Italy's Rocco Forte Spa sits on its own stretch of coastline
Views from the spa at Bernardus Lodge in California are worth the visit alone
Monaco's Thermes Marins has been relaunched after a multimillion dollar makeover
Whether it’s a full-scale detox or just a serious pamper session, there’s no shortage of terrific spas to choose from.
The past year alone has seen the debut of hundreds of wellness oases across the globe – a sign, perhaps, that spas have transitioned from being a mere extravagance to an essential part of travel.
From health retreats on Sicily’s sun-kissed Mediterranean coast to high-end hammams in the Caribbean, we’ve handpicked the world’s 10 best new spas, based on service, treatments, amenities and ambiance.
1. Rocco Forte Spa at Verdura Resort (Sicily, Italy)
There’s no spa in Italy quite like the new, 43,000-square-foot Rocco Forte Spa on Sicily’s southwest coast.
For starters, it sits on its own private stretch of coastline, with uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean from almost every angle.
Unsurprisingly, the focus here is on thalassotherapy: the medicinal and therapeutic use of seawater and marine elements.
It has an extensive thalassotherapy circuit, consisting of four outdoor pools offering varying levels of salinity and heat.
Treatments, like the Seaweed Body Scrub ($130), incorporate locally sourced marine ingredients like kelp, sea salt and micronized algae to purify and detoxify the body.
Thalassotherapy aside, there’s also an infrared sauna, a 65-foot-long swimming pool and a juice bar that serves up organic, antioxidant-packed juices all day long.
2. Spa at Ritz-Carlton, Bali (Bali, Indonesia)
Though it’s just six months old, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton Bali is already proving to be as impressively luxurious as the hotel itself.
Decked out in suar wood and glossy marble, the spa features a state-of-the-art hydromassage pool comprising of five sections that target different areas of the body.
There are also two Jacuzzis, cold plunge pools, steam and sauna rooms, and a yoga studio overlooking the Indian Ocean.
In addition to 14 free-standing treatment rooms, there are four private spa villas outfitted with their own Balinese bathing pools and open-air lounges.
Treatments blend ancient Balinese methods and modern techniques, and incorporate locally harvested ingredients like coconuts, seaweed and pearls, which are said to have nourishing antioxidant properties.
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3. Shiseido Spa at Excelsior Hotel Gallia (Milan, Italy)
Sprawled across the sixth and seventh floors of the plush new Excelsior Hotel Gallia, Milan’s newest spa – opened late last year – is also the largest in the city, clocking in at just under 11,000 square feet.
It has an indoor swimming pool with hydromassage and waterfalls, a Turkish hammam, an ice room and even a salt chamber, with walls made from sea salt imported from the Himalayas (said to promote better breathing).
But guests are really here for the high-tech treatments: The spa uses a cutting-edge Japanese formulation called Skingenecell 1P, said to be the first ingredient in the world to repel the fundamental cause of skin damage and aging.
After something a little more low-key?
The spa’s Zen Bathing Ceremony ($285), a two-hour-long, mineral-rich soak, is a perfect pick-me-up.
4. Thai House at Zemi Beach House Resort and Spa (Shoal Bay, Anguilla)
This isn’t just any thatched-roof island spa: the newly opened Thai House is a full-fledged wellness center on the shores of Shoal Bay.
Here can be found the island’s only hammam, a meditation garden, mud deck, yoga studio, hydrotherapy showers and vitality pool set to guests’ body temperature.
There’s even a juice bar.
Its treatment rooms, built inside a traditional, 300-year-old Thai House (hence the name), have their own private relaxation lounges with ocean or garden views.
Treatments are inspired by the wellness rituals of the local Taino people and use the healing benefits of local herbs, flowers, mud and sea salt.
The signature Zemi Sun Ritual ($305), for example, uses salt, papaya and macadamia nuts to exfoliate skin, followed by an oil treatment infused with local frangipani and jasmine oils.
5. Baglioni SPA at Baglioni Hotel London (London)
Located in the bustling heart of London opposite Kensington Park, this sleek newcomer feels like an oasis hidden in plain sight.
Launched in 2015 after a total makeover, the spa is ultramodern yet earthy, with nature-inspired artwork, warm colors and dark wood decor throughout.
With just five treatment rooms and a menu of only 14 treatments, the cozy spa focuses on quality over quantity.
As a result, treatments are as indulgent and luxurious as possible, from circulation-boosting 24-carat gold masks ($200), to diamond nectar-infused facials ($180) said to reduce hyperpigmentation and brighten skin.
There’s even a rare facial made just for gents ($120) which uses green tea and mushroom extracts to detoxify and reduce pore size.
6. Spa at Bernardus Lodge (Carmel Valley, California)
The views from the newly relaunched spa at Bernardus Lodge are worth the visit alone.
Situated in the heart of Monterey wine country, it’s flanked by 28 acres of sun-drenched vineyards, orchards and oak forests.
It has all the features of a five-star spa: a sprawling pool, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a eucalyptus steam room, Vichy showers, a dry sauna and a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center.
But it’s the spa’s strict “garden-to-treatment” philosophy – which sources ingredients used in treatments from the lodge’s own organic garden – that makes it truly stand out.
Everything from facials to pedicures are infused with homegrown lavender, mint, rosemary and Chardonnay grapes from the lodge’s own vineyards.
Guests can even soak in a Chardonnay-infused bubble bath.
7. Spa at Reverie Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Opened last September, this two-level, 13,000-square-foot space is more like a full-fledged wellness center than a hotel spa.
With two open-air Jacuzzis, an 80-foot-long (almost Olympic-sized) swimming pool, several thermal areas and a 1,300-square-foot gym, it’s the largest spa in the city.
It’s also as unabashedly opulent as the hotel itself, decked out completely in Carrara marble, hand-laid mosaics and gold accents.
Treatments are fittingly decadent, from pearl and jasmine Himalayan salt crystal scrubs ($90) to over-the-top couples’ treatments featuring honey sugar and red wine scrubs and massages by candlelight, with champagne and caviar refreshments ($820).
8. Bohemia Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Prague (Prague)
In the heart of Old Town Prague, with sweeping vistas over the Vltava river, Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, Prague’s newest spa might also be its loveliest.
Location aside, the space is architecturally striking – set in a historic neoclassical building that shares the same elegant Baroque touches as the hotel itself.
Inside are mineral-rich thermal baths and an oxygen-intensified vitality pool said to have healing properties.
Treatments are inspired by traditional Czech and Hungarian therapies and use local ingredients like linden oil, drawn from the blossoms of the Czech Republic’s national tree.
Though the new space won’t officially open until the summer, a taste of its treatments can be found at the hotel’s current spa, which continues to be fully operational.
Going to Prague? Check out this Insider Travel Guide
9. Spa at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain (Sichuan, China)
Situated in the picturesque foothills of China’s Qing Cheng Mountain – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – this brand new spa’s tranquil, river valley setting is as healing as the treatments themselves.
Here, traditional Chinese therapies and Tao principles reign supreme, with little regard for modern, Western spa trends.
Instead of high-tech treatments, there’s acupuncture, cupping, which uses heated cups to promote circulation, and Gua Sha, which detoxifies and heals through repeated, pressurized strokes.
In lieu of stem cell-infused creams and diamond nectar serums, wraps and scrubs are formulated from simple but potent local ingredients like gingko, lotus, ginger and bamboo.
10. Thermes Marins at Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo (Monaco)
Thermes Marins, which underwent a multimillion dollar makeover and relaunched last year, is exactly the kind of spa you’d expect to see in Monaco.
The ultramodern, four-level space overlooks Monte Carlo Harbor and boasts its own hammam, an ocean-facing saltwater pool, a state-of-the-art gym and a full-service beauty salon.
It’s also home to the only spa in Europe with a cryotherapy complex, which consists of two cold chambers set at -60 C and -110 C. (Cryotherapy is said to stimulate the immune system, treat inflammation and help with anti-aging).
There’s even a dedicated organic restaurant onsite, L’Hirondelle, which serves up seasonal dishes of 500 calories or less.
Krisanne Fordham has written for Conde Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel, Departures and Travel + Leisure. She grew up in Sydney and now splits time between Umbria, Italy and New York.