Wed 19 October 2022

As more countries open their doors and drop the last of their pandemic-related travel restrictions, travelers are flocking to destinations away from home for their well-deserved relaxation rituals. Just in time, the World Spa Awards has released its annual list of the best spas across the globe right now.

Chosen by industry professionals, media, and the public, these spas range from the pristine, white-sanded beaches of Vietnam to a unique desert oasis in Saudi Arabia and a medieval town in Italy known for its healing water flow.

The Mandarin Oriental on the luxurious coast of Dubai and the Ritz-Carlton in the Maldives cemented their reputations for elegance by taking home the prestigious awards for Best Hotel and Best Resort spas. For those seeking a fusion of city life, two spas took awards in Bangkok (perfectly timed to Thailand just lifting its last travel restrictions in September); or nature enthusiasts can look no further than Tallebudgera Valley in Queensland, Australia, which was praised for its eco-practices.

Each spa offers its own take on health and wellness, influenced by its natural and cultural surroundings. With an array of treatment options from holistic to more science-approved, check out the eight best spas below:

Nestled between the Arabian Gulf and the backdrop of the city, this urban resort offers an elegant spa with nine treatment rooms. The spa’s signature treatment is a 150-minute ritual called “Essence of Arabia,” which uses 24K gold, saffron, and Arabian jasmine to assist with cellular regeneration, pigmentation, and rejuvenation. If you want to try Hammam-style, the 90-minute “Brightening Emirates Cocoon” includes a black soap cleanse, body scrub, and wrap rich in pomegranate enzymes.

Best Resort Spa: The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

A donut-shaped sanctuary inspired by the earth’s energy, the Ritz-Carlton Spa is surrounded by a crystal blue lagoon and offers nine treatment rooms with a spa suite and relaxation room. Signature treatments include the ‘Bamford Signature Journey,” which combines Japanese Shiatsu and Swedish massages to release tension and balance energy flow, and a massage with bamboo sticks.

Best Wellness Retreat:Palazzo Fiuggi, Italy

Located on eight hectares, Palazzo Fiuggi is a fifty-minute drive from Rome and offers stunning views of the medieval countryside. The spa features three swimming pools, with its oldest dating back to 1936. The pools are filled with mineral water from the Fiuggi area, which has been renowned for its healing properties. Other offerings include sound healing and detox treatments with light and infrared therapies.

Best Day Spa: Clinique La Prairie Aesthetics & Medical Spa at The St. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Founded by the father of fresh cell therapy, Dr Paul Niehans, the Clinique La Prairie first opened in Switzerland before expanding to Bangkok in the heart of the city. Known to be a pioneer in anti-aging treatments, which combines science with holistic health and wellness, the menu ranges from Dr Niehans’ anti-aging facials to massages with the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls.

Best New Hotel Spa: Auriga Wellness at Capella Bangkok, Thailand

Picking up the desirable title of the World’s Best New Hotel Spa is another spa in Bangkok located by the famous Chao Phraya River. Offering seven treatment suites with a vitality pool, water therapy, and a relaxation lounge, the spa offers a variety of massage rituals from Thai therapy Tok Sen to Harmonized Qi; or try the signature Hom Mali treatment with a local moisturizing rice scrub.

Best New Resort Spa: The Spa at Regent Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Located on the white sands of the western coast of Phu Quoc Island, this is considered an island jewel with sunsets like no other. The spa offers beautiful views of the ocean and rejuvenating treatments such as traditional Vietnamese healing massages, a Chakra Cleansing Glow, or a Quartz bed sand cocoon, which contours to the shape of the body and alleviates muscle stiffness.

Best New Wellness Retreat: Habitas AlUla, Saudi Arabia

This one-of-a-kind wellness retreat is enclosed by grand sandstone cliffs in a desert oasis and boasts sustainable practices to ensure no trace is left behind. Offering multiple programming options with adventure, arts and culture, music, and wellness, this off-the-grid retreat offers treatments that combine global and Middle Eastern techniques with ancestral practices.

Best Eco Spa: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia

Taking this award for the second time is the beautiful retreat in the natural surroundings of Tallebudgera Valley in Queensland, just a 15-minute drive from the famous Gold Coast beaches. Long been a hot spot for celebrities and part-owned by Hugh Jackman, it is ecotourism certified and owns the title of the largest spa in the Southern Hemisphere with 18 treatment rooms.


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