Dip your toe into Europe’s diverse spa cultures, whether you fancy being gently massaged amid the healing herb gardens of Tuscany or want to be invigorated by the hot-cold cycle of the Finnish sauna ritual.
This exclusive spa hotel on a country estate in Tuscany reunites its residents with the natural world in sublime style. Be massaged back to life with organic oils in an outdoor treatment room in the morning and watch the sun set over the healing herb gardens in the evening.
Prefer a scientific approach to wellness? This outstanding hotel spa has won all sorts of accolades for its high-tech approach, with opportunities for a digital detox, preventative health treatments and martial arts for emotional balance.
‘Take the water’ like the Georgians did in Bath’s health-giving thermal hot springs. This five-star hotel allows you to do so in supreme luxury, boasting a bathing circuit with pools of various temperatures, an ice alcove and a whole range of tempting treatments.
If you really want to be treated like a prince or princess, book into this fairytale castle spa in the Irish countryside. Those who’ve journeyed a long way will want to start with a World Weary Traveller treatment, which includes a soothing seaweed wrap and reviving deep tissue massage.
This is a spa for people who take their wellness seriously. Programmes, such as the 7-14 day Essence Program, use natural therapies and personalised treatments to completely overhaul your lifestyle. You can even do a 28-day Life Reset.
Instead of sampling decadent treatments and tailored meal plans, meditate on the immense natural beauty of this outdoor spa’s setting. Take a bottle of champagne to toast with the locals as you soak in the muscle-melting 38 deg C waters, just as the Vikings once did. Blue Ice Explorer can arrange day trips.
Surrounded by pine woods and overlooking the twinkling turquoise sea, you’re bound to feel better at this spa. Try the Lightness and Vitality head and shoulder massage, which works on acupressure points, or have a beautifully relaxing full-body with essential oils.
Sometimes the simplest spa rituals are the best. Leave your inhibitions at the door to experience this modern Helsinki sauna the traditional way — nude. Once you’re all steamed up, take a refreshing plunge straight into the sea. And repeat.
At the dreamy, waterfront Almyra Hotel, you can laze around in the sunshine soaking up vitamin D or get active on a weight loss and fitness schedule. We particularly like the look of the Week of Sleep for Exhausted Parents package and the blissful four-day Relax & Restore programme.
The best way to experience this boutique spa is to embark on the Journey to Ancient Estonia, starting with a birch branch sauna ritual followed by a mud wrap and balancing Estonian massage using organic local hemp and carrot oil.
– TEXT BY HANNAH STUART-LEACH
PHOTOS: SUPPLIED, SHA FACEBOOK, D MARIS BAY FACEBOOK, LOYLY FACEBOOK, ALMYRA HOTEL FACEBOOK, HEDON SPA & HOTEL FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, THE GAINSBOROUGH BATH SPA FACEBOOK, ASHFORD CASTLE SPA FACEBOOK
This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.