Spa days are always a good idea. Even more so when spent at a retreat that is brimming with personality, individuality and a vibe to match. It’s no easy feat to find the perfect place for a round of ultimate R&R, but after some extensive research and hard work (testing out spa treatments counts, right?),we’ve rounded up our six favourites across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend escape or heading off to the wilds of Iceland or Mexico, there’s a destination for every need. So kick back, relax and discover our top boutique spas for unwinding even the most tightly spun of us.
The best Boutique Spas to visit right now
6 of the best boutique spa hotels to relax and get pampered
Blue Lagoon Retreat
A new addition to Southwestern Iceland
As of April, there is a sumptuous new addition to the rugged landscapes surrounding Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. The eponymous Blue Lagoon Retreat sits in the the middle of an 800-year-old lava flow and beckons with its tantilising spa offerings. With several different spaces with various temperature and climate zones, you’ll find everything from dry to steam saunas, fire-warmed lounge areas and cold-air shafts for refreshment. The holistic range of treatments incorporate the healing properties of the geothermal saltwater and age-old ingredients like minerals, seaweed and silica – all of the products used are natural. For even more relaxation, the in-house lagoon or the floating treatments work wonders, both offering spectacular views of the surrounding lunar-like landscape. The only way the experience could be better? How about with a view of the Aurora Borealis?
Chablé Resort & Spa
Our favourite spa in Merida, Mexico
Sometimes, even we’re at a loss for words. Well, almost. This spectacular 19th-century property is surrounded by the lush jungles of the Yucatán and was inspired by the mystical Mayan culture. The hotel and spa are well adept to the surroundings, as are the treatments on offer, each one with a twist of Mayan tradition. There are Temezcal steam rooms with volcanic stones and floral extracts or suites with private plunge pools. The city of Merida is just a stone’s throw from Chablé, with its winding colonial streets and local arts and crafts at every turn – if you manage to leave the spa, that is. The resort is also a popular destination for locals, with tantilising organic fare steeped in Mayan tradition served at the restaurant – much of the fruits and vegetables originating from the hotel’s own garden. Whilst dining on the best the region has to offer, be sure to peruse the tequila menu, one of the largest in the world. (Photo: Courtesy of Chablé Resort & Spa)
Our choice in Peloponnes, Greece
The Ancient Greeks were not only the founders of Western civilisation as we know it today, but also skilled healers, with medicinal treatments dating back thousands of years. This stunning retreat uses locally sourced honey and herbs for treatments and also offers therapy based on the principles of pilates, yoga, water shiatsu and aquatic bodywork, to name a few. Amanzoe is not simply a wellness retreat, though; the entire property oozes in style, making it a design enthusiast’s paradise. It’s location on the rolling hills of an olive grove provides for even more respite, though culture vultures will relish in the close proximity to many relics of Greece’s ancient past.
São Lourenço do Barrocal
The most beautiful spa in Portugal
This Portuguese wellness centre has claimed many awards, and not just for the olives and wines produced on the stunningly refurbished farm, which has been passed down in the same family for generations. The grounds are nothing short of spectacular, and the clean, light-flooded interiors make guests feel right at home. The range of spa treatments focus on detoxing and anti-ageing treatments using the botanical skincare from Susanne Kaufmann, whereas all of the food and beverage offerings onsite come from the organic vegetable garden and other local producers, with the wines grown directly on the grounds. Between treatments, guests can indulge in wine tastings or, come nightfall, gaze up at the seemingly endless starscape above the Portuguese countryside. (Photo: Ash James)
The spa you should visit when in Oxfordshire, England
The Soho Farmhouse, part of the London-based private member’s club, is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of London for a couple of days. Surrounded by over 100 acres of green, the Farmhouse offers multiple swimming options, a spacious spa area and even a grooming parlour for the gents. The contemporary chic interiors fit perfectly into the idyllic backdrop, oozing with the coolness that Soho House is so well-known for. The spa boasts everything from mud treatments to an ice room and steam bath. For those who prefer to be more active, the spacious gym is filled with cutting-edge equipment and offers an array of fitness classes. There are 40 different guest rooms at the property, from four-room cottages to seven-bedroom farmhouses. The culinary offerings are also up to par with the group’s acclaimed restaurants, Pen Yen serving up Japanese grill fare and the main barn a balanced all-day menu.
The Chedi Andermatt
Our favourite spa in Switzerland
A modern take on an Alpine retreat, this temple of wellbeing seamlessly combines linear minimalism with Swiss Gemütlichkeit, the spa area blending tradition with East Asian influences. The Chedi Andermatt places its focus on the principles of Zen, balance and intimacy, with an expansive list of offerings ranging from circulation-boosting, tissue-strengthening hot and cold baths, dry and wet saunas, steam baths and expert treatments. The surrounding Alps beckon those with a heart for adventure, whose snow-capped peaks can be soaked in right from inside the hotel, whether winter or summer. The Japanese cuisine served at the restaurant entices even the most discerning palate, whilst a wine and cigar lounge and a well-stocked library provide even more opportunities for respite. (Photo: © The Chedi Andermatt)