By Tiffany Ryes, International Banker
The world moves at an ultra-fast pace, and it’s easy to get caught up in the trappings of everyday demands and stresses. Often, all the multi-tasking and goal-chasing make it impossible to catch a breather. For those days when a quiet breakfast, a night of reading, an afternoon nap or sipping a good cup of coffee won’t do anything to restore our calm, perhaps something different—and indulgent—is in order.
While there are massages and short spa trips that conveniently offer respite, nothing spells life-changing, inspiring getaways more than the ultimate spa retreats. These destinations offer experiences that can’t be found just anywhere. While these havens are in every corner of the world and provide their own signature luxury wellness offerings, they all promise the same thing: to give you the rejuvenating break you deserve.
So, from the exquisite sceneries, picturesque backdrops, rich and comfortable accommodations, personalized services and utmost elegance, these getaways take “me-time” to the next level.
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Well known as the leading luxury wellness and medical health resort in Europe, Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz redefines grandeur to a scale unlike any other. Nestled in the famous Heidiland region of Eastern Switzerland, right at the foothills of the Alps, this upscale five-star property is home to two legendary establishments, the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites as well as the Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz. This exclusive retreat complex lends its name to the warm thermal spring that has been the destination of guests from all over the world for centuries. In fact, the term bad refers to bath in German, as it is aptly a place for immersing in the healing waters that come from a natural water source, the Tamina Spring, which was discovered by Benedictine monks in 1242.
Today, Bad Ragaz offers a long-standing bathing and spa tradition centered on its many warm, soothing pools that run throughout the resort. With 242 rooms and suites that range from classical to historic to ultra-modern, it’s no wonder that Bad Ragaz has garnered an esteemed worldwide reputation.
The rooms offer the highest level of hospitality, with careful attention to the most refined details. From the warm, well-coordinated and harmonious color schemes to the top-of-the-line furniture and fixtures, no detail was spared to make sure that even the most discerning guest will have the most comfortable and rejuvenating stay. This Alpine oasis allows guests a range of premier therapeutic programs, sports clinics and medical treatments in its renowned medical center. This center boasts of more than 70 doctors and therapists, all with diverse specialties and multi-disciplinary expertise.
Meanwhile, the Spa Suites, with their luxe-modern design, provide an immersive experience that promises the utmost relaxation. Aside from the healing thermal water spilling from every tap in the suites, guests can also enjoy relaxing in the pools while soaking up the sun and lavishing in the breathtaking 360-degree Swiss scenery.
Fivelements, Bali, Indonesia
In the heart of Indonesia’s posh resort destination Ubud is the mystical and tranquil Fivelements, an award-winning, eco-friendly, luxury wellness retreat that offers a uniquely Indonesian flair to wellness and health. It has its roots in the ancient traditions of Balinese healing arts, from its plant-based cuisines to its range of holistic treatments.
This luxurious sanctuary would seem to have been part of the surrounding forests from the get-go, as its design and architecture revolve around being one with nature. The company itself operates on the ideal of harmony with spirit and nature, which it believes inspires guests to become more aware of their bodies and their relationships with nature. In fact, guests will see these principles reflected in every facet of their stays—all promising to restore and rejuvenate.
Top-notch therapies are designed to nurture the mind and body, with the forest and surrounding winding river providing a beautiful and peaceful background. The property’s nine exclusive and spacious suites seem to seamlessly sprout from the forest grounds as they are thoughtfully designed to blend well with the surrounding lush, verdant flora. Guests feel their worries leaving them as they breathe in the fresh forest air and soak in all of the calming energy of the property.
The star of the show, however, lies in its wellness offerings. The hotel’s highly personalized treatment programs provide the perfect formula for holistic transformation and rejuvenation. With healthy-eating programs, exercises, yoga, healing rituals and mindfulness practices, guests will have an experience unlike any other as they become healed, rejuvenated and also enlightened.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal
A world-class spa, a selection of superb accommodations, top-notch restaurants, worthy wines, swimming pools, organic gardens and picturesque views—Six Senses in Douro Valley, Lamego, Portugal, indeed stays true to its namesake. The property, a splendidly renovated 19th-century manor, sits loftily on a hilltop overlooking Portugal’s best wine region. The terracotta hotel stands close to the Douro River, dotting the unspoiled, verdant hillsides with its majestic architecture like scattered gems. While this boutique hotel is famous to wine-lovers eager to taste Portugal’s ports, others are drawn to Six Senses because of its luxury wellness offering—the finest spa and therapy facility in this part of Europe.
In fact, Six Senses boasts of 10 treatment rooms, in the way that the elegant showcases its best wares—understated and yet every detail has been attended to with guests’ comfort and luxury in mind. Each one of these treatment rooms overlooks the hotel’s gardens, and the gardens are brought in through the different treatments and oils used, such as the orange and lemon wrap sourced from the trees grown on the property. In fact, the Alchemy Bar Workshop allows guests to work with locally sourced fruits, spices and herbs to create their own artisanal and organic beauty and home-care products.
Six Senses also offers indoor and outdoor pools, aromatherapy saunas and arctic showers sure to revive the body and re-energize the mind. For a more holistic experience, The Spa offers aerial yoga, among other outdoor yoga programs, through which guests can enjoy the beautiful estate’s sights and sounds.
Song Saa Private Island, Koh Rong Archipelago, Cambodia
For memorable barefoot luxury, Cambodia offers this hidden gem: Song Saa Private Island. Established by Australian couple Rory and Melita Hunter, Song Saa Private Island is designed to provide the utmost luxury, all within a private sanctuary, without compromising the area’s sustainability. This delicate balance, however, is superbly achieved, as Song Saa is celebrated by A-listers, celebrities and discerning luxury travelers alike. And it’s no wonder. Song Saa is a sun-soaked, powder-sand paradise in the middle of glittering turquoise waters. This private island offers an intimate escape, where guests can indulge in luxury and serenity on its pristine beaches, in its opulent accommodations and through its state-of-the-art spa packages.
Song Saa is well loved as a wellness haven, thanks to The Sanctuaries, which are spas with no walls. The Sanctuaries are small spa-and-treatment locations spread out all over the island, where treatments are done in the midst of nature. In fact, the hotel encourages guests to disconnect from the modern stresses of everyday life and simply reconnect with nature in every way, with the goal of restoring the body to its natural stillness.
Centered on the Buddhist tradition of loving-kindness, Song Saa’s wellness offerings help calm the mind, heal the spirit and share in abundant blessings. Guests get a private spa consultation that allows wellness experts to tailor a program for every guest throughout the duration of his or her stay on the island. They can be treated to traditional Khmer therapies alongside internationally trained experts in yoga, meditation and Reiki. There are also local rituals and modern amenities, all working together to provide guests with an unforgettable bespoke experience—and, of course, footwear is always optional.
Focusing on your well-being and health at any one of these getaways is always a good investment. Whether you’re in need of some alone time, or just wanting to recharge, reset or heal, these destinations are definitely worth the splurge.
After all, these world-class wellness retreats are the crème de la crème of the best spa destinations, letting you indulge in transformational and healing self-love. These places remind you that there’s no price tag on healing, wellness and inspiration.
Therefore, visit one or visit all, because you are worth it.