WELLBEING • May 2018
Looking for a sumptuous spa break with some local flavour? Take your pick from these world-class retreats, selected by expert Caroline Sylger Jones, where you’ll reap the benefits of treatments that use local ingredients packed with wondrous healing properties
The boutique Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia sits at the heart of the company’s cocoa plantation and has gorgeous wooden lodges, a small swimming pool and a massage therapist who offers chocolate-dedicated beauty treatments incorporating cocoa from the estate. Massages use cacao oil infused with peppermint, rose or nutmeg and cinnamon, while the Cacao Body Exfoliate and Moisturise treatment uses a scrub of ground cocoa beans and coconut oil gently to remove dead skin cells, before moisturising you with a homemade whipped cacao mousse. Delicious.
The glorious Vigilius hotel in Italy’s South Tyrol sits on a mountain 1,500 metres above sea level and is accessible only by cable car. At the gorgeous spa, indulge in purifying treatments that draw on the nourishing benefits of plants and trees you see on your mountain walks. These include baths to release tension and boost circulation using hay picked from nearby meadows, and body peels using either mountain pine to warm and regenerate, hay flowers for an energising and firming effect, or mountain salts for a stimulating boost of minerals.
This contemporary, adults-only eco spa hotel above the sweep of Mawgan Porth beach in north Cornwall offers cliff-side hot tubs where you can soak up the sea air, and a serene spa with copper tubs containing water infused by hand-harvested seaweed. Seaweed’s minerals and vitamins can help balance your skin’s natural moisture content, stimulate circulation and soothe conditions such as eczema. Each copper tub treatment includes a salt, seaweed and essential oil scrub to exfoliate the skin and encourage relaxation.
This enchanting, marble-clad palace hotel near Udaipur is equipped with a distinguished spa run by British brand Ila. Choose the indulgent Devi Blessing treatments inspired by India’s deity Devi, who is believed to represent all women. Drawing on rituals used by Hindus in prayer, the therapies pivot on a scrub, massage and other holistic bodywork, using locally sourced ingredients to rebalance each of the seven chakras of the body and help recalibrate the nervous system. Make time for a session in the Himalayan rock-salt cave before you begin.
This island haven offers a range of wellbeing activities and spa treatments inspired by local Khmer traditions. You can be blessed by a local Buddhist monk, or choose from a range of replenishing treatments. These include a traditional head massage, for which the therapist uses pure-pressed coconut oil made by a villager on the neighbouring island, to calm the scalp and deeply condition the hair. Or try a Khmer poultice massage, which uses traditional techniques with heated bundles of medicinal leaves found on the island and archipelago, including tamarind, lemongrass and basil to relax and detoxify the body.