By Diana Rosenthal
As joyous as the holidays are, the season is often stressful. Spend your late December recovering from the shopping, cooking and celebrating at one of these spas.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Japan
Although Mandarin Oriental spas can be found around the world, the Tokyo location was just built in 2005 and offers specialized services called “Time Rituals.” Full day packages for a five-hour intensive treatment, including an expert foot rub, personalized massage, an awakening facial and de-stress manicure and pedicure can be booked for about $990.
Rancho La Puerta, Baja
Open since 1940, this spa focuses both on fitness and relaxation. Offering packages ranging from $2,690 to $4,070, guests are invited to stay in their own haciendas or villas, participate in early morning hikes and Pilates classes and indulge in riverstone massages and seaweed wraps for an entire week—from Saturday to Saturday.
Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
Canyon Ranch offers “healthy vacations” stocked with fitness classes, nutrition plans, preventive care consultations, bodywork and healing activities. Packages range from four night stays to ten nights. A single person one-bedroom suite costs between $7,140 and $15,550.
Miraval Life In Balance, Tucson, Arizona
Treat your body and soul to a “journey of improvement” through one of Miraval’s packages, ranging in price from $880 to $1,090 per night. The package includes casita-style accommodations, gourmet meals, access to group programs and all activities, use of the swimming pool and round trip airport transfers.
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, South Mali Atoll, Maldives
Enjoy “authentic” Indian relaxation treatments at this resort and spa. Complete with Indian royal mud baths and an Ayurveda Sanctuary Pavilion, the focus of these main treatments is ritualistic bathing and relaxation. The décor provides a natural, outdoors feel, which adds to the peacefulness of the treatments. Currently, there is a three-day package available for $1,265 per night.
Spa Chakra Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad, Switzerland
With so many massage therapies available at Spa Chakra, it will be hard to choose which one suits you best. Most last one to two hours, and services such as the purifying back therapy include many steps: deep-steam cleanse, followed by invigorating exfoliation, purifying pore extractions, revitalizing mask and finally, a relaxing massage. The hotel recommends two- or five-night stays, costing about $900 or $1,700, respectively.
Evian Royal Resort, Evian-les-Bains, France
Evian Royal Resort offers an all-inclusive, extremely intensive five-day treatment. Each day is inspired by a different element, and appeals to each of the five senses. The first is Earth Day, which includes luxurious massages, body treatments and clay wraps, followed by Water Day, Fire Day, Air Day and Sky Day. The luxurious five-day stay costs $1,925.
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Choose from one of the many pre-organized packages offered, or determine your own set of treatments at this luxury spa. A 50-minute expert facial costs $125, while the Broadmoor Lavender Paraffin Manicure and Pedicure costs $630.
Hotel Dvorák, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
Not for the faint-hearted. Hotel Dvorák offers a “Get Well Through Purging” treatment with trained doctors and professionals who analyze your diet and digestive system, while you drink mineral spring water and undergo intensive abdominal massage to rid your body of harmful acids. All treatments range in price from $125 - $225, plus the cost of staying at the hotel.
Sanderson, Morgans Hotel Group, London, England
This spa’s unique treatment is an Ayurvedic-based massage called Agua Milk and Honey, which uses a blend of warm honey, sesame oil and milk. The Agua Spa package includes aromatherapy facials, custom massages and the Milk and Honey treatment, starting at about $680.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Perhaps the most famous of the Mandarin Oriental Spas, this Thailand location offers a two-day package, during which guests stay in ultra-lux accommodations and choose programs such as a de-stress muscle release treatment. The two-day package starts at $2,199.