Five of the World’s Best Hotel Spas

Words by Sara Harowitz

Photography by Brit Gill

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There’s maybe only one thing better than a luxury hotel: the spa at a luxury hotel. Plush beds, room service, and beautiful cocktail bars are all great, but nothing beats floating down from your suite and into the tranquil sounds, smells, and sights of a thoughtful wellness centre.

Our new Retreat Essential Oil Blend is tropical and calming, the aromatic equivalent of a treatment at one such opulent spa (thanks to its mix of Grapefruit, Palma Rosa, and Eucalyptus). In honour of its release, here are five of the best hotel spas that this author has had the privilege of visiting.

Amangiri, USA

Amangiri might very well be the best resort in America. There is truly nothing else like it—the earthy, minimal architecture seems to have literally sprouted from its surroundings, so perfectly matching the breathtaking Utah rock formations that tower nearby. Everything about this hotel is perfection, from the personalized service to the hearty food, but the Aman Spa is especially memorable. Choose from three purposes (Grounding, Purifying, or Nourishing) and enjoy treatments that marry ancient practices with modern luxuries. Each begins with a sage smudging ceremony, setting the tone for a truly well-rounded experience; post-massage or facial, take a dip in the cold plunge pool, sauna, steam room, and outdoor step pool surrounded by majestic rock. All moments here are magic.

W Punta de Mita, Mexico

While the colourful W Punta de Mita near the Mexican surf town of Sayulita has a definite upbeat vibe, its onsite Away Spa tells a different tale—one of rejuvenation and calm. Nestled in the hotel’s enveloping jungle, it features a relaxation area to rival any other: the pool system includes different temperatures, waterfalls, cold mist, hydro jets, and pressure shower, sort of like a choose your own hydrotherapy adventure. When it’s experienced after an agave facial, well, it feels even more serene.

Four Seasons The Nam Hai, Vietnam

Located in the ancient Vietnamese destination of Hoi An, The Nam Hai is a Four Seasons property that is not to be missed. Guest rooms here are actually standalone villas, making it hard to undertake even the short walk to the beach or to the delicious restaurants located onsite. But it’s worth it, as is a jaunt to The Heart of the Earth Spa, where treatments may include sound therapy, tubs filled with lemongrass and flower petals, and other ancient practices. The Nam Hai Earth Song, for instance, is a whopping 150 minutes of pure bliss, including a smoke cleanse, a breath ritual, a body scrub using locally-grown herbs, a private bath, and even a light snack. Emerge reborn.

Pikaia Lodge, Ecuador

Perched on a mountain on the Galapagos Island of Santa Cruz, Pikaia Lodge is a truly tranquil hideaway with a strong focus on wellness. Guest rooms boast amazing views of the rolling hills below, while the hotel’s pristine yacht allows for adventurous day trips to neighbouring islands. In the Sumaq Spa back at home base, Peruvian marble sets the tone, while a hot tub with its own impeccable views makes a strong case for a soak. Indulge in a couple’s massage or simply post up at one of the loungers and read a good book, dipping into the infinity pool as you please.

Burgenstock Resort, Switzerland

One thing is certain: the Swiss know how to spa. And Burgenstock Resort, a sprawling masterpiece overlooking Lake Lucerne, is no exception—in fact, it’s more like the golden rule. The Alpine Spa is an adult playground (there’s even, ahem, a clothing-optional area), complete with velvety daybeds, hot and cold plunge pools, an indoor pool enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass, and an infinity pool jutting out over the lake. Book a facial with Switzerland’s own La Prairie products and spend all day hopping from one body of water to another.

Whether life affords one of these particular blessed experiences or not, remember that a getaway can be a state of mind. Put some Retreat in the diffuser, draw a warm bath, and watch as the outside world fades away.