The Best Spas in the World

Relax and rejuvenate at these world-class spas. Get pampered with manis, pedis and massages at London’s Bulgari Spa or clear your mind with a blend of yoga and oceanside hikes at Rancho Valencia in California. At the Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico you can even get a does of cultural immersion when you sign up for a Mayan healing ritual with a local shaman.

Highlights
Km 10 Carratera, Tola-Las Salinas, Tola, Nicaragua
The best of Nicaragua is on the beautiful Emerald Coast. Mukul Resort offers a barefoot luxury experience with stunning suites, exquisite design, and local hospitality. Where else can you surf a great break in front of a 5 star hotel? The Golf and spa are equally as unique.
100 Dorado Beach Drive, Dorado, 00646, Puerto Rico
It may be only 22 miles west of San Juan, but Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve feels a world away. The resort has a spectacular location on a three-mile stretch of beach on Puerto Rico’s north shore, where Clara Livingston once ran a sugar plantation—and Amelia Earhart visited before departing for her fateful world tour. In 1958, Livingston sold the property to Laurance S. Rockefeller, who turned it into the first of his legendary Rock Resorts. Known for his green streak, he designed the hotel to respect the local beauty, mandating that buildings could not be taller than the surrounding palm trees.

The Ritz-Carlton—which reopened in October 2018 after a meticulous restoration following Hurricane Maria—pays homage to that original vision. Here, every room is beachfront, with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that disappear into ocean views, plus deep soaking tubs, outdoor showers shaded by gardens, and either spacious balconies or private plunge pools. As part of the property’s renovation, rooms were refreshed with a color palette that amplifies the natural beauty just beyond the doors. Additionally, the grounds showcase 3,000 new plant species, the spa is offering new locally inspired treatments and cuisine, Encanto Beach Club Bar & Grill features a refreshed dinner menu, and the Positivo Sandbar debuted an omakase and ceviche bar directly on the sand. There’s even an entirely reimagined signature restaurant, Coa, which serves farm-to-table fare cooked on the grill. Still standing strong on the verdant, 1,400-acre grounds are the five 18-hole championship golf courses. The biggest challenge is pulling yourself away from the luxury of the resort to tee up a shot.
Schillerstraße 4/6, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany
Opened in 1872, Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa enjoys a distinguished reputation throughout Germany and beyond. The Shah of Persia, the King of Siam, and a young King Edward VII all stayed here at one point, drawn by the hotel’s remarkable Villa Stéphanie—one of the most advanced, not to mention scenic, medical spas in Europe (it’s set within a picturesque park, bisected by the Oos River). Overall, the hotel balances five-star accommodations with an intimate ambience, thanks to the fact that it’s family-run and has just 104 guest rooms. Interiors are classic but welcoming, and include several stylish public areas and dining options, from the Wintergarten (for Mediterranean cuisine) to the newer Fritz & Felix (a more cosmopolitan restaurant-bar hybrid).
Blvd. Kukulcan Mz 59 Lote 1-03 Km 21.26, Punta Nizuc, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, QROO, Mexico
The 29-acre Nizuc Resort & Spa excels in size, service, and amenities. The soothing design scheme blends calming neutrals and natural materials, which recur across multiple interior elements, including lamps, furniture, and tile flooring. Spacious, sun-filled rooms feature terraces and tropical gardens, and the private villas include infinity pools. Staff lead many activities to keep visitors as busy as they want to be; a typical day at the resort might include learning how to roll cigars, participating in a session of paddleboard yoga, or simply trying to choose a favorite between the two pools.
41 Höheweg
Situated between two lakes at the bottom of the Jungfrau mountain in the Bernese Highlands of Switzerland, this venerable five-star hotel and spa, which dates back to 1865, offers scenery and comfort in equal measure. Subtly balancing tradition and modernity, the rooms are bright, spacious, and brimming with refined furnishings and fabrics. Plus, all come with picturesque views across the town of Interlaken or the Harder Kulm mountain. There are several higher-end suites to choose from; modernists might like the clean lines of the stylish Bel-Air suite, while hedonists will love the lavish Tower Suite, with its two terraces, kitchenette, bar, and dining room.

The hotel’s two restaurants serve Mediterranean-inspired dishes from the south of France and Italy, and there are two handsome bars and a gloriously expansive spa for further diversion.
5921 Valencia Cir, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067, USA
Spanish colonial fountains. Roaring outdoor fireplaces. Brightly colored bougainvillea vines and hibiscus flowers. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Southern California’s only Relais & Châteaux, is spread over 45 hilly acres of gardens and groves. No detail is too small here, as you’ll discover on the Bridge of Champions, a narrow wooden span that leads you across a brook. As for the champions in question, they’re bygone net men memorialized on the path to the resort’s fabled tennis complex: 18 courts and a pro shop. Not to be outdone, the landscaping around your casita (or luxury villa or private hacienda) will lend a secret garden feel to your patio, where you may also find a private fireplace, hot tub, or—in the case of the hacienda—heated pool. Inside, expect 600-thread-count linens, Frette towels, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. At the spa, waterfalls and a yoga pavilion that appears to float work in tandem with the treatments to induce maximum relaxation.
México 307, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Secluded and service-oriented are the adjectives that best describe Rosewood Mayakoba, a resort in Playa del Carmen that opened in 2008. At 1,600 acres, the resort is expansive, offering plenty of room for guests to feel that they have their own space. Rooms, too, are spacious and have either tile or wooden floors, comfortable beds and chairs, and a layout and design that draws guests to outside spaces such as patios and balconies. The sense of privacy is reinforced by special en suite features, including private plunge pools, garden showers, and sundecks. Service, which includes butler, concierge, and valet support, is first-class. Staff can facilitate or organize a wide range of experiences, both on the hotel property and in the surrounding area. These range from horseback riding on the beach and ocean kayaking to private dining and aerial tours of the Mayan site Chichén Itzá.
4949 East Lincoln Drive
Confusion. I think that’s what some people feel when they first lay eyes on the Montelucia Resort & Spa. With its ornate entryways and floral squares, the resort looks more like a charming European village than an Arizona resort. But, you know what? It works. Montelucia is downright enchanting. And in case you find yourself slipping and forgetting just where you are, simply look the south for the best possible reminder – Scottsdale’s iconic Camelback Mountain. There’s plenty to keep you busy on property, including five dining spots, but the very best way to pass the time is at Joya Spa. Inspired by the Moroccan desert and Spain’s Andalusian region, Joya is 32,000 square feet of total relaxation. Lavish lounge areas, a rooftop pool and terrace, and a detoxifying hammam are all a part of the experience. The latter improves circulation and balance using time-tested rituals from Northern Africa.
56 South Shore Road, Southampton SN 02, Bermuda
Blending a cheerful, laid-back spirit with a splash of formal elegance, The Reefs Resort & Club is uniquely Bermudian. Staff greets you with a rum swizzle upon arrival at the family-owned and operated property, then whisks you up to a room where bright botanical prints complement crisp white linens, deep wood tones, and tile floors, and windows offer views of the Atlantic’s turquoise-tinged waves. Days are spent indulging in frangipani salt scrubs and ayurvedic massages at the spa, sitting in on a sunrise yoga session on the beach and hitting the links nearby, or simply napping on a chaise at the freshwater infinity pool. Sited to capture awe-inspiring vistas of the water, limestone cliffs, and lush vegetation that surround the resort, three restaurants serve classic continental fare, but more adventurous types can rent a scooter across the street to sample the local food scene on a culinary tour of Hamilton and St. George.
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