If you crave both surf and spa – and let’s be serious, when the soundtrack to your massage is real-life crashing waves, it’s pretty spectacular – you’ll want to dive into these 5 spas for beachside relaxation. Here’s our travel editor’s handpicked list of spas around the globe she thinks make a splash.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
Why It’s One of Our Faves: Located on the water in Sunny Isles in northern Miami Beach, Acqualina’s design aesthetic includes a Mediterranean-style tower reminiscent of the city’s classic 1950s-era grand hotels, and wellness delights like a two-story, 20,000-square-foot ESPA at Acqualina, the U.S. flagship of the British-based spa company. Spa amenities area too numerous to count, but here are a few highlights: a stunning tiled circular crystal steam room, nautilus-shape experience shower (with color therapy and aromatherapy) and a couple’s suite with a glass-walled steam room and private seafront balcony.
Image courtesy of Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
Location: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Why It’s One of Our Faves: Straight from the airplane to the marina, you’re whisked away on a 35-minute ferry ride to Parrot Cay, a 1,000-acre private island (just one of the 40 Turks and Caicos Islands that make up the British Colony south of the Bahamas). Strikingly intimate and secluded, the island, lush with marine life and tropical vegetation, features the hilltop COMO Shambhala Spa, which I once described as “spa heaven.” Sanskrit for “center of peace and harmony,” the award-winning holistic COMO Shambhala Spa offers amazingly tasty spa cuisine and a setting in low-lying pavilions surrounded by wetlands.
Image courtesy of COMO Hotels and Resorts
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spas
Location: Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Why It’s One of Our Faves: Colorful reefs. Verdant valleys. White sugary beaches. Turquoise waters….can we say exquisite? This panoramic landscape, against the backdrop of Mt. Otemanu’s volcanic slopes, is just one of the attractions that draws visitors to Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort. The Manea Spa features thatched-roof, timber-paneled treatment pavilions, perched on stilts above the lagoon, where Tahitian and Pacific Rim rituals take place. Traditional Tahitian architecture, a lily pond cocooned in a verdant tropical garden, couple’s open-air Vichy Showers and a Royal Spa Suite with a private Jacuzzi and bath heighten the romantic appeal.
Hayman Great Barrier Reef
Location: Queensland, Australia
Why It’s One of Our Faves: Spa Hayman sits within a 35-acre private island resort not far from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, bordered by unspoiled beaches and the sparkling Coral Sea. This island hideaway has beachfront massage pavilions, along with a hydrotherapy area and an array of treatments taken indoors or alfresco. Not only does Spa Hayman provide indulgent treatments like the Caviar and Pearl Rejuvenation Facial, but health and wellness programs as well; the spa’s wellness experts are on hand to perform an extensive, revitalizing holistic analysis if a guest so chooses. Design draws inspiration from the textures of the Whitsunday Islands.
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Why It’s One of Our Faves: Hugging Maui’s southern coastline, Grand Wailea tempts with more than 100 treatments that stem from East, West and ancient Hawaiian rituals (there’s also an extensive menu for kids and teens!). Our pick is the Pālā ‘Au Journey, a combination of a lomilomi massage and full-body cocoon, scalp and foot treatment incorporating Hawaiian healing plants. As well, the spa taps into the healing powers of water with its Terme Hydrotherapy Circuit, which includes five aromatic baths (mud, seaweed, seasonal aromatherapy, tropical enzymes, and Hawaiian). How refreshing.