The Ultimate Guide to Relaxation: 37 International Spas!

by Our Editors
37 International Spas

The astounding array of international spas covered here are sure to provide you with just what you need to relax and revitalize.

THE SPA AT ALVEAR ART HOTEL
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA
The panoramic city view alone is enough to make you relax and breathe deeply at The Spa, a 6,660-sq-ft oasis perched on the 16th floor of one of the newest luxury boutique hotels in Buenos Aires (it’s a sister property to the legendary Alvear Palace). Steam baths, saunas and pressure showers offer ideal opportunities to launch your rejuvenation process, while fresh fruit and lemonade complement the soothing music in the relaxation room. Treatment options include the California Massage (60 min/$93), during which the therapist uses long movements for a full-body treatment that aims to rejuvenate the entire nervous system. The lymphatic drainage massage (60 min/$93) is another must-try. The secret lies in the massage of lymphatic circulation by stimulation of lymph vessels and nodes, which improves the evacuation of excess interstitial fluid. If a facial refresh is on your wish list, consider the Regeneration and Hydration Facial (60 min/$93), with herbal cream, and the Brightening Facial (60 min/$93), which uses vitamin C and rosemary essential oil to revitalize the skin. Whatever you choose, be sure to make time to lie back in a lounge chair or take a dip in the heated indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, both of which provide stunning views of the city. www.alvearart.com
Mark Chesnut

LE GERMAIN CHARLEVOIX
CHALEVOIX, QUÉBEC
In just over an hour from Québec City, you can find yourself driving up and down picturesque hills with cascading mountains above the clouds and enjoying tiny towns with white steeples lining the St. Lawrence River. Stop at local cheese purveyors, micro-breweries, and stores that sell local soaps and honeys to pick up a gift to take home from pastoral Canada. Book a stay, or come just for the spa at, Le Germain Charlevoix Hôtel & Spa. This eco-friendly, modernist hotel is a series of structures that sit on sprawling green pastures that connect to a small beach along the river that’s just a ten-minute walk into town. No matter what season it is, head to the Nordic Spa and the outdoor hot and cold pools. While you’ll quickly dip in and out of the just-above-freezing cooling pool, spend time in the 100 degree heated pool where it’s just you, the green pastures, and some prying eyes from the goats and bulls that roam the land. Inside, relax in the Finnish sauna, and eucalyptus steam bath. My partner and I enjoyed a special couples-only treatment, Together at Last (60 min/$280) which combines a Swedish massage with aromatherapy. We melted away to duel massages before returning to our lofted room for warm baths. www.legermainhotels.com
Paul Summers

37 International Spas

THE SPA, 137 PILLARS HOUSE
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
There are 78 employees working for the 30-suite 137 Pillars House, which should give an indication of just how well attended this gorgeous, verdant getaway is. One of Chiang Mai’s most romantic, elegant, and breathtaking properties, a highlight of the lushly landscaped grounds, the 25-meter-long swimming pool is juxtaposed against a sprawling living wall—it’s also rich with history. The namesake 1800’s house was once occupied by Louis Leonowens, son of the beloved Anna from The King And I/Anna and the King of Siam. As for pampering, the mansion- like two-level The Spa offers a wide-range of treatments, and 137 Pillars House guests can also indulge with in-room spa baths utilizing deliriously aromatic Thai herbs and ingredients. The spa building’s décor is uncomplicated, with subtle Thai carvings and detail, and a subdued, calming color palette. All visits commence with a sea salt and plant extract foot wash, an application of frankincense oil for relaxation, and in the case of aromatherapy-related treatments, a choice of bespoke-scented oils. For a taste of traditional Thai technique, the 90- minute traditional Thai Massage ($106) is heavy on stretching and pressure- point manipulation, while the one-hour Foot Blast ($65) is reflexology on steroids…or more accurately, a ginger and coffee hot wrap to rejuvenate tired feet. Skin Fit Men’s Facial (75 min/$127) uses lavender, ylang ylang, and tea tree oils for their antibacterial properties, while a scalp and arm massage helps melt the time away. I decided on the two-hour Sukhothai Surrender ($150), a massage and bath combination. It’s an aromatherapy oil massage using Swedish stroking techniques plus hot compresses. And the bath with Kaffir lime, galangal, and Thai herbs was absolutely succulent and relaxing. (No, I didn’t sip any. Not that I wasn’t tempted. www.137pillarschiangmai.com/en/wellness
Lawrence Ferber

WALDORF ASTORIA, MONARCH BEACH
DANA POINT, CALIFORNIA

Recently, the Monarch Beach Resort was purchased and revamped by leading upmarket resort brand, Waldorf Astoria. Now, the hotel’s spa is continuing the traditions of the previous spa while adding in elegant and timely touches. The 30,000-square-foot spa features 24 treatment rooms, spa suites for couples, a spa boutique, and nail salon. Standout treatments include the Serenity Massage (60mins/$250) which uses calming and centering oils made from herbs like jasmine, lime blossom, and tuberose. It’s the perfect way to finish off a day at the beach. Being California, the spa also features a wide range of CBD treatments as well, including the Herbal Fusion CBD Massage (60mins/$275). This treatment combines a massage tailored to your preferred level of pressure with the calming properties of CBD oil. Throughout the massage, the oils are rubbed into your skin, promoting tranquility, and helping any aches and soreness you may have. www.waldorfastoriamonarchbeach.com
Keith Langston

Related: Our Favorite Chicago Spas

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