Feeling jaded after the festive season? Head to one of these dreamy spas in the Maldives, Seychelles or Mauritius and recharge your energy
High on a hilltop overlooking Petite Anse Bay on Mahé’s southwestern coast, this nurturing spa is reason enough to check-in for at least a week. There are five open-air treatment rooms, all facing the ocean and with an outdoor bathtub for soaking up the best views and breezes. Treatments such as facials, body scrubs and massages are locally-inspired and performed by expert hands, while the resident yogis and visiting practitioners, from reiki healers to sophrologists, provide top-to-toe rebalancing.
Top treatment: Performed by two therapists working in unison, the Four-Handed Elevation is two hours of pure, sleep-inducing bliss.
On the north-eastern tip of Praslin, the second-largest island in the Seychelles, this slick spa mixes Biologique Recherche facials with Asian massage and yoga. There are a dozen open-air treatment pavilions where you can admire the views of the sapphire-blue ocean (if you can keep your eyes open long enough, that is). Recline by the outdoor pool in between treatments, and relax in the sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
Top treatment: For the most buttery-soft skin imaginable, try the Traditional Chocolate Scrub – a sweet-smelling concoction of cacao powder, raw sugar and coconut oil.
Set on a stunning stretch of coastline in southwest Mahé, the Kempinski’s spa menu is inspired by the four seasons. Nestled among swaying palm trees with the air infused by frangipanis, there are six thatch-roof bungalows and a menu of treatments designed to leave you feeling revitalised, relaxed, balanced or energised. Rejuvenate both body and mind with morning yoga on a hilltop overlooking the sea, and afternoon pétanque on the beach.
Top treatment: Experience three coconut-infused treatments – an exfoliating body scrub, hair treatment and massage – during the two-hour Island Coco Trio ritual.
Where better to unwind than a barefoot-luxe resort on Mahé’s northwestern coast, bookended by beaches with a mangrove forest in the middle? Tucked among tropical gardens, U Spa by Constance is like a mini-village: a dozen traditional-style bungalows dotted around a pool, with sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, yoga pavilion and beauty bar. Take your pick of treatments and couples’ rituals that use natural products inspired by local plants, while the soothing soundtrack of birdsong floats in.
Top treatment: The no-oil Thai shiatsu massage combines deep kneading and stretching to help ease tense muscles and balance your mind.
Ease into the rhythm of island life at this tranquil spa on Mahé’s west coast. Choose from ‘me-time’ treatments or ‘we-time’ couples’ rituals performed by skilled therapists using natural products, including nourishing body treatments, heavenly massages and Ayurvedic therapies. In-between treatments, work on your tan by the plunge pool, or head down to the beach where the resident yoga instructor leads daily sun salutations and guided meditations.
Top treatment: Want smooth, plumped-up skin? The Glorious Skin facial reduces fine lines and rehydrates sun-damaged skin.
Banyan Tree spas are all about traditional techniques (Thai, Balinese, Ayurvedic) and natural ingredients (coconut, honey, cucumber), and this gorgeous hideaway on Mahé’s south-western coast is no exception. Nimble-fingered therapists will unknot tense muscles so you float out feeling incredibly calm, while yoga and meditation sessions take place in the tropical gardens overlooking the crescent-shaped beach, or on the powdery soft sand.
Top treatment: The 2.5-hour Royal Banyan ritual begins with a herbal soak, followed by acupressure, herbal compresses and a soothing face massage.
With three glass-floored treatment rooms set on stilts over the sea, this spectacular spa in the South Ari Atoll offers both ancient therapies and modern treatments. There’s a comprehensive massage menu, including hot stone, four-hand, shiatsu and Thai, as well as a dozen different facials with products from Elemis and cult Swiss brand Valmont. Two-hour colour rituals, meanwhile, are designed to balance your chakras (stressed-out types should opt for energising orange).
Top treatment: Enjoy side-by-side pampering during the Maldivian Indigenous couples’ treatment that includes a full-body massage using heated coconut sticks.
Overlooking a talcum-white beach in the remote southern Laamu Atoll, the Six Senses Spa has a zen-inducing vibe. The focus is on natural and holistic treatments, including facials, wraps and gentle full-body pummelling, along with Ayurveda therapies based on your dosha (body type) and soul-nurturing meditation and yoga in the rooftop studio. For targeted transformation, opt for a bespoke wellness programme focusing on sleep, fitness or detoxing.
Top treatment: Banish fine lines with the 24k Gold Age-Defying Facial, which uses jasmine and gold leaf to boost collagen production and stimulate cell renewal.
Named after the Greek goddess of recuperation, this overwater spa in the Raa Atoll offers much more than massage. Alongside facials, body scrubs and pedicures, there’s a menu of highly specialised treatments to target pesky problems such as sunspots, sagging necks and frown lines. Need a total reboot? Tailored programmes combine things like vitamin infusions, face peels and PT sessions to help you roll back the years or shift those extra pounds.
Top treatment: Tighten and brighten dull and droopy skin with a Non-Surgical Facelift, which uses microcurrents to boost collagen.
Set on a jetty jutting into the turquoise waters of the Baa Atoll, this aptly-named spa has glass-walled treatment rooms with windows in the floor so you can keep an eye on the marine life below. Choose from anti-ageing facials and muscle-melting massages to paraffin hand treatments and pedicures. After you’ve been thoroughly pampered, head to the light-filled lounge for a cup of herbal tea and yet more blissful views.
Top treatment: The 90-minute Maldivian Bliss face and body treatment includes a magnesium-rich bath and dynamic massage for instant results.
In the northernmost Haa Alif Atoll, JA Manafaru’s fabulous retreat was named Best Luxury Destination Spa at this year’s World Luxury Spa Awards. Pad through lush tropical gardens to the thatched-roof spa surrounded by a lily pond, where all 10 treatment rooms come with private garden and outdoor bathtub. One room is kitted out for Ayurvedic oil treatments and another for Thai massage, while treatments includes facials, massages, scrubs and wraps.
Top treatment: The ultra-indulgent Seven Day Manafaru Journey includes coconut-oil massages, Elemis facials, after-sun treatments and more.
Nestled in the Noonu Atoll, this sublime spa specialises in pre- and post-sun rituals by French skincare brand Esthederm to enhance your golden glow. Treatments take place in jungle suites or overwater pavilions, with skilled therapists to ease away shoulder knots and plump tired skin. Special treatments are available for little ones, while yogis will love the overwater shala where you can practise your poses during sunrise or sunset classes.
Top treatment: Let your cares float away during a Sea of Serenity massage, which uses firm, rhythmic strokes inspired by waves.
As relaxed as you may be lounging by the pool at this brand new resort in the northern Shaviyani Atoll, you’ll definitely want to check out the brilliant Spa by JW. Against a backdrop of shimmering aquamarine water, treatments range from pampering to deeply restorative – think hydrating facials, warm-oil massages and perfect mani-pedis. Be sure to squeeze in a workout at the overwater gym, or stretch out in the open-air yoga pavilion.
Top treatment: Couples can choose between four different treatments during the two-hour Island Touch ritual, including reflexology, body scrub and hot stone massage.
Meaning ‘sunshine’ in the local language, AVI Spa’s thatched-roof overwater villas offer picture-perfect views of the Raa Atoll’s largest lagoon. When you’re not spotting manta rays, indulge in sweet-smelling organic treatments and mani-pedis by Margaret Dabbs, or try acupuncture and aerial yoga. There are outdoor pools with hydro-massage jets, as well as thermal suites with steam rooms and ice fountains.
Top treatment: Bliss out with a soothing aloe vera and lavender body wrap, followed by a scalp massage, during the 60-minute Sun-kissed Skin Cooler.
This private island resort in the North Ari Atoll serves up a full menu of massages, facials and more immersive experiences – think chakra balancing and sound bathing – in four luxurious treatment villas on the water. Each one has a spectacular sundeck with soaring white sails, outdoor tub and daybed so you can chill out before and after your treatments. In the main pavilion, you can practise your asanas during group or private yoga classes.
Top treatment: The hour-long Crystal Healing Facial includes a jade-stone mask, use of cool rose-quartz crystals and warm herbal poultices to purify the skin.
Alongside nine treatment rooms in earthy tones, you can elect to have your treatment by the ocean at Shangri-La’s sleek resort on the east coast. The menu is filled with Asian therapies (Chinese reflexology, Filipino hilot massage, Indian shirodhara) and face and body treatments using luxurious Carita and Decléor products. But as you’re in Mauritius, try a locally-inspired massage performed to the meditative rhythms of traditional sega tipik music.
Top treatment: Ayurveda devotees should indulge in an Abhyanga detoxifying massage with long, symmetrical strokes to promote sleep.
With more than 25 treatment rooms, this south coast idyll is one of the largest spas in Mauritius. Set around a serene lagoon dotted with water lilies and two tea pavilions, the complex contains pavilions for aerial yoga, a Pilates studio, meditation rooms, hammams and two pools. Along with conventional face and body treatments, the spa takes an holistic, mind-body-soul approach to wellness, with a resident Ayurveda doctor on hand to devise customised programmes for each and every guest.
Top treatment: Try Watsu, a form of shiatsu massage and movement therapy that takes place in a warm pool.
This impressive spa on the island’s north coast has 10 treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms, Kérastase hair salon and Essie nail station, plus three pools with varying water temperatures. Tailor-made treatments include anti-ageing facials by Carita, and massage with exclusive oils created by renowned aromatherapist Shirley Page. For targeted results, chat to Burwing, the resident wellness concierge, who provides bespoke programmes and nutritional advice.
Top treatment: The fashionably hirsute should go for the signature Wet Shave at Murdock, an outpost of the hip London barbershop.
Staying at this colonial-style resort on the gorgeous Le Morne Peninsula on the island’s southwest tip is a tonic in itself. The sprawling spa, meanwhile, boasts 12 treatment rooms, sauna and steam rooms, hair and nail salons and a barbershop. Treatments are decadent but results-driven – facial therapies by Swiss brand Valmont, cellulite-busting lymphatic massage and hydrating honey wraps – while daily mindfulness, tai chi and yoga classes add to the relaxed vibe.
Top treatment: Start your day right with the Morning Bliss in Paradise, a ylang ylang massage for two in a cabana on the beach, followed by a healthy breakfast.
This serene spa on the northeast coast features seven treatment rooms centred around a palm-shaded courtyard with a thermal pool, along with a sauna, steam room and plunge pool. Gentle therapists deliver hydrating facials and toning body treatments by French spa brand Sisley, while honeymooning couples enjoy Balinese massages in the open-air pavilion by the beach. Kids aren’t forgotten either, with junior treatments and animal yoga classes.
Top treatment: Treat your feet to a medical-grade pedicure designed by celebrity podiatrist Brice Nicham, whose A-list fans include Nicole Kidman and Eva Longoria.
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