Experience the new-style spas that pamper as well as purify. Check in, and chill out.
If you’re in search of a little pampering, rest and relaxation for mind and body, these three are sure to hit the spot. At Boucan St Lucia, a boutique hotel set on Hotel Chocolat’s cocoa plantation, guests can experience spa treatments – as well as a restaurant menu – based around the locally grown cocoa beans. For beauty mavens, Hotel de Paris’ spa merges the best of science and nature with Clarins products in the chic surroundings of St Tropez, and if you’re on a health kick then it doesn’t get more sumptuous than the marine treatments at Vilalara Thalassa in the Portuguese Algarve.
BOUCAN ST LUCIA
ST LUCIA, CARIBBEAN
The lowdown A tropical haven set in a lush privately owned estate.
Best for Chocoholics looking for a foodie-friendly spa experience.
Overlooking the dramatic Piton Mountains of St Lucia, the Rabot estate is where it all begins for luxury British chocolatier Hotel Chocolat’s confections.
Set in 140 acres of cocoa trees, Boucan St Lucia is a pilgrimage for those with a sweet tooth, but there’s other ways to enjoy the plantation’s bounty; the Cocoa-Juvenate spa offers treatments packed with antioxidants with its freshly-made raw cacao products.
Try the Cacao Dextox Body Wrap; first you’re buffed with finely ground beans before being covered from head to toe in a banana, clay and cacao paste, wrapped in banana leaves, and finally massaged with a moisturizing cacao mousse (sounds delicious, right?).
The unique ‘tree-to-bar’ tour shows guests what chocolate making entails, and the Boucan restaurant makes use of the cocoa bean in a myriad of ways. Detoxing has never been so delicious.
HOTEL DU PARIS
ST TROPEZ, FRANCE
The lowdown French spa savoir-faire on the elegant Riviera.
Best for Showcasing the glamorous new you out on the town.
A favourite haunt of the 1960s jet set, Hotel du Paris was re-opened last year after a two-year makeover.
Its new look was worth the wait; colourful, vibrant, yet maintaining that effortless je ne sais quoi, there’s furniture by Knoll, Poliform and B&B Italia.
The real star, though, is the suspended rooftop pool – the glass bottom can be viewed from the atrium 15 metres below, complete with a glimpse of its bathers.
Drawing on France’s beauty expertise and heritage, Le Spa by Clarins uses its own products as well as My Blend, a tailored range of skincare created by (son of Clarins founder) Dr Olivier Courtin-Clarins.
Once you’ve got your rosy glow back, finishing touches include Clarins tanning and make-up treatments so you’re ready to mingle with the best of the St Tropez elite.
The lowdown Relaxed five star comfort in a rejuvenating coastal setting.
Best for Post party detoxing without any noticable hardship.
Making optimum use of its natural assets and Altantic coastal location, Vilalara has been voted one of the top five spas in the world.
Specialising in thalassotherapy, which uses sea water, sea air and marine extracts to drain toxins and restore equilibrium to the body, the treatments on offer include those to deal with smoking, cellulite, weight loss and stress (thankfully not simultaneously) and are recommended for at least a six-day course for best results.
Water, you may have guessed, is the focal point of Vilalara; it boasts six freshwater and seawater pools and direct access to a secluded sandy beach, but when you’re ready to dry out, snuggle up in the white-washed relaxation lounge on Gervasoni sofas, or head to the resort’s two restaurants offering fresh local produce and (whisper it) low calorie options.
Your body is a temple, after all.