By Becca Hensley
It’s simple –
sometimes all you need is love. Set aside the world of ringing phones and hectic appointments to surrender to a selfish, carefree hour or two of bliss. Seventh-heaven spas can transport you to another sphere, unraveling your knots and reigniting your inner sparks.
1. The Spa at The Grand Del Mar
The Grand Del Mar, San Diego
If Leonardo Da Vinci had envisioned a spa to cure our modern ills, it would be this one – a Renaissance-inspired villa
within a 249-room Mediterranean-style mansion. The hotel, set in the hills above the surfer’s hamlet of Del Mar, also has an award-winning golf course and acclaimed gourmet restaurant. But its spa’s Venetian plaster walls, polished Italian marble, Roman pan tile roofing, gilded mirrors, and comforting sauna area invoke the sort of regal calm that will make it difficult to linger anywhere else.
Regenerate with The Grand Masterpiece, a hedonistic anti-aging facial, or yield to The Renaissance, a mud wrap experience followed by a lymph-drainage massage that incorporates clay, herbs, and water – all foraged from Southern California’s terroir. Had enough time indoors?
2. Royal Malewane Bush Spa
Royal Malewane, South Africa
Between game drives, root into the South African bush in style at Royal Malewane’s safari spa. An addendum to the lodge (which comprises eight suites and a six-bedroom house), this casita-studded oasis surrounds a glimmering pool and has open doors to reveal passing wildlife
. Revive with the African Awakening, a treatment that relies on local rooibos tea in its nurturing balms and samples modalities from every part of the spa menu – from body wrap to scalp massage – guaranteeing a renewed you for that next bush outing. Virtuoso guests receive a full breakfast daily and a room upgrade, if available.
3. The Singular Spa
The Singular Patagonia, Chile
, snowcapped peaks, and navy-blue seas form the backdrop for this contemporary 57-room hotel, located just outside Torres del Paine National Park. In contrast to the rugged landscape, its spa area is sleek and serene (though floor-to-ceiling windows let you take in the views). Scent-heavy with local herbs, this wellness center focuses on aroma-based cures, designed to awaken all five senses. Try the seaweed-rich Marine Breeze Bath, an indulgent prelude to a Holistic Massage.
More Spa Retreats:
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Traveler magazine, August 2014.