Forget boxy, beige rooms and plinky-plonky music on repeat. With everything from mountain-view massage arbours to treatment huts set in the treetops, these five hotel spas have really upped their game. Race you to the relaxation room?
Most of the inner islands of the Seychelles are made up of huge formations of granite rock. The spa at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, on the private island of Félicité, makes the most of this and has squeezed its spa in between a collection of giant boulders.
You’ll walk between them on a rope bridge to get in, you’ll spot them out the corner of your eye from your glass-walled treatment room, and you’ll emerge on top of one when you go for a post-massage dip in the infinity pool.
The huge spa here takes its cue from Gran Canaria’s volcanic nature. You can soak in the floatation pool housed in a lava cave, or Zen out in the relaxation area, where the centrepiece is a huge column of hardened lava.
Volcanic accessories aside, there’s a fantastic spa circuit here. Make your way around it and you can heat up in the lagoon, cool off in the ice cave and soothe an aching back against the ‘cosy’ wall.
“I love the fact that the spa here draws on the island’s volcanic landscape. My favourite part of the circuit was the Himalayan salt cave – so relaxing.” Lindsay, Trusted Adviser
With a name like Rainforest Spa, it’s only fitting that treatment rooms here are actually tree houses. Step inside these traditional thatched-roof huts for bamboo massages, seaweed wraps, and scrubs using organic cocoa (almost good enough to eat) and Caribbean-grown coffee.
Once you’re done, head to the ‘temascal’ – an earthen steam dome in the style of the island’s earliest settlers.
“The spa here is like a hidden secret in the trees. Even walking along the corridor that leads to it gives you a feeling of calm and relaxation.” James, Head of Sales & Customer Experience
When it comes to scenic settings, it’s hard to beat this boutique hotel. Balancing on a clifftop in Oman’s Al Hajar Mountains, there are sweeping views over the dramatic drops and deep valleys of Jabal Akhdar.
To make the most of the views, book in for the Sunrise Mystical Mountain signature treatment. Begin with a relaxed tai chi session out on the terrace, as the sun casts a golden glow over the mountains. Follow it up with a light breakfast, before indulging in three hours of holistic treatments.
Can’t face the early wake-up call? Opt for the sunset version of the treatment, or book in for a massage under the arbour – it sits right on the cliff-edge.
There’s opulent, and then there’s the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. Sprawling across more than 8,000 square metres (bigger than 10 football pitches), it’s a maze of mosaic-tiled hammams, spotlit pools and carved archways leading to peaceful hideaways.
Go for a traditional Turkish hammam treatment with black-olive soap, or opt for a luxe body mask made with Arabian rose, green tea extract – or even 24-carat gold.
“This spa has won so many awards, and it’s easy to see why. Stunning Ottoman décor and state-of-the-art treatments combined with a wonderful Turkish hammam – a visit here is the ultimate indulgence.” Annick, Trusted Adviser