,215 EUR inc. the LANS Med Basic Package and single occupancy in a double room; lanserhof.com/en

The Farm at San Benito, Philippines, best for: Specialist-led retreats

The Farm at San Benito, Philippines

Truly one of a kind, The Farm at San Benito dances to the beat of its own drum. Though the setting is lush and jungly and the feel wholeheartedly holistic, the medically-led retreats are not to be scoffed at. Programmes span cellular detoxification and heart health to chronic pain management, all under the guidance of a dedicated line-up of doctors.

We say: Stiff joints? Book a Tibetan steam session. Feeling bloated? Stomach-soothing Hara-Puri. Tension headache? Ear acupuncture. Yes, the offering is somewhat kooky but the results are mind-blowing. Whether you book in for a week or a month, you’ll depart feeling a great deal better than when you arrived.

Try this: Not for the faint-hearted, the Intravenous Ozone Therapy involves the extraction and re-introduction (once it has been ozonised) of blood to reinforce the immune system and keep inflammation at bay.

Rooms from U SD $342; thefarmatsanbenito.com - Harriet Charnock-Bates

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence at Bürgenstock Resort , Switzerland. Best for: High-tech healing

Bordered by meadows in the rolling Swiss Alps, this newly opened health hotspot prides itself on tackling all manner of maladies; whether physical, emotional or a combination of the two. Thorough full-body MOTs are paired with battery-recharging enterprises (like robing up for stress-annihilating spells in the hot-and-cold wellness space) and ultrasound scans come as standard. Tailored-to-you schedules might include pulmonary function tests and cryotherapy alongside and invigorating Susanne Kaufmann treatments, and thanks to its status as an accredited hospital, you can rest easy that you’re in incredibly safe hands.

We say: Heavy on natural materials (think locally excavated Alpine stone and timber from the surrounding forests) you’ll find yourself breathing more deeply from the get-go. The light-flooded bedrooms - each one with its own sizeable terrace - peer out over Lake Lucerne and there are some stellar hiking and biking trails right on the doorstep. In the spa itself, top-of-their-game specialists get to the root of your concerns before detailing how best to sort them. You’ll leave clutching a health dossier - to keep you on track post check-out - but by then the wheels for reaching peak wellbeing will already be well in motion.

Try this: Keen to up your game health-wise? The Waldhotel Check-Up is a brilliant starting point. Beginning with an in-depth consultation, it involves a series of clinical assessments - from energy metabolism tests to derm-driven skin screenings - to give you a clear idea of what you’re working with.

The three-day Waldhotel Check Up programme begins at CHF3931.20 per person (£2,987) inc. spa access and breakfast; buergenstock.ch/en - Siobhan Warwicker

Best spas for a weekend away

Close-at-hand hideaways that prove going the distance isn’t always necessary

Domaine des Etangs, France, Best for: Nurturing with a side of nature

Domaine des Etangs, France

The focal point is a biscuit-coloured château pasted straight from the pages of a storybook, beyond which lies a thick forest and glistening lakes aplenty. The aim, in keeping with such a blissful set up, is to reconnect with nature, so clear your head with a walk, a swim, some cycling or a spot of horse-riding, then have your body’s stresses banished at the spa where the estate’s earthy elements are translated into therapies that loosen, lighten and enliven in equal measure.

We say: The turreted corner suites give great views (up into the rafters and out over the grounds), Michelin-starred Dyades serves lunches worth lingering over and the thermal baths will leave you refreshed and radiant, but the peace-seeker’s pièce de résistance is the still-working moulin turned warren of treatment spaces. Before they drift shut, your eyes are drawn to the intricate works by botanical artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc, and your ears will appreciate the added bit of birdsong that drifts in on the breeze.

Try this: Down to Earth is 90 minutes of out-and-out heaven - re-energising weary limbs and relaxing well-worn back muscles by way of deep-tissue manipulation. A sip of just-picked verbena tea afterwards is just the ticket.

Rooms from €400; domainedesetangs.com - Richard MacKichan

Adare Manor, Ireland Best for: All-out indulgence

Adare Manor, Ireland

Just the place to play out your lady of the manor fantasies, Adare Manor is set within the rolling green of County Limerick. With a championship golf course, first-rate cuisine and can’t-do-enough-for-you staff, it ticks all the boxes for a brilliant getaway, but it’s the state-of-the-art spa - complete with a list of La Mer therapies - that really sets it apart. The treatments have been created to revitalise even the most exhausted of visitors, the light-drenched pool is obscenely elegant, and the sprawling grounds outside couldn’t be more ideal for a Sunday stroll.

We say: Despite a recent no-expenses-spared revamp, this Irish escape has held on to its sense of heritage. It’s undeniably grand (think wood-paneled walls, huge open fireplaces, and sweeping arches) without feeling the least bit stuffy, and the fine-dining menu in the Oak Room is a revelation. Hit the relax button and head to the spa for a made-to-measure La Mer facial or a Margaret Dabbs pedicure.

Try this: Designed to upgrade your shut-eye, pronto, the signature Sleep Sound treatment is perfect for those who have a hard time drifting off. Comprising some firm kneading and the application of cooling Irish Ogham stones, it’s sigh-inducingly soothing, and nodding off half way through is nigh on inevitable.

Rooms from £250; adaremanor.com - Laura Antonia Jordan

FIT FOR PURPOSE

High-energy escapes to set pulses racing

Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey Best for: Empowering, expert-led programmes

Six Senses Kaplankaya, Turkey

Presiding over a cypress-studded sweep of Aegean coast, an hour’s drive from Bodrum, this is a transformative destination spa with applause-worthy eco-credentials. There’s no denying the appeal of the vast, super-smart wellness space - home to a Holistic Anti-Ageing centre and 20 treatment rooms, it’s nothing short of sublime - but it’s the expert-directed fitness offering that sets this ocean-gazing triumph apart.

We say: Following a NASA-approved body composition evaluation, fitness-seeking guests adhere to meticulously mapped-out workout regimes, and though you can expect to be put through your paces, the strength-building sessions will see your confidence soar. Those keen to up their kitchen know-how can join raw cooking classes, there are heaps of sunbathing spots to slink off to between sessions, and the coastal walks with clued-in guides are an excellent way to explore. Treatments run the gamut from anxiety-eliminating Watsu massages to wrinkle-smoothing wonders, and the expert instructors will ensure you stay focused along the way.

Try this: The Signature Hammam will blast away any lingering cobwebs in a flash. It’s somewhat intense, but you’ll resurface from this purifying pursuit feeling brand new.

Best at Travel offer 5 nights at Six Senses Kaplankaya from £849pp based on two sharing a Seaview Ridge Villa on a B&B basis inc. return flights from London; bestattravel.co.uk - Carolyn Roberts

The Body Camp, Ibiza, Best for: A head-to-toe blitz

The Body Camp, Ibiza

Proving there’s more to the White Isle than out-and-out hedonism, The Body Camp offers an all-encompassing approach to wellbeing; focusing on boosting both your physical and mental health from the second you set foot in the no-expenses-spared super villa (hello ultra-sleek 15m pool). A dedicated troop of trainers, chefs and mind coaches, guide you towards your end goal, while arming you with strategies to help you keep up the good work once you’re back in Blighty. And although the days are jam-packed – with 6am starts and a strict workout schedule essential for making the most out of your time (and money) – the team here favour encouragement over barked orders, and flavourful plant-based spreads over starvation.

We say: This is your chance to switch off from the noise and focus on making positive changes. So, turn off your phone, throw yourself into every activity and shake off any inhibitions (something the team are known for aiding with their end-of-the-week choreographed dance video – yes, really). For those daunted by the prospect of a plant-based diet – don’t be. Not only is it cleansing, but it’s so damn delicious you’ll barely even notice (with the option to choose from two portion sizes). As for the E word (that’ll be exercise) - you needn’t be a lycra-swathed gym bunny to book on, but a base level of fitness helps with the intense cardio. Expect to sweat tons, but also laugh, relax and reset.

Try this: The plan’s ‘all-in- nature means you’ll experience a little bit of everything, from brutal boxing drills and silent hikes to Es Vedra, to hands-on cookery classes. Plus, every package includes a much-needed knot-relieving massage.

Retreats from £1,500 per week, inc. accommodation, all meals and fitness; the bodycamp.com

Best for: Targeted self-improvement, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

Balance is the key to feeling good, and you can consider body and mind masterfully looked after at this splashy, sun-drenched stay on Saadiyat Island’s beachfront. Along with unparalleled views across the Arabian Gulf (balmy ocean breeze included), time here grants you access to one of the most impressive workout spaces the world over: the latest outpost of Bodyism. Combining high-powered training sessions with tried and tested advice, the bespoke fitness programmes deliver serious results, and the carefully curated, nutritionist-approved menus are anything but bland.

We Say: The impeccably-designed fitness studio is home to an assembly of buff, bronzed trainers who’ll keep you motivated and recommend therapies to help further your progress (think toxin-busting body wraps and brightening, tightening cryo treatments). Elsewhere, there’s a tennis court - should you feel like unleashing your inner Serena - a triptych of pools for cooling off in and a traditional Arabic Rasul chamber. The high-minded Bodyism spirit is echoed throughout the hotel too – with a blanket ban on plastic bottles and straws, Jumeirah is committed to preserving the island’s sugary white sand dunes - a nesting site for critically endangered Hawksbill turtles.

Try this: The signature Bodyism Oracle takes into account your strength, sleep patterns and lifestyle so that a tailored-to-you fitness and nutrition prescription can be crafted. You’ll check out suitably leaner with off-the-chart energy levels.

Rooms from £275; jumeirah.com - Hannah Coates

SUNSHINE SAVIOURS

Beach lovers rejoice! These wellbeing wonders deliver serenity central

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives, best for: Languid lounging

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Maldives

Two words: spa island. Or rather, the most sprawling, spoiling spa set-up you’ve ever clapped eyes on; framed by swaying palms, peppered with thatched treatment villas and strung with hammocks that swing to and fro in the breeze. Whatever your pamper poison, you’re sure to find it here. The satisfyingly indulgent treatment line-up comes courtesy of Guerlain and should you feel like picking up the pace, there’s no shortage of wellness-led workout classes to choose from - each one unfolding in an equally postcard-worthy setting. If heaven doesn’t look exactly like this, we’re not sure we want in.

We say: After glimpsing baby reef sharks on the dhoni ride over to the spa, you’ll be greeted with a cold, Guerlain-spritzed towel and sensational views out across the atoll. Begin with a one-on-one yoga session led by Puneet Sharma – an Indian master with years of experience under his belt. He’ll stretch you into an array of tension-tackling poses while the ocean air does away with your worries. Once you’re feeling suitably Zen, mooch along to your treatment pavilion to let the world-class therapists do what they do best. Don’t leave without swinging by The Spa Bar for flavour-packed fare designed to bolster your wellbeing from the inside out.

Try this: Pep up a less-than-perky complexion with Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale Prestige Treatment. A flurry of speedy, sculpting massage strokes followed by the application of an ultra-concentrated serum leaves skin lifted and radiant.

Rooms from $ 2,000 USD (approx. £1,519); chevalblanc.com - Joely Walker

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia, best for: Self-care with a conscience

Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Six pancake-batter islands, set in an expanse of turquoise water, make up the remote paradise of Bawah Reserve – a sustainably-minded escape in Indonesia’s Anambas archipelago. Reachable only by seaplane, it has a natural beauty all of its own, and the design, though pleasingly earthy, is polished in all the right places. Generous bathrooms feature tubs beaten from recycled copper, spiral stairs wind through decks of reclaimed teak, while chairs crafted from flotsam blend seamlessly against a lush forest backdrop. With no TVs and minimal WiFi, there’s little choice but to unplug and unwind, whiling away the days snorkeling in the lagoons before kicking back in the serene bamboo-clad spa.

We say: Daily treatments are included in the room rate, which makes it all the easier to indulge with abandon. With an emphasis on the holistic rather than the aesthetic, the menu boasts enough varieties of massage to sample a different one every day of your trip (well, it would be rude not to, wouldn’t it?). From healing therapies to relieve mental strain, to achingly-intense reflexology, you’ll arrive home fully restored to factory settings.

Try this: When you’ve no more knots to knead, opt for the Yoga Facial. A contoured jade stone is swooshed over the skin, sculpting and de-puffing as it goes; chiseling in cheekbones you’d long given up on.

Scott Dunn offers 7 nights at Bawah Reserve Island from £3 ,9 80 per person, based on two adults on a full board basis inc. flights and transfers; scottdunn.com - Sophie Qureshi

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives, best for: cocooning castaway bliss

For a dose of health-boosting sunshine, this Maldivian gem is hard to beat, and its home to a spa like no other. Built carefully around a thriving reef, the underwater wellness set-up champions experiences that are as results-driven as they are relaxing. Elsewhere on the island, the airy bungalows - strung between the sand and the gin-clear water - are just right for retreating to when the heat of the day gets too much, and the crew at achingly cool UMBar shake martinis to rival the view.

We say: Book a treatment or two for the first day of your trip. There’s no better way to shake off the jet lag, and you’ll be wanting to venture back for round two. As well as skin-sculpting facials courtesy of celebrity face-shaper, Teresa Tarmey, guests can pick from gloss-boosting hair masques, coconut body scrubs and soothing wraps for sun-scorched skin.

Try this: Comprising a vigorous, circulation-boosting massage, lymphatic drainage and a blast with a cooling cryotherapy wand, The Teresa Tarmey Signature Facial renders skin enviably peachy-plump.

Caribtours offers 7 nights at Huvafen Fushi from £3,999pp sharing a Beach Bungalow with Plunge Pool on a half board basis, inc. return flights and transfers; caribtours.co.uk - Joely Walker

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