International Spa Retreats

Last week we looked at Europe’s best rafting and summer skiing destinations, but what’s out there for those who want to take things a little slower? This week we get away from the white knuckle thrills above and focus on relaxation and revitalisation.

First up, our favourite spa breaks…

La Luna, Grenada

This island in the southeastern Caribbean Sea is famed for its nutmeg and mace crops, of which it is one of the leading exporters. It is also home to truly jaw-dropping white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, which tempt visitors from across the globe. Even in a crowded and discerning market place, the La Luna resort stands out from the crowd. This island hideaway invites guests to explore the opportunities of yoga, Pilates and meditation, before soothing themselves in an Asian-themed spa, complete with an organic garden. Classes run from the early morning to mid-afternoon, offering ample time to explore the island and its many activities, from hiking to scuba diving…or just lounging on the beach.

Shang-Du Spa, Turkey

The southwestern Xanadu Resort is enviably located on the beach and opposite the Noblis golf course and is home to the Shang-Du Spa. Describing itself as a “sanctuary of peace and relaxation”, the spa’s interiors take their influence from Turkey’s historic position as the gateway to Asia and a key stop on the Silk Road. The treatments offered are particularly wide-ranging with European and Asian massages, scrubs and body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures and aqua therapy all on offer.

Being located within the Xanadu Resort makes this a great option for families and larger groups. While adults enjoy spa facilities, kids can enjoy one of the many pools and for those who prefer playing a round to receiving a massage there are a number of excellent golf courses within easy reach.

The BodyHoliday Resort, St. Lucia

The BodyHoliday seeks to provide a ‘360 experience’ that covers mental, physical and nutritional well-being. Central to this are the resort’s ‘Wellness Journeys’ – programmes of spa treatments that range from a two day Ayurveda massage and meditation course to rejuvenation cleanses. These are intense courses that are bound to leave guests feeling more refreshed than they thought possible.

In part this is thanks to the resort’s location. St. Lucia is a rocky outpost of a Caribbean island and features not just mountains, but lush, dense forests and beaches that can only be described as stunning. It is little wonder that the island has developed a reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful and romantic locations.

The Oberoi Amarvilas, India

The Oberoi Amarvilas enjoys an unrivalled location, situated just 600 metres from the stunning Taj Mahal. A unique selling point of the resort is that every room offer an uninterrupted view of this most iconic monument.

The resort is styled along Mughal lines, with an emphasis on splendour at every turn. Visitors enter via a quadrant ornamented with cascading fountains, intricate arched passageways and stunning gold frescoes. “Luxury” would be putting it mildly.

The Oberoi is also home to one of Asia’s most acclaimed spas. Tiled with dark sandstone and white marble, it is best described as ‘majestic’. The focal point is a dome roofed, white marble steam room, the perfect place to unwind. A large gymnasium and salon can be found next door, alongside a number of uniquely decorated treatment rooms. Like their surroundings the treatments on offer are somewhat decadent, and take in a range of local techniques.

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