Better late than never – here are seven of our favorite spa discoveries for the year!
A IS FOR AMANKILA
From banana-leaf wraps, to biodynamic wines and barre by the sea, there’s a lot of good energy is flowing at Amankila in Bali. Floating above the Indian ocean, the Amankila has long been a favored destination for Aman junkies, and now, with the introduction of locally sourced and sustainable cuisine, wellness travel just got a whole lot better. Ducks are raised at the resort’s free-range farm in Jasri village and herbs are grown in Amankila’s garden. Spa-wise, expect the best of the best in personalized massages delivered by well-trained and intuitive Balinese therapists.
MOST INCREDIBLE THERAPIST
An impossible choice but one bodyworker that comes to mind is David Peters, the Eastern medicine specialist at The Bulgari spa at The Bulgari Hotel in London. David is the only therapist who delivers the wow 'Naturalift Acupuncture Facial' that is a blend of facial acupuncture with Tui Na facial massage and facial cupping. During the session he gently inserts a few needles into your body to encourage deep rest. In our opinion David is a most intuitive healer and one of the high-ponts is he personally mixes up a serum made from hyaluronic acid and pure essential oils for you to take home.
MOST INNOVATIVE URBAN HOTEL
We are obsessed about The Standard Miami where you can mix it up with yoga, fitness, spa plus organic food and a cocktail or two with world-class DJ’s playing soothing sounds. Rightly positioned as a Spa Hotel, the scene here is all about community, connection and creativity. Features 105 upmarket motel rooms, the Lido Restaurant & Bayside Grill with a menu of sustainable and organic Mediterranean food, a juice café and a world-class urban spa and integrative wellness center. What other hotel in the world offers ping pong in the lobby, film nights plus author readings, tantric workshops, reiki retreats and an open-air fire pit where you connect with others - this place is magic!
MOST AMAZING YOGA BALE
Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale is the name of the stunning new lotus petal shaped AntiGravity®Yoga Space at The Four Seasons Resort Sayan in Bali. Co-designed with Elora Hardy and made entirely from locally grown and sustainable bamboo, the open air serene structure is situated amid stunning green ricefields next to the sacred Ayung river. As well as the Anti-gravity yoga where you utilize bespoke hammocks to swing, stretch and fly, there's haatha yoga and Life Talks delivered by a resident Buddhist Monk. Spa-wise, the treatments are some of the island’s best – with incredible healing therapies delivered with the amazing Ila-Spa product range.
MOST OFF-THE-GRID SPA
Could this be the world’s most unique spa experience? We think so! The all-day Spa Safari at Nihiwatu resort on Sumba Island in Indonesia begins with a one-hour sunrise trek across Sumba’s dramatic west coast to the secluded Nihi Oka Valley where spa bales are perched on cliffs above crashing waves. Tuck into a bush-cooked breakfast served in a tree house and waste the day away with unlimited spa treatments. A superfood lunch is served followed by more spa treatments (fresh coconut hair wash anyone?) and endless dips in the sea-facing pool and/or ocean. Nihwatu resort is situated on ‘the edge of the wildness’ at one of the world’s best surf breaks and offers luxury villa and tree-house accommodation, yoga, diving, surfing and much more.
MOST UNIQUE FACIAL
Facials at spas have evolved so much over the past few years but we just love the Face Love Fitness concept created by esthetician, Rachel Lang, and holistic practitioner, Heidi Frederick. Their approach to anti-aging is that we need to move our bodies to keep toned so why not our face? Pilates rings, therapy balls, bands and massage are integrated to lift, sculpt, firm and tone your face. The workout menu includes Muscle-Interval Training, to Facial Reflexology - add on a Red Light Glow Infrared Therapy and you’ll look sensational!
High-end spas are upping the game with massages offered undergoing rigorous in-house training that take them to a whole new level. We were lucky to try many good ones over the year but if we had to choose some favorites then it’s a toss up between the Como Signature Massage available worldwide at all COMO properties and the Amanyara Signature Massage we experienced at the Amanyara resort in Turks & Caicos. Both signature massages deviate from the usual head-to-toe sequence and offer a far more sophisticated approach to bodywork. Trust us, the benefits linger long after you have departed.
We are a team of tuned-in wellness explorers who love to travel the world, seeking and experiencing high-vibraiton healing, spas and retreats, nourishing foods, yoga, dance and fitness - all of which results in a curation of the best of the best in wellness travel.