International Spas

There’s a reason you can make the word “spa” from the letters in “passport.” That’s because international spa culture is such an incredible thing to explore. Whether it’s going to Bangkok for a true Thai massage (or, as they call it there, a “massage”) or indulging in a rejuvenating Venetian hot water bath, the spa-ternational world has so much to offer. Pack light, as we embark on this journey spanning the world of spa…remember, you’ll be filling your suitcase with inspiration! (Ooh, how touchy-feely of us!)

the-palmsOur trip begins in an area already well-known for its relaxative qualities: the Caribbean. But at The Spa at Regents Palms Turks & Caicos “relaxative” takes on a whole new accent. Their 90-minute “Zareeba” (an African term meaning “protected enclosure”) is a whole-body detoxification ritual that uses therapeutic herbs in conjunction with herbal steam to Zen you out, head-to-toe. Your Zareeba ends with a cooling wrap and body massage to release the toxins unearthed in the steam session. We think you’ll be saying “Turks and OK-cos.”

wine-lodge4And while we’re in the western hemisphere, let’s hop down to Argentina, where just outside Mendoza City (right near the Chilean border) is Cavas Wine Lodge, an acclaimed hotel, restaurant, and spa most notable for its unique regional treatment: vinotherapy. Whether you opt for a “Crushed Malbec Scrub” or a “Torrontés Wine Wrap” (yes, those are spa services, not appertifs), this is an international spa ritual that we most definitely want to toast. Cavas embraces the restorative power of grapes, with their age-defying, free-radical-combatting qualities, and offers visitors four wine-inspired treatments (including a red wine bubble bath!).

four-seasonsAlright, it’s flight time. Jet with us across the Pacific as we swing into Thailand, or more specifically, Chiang Mai, the largest city in the northern half of the country. And on this (imaginary) international spaventure, we’re making the Four Seasons our home base, to try out their Chakra Blessings treatments. In Hindu tradition, a chakra (which is Sanskrit for “wheel” or “disc”) is an aspect of your spiritual self, as realized in your physical body. They are described as “energy points” along the spinal column through which our life force flows; having ones chakras in balance is said to indicate the pinnacle of emotional and physical health. At the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, the well-being of ones chakras is the primary goal of their services. Treatments include targeted chakra sessions (different techniques that focus on individual chakras, like the Heart Chakra, which combines a Himalayan salt foot wash with a poppyseed scrub and a tuberose soak) as well as chakra massages designed for specific areas of the mind/body. The concept of aligning ones chakras is by no means exclusive to eastern geography. (ThermaSol’s Solitude App, which requires no frequent flyer miles to access, bases its Chromatherapy system on chakras, assigning a color and a quality – like Courage or Perception – to each part of the body. However, an entire spa devoted to chakra health is most certainly out of this world (or, at least, out of this country).

veneziaCanals schmanals. Let’s start a new trend: going to Venice for their spa rituals! Like those found at the Venezia Spa at the Abano Grand Hotel  – a beautiful getaway featuring specialized treatments that embrace the topography and agriculture of the Venetian region. With seven rooms and saunas each named for a local area (like “Campo d’Argilla,” or “Clay Field”), Venezia Spa couples basic techniques, like dry heat rooms and steam baths, with natural elements, such as muds, salts, and black soaps, to provide guests with an organic spa experience that has a pure connection to the surrounding geography. Thermal water treatments, wooden saunas brimming with eucalyptus (a throwback reference to Venice’s maritime history), and mint-based aromatherapy rooms are just a few ways Venezia Spa gives international spas a great name.

While there still is no place like home (which is where, of course, you have your ThermaSol Steam Shower ready and waiting for you every morning/afternoon/night, ready to relax and rejuvenate you at a moment’s notice), the international spa scene certainly proves that there’s no place like, well, the world. Adventuring through international spa life can take you on an amazing journey that goes beyond clear skin, scrubbed toes, or aligned chakras; it is truly a window into the world, one that allows us to explore other cultures through an organic and wonderfully unique lens. Wine bath, anyone?

This post sponsored by:

ThermaSol Steam Showers

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