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3 Life-Changing Traditional Massages from Around the World

By Andrew Richdale


From the January/February 2016 issue

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The Grand Hôtel

Photo by Daniel Persson/Flickr

The Grand Hôtel

These massages are guaranteed to chill you out.

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Rather than booking yet another imitation of a traditional massage, experience the real deal on your next trip to these places.

Most therapists at Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel are trained at Axelsons Gymnastiska Institut, the Harvard of Swedish massage, and it shows: Their uncannily intuitive hands slyly work out kinks in long, painless strokes for 90 minutes. $230

2. WHEN IN . . . BALI
Even if you don’t believe in energy healing, you can’t argue with the results of a Balinese massage at one of Aman Resorts’ three Bali locations. Come for gentle stretches, acupressure, and qi-balancing prayers from a local masseur; leave completely blissed out of your mind. $135

3. WHEN IN . . . HAWAII Community healers in ancient Hawaii practiced lomi lomi—a mix of chants, herbal applications, and rhythmic forearm strokes—to align their fellow villagers’ vertebrae. Today, therapists at Ho’omana Spa Maui do the same for visitors during an hour-long signature treatment, available in-room at the Hotel Wailea. $109