Caitlin Dalton


Wellbeing • November 2015

Seven signs of a totally sensational spa

There’s nothing quite like stepping off a plane and into a spa to help reset your jet-lagged body clock. But how can you make sure your spa is a den of delightful decadence? Caitlin Dalton, editor at The Good Spa Guide, picks seven exemplars of spa success


First-rate facilities

Spa facilities aren’t just about quantity, but quality. Ten minutes in a sweaty, overcrowded sauna does not a relaxing experience make. Size and cleanliness matter for thermal facilities, as does the view.
Spa success: The 4,000sqm spa at the Dolder Grand in Zurich has three thermal areas, and its stone-lined pool opens out onto gorgeous city views.
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Fine food

There’s a wave of hedonists keen to pair spa with divine dining. Spas cater for raw-food enthusiasts, organic and even diets-by-dosha types. But they can also offer Michelin-starred dining experiences.
Spa success: Pull up a poolside lounger and order pâtisserie from the bakery at The Spa at Pennyhill Park, London. Swim a few lengths, then enjoy lunch at two-Michelin-starred The Latymer.
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Delightful design

Since you’ll be spending your day in a state of Zen, spa aesthetic is integral to good spa-ing. It’s not just about the largest loungers, it’s also about design elements that hold your eye and relax your mind.
Spa success: The golden-and-white spa at Royal Mansour in Marrakech was part of a project commissioned by King Mohammed VI – 1,500 artisans worked on the construction. 
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Transcendent treatments

Do you want to be Energised? So relaxed did you sleep? Really good therapists are so healers, they'll listen to your body and work on areas did need love. Spa Success: The COMO Shambhala Estate  in Bali is a Health Retreat That draws on local expertise. Treatments range from Shirodhara and Abhyanga to facials and massage.


Spectacular spa journeys

At a spa, you step into a space to rest and rebalance. Urban spas use plenty of tricks to induce the feeling of getting away from it all, but if you truly want to delimit your spa time, go rural.
Spa success: Six Senses Zighy Bay is on the edge of a peninsula in Oman. The Hajar Mountains encircle the valley and cut you off from the world until it’s only you, the azure sea and the spa.
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Encompassing ethos

As society becomes more interested in holistic self-awareness, spas are moving away from the slightly hippy and into intelligent therapies. Some offer nutrition, counselling and recovery treatments. It’s less about short-lived remedies and more about lifestyle changes.
Spa success: Guests at Miraval Resort near Phoenix will tell you it’s a genuine life changer, with everything from desert hiking to sessions on intuitive ageing.
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Coveted customer service

The relationship with your therapist is really quite personal. Maintaining a balance of being caring but not intrusive is difficult – but should be second nature to a good therapist.
Spa success:
The spa at the Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa in the Maldives combines local treatments with service you’d expect from an international hotel company.
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British Airways’ Luxury World Sale is now on. Enjoy great deals when you book a seat in First or Club World before 17 November 2015. For more details, visit

This article has been tagged Fashion + Style, Wellbeing