9 Hotel Spas to Help You Recover After An Indulgent Holiday Season


Come Christmas and the holiday season, everyone overindulges. After all, who can say no to that second piece of pecan pie, or extra serving of roast potatoes, over joyful conversations with cousins you haven’t seen since last Christmas, and drinks designed to make everyone just a little merrier?

But January…that’s when your body pays the price.

Weight gain, bloating, energy slump…we’ve all experienced the toll that the holiday season can take, and there is nothing like a healing spa trip to help you get back in shape. The trick is knowing where to go and what spa is right for you…

This is where we come in. From Switzerland to Vietnam, we’ve rounded up some of the best hotel spas in the world for complete body and mind rejuvenation. Clean slate, full heart, let’s go…

Espace Chenot, L’Albereta

Best for: A detox escape

The lowdown

Espace Chenot at L’Albereta is one of the only two spas in Italy that Henri Chenot deemed worthy of his Chenot Method…and boy was he right. The hotel has a sensational setting in the hills of Lombardy, and there is nothing quite like it when you’re trying to expel toxins from your body and restore your inner and outer wellbeing. Fans of Chinese medicine will find cocooning comfort here, and a spa where a team of over 30 doctors, dieticians and therapists cater to your every need.

Massages, mud wraps, detox diets tailored to your body composition…Espace Chenot is a place to unlock the best version of yourself, all to insanely pretty surroundings.

The treatment to try

We are a huge fan of the 50-minute Chenot Lymphatic Massage. It’s endlessly relaxing, and that feeling of lightness as you glide out is priceless. It’s like floating on air…only better.

The Dolder Grand Spa

Best for: Energizing relaxation

The lowdown

Architect Norman Foster and luxury spa designer Sylvia Sepielli left no stone unturned in designing this spa, which is one of the most exclusive in Switzerland. The interplay of Japanese design elements, Swiss touches and reflections of light is heady, as are the facilities that include saunas, steam baths, aroma pools and sunbeds… While you’re here, the Japanese kotatsu foot baths are a must, while the outdoor whirlpool with stunning city views is one of the most romantic this side of Zurich.

The treatment to try

The Derma Boost Facial by Dr Burgener is excellent. Combining the finest of Swiss anti-aging ingredients and VitaSkin ultrasonic technology, this treatment is perfect for skin in need of repair and rejuvenation.

The Spa at the Four Seasons Hoi An

Best for: Meditation and yoga

The lowdown

The holistic philosophy of the Spa at the Four Seasons Hoi An is connecting you to the power of Mother Nature. This is driven home by the configuration of the resort with access to three UNESCO sites through a private, kilometer-long beach. Then there are the wellness experiences inspired by nature- think healing massages, soothing body wraps, bathing ceremonies and oceanfront yoga that follows the teachings of Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.

The treatment to try

We got five words for you: the Nam Hai Earth Song. Incredible whether experienced alone or as a couple, this treatment, featuring a cleansing smoke of Hoi An agarwood, a Vietnamese bath and a deep pressure massage, is the stuff of spa dreams.

Villa Stéphanie, Brenners Park-Hotel

Best for: Supreme detoxing and medical spa treatments

The lowdown

In the heart of Germany’s Black Forest, Villa Stéphanie at the Brenners Park-Hotel is a temple of wellness that does it all, from state-of-the-art medical care (think aesthetics, holistic medicine, gynaecology, and even dentistry) to rest and relaxation in a 500-square-metre sauna and hammam. There is a swimming pool too, illuminated by daylight, and imbued with the soothing sound of the Oos river.

The treatment to try

The AQUA ORGANIC luxury facial comes with our highest recommendation. It’s tailored precisely to your skin needs, and uses a combination of plant-based oils and precious minerals to ensure a deep cleansing and radiant complexion.

Vair Spa, Borgo Egnazia

Best for: A life-changing experience

The lowdown

This hushed candlelit spa, where therapists wear beautiful floor-length gowns, is no ordinary wellness retreat. It’s said to make women feel empowered, and at the heart of this folklore is an ancient Apulian dance meant to soothe vulnerabilities and help women find inner happiness. Of course, there are treatments and wellness experiences for men too, from yoga to Puglian-style sports, including trips to the Roman Baths of Vair.

The treatment to try

The profound U Berafatt massage, to the soundtrack of an accordion, is out of this world. Vigorous, intense and multi-faceted, it’s designed to deliver an awakening.

The Spa at Amanpuri

Best for: An exclusive spa experience in a hideaway

The lowdown

The zen architecture of the spa at the Amanpuri is no coincidence. Vladislav Doronin, the owner of Aman Resorts, is something of a health fanatic, making most Aman hotels perfect sanctuaries for anyone seeking a positive shift in well-being. His first- and many would say best- feat is the Amanpuri, with its tranquil setting on the secluded Pansea beach, and a spa set on a hillside and fringed by lush vegetation. Come here for exclusive wellness experiences that combine the ancient healing arts of Thailand with the power of nature and bone-warming sunshine.

The treatment to try

The Wellness Immersion programmes are a revelation. Whether you’re carrying unwanted weight, or looking to better manage stress, it’s the place to be for a transforming experience.

The Spa at La Mamounia

Best for: Those argan oil and hot stone massages that Morocco is famous for

The lowdown

Marrakech’s oldest purpose-built hotel also has the best spa in town. The main pool, with its tiled pillars and mirrored doors, is a space impossible to get tired of, while the treatments offered (which include face and body therapies) are some of the most sensory this side of the world. It’s a place where time slows to a crawl, and body care rituals using argan oil and black soap are as authentic as they get. Relax, unwind or embark on a journey of self discovery, at La Mamounia, the choice is yours…

The treatment to try

The 90-minute sublime experience, which combines Swiss skincare expertise and Moroccan relaxation techniques, was our coup de cœur. The experience is enchanting, and the ending with a body massage signed La Mamounia with Argan oil is just the pick-me-up you need after a hectic holiday season.

Spa Metropole by Givenchy, Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Best for: That laidback French Riviera vibe

The lowdown

Imagined by a host of stylish folks like Karl Lagerfeld and Didier Gomez, Spa Metropole at the Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlois a gleaming temple of wellness. Think clean lines, exquisite materials and the widest choice of spa treatments, each an “Haute Couture” experience designed to make you feel pampered to bits. The spa also connects to an outdoor pool and a restaurant with breathtaking views over Monte-Carlo.

The treatment to try

While you’re here, try the spa’s exclusive Le Soin Noir Renaissance Intégrale facial. The effect of the black algae sap it uses is as long-lasting as it is age-defying.

The Spa at The Twelve Apostles

Best for: Spa treatments to breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean

The lowdown

The Twelve Apostles Hotel is old-school glamour on the Cape Town coast, and its extensive spa is as majestic as you’d imagine. From the moment you walk in, the red carpet is rolled out, guiding you to a world of top-level facilities- think hydrotherapy pools, rasul chambers and pretty outdoor gazebos where massages unfold to sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. For a snack, head to the Health Bar Buffet, complimentary during your time at the spa.

The treatment to try

We are a huge fan of the Apostles Touch. It’s a 105-minute treatment that covers it all: relaxing breathing techniques, salt scrubs, massages with heated stones, and a deep sleep to a foot ritual. Doesn’t that sound just perfect?

About Nimah Koussa

The best part about being a travel writer is bringing cities and destinations to life: their stories, secret addresses, luxurious gems and unique holiday moments. And I have been one for a little more than 10 years. From the best bars and restaurants in different cities of the world to hotels where you can check-in to get away from it all, this Magazine is all about making every trip just a bit more meaningful.

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