By Becca Hensley
Photography by Six Senses Spa (Waterfall) and Darren Bernaerdt (Fly-fishing)
A warm soak. A bracing swim. Since the dawn of time, humans have refueled their life force with nature’s original elixir. From hot springs to mineral pools to ancient Roman baths, the healing powers of water have never been more popular.
1. The Ultimate
Terme di Saturnia Spa & Golf Resort, Italy
Take to the waters at the 140-room Terme di Saturnia and you’ll breaststroke through the same thermal mineral pools where the Etruscans (and other ancient health seekers) bathed more than 2,000 years ago. In the Tuscan Maremma, natural spring water, filtered from its 40-year trek through the mountain’s porous stone, teems with minerals, salts, and healing gasses, staying a constant soothing temperature
akin to the amniotic fluid that protects human beings at birth.
Proven to aid skin conditions and release tension, a soak here detoxifies bodily organs and acts as an antiseptic. Float on and off all day, then take a break in the full-service, Roman-inspired spa. Keep it water-focused with an Aqua Relaxation treatment, based on the principles of Watsu, performed in a soundproof room. Classic northern Italian cuisine, a vast wine and mineral-water menu, and adjacent sunflower fields add to Terme di Saturnia’s allure – as does a round of golf for two, complimentary for Virtuoso guests.
2. Six Senses Spa
Evason Ma’In Hot Springs, Jordan
A mirage? Thankfully not. This mountain sanctuary near the Dead Sea sits below mineral-loaded hot springs that cascade magically into its pool. The surrounding landscape encompasses palm trees and views of Jerusalem. Located at the 97-room Evason Ma’In Hot Springs resort, the spa boasts a unique steam cave
and coddles guests with locally based therapies, which include an exfoliating Olive Grove Scrub, Dead Sea Mud Body Wrap, and an Aromatic Basil and Mint Body Scrub. After a plunge in the hot springs, enjoy Jordanian and Arabic cuisine at the hotel’s cliffside restaurant.
3. Island Currents Spa
Sonora Resort, Canada
Treasured by outdoor enthusiasts and flyfishing aficionados, the cozy 88-room Sonora Resort in British Columbia’s Discovery Islands also promotes R&R with an Island Currents Wellness Package. The two-night program includes mineral pool bathing
; an aromatherapy relaxation massage; all meals, including a chef’s spa picnic lunch; and round-trip helicopter transfers to and from Vancouver.
More Spa Retreats:
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Traveler magazine, August 2014.