Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Top 10 Luxurious Spas In The World

NO 1 Beau Rivage Palace
Lausanne, Switzerland

The Beau Rivage Palace has views of the lake and the Alps, but the real draw is the Cinq Mondes spa. It's 15,000 square feet and has a private suite with its own hammam (Turkish bath) and Bain Japonais (double Japanese bath for two). Treatments include Balinese massage and Taoist face-care massage; the spa is also introducing a series of packages to entice summer travelers. Through Sept. 30, guests can pay $1,660 for two nights' accommodation, breakfast and five spa treatments each.

NO 2. Como Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos

Como Shambhala is known for its guided retreat weeks, which feature the resort's trademark spa cuisine and expert teachers brought in from around the U.S. Five hours of daily instruction are included in the yoga retreats, and meditation, Pilates and pranayama instruction are available year-round as well. The spa is aimed at couples, who can take advantage of double treatment rooms, outdoor showers and Japanese baths. Nightly rates start at $410.

NO 3. Four Seasons Resort
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Styled like a Thai temple, the three-story spa villa at the Four Seasons, Chiang Mai, has private aromatherapy steam rooms, open-air treatment terraces and rain shower massage beds. Elemis products are incorporated into every treatment, each of which begins with a warm foot compress to focus the senses. Resort rates start at $425

NO 4. Hayman Island Resort
Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Hayman Island Resort is located on a private island in Australia's Great Barrier Reef, accessible via boat, seaplane or helicopter from nearby Hamilton Island. Spa Chakra has 13 treatment rooms, a wet treatment room and two relaxation lounges, and offers exclusive Guerlain Methode treatments, which involve techniques for facial and massage patented by the Champs Elysée Guerlain Institute. Room rates start at $468.

NO 5. Chiva Som
Hua Hin, Thailand

Chiva Som, a luxury health resort facing the Gulf of Thailand, is tucked into seven acres of gardens and provides individual wellness programs for guests. Even basic guest rooms have private balconies and butler service, and the spa has male and female water-therapy suites. Hydrotherapy treatments include aqua skin polish, which uses spearmint and apricot to exfoliate the skin. Room rates start at $340 per person per night.

NO 6. The Island Experience
Ilha Grande, Brazil

Take a 100-square-mile private island; subtract roads, banks and people; and add a rain forest plus a week-long, intensive detox program. The result is the Island Experience at Ilha Grande, an adventure spa that will introduce an "Alpha Adventures" challenge next winter to get men to detox in the most exciting way possible. Activities include jungle hiking, snorkeling, samba dancing and massage. Rates start at $2,000 for six nights and include meals, yoga classes and various supervised and recreational activities.

NO 7. Maroma Resort and Spa
Riviera Maya, Mexico

Located on a 25-acre jungle reserve, Maroma Resort and Spa faces the Caribbean Sea and a powder-white beach. The on-site Kinan Spa is decorated in white and cream stucco and has three treatment suites, each one with its own shower, bathroom and treatment tub. A special spa cuisine menu, with specialties like spiced beetroot soup over jicama and yogurt slaw, makes healthy eating more fun. Room rates start at $480 per night.

NO 8. Soneva Gili & Six Senses Spa
The Maldives

Soneva Gili resort consists of 44 stilted water-villa suites. The spa is set over water as well, and accessible via a long, low wooden walkway. Treatment rooms are simple, open-air affairs which look onto the lagoon. The Soul of Six Senses, a simultaneous massage and facial performed by two therapists, begins with a foot bath and ends with a scalp massage, and costs $360 for 90 minutes. Soneva Gili rack rates start at $1,415 per night.

NO 9. Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
Mumbai, India

The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is arguably India's finest luxury hotel, with its manicured interior courtyard, pool, and a wide array of guest suites that accommodate royalty and celebrities alike (Yoko Ono and John Lennon once occupied one, without leaving, for a week). The Taj's branded Jiva Spa chain has classes in everything from Ashanti yoga to the Art of Breathing, and the Exotic Lime & Ginger Scrub involves body buffing with Indian lime, ginger and salt. Room rates start at $205 per night.

No 10. Terme di Saturnia Spa Resort
Saturnia, Italy

This 140-room resort in the hilly Tuscan countryside is about 100 miles from the nearest airport (in Rome), and pays homage to the country's spa-going tradition with a Roman bath lined in Travertine stone and lit from above with a dramatic circular skylight. The spa is devoted to restoring each guest's "psycho-physical balance," and renowned medical packages, which include an age evaluation, anti-aging and rebalancing massage, stone therapy, aqua relaxation and the Saturnia fitness program start at $2,347; regular room rates, including breakfast, start at $235 per night.