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A woman sits on a bench overlooking the sea at sunset.

Spa Experiences Worth Traveling For

Article by Melissa Liebling-Goldberg 08.09.2018

Immerse yourself in transporting experiences that start at the spa. With exquisite properties and memorable sights to explore, these destinations combine the best of travel relaxation.

What could be more relaxing than time spent at the spa? Try taking a trip because of the spa. With indulgent treatments, spectacular surroundings and destinations that awe, an extended weekend at these spas deeply transcend the idea of a basic massage-and-go. Immerse yourself into the culture you're visiting — whether with treatments that utilize ingredients pulled from the destination, trying the local culinary specialties or days spent exploring the city around you. Add in soothing waters, spectacular design and highly personalized service, and you have a spa weekend that is very much worth traveling for.

 

Treatments that Harness Local Wisdom and Customs

A woman enjoys a dip in an infinity pool surrounded by a desert landscape.

Journey to a region steeped in centuries of culture and history, where opportunities to find serenity abound. The tenor of your stay at the The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert begins at the entrance into the spa, which is built in a traditional Arabic style into the rolling sand dunes of the property's protected nature preserve in the United Arab Emirates. The exquisite treatment pavilions ensure not only your privacy but ultimate pampering. Once inside, you can enhance your experience with the Oasis Al Wadi, a 120-minute treatment that utilizes local and traditional ingredients such as warming clove and cardamom. For those seeking a long-lasting state of relaxation, Raatri Therapy is designed to improve sleep and emotional equilibrium through a balancing massage combined with guided meditation. After your treatment, connect with the stillness and quiet of the desert with the 30 minutes of relaxation time that comes with every appointment. Deepen your connection to the landscape with the Sunset Camel Caravan, where you will ride a camel into the dunes as the sun's warm tones color the sand. Enjoy a relaxing drink as your guide gives insight into the intrinsic history of the camel and the region but also the nature preserve's other fauna and flora.

 

An Environment that Intrigues the Senses

A pebbled pathway leading across an infinity pool looks out over the sunset.

Tap into the spiritual customs of Thailand with a retreat that fosters a deeper connection to the land around you. As you'll discover over your stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui in Thailand, there is a dedication to introducing the beauty of the local nature and customs into your experience. From coconuts to healing herbs to fresh flowers, the bounty of the area is brought into the treatments that guests receive in individual pavilions (salas) set above the beautiful Gazing Pond inside the Spa Village. All therapies begin with the signature Songkran Shower, which is inspired by the annual Songkran festival that includes the joyful throwing of water in the streets as an evolution of the symbolic tradition of pouring water on the elders.

After your senses have been awakened by the Songkran Shower, delve into the Thai-inspired treatments. The Thai Aquatic Freedom takes your experience off the table and into the water, with a combination of Thai Massage and Aqua Therapy that is meant to relax stiff joints and muscles. Samui's Coconut Heritage uses the fruit from the local plantations, making the most of its health and beauty benefits in a mix of a massage, coconut scrub and hair masque. After you are fully invigorated, you can begin your active explorations with a visit to the Big Buddha Temple, a major local landmark with a golden Buddha that is over 12 meters tall. Perched on a small island off of Koh Samui's north-eastern shore, the towering statue can be seen from several kilometers off (and even from the air as you descend). Over the course of your stay, you can also discover snorkeling along the largest swim reef in Southeast Asia.

 

Natural Ingredients with Powerful Healing Properties

A woman sits on a bench overlooking the sea at sunset.

Inspired by the tropical nature that surrounds The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, Yalong Bay, the spa draws from tropical herbs and ocean ingredients for treatments that link nature and western practices. You can start your day with a meditative stroll along the pristine shoreline of the property's secluded beach location, putting you in harmony with nature as you soak in the crystal-clear water and majestic mountains that surround. Once inside the region's largest spa which makes for an ultimate getaway from the city, you will discover twelve treatment rooms, a jade steam room and a Chi studio for learning the ancient traditions. Draw your inspiration from the warm waves of Yalong Bay with the Ocean Escape, an incredible 180-minute sea-inspired wellness journey. Natural sea salts and marine mud smooth the skin while pulling impurities from your body, and warm lava shells radiate heat into tight muscles during soothing massage. Finish your spa time with a refreshing snack of Halnan seasonal fruits, sweet potato muffins and a mango smoothie on a day bed surrounding the shimmering tile-bottom pool.

 

Seclusion that Offers a True Escape

Fountains nestle in between yellow and purple flowerbeds on a sunny day.

There’s magic to be found in Moscow, from the magnificence of mornings in Gorky Park to the solace of sunsets over Red Square. And the city proves that a luxurious spa day doesn’t always require a trip to the tropics — make time during your multi-day stay at The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow to take advantage of it being the first Russian hotel spa to collaborate with the skincare experts at La Prairie. Besides enjoying the crystal-studded vitality pool and steam room, you can take your skin to the next level with the Ultimate Rejuvenating Platinum Facial. Two therapists will pamper you from head to toe with the high-performance Platinum Collection, including a facial and hand and foot ritual. If you want a taste of the local traditions, choose the Moscow Honey Ritual — Russian techniques and Siberian Honey combine to purify and sculpt the body with skin brushing and invigorating massage. Continue your local experience with a walk through iconic Gorky Park—stroll down the waterside path shaded by trees for a meditative moment in warm months in Vorobyovy Gory or take a break from exhilarating cold of a Moscow winter to glimpse the stars in the long nights at the Observatory. End your day with a glass of bracing vodka at the rooftop 02 lounge as the Moscow skyline shimmers around you.

 

A Land Where Past and Present Unite

The spa reflexology pool features a beautifully tiled interior and a deck lined with stone.

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is steeped in a rich history of healing traditions. In the not-so-distant past, each community had their own healer known as a Mano Santa who worked with healing oils and powerful affirmations to foster wellness in their community. The treatments and rituals at Spa Botánico at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, draw inspiration from this indigenous tradition, pairing local ingredients with soothing treatments for a full sensory experience. The spa’s signature Apothecary Ritual begins with a consultation with one of the onsite Manos Santas, who creates a specific blend of botanicals and a custom massage oil for your spa experience. After the consultation, sink into an outdoor stone tub surrounded by the sounds and smells of the tropics and conclude with a healing massage delivered with customized-to-you pressure. The experience of a massage in an open-air treehouse surrounded by the natural wonders of Puerto Rico is a truly memorable experience that sets the stage for fostering a connection to the magic of the island. After a morning of decadence, go beyond the scenic beauty of the resort and discover the island’s resilient spirit on a helicopter tour. You’ll soar over El Yunque Rainforest, which was hit so hard by recent hurricanes that some areas will take a century to recover, and learn how Puerto Rico’s ecosystem is built to adapt to hurricanes. The resort itself is celebrating its reopening in October, marking a significant milestone in the overall recovery and resurgence of Puerto Rico.

 

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Plan Your Stay in these Destinations


  • Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Location Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert

    Experience Romance and relaxation, adventure and natural beauty.

    • Located in a unique 500 hectare nature reserve
    • 101 private luxury pool-villas
    • Local and International cuisine, destination dining experiences
  • Koh Samui

    Location Koh Samui, Thailand

    Experience The Samui Way of Life

    • Embrace soothing luxury in 175 ocean-front suites and villas
    • Immerse in a unique outdoor street food dining experience at Baan Talat
    • Relax and renew at the spa with treatments inspired by natural local ingredients and healing practices
  • Sanya

    Location Sanya, Hainan, China

    Experience Pristine beaches, rainforests and the clear South China Sea.

    • An ideal beachfront family resort in Sanya
    • Bespoke service throughout your stay
    • A one-of-a-kind retreat in “Oriental Hawaii”
  • Moscow

    Location Moscow, Russia

    Experience Tverskaya Street, in Moscow’s cultural and business district.

    • Situated just off the famed Red Square
    • Among the largest accommodations in Moscow
    • Authentic Russian dining experiences
  • Dorado Beach

    Location Dorado, Puerto Rico

    Experience Intimate luxury at one of the most exclusive Caribbean resorts.

    • Secluded on 1,400 acres of natural wonders
    • Two- to five-bedroom beachfront residences
    • Mi Casa restaurant by chef José Andrés