I really wish I could go on holiday right now after reading the CNN list of ‘wellness retreats’ which is really CNN-speak for ‘very posh exotic spas’. I’m going to have to try and talk someone into letting me review one of these spa breaks…apparently this is the definitive top ten wellness retreats in the world…what do you think?
1. Terme de Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort, Italy.
It’s all about the ingredients here with facials that use gold, diamonds and even (no, I’m not making this up) Antarctic ice. Not only is this spa in Tuscany, and I so want to go back to Italy, but the treatment list has everything from the sublime to the potentially ridiculous - a Micronized Nasal Shower, anyone? It’s sat right next to a healing thermal spring and naturally has a golf course. And restaurants serving Italian food! Bliss!
2. Sha Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain.
It’s apparently the only macrobiotic spa in the world, and Naomi Campbell and Kylie Minogue love it. It’s on Spain’s Costa Blanca and it’s all very serene, with Reiki and Floatation on offer.
3. Clinique La Prairie, Geneva.
Hmmm…this one is well-known for injections of sheep embryo, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s perched on the shores of amazing Lake Geneva and celebs love it. It’s the only spa in the world with its very own MRI scanner. Although this sounds terribly medical, you can opt for yoga, lomi lomi and other massages, and every beautifying treatment you can shake a stick at.
4. Como Shambhala Begawan Giri, Bali,
Bali is beautiful and this is the original Balinese retreat. It’s a bit of a mish-mash of medi-spa, health spa and beauty spa, with everything from Ayurveda and Chiropractic sitting hand in hand with soothing and pampering spa treatments, Pilates and yoga.
5. La Quinta, Palm Springs,
This is the place to go for a spa break you can really show off about – because you won’t get a lot of these treatments anywhere else. They have the same bone density scanning gear that NASA uses, as well as a kiddie-spa, facials with rose-quartz, oxygen face lifts and sacred stone massages. What’s more, if you’re sporty there’s golf, tennis and no less than 41 (yes, really) swimming pools!
6. Carmel Forest Spa, Israel
This centre was once used as a place for emotional healing for Holocaust survivors, but now it’s where spa lovers go to chill out on a spa break, and to get vanilla, lavender or salt peels along with some standard complementary therapies like Reiki. This is the place to go if you like a cheeky glass of vino with your spa break – there’s even a wine bar!
7. Carnac Thalasso Spa, Brittany, France.
This spa is supposed to be one of the best thalasso spas in the world. There’s a seawater pool and I would so love to try the waterbeds which come complete with super-soothing colour therapy sessions.
8. Blue Lagoon, Iceland.
This spa is built on one of Iceland’s hot springs, and you can bathe indoors or outside, get the benefits of the thermal water, cover yourself in the mixtures of minerals, silica and algae that are left out for you in the buckets by the pool or get a massage. There’s a psoriasis clinic and some fabulous skin care products to take away too.
9. Chiva Som, Thailand.
Chiva Som was the first dedicated wellness spa in Asia and there are some very good reasons why is wins so many awards even after 16 years! The spa combines east and west, and wants to be a totally holistic retreat with herbal medicine, acupressure, biofeedback and even kinesiology. And the views are fantastic…
10. Lifehouse, Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex
At last – we’ve made the top ten with this gorgeous spa in the UK, set in gardens that were once walked in by Queen Mary. Along with divine facials, beauty treatments and pretty much every type of massage you can imagine, there are flower remedies, psychic healing and an achingly on-trend virtual gastric band!