The World’s Most Sensational Spas – 2018!

by Our Editors



The handsomely designed The Spa at Four Seasons is one of the best places to relax after a day of work or exploring the Mile High City. As of 2018, most of the spa’s facial treatments now use the sustainable product line emerginC, and the facility claims to be the only one in Denver that does so. It’s no surprise that the state of Colorado’s bountiful natural resources make their way onto the spa’s extensive treatment menu.

The Evergreen Massage (80 min/$205), for example, follows the tradition of Native Americans with its use of certain parts of evergreen trees. The antiseptic, antibacterial qualities of evergreen oils are especially effective for this deep-tissue massage. Also locally sourced is the Rocky Mountain Hot Stone treatment (110 min/$285), which taps into the healing RItz-Carlton Orlando Spa Walkway Garden aspects of fire, water, and earth as the therapist places smooth, heated river stones in precisely identified places on the body, in a process designed to also lift the spirit.

Among the spa’s ten treatment rooms, two couple’s suites offer ultimate indulgence, with private showers and sunken tubs. Two therapists work their magic on side-by-side massage tables during the couple’s treatment (100 min/$400). There’s even a Romantic Night Out Escape package, which pairs a 50-minute couple’s massage and a $150 gift certificate valid at EDGE, the hotel’s signature steakhouse.

—Mark Chesnut



RItz Carlton Orlando Spa Walkway Garden

RItz Carlton Orlando Spa Walkway Garden

Tropical trees and lush, landscaped greenery surrounds the Ritz-Carlton’s sprawling 40,000-square-foot Spa—a property unto itself. Its three floors and grounds were renovated in 2017, and this summer saw completion of a wider-scale freshening up of the extremely LGBT wedding-friendly hotel.

I begin with a tour of the spa’s extensive facilities: a dedicated outdoor saltwater pool, maintained at 83 degrees, and cabanas for spa patrons only; health-conscious spa café Vitale; a barber shop and salon; 40 treatment rooms; men’s, women’s and co-ed couples lounges; and a 24-hour fitness center (the latter is accessible to all guests over 16 years of age staying at the Ritz-Carlton and its adjacent JW Marriott sibling). Notably, the spa is very accessible to the disabled: in the men’s wet area, there is a water lift seat supporting individuals up to 300lbs so they can use its hot and cold tubs.

There are a solid half-dozen “experience” packages that range in style from a Hawaii-inspired Lomi Lomi Massage (50 min/$165), Thai Massage (80 min/$235), and, performed at the rooftop eco garden, a “zero-gravity” Grande Hammock Experience (70 min/$230). Meanwhile, the barbershop’s range of men’s grooming experiences are accompanied by a complimentary glass of craft Bourbon or beer. This being Florida, and the beginning of my day, the signature, orange-centric Grande Citrus Escape package (120 min/$360) seemed a given, both relaxing and energizing for the day ahead.

I opted for a male therapist, Henry, who started the experience with an Espa exfoliating body polish, which was applied with his bare hands in a stroking motion—by far one of the most comfortable body scrubs I’ve experienced. Then it was directly into a bath filled with deeply amber-orange tinted water treated with Kneipp Herbal Bath for a 20- minute soak. A body wrap with both orange and honey followed, and finally a massage, which, in break from tradition, started face-up. Henry again used soothing open-palm strokes, and, by the end, my skin was utterly silky, and I couldn’t stop putting my arm to my nose and taking in the scrumptious orange and grapefruit scent.

—Lawrence Ferber

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