Laurie Brookins
Jul 2020

Escapism has evolved beyond thoughts of luxury alone. These days we’re also seeking experiences that feel authentic, and among upscale spa resorts, that translates to treatments that might include relaxing in a heated mineral spring, soaking in a bath filled with fragrant rose petals, or being slathered head to toe in luscious chocolate. For the ultimate in pampering, here’s a look at five chic locales that combine posh settings with spa treatments that make the most of local resources.

Image courtesy of Palmaïa

Palmaïa—The House of Aïa
Playa del Carmen, Mexico 
Less than an hour’s drive from Cancun International Airport, Palmaïa—The House of Aïa is a sustainable wellness resort located at the end of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Palmaïa is perfect if you’re seeking an eco-friendly beachfront property that also embraces a vegan lifestyle, while the resort’s Atlantis spa highlights traditional Mexican healing techniques. Treatments include the chaya and verbena body polish: Both found in the area, chaya is native to the Yucatán Peninsula and offers regenerative benefits, while the citrus notes of verbena leave skin radiant while reducing inflammation.

Image courtesy of Ojo Santa Fe

Ojo Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Just 15 minutes from Santa Fe Regional Airport, Ojo is situated on 70 desert acres featuring natural hot springs, which have been sought after for their healing properties since at least the 15th century. The oasis-like Ojo offers a variety of treatments rooted in the healing waters found throughout the resort, from the outdoor ojito private soak, a solo experience in which a guest can enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape while immersed in a magnesium-rich soak, to the spring-fed repose pools, gently heated at different temperatures for a variety of thermal experiences that can eliminate toxins, relax muscles and reduce stress.

Image courtesy of Jade Mountain

Jade Mountain
Saint Lucia
Located 18 miles from Hewanorra International Airport, Jade Mountain draws raves for its 24 “sanctuary” suites that include infinity pools and pristine views of Saint Lucia’s iconic Pitons, the pair of mountainous volcanic spires to the south of the resort. Jade Mountain is also surrounded by 1,500 cocoa trees—reflecting Saint Lucia’s centuries-old legacy as a chocolate producer—and in the Kai en Ciel (“house in heaven”) spa, guests indulge in treatments like the chocolate citrus body polish, which combines the antioxidant and healing properties of chocolate with the rejuvenating feeling of citrus. Chocolate facials, wraps and massages are also available, and if all that decadence inspires your appetite, a Chocolate Lab is on hand to create your own edible sweets.

Image courtesy of Rosewood Little Dix Bay

Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Book your reservations now for Rosewood Little Dix Bay, which reopens on October 15 and is a sought-after destination for its sweeping Caribbean Sea views. High on a bluff, Sense is a Rosewood spa that offers treatment rooms overlooking the white-sand beach. It also features designed experiences that include the resort’s lush surroundings: The Baths Journey starts with a tour and swim in the natural sea pools of B.V.I.’s legendary Baths National Park, followed by a warm body scrub and mask made from fig, bergamot and other ingredients harvested from the resort’s gardens. Complete this day of relaxation with a dip in the spa’s two-tiered infinity pool.

Image courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas

Ananda in the Himalayas
Garhwal Uttarakhand, India
Land at Delhi International Airport and take a short flight to Dehradun to reach Ananda, the award-winning spa nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. Ananda is a next-level experience for anyone who desires the ne plus ultra of wellness retreats. In the palace estate of a long-ago maharaja, immerse yourself in Ayurveda, yoga, meditation and more, while spa treatments include traditional Reiki healing techniques, as well as scrubs, facials and other services featuring essential oils made from the Himalayan roses growing wild in the region.

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