Friday, February 11, 2011

Spa Lovers, Unite: Best Spas in the World

There are many options for spa goers and relaxation seekers in the world, but a mall chair massage and a 90-minute oceanside rub-down have nothing to do with each other. If you want to get your kinks out from the job and have a story to tell about one of the best spa experiences ever, then these spa lover picks are the best options for you.

Carmel Forest Spa Resort
Israel is a fantastic spa destination, although it might not be the first place that comes to mind. The Carmel Forest Spa Resort is a good place to get your standard spa services, and then combine them with real health advice by doctors. The Carmel Forest Spa Resort is currently adding two new suites with a swimming pool, gym, and butler, so if you’re looking for something even more luxurious, there it is!

What CNN Says: “A spa dietitian plans a program for you upon arrival. But following it may be difficult, even with the calorie counts posted: It's hard to resist the homemade yogurt and granola with a morning cappuccino, followed by a ‘proper’ breakfast of eggs with grainy toast (warning: The house-made cherry-tomato jam is addictive) and, of course, ‘elevenses’ of banana bread.”

Hotel & Spa Notes: This resort is the largest in Israel, and you’re welcome to bring your family, too. The Carmel Forest Spa Resort offers more than 60 beauty and health treatments, so you might want to have something in mind before you go there.

There’s a fantastic new program at Miraval, planned for those looking to rejuvenate themselves for the long-term, not just for the stint at their spa of choice. “8 Weeks to Optimum Health” kicks off with two medical consultations that identify why you feel the way you feel, identifying health issues that are leaving you tired or heavier, for example. After you leave Miraval, you do weekly check-ins to determine your progress.

“Our current health-care system is not designed to help people with the day to day of what it takes to live a healthy life," says Andrew Weil, M.D., who created the program. "When people see their doctors, it's often because illness or disease has already occurred."

Hotel & Spa Notes: Miraval has been recognized by Travel + Leisure, SpaFinder, Spa Magazine, and Condé Nast Traveler as a top retreat.

This Costa Rica resort underwent an amazing $4.5 million renovation and pursues an environmentally and socially-sensitive program. Besides the impressive work in the community and on the 750 acres surrounding the resort, Tabacon flaunts great interior design and decorating. Look for the suites that provide amazing views of Arenal, Costa Rica’s most active volcano. As for spa treatments, the volcanic mud wrap comes highly recommended.

What CNN Says: “The Grand Spa itself is hidden in plain sight: across a footbridge, behind lush green walls. In the Temazcal sweat lodge, heated by lava rock, guests can take part in an ancient steam-bath ritual. Each of the treatment areas, under thatched roofs and without walls, is completely out of view from any other.”

Hotel & Spa Notes: This 114 guest room hotel is located nearby the hot springs of Tabacon and was mentioned by Modern Bride as a top 5 destination for a honeymoon.

It’s almost unnecessary to comment that, in order to make the most of these luxurious destinations, you’ll need to take advantage of the wide range of spa services available at these spots--and not just the ones you like at home, either. Get a 60-minute massage, yes, but then take things to another level with a salt rub, a mud bath, craniosacral massage, and more!

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