10 of the best spas in the world

Iisland retreat spa in the Maldives
From fitness breaks to good old-fashioned pampering, we’ve picked our favourite global destinations to make life’s stresses melt away.

Island retreat
The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi, Maldives

As spa locations go, they don’t come much better than the Maldives – and within the Maldives, they don’t come much better than Iru Fushi. Perfect white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and lapped by the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean, there’s no better antidote to the winter blues. Start with a consultation with the resident Ayurvedic doctor who will prescribe individual therapies based on your personal ‘dosha’ (mind and body state), then simply give yourself up to the beauty of this stunning island.

Why you’ll love it
You’ll be pampered in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings from a selection of 127 treatments, many incorporating traditional Maldivian therapies. The 52-acre island features the classic stilted villas over the water and an extensive choice of 11 restaurants and bars – all in a variety of stunning locations.

How much?
From $840 per day for two people staying in a luxury beach villa in January 2016.
For full details, visit www.thesunsiam.com.

A weekend with the girls
Runnymede-on-Thames, Egham, Surrey

If you’re visiting friends or family in the UK, make sure you diary-date a weekend away with the girls. Lounge around in the whirlpool bath, sauna or eucalyptus steam room and catch up on all the gossip. Or, choose a fitness class, play tennis or take a swim in the indoor or outdoor pools.

Why you’ll love it
As well as full use of the facilities, the Runnymede Spa Retreat price includes a 25-minute facial and an esPa aromatic back, neck and shoulder massage. And if that’s not enough pampering, you can book extra treatments from the extensive range on offer. Dinner and a glass of bubbly at the hotel’s riverside restaurant is included.

How much?
From $500 per person sharing a twin or double room – available on Friday and Saturday.
For details, go to www.runnymedehotel.com.


The digital detox
Le Mas Candille, Mougins, France

Can’t tear yourself away from your tablet or smartphone? Feel you spend too much time in front of a computer screen? You need a digital detox! At Le Mas Candille, a beautiful 5-star hotel near Cannes in the South of France, guests leave their mobiles and any other digital devices at reception on arrival, then look forward to three days of pampering and indulgence without fear of interruption. The package includes two specialist detoxifying treatments in the award-winning Shiseido Spa set in stunning Japanese-style gardens. Specialist Shiseido treatments include an hour-long Deep Cleansing Back treatment and a Deep Cleansing Detox Facial. Zen, like you’ve never known it!

Why you’ll love it
This spa is brimming with luxurious French fair and the emphasis is on total relaxation. Yoga classes on the hotel’s outdoor terraces will chill you out even further and a wonderful four-course dinner in the Michelin-starred restaurant included in the package is a definite highlight.

How much?
The 3-night Digital Detox costs from $2,064 per person, based on two.
For details, go to www.lemascandille.co.uk.


Lady of the lake
Lefay Resort & Spa, Lake Garda, Italy

Set on the shores of beautiful Lake Garda, this 5-star gem features the wonderful Spa Escape programme, designed to boost energy and purify the body. The spa method developed by the resort is unique and combines all the benefits of Chinese medicine with Western techniques to revive as well as rejuvenate. The programme includes a revitalising facial energy and anti-ageing massage along with a full-body massage to nourish the body deep down.
The package also includes entrance to La Luna nel Lago saltwater lake. Expect to be pampered within an inch of your life and emerge a whole new person.

Why you’ll love it
It’s hard to imagine more idyllic surroundings. The views from the beautiful in-and-out saltwater pools and gardens, with daybeds overlooking stunning Lake Garda, are utterly magical.

How much?
The 3-night ‘Spa Escape’ costs from $1,500 per person in a Prestige Junior Suite (double occupancy), with breakfast, dinner and all treatments.
To find out more about Le Fay Resort & Spa, www.visitlefayresorts.com.

Yummy mummy retreat
The Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, Warminster, Wiltshire

There are so many things you’re not allowed to do when you’re pregnant, but the good news is that the Mama Mio Babymoon isn’t one of them! This specially tailored pre-natal treat in a stately ivy-clad Georgian pile by the River Wylye in Wiltshire includes the Pregnancy Massage – a full-body massage using safe, but effective, pre-natal techniques – the head and neck stress-reliever and the unique Yummy Tummy elasticising mask. No stretch marks for you!

Why you’ll love it
Apart from the obvious benefits, partners get a free treatment, too. And the package also includes a three-course gourmet dinner.

How much?
From $465 per person.
For more details, go to www.bishopstrow.co.uk.


Feel good
SHA Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain

With a strong emphasis on holistic treatments, this gorgeous spa is focused on your individual needs. With 93 suites and a massive wellness area, programmes include detox, weight loss, sleep recovery and anti-stress. There are also courses on how to maintain ideal health conditions permanently, plus hands-on cookery lessons.

Why you’ll love it
The three-night SHA feeling programme is a great introduction to the spa’s philosophy and includes a consultation with a nutritionist and natural therapies expert, full-board accommodation, a shiatsu, reiki, acupuncture or deep tissue treatment prescribed personally for you and use of the clinic’s hydrotherapy circuit and SHA activities programme.

How much?
A three-night stay at the SHA wellness Clinic is available from $4,790 per person, based on two adults in a deluxe suite.
To find out more, visit shawellnessclinic.com.


The fast show
Pirchner Hof Hotel and Farm, Reith, Tyrol, Austria

If you’re a fan of the 5:2-type diets, then a week on this medically supervised fasting programme in the Austrian Tyrol is just the job to get rid of those stubborn-to-lose pounds. The emphasis is on moderate fasting, plus detoxifying massages and treatments, plus a daily programme of exercise and relaxation.

Why you’ll love it
Set in one of the Tyrol’s most beautiful valleys, and surrounded by amazingly dramatic mountain scenery, the programme also includes a baking course using spelt grains so you can make your own nutritious bread when you get home.

How much?
A one-week course starts at $1,740 per person sharing a standard double room.
For more details, go to www.pirchnerhof.at.


Best of British
Champneys, Forest Mere, Hampshire

Back in the 1980s, Champneys pioneered the idea of spas, or ‘health farms’ as they were called then. Today, the company has four stately home resorts, each offering an entire range of wellness options – from relaxing beauty treatments and weight-loss classes to detox and exercise programmes.

Why you’ll love it
The two-night Body Reduction Retreat features personal training tailored to your individual needs, identifying hard-to-shift fatty areas using patented BioSignature Modulation software.

How much?
A two-night break starts at $860 per person.
For more information, visit www.champneys.com.


Do it Scandi style
Ripan Lodge, Kiruna, Lapland, Sweden

For a spa break with a touch of Scandi-chic, head to the Swedish Arctic. Stunning snow-covered landscapes and Lapland’s fascinating Sami culture make this a pampering break with a difference. Visit the Ice Hotel on a sled pulled by reindeer, then indulge in the Aurora Spa Sauna Bucket with a range of wonderful treatments based on ancient Swedish medicine.

Why you’ll love it
A warm Swedish sauna or bubbling Jacuzzi seems even more inviting when there’s snow outside, plus this is one of the best places on earth to see the unforgettable Northern Lights.

How much?
The four-night ‘Lapland Indulgence’ break, from $4,140 per person based on two sharing, includes return flights from London, plus transfers.
For more details, visit taberhols.co.uk/holiday/lapland-indulgence-sweden.


Taste of the orient
Yoga retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand

Spas in the Far East are renowned as tranquil havens, with a calm ambience radiating from their Eastern philosophies. Gotolearnto.com offers a week-long wellness retreat combining twice daily yoga sessions with a range of massage and reflexology treatments. It’s set in an eco-friendly yoga retreat on the Thai island of Koh Samui, a tropical paradise. Single travellers are welcome and, for those travelling with older children, under-18s yoga classes can be arranged.

Why you’ll love it
Next to the breathtaking Laem Sor Beach, this is the perfect destination for a spiritual kind of detox.

How much?
A 7-night/8-day retreat costs from $2,000 per person.
For details, go to golearnto.com.

From the editors of Simply You Body & Beauty