A trip to the spa is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. It is supposed to be a quiet, leisurely experience far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. That’s why spas just outside major cities are increasingly popular, e.g. our post on spas outside London. These Spa’s take that a step further and transport you into the wild wilderness where you’re surrounded by nothing but nature. Making them a very special occasion indeed.
Now it seems, not at all facetiously, that there are as many so-called “spas” as there are corner coffee shops. As a result, the quality of the attending service has dropped precipitously, the once-peaceful havens of repose have been taken over by the teeming masses, and the stresses of the outside world have invaded these…McSpas…these pale imitations of the original oases of serenity. The bloom is definitely off of the rose.
So what is a person of discriminating taste and definite need to do? When the desire for absolute peace and ataraxia is urgent, where can one go to recharge one’s batteries? Here are some of the more beautiful and remote spas in the world, far from the maddening throngs. These are the places that you had always hoped for but probably never heard of. Which is almost exactly the entire point.
Arrive distressed and leave refreshed.
Ananda Spa, Ananda in the Himalayas
The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Tehri – Garhwal, Uttaranchal, India
Is there any place that is farther away from your daily troubles than the foothills of the Himalayas? Even the major city of New Delhi is four hours away by train, and that means that all of your stresses and cares are a world away. Surrounded by the Sal Forest with a view of the Ganga River, you will find yourself in a tranquil new world.
The Ananda Spa adheres to the traditional Indian health philosophies of Yoga, Aryuveda, and Vedanta, with the stated goal to bring people into harmonic balance with nature and the universe. Individualized programs include therapeutic massage, detoxification, personalized yoga classes, and a specialized diet plan all combined in an itinerary designed to restore harmony between the three doshas – vital life energies –vata (space and air), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (earth and water).
Nearest city: 8 hours drive
Six Senses Spa, Evason Ma’In Hot Springs
Approximately one hour away from Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport and half an hour away from the Dead Sea, this destination resort spa can be reached easily, but is surrounded by terrain rugged enough to dissuade casual tourism. Refreshing natural features include waterfalls and the mineral-laden hot springs.
Unique specialties of the spot include Dead Sea mud body wraps designed to detoxify and purify your skin and body, in conjunction with accompanying massages; the therapeutic and rejuvenating waters of the Ma’In Hot Springs; a large number of facial and skin therapy options, and a cleansing turn in the local steam cave.
Nearest city: 1 hour
The Spa by ESPA, One & Only Reethi Rah
North Malé Atoll, Maldives
When you really want to get away from it all, it’s pretty difficult to go farther away than the Maldives. This resort spa is a bit of beachfront luxury on a tiny island in the middle of a beautiful blue ocean. The pristine sandy shores and the spectacular views act as a soothing balm to your frazzled soul from the moment you step onto the grounds. For accommodations, spa guests can choose from eight treatment villas or two over-water couples treatment suites.
The signature wellness programs at the Spa are quite extensive and culled from a number of philosophies –tawa foot massages using the purifying clay from the Philippines; warm coconut poultice massages using traditional Thai techniques; and tension-releasing facial massages using chilled crystals, used in combination with more familiar yoga programs, algae wraps, Shiatsu massage, and Watsu pool therapy.
Nira Spa, Shanti Maurice
Riviere des Galets, Chemin Grenier, Mauritius
When the closest neighboring island is Madagascar, you can be sure that you are firmly in the middle of nowhere, which is what you were going for all along. Come to this tiny island in the Indian Ocean and your troubles will never find you. Mauritius is characterized by white sandy beaches, a pleasant tropical climate, and pristine lagoons that are protected from the open sea by the third largest coral reef in the world.
Wellness offerings here can follow one of four prescribed “journeys” – the Indian Experience, which uses traditional yoga and Hindu healing methods, the Holistic Bio Experience, which uses all-natural products to enhance the efforts to bring mind, spirit, and body back into harmony, the Oriental Experience, which focuses on ancient Oriental massage techniques, and the Fitness & Wellness Experience, which seeks to motivate guests into adopting a healthy and active lifestyle.
Vinothérapie Spa, Les Sources de Caudalie
Not so much remote, per se, as safely hidden away in a vineyard in the Bordeaux region of France, the Vinothérapie Spa offers you a chance to rekindle your spark in a rustic and naturalistic environment. Let the warm and bountiful surroundings help you rediscover the truth that is found only in optimal wellness – in vino veritas, indeed.
This relaxing destination spa uses the dual natural resources unique to its surroundings – natural hot spring water drawn from over 1500 feet below the surface and the ubiquitous grape. Using a number of signature wellness treatments based on grape and wine products, the staff here restoreth your soul and your cup runneth over.
Some of the singular treatments here include – honey and wine wraps (moisturizing), merlot wraps (purification), fleur de vigne clay and grape extract wraps (revitalization), and grape seed and essential oil massages under a hot shower. Other rituals include barrel baths in wine or grape marc, scrubs made of grape seed, honey, event, mint, and brown sugar, and therapeutic massages. Facial products and treatments for hands and feet are also made using proprietary formulas involving the fruit of the vine.