SPA-TASTIC IN EUROPE

From moun­tain re­treats to beach­side beau­ties, here are Europe’s 20 best spa ho­tels.

Vacations & Travel - - Contents - BY LISA PERKOVIC

From moun­tain re­treats to beach­side beau­ties, here are Europe’s 20 best spa ho­tels.

AMAN VENICE, ITALY

When Ge­orge Clooney mar­ried Amal Ala­mud­din in Venice, Italy, there was sim­ply no ex­pense spared. Where did the bride spend her last sin­gle night in one of the world’s most ro­man­tic cities? The an­swer is Aman Venice. Lo­cated right on the Grand Canal, just a few gon­dola poles away from the Rialto Bridge, this former palace dates back to the 16th cen­tury. There are just 24 rooms, dec­o­rated with orig­i­nal fres­coes, stun­ning chan­de­liers and enor­mous gilded mir­rors. The spa’s three treat­ment suites are the best spots to let the wor­ries of the world ease away, with treat­ments based on Aman Spa’s traditional Asian ther­a­pies and plant-based prod­ucts. The fit­ness room’s views out over Venice make a trip to the gym much more ap­peal­ing.

THE LANESBOROUGH, LONDON, ENG­LAND

Gone are the days when London’s most ex­clu­sive Mem­bers Clubs were off lim­its to ev­ery­one ex­cept an elite few. These days, a hotel like The Lanesborough of­fers a rare chance for guests to get an in­side look at a Mem­bers Club and ex­pe­ri­ence the top-notch fa­cil­i­ties on offer. The Lanesborough, lo­cated right at the his­toric Hyde Park Gate, un­der­went an £80 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion in 2015, bring­ing the stun­ning Greek Re­gency build­ing back up to scratch. The ren­o­va­tion in­cluded an over­haul of the spa and fit­ness club, which is now a sprawl­ing se­ries of chic ther­mal suites, treat­ment rooms, hy­dro-ther­apy pool, Pi­lates stu­dio and fit­ness area. The Paint­ing Room’s gi­ant lounge chairs are for man­i­cures and pedi­cures, while the spa chang­ing rooms have in­di­vid­ual dress­ing sta­tions. The hy­dro-ther­apy pool is designed for pre-treat­ment re­lax­ation, but there’s also an­other re­lax­ation lounge well stocked with teas, nuts and fruit. Treat­ments fea­ture in­ter­na­tional brands like La Prairie and Ila, for ev­ery­thing from traditional fa­cials and mas­sages to Ra­sul mud bathing. Post-treat­ment, the spa’s res­tau­rant of­fers a nu­tri­tion­ally bal­anced menu designed by Miche­lin-star chefs. Smooth­ies, fresh juices and pro­tein snacks are just the be­gin­ning, with dishes like salt-baked squash, Scot­tish salmon ce­viche and or­ganic omelettes matched to your treat­ments.

LUX BODRUM RE­SORT & RES­I­DENCES, TURKEY

Considered the French Riviera of Eastern Europe, Bodrum has long been home to beau­ti­ful re­sorts over­look­ing the Aegean Sea. Lux Bodrum Re­sorts and Res­i­dences only just opened to the public and is tucked into a pri­vate cove on the Bodrum penin­sula. The re­sort’s Lux Me well­ness centre in­cludes a 527-square-me­tre spa, six treat­ment rooms, out­door yoga and Pi­lates ar­eas, fit­ness centre and a pool. The re­sort is al­ready win­ning awards for its sleek de­sign and is a piece of par­adise away from Europe’s more well-known beach des­ti­na­tions.

ION AD­VEN­TURE HOTEL, ICELAND

Lo­cated in one of the best spots to view the beauty of the North­ern Lights, this ul­tra-mod­ern hotel is designed to make the most of its sur­round­ings, with floor-to-ceil­ing glass walls look­ing straight out at the daz­zling sky. And that ex­tends to the spa, which has glass-walled saunas and a dra­matic 10-me­tre out­door pool perched over the lava rocks un­der­neath the re­sort. Treat­ments in­spired by Ice­landic na­ture in­clude hot masks, vol­canic ash scrubs and mud baths.

CORINTHIA HOTEL BUDAPEST, HUN­GARY

In a city where the top tourist at­trac­tions are its baths, the Corinthia Hotel doesn’t dis­ap­point. Housed in a beau­ti­ful Art Deco Build­ing, the hotel’s Royal Spa has its very own in­door pool, sur­rounded by stun­ning Corinthian col­umns, and dat­ing back to 1886. The ESPA treat­ments, steam rooms and Jacuzzis are an added bonus.

W ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Rus­sians have never been known to hold back, and while the W St. Petersburg is a more mod­ern take on op­u­lence than some of the city’s other, more traditional ho­tels, it still has plenty of sparkle. Designed to re­flect a mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the Faberge Egg, the hotel is dot­ted with bits of bling and sparkle. The same goes for the Bliss Spa, home to six treat­ment rooms, saunas, nail lounge and pool.

RAF­FLES ISTANBUL, TURKEY

A traditional Turk­ish ham­mam ex­pe­ri­ence is a must-do for any trav­eller to the cap­i­tal city and these days you don’t even need to leave your hotel. The Raf­fles Istanbul’s spa sprawls over more than 3,000-square-me­tres, and in­cludes an im­pres­sive three ham­mams, treat­ment rooms, in­door and out­door pools, Jacuzzi, saunas, steam rooms and pri­vate yoga and Pi­lates stu­dios. Guests can book in for treat­ments like the Rose, Su­gar and Honey Ham­mam treat­ment that in­cor­po­rate the ham­mam ex­pe­ri­ence and show­case local in­gre­di­ents.

GRAND HOTEL TREMEZZO, LAKE COMO, ITALY

One of the world’s most recog­nis­able ho­tels has to be the Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Its pon­toon pool floats out over Lake Como and puts your av­er­age hotel pool to shame. As does the spa. The T Spa sits on more than 1,000-square-me­tres in­side the hotel’s Villa Emilia. The spa has its own ham­mam, nail bar, re­lax­ation rooms, Mediter­ranean baths, in­fin­ity pool and gym, all out­fit­ted in fab­u­lous Ital­ian ma­te­ri­als – fresco ceil­ings, Lasa mar­ble, even Vene­tian mo­saic floors.

THE SCAR­LET HOTEL, CORN­WALL, ENG­LAND

Eng­land is not of­ten as­so­ci­ated with sea­side bliss, but that’s what awaits all the way down in Corn­wall. This bou­tique hotel is a hid­den gem with a fo­cus on eco-friendly ex­pe­ri­ences. The Scar­let Spa fo­cuses on holis­tic ex­pe­ri­ences, of­fer­ing traditional treat­ments but also branch­ing out to mud bathing, star gaz­ing and sus­pended re­lax­ing. Guests can soak in open-air cliff-top hot tubs, hang from a co­coon pod in a re­lax­ation room or swim sur­rounded by na­ture in a stun­ning in­door pool with floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows look­ing out at the ocean.

HOTEL ADLER DOLOMITI SPA & SPORT RE­SORT HOTEL, DOLOMITES, ITALY

There are plenty of Alpine Spa re­sorts scat­tered through the moun­tains, but Adler stands out for its year-round spa ex­pe­ri­ences. Spend your sum­mer days hik­ing and bik­ing be­fore eas­ing aches with a re­me­dial mas­sage or, in win­ter, soak those tired post-ski or snow­board legs in the 35° cel­sius out­door pool, salt grot­tos and saunas.

SIX SENSES, DOURO VAL­LEY, POR­TU­GAL

Over­look­ing the sprawl­ing Douro Val­ley, this Six Senses prop­erty ex­udes a sense of calm and quiet be­fore you’ve even stepped foot in the spa. Housed in a 19th cen­tury Manor House, the hotel’s traditional ex­te­rior gives way to a mod­ern mar­vel. The spa it­self is a study in min­i­mal­ist de­sign, with 10 treat­ment rooms where the rooms let the view do the talk­ing, look­ing out over the lush val­ley be­low. Work­shops in herbal prop­er­ties take place in the Al­chemic Bar, aerial yoga oc­curs in a pri­vate stu­dio, re­lax­ation co­coons are sus­pended in the gar­den and the nail bar of­fers man­i­cures along with a glass of local red wine.

THE GAINS­BOR­OUGH BATH SPA, BATH, ENG­LAND

For cen­turies, Bath has been a centre of health and well­ness – the his­tor­i­cal Ro­man Baths high­light the im­por­tance even the Ro­mans placed on tak­ing the city’s ther­mal wa­ters. These days The Gains­bor­ough’s Spa Vil­lage is the place to go for a re­ju­ve­nat­ing dip in the orig­i­nal ther­mal springs. The spa’s stun­ning bathing pools sit un­der­neath a glass atrium, with a se­ries of nat­u­ral ther­mal pools, saunas and steam room avail­able for guests to en­joy pre-treat­ment. The hotel sits just across the road from the Ther­mae Bath Spa, which also has mas­sages, spas, saunas and a spe­cial rooftop pool avail­able for day guests.

CHEVAL BLANC, COURCHEVEL, FRANCE

Cheval Blanc is a brand that’s syn­ony­mous with lux­ury, and it doesn’t dis­ap­point when it comes to the spa of its French alpine prop­erty. Part­ner­ing with lux­ury French brand Guer­lain, the spa’s treat­ments are cen­tered around high-al­ti­tude liv­ing, with treat­ments cater­ing to cool-cli­mate health, win­ter sports and anti-age­ing car­ried out in five lav­ish treat­ment rooms.

FOUR SEA­SONS FLORENCE, ITALY

It’s not surprising that one of the only ho­tels in busy Florence to have its own pool and gar­den area has also given over sub­stan­tial space to its spa. Tucked into the hotel’s gar­dens, the spa is an Ital­ian oa­sis. The 10 treat­ment rooms, many with deep Ital­ian free­stand­ing bath­tubs, out­door pool, re­lax­ation lounge and its own man­i­cured grounds are at guests’ dis­posal. Treat­ments range from Chi­anti wine mas­sages to an ex­ten­sive teen and kids’ menu.

MAN­DARIN ORI­EN­TAL BARCELONA, SPAIN

Barcelona is best known as a city burst­ing with en­ergy. Tucked into the vaults of a his­toric bank dat­ing back to the 1950s, the Man­darin Ori­en­tal’s 1,000-square-me­tre spa is a world away from the bus­tle of Las Ram­blas and Gaudi’s colour­ful build­ings. Decked out in tones of grey, black and dark green, the spa’s in­door pool, eight treat­ment rooms, beauty stu­dio, steam room and fit­ness area offer a space to re­set your senses be­fore head­ing out into the big, bold Barcelona wait­ing above.

THE PENIN­SULA PARIS, FRANCE

Pam­per­ing is taken very se­ri­ously at The Penin­sula. More than 1,800 square me­tres of space is given over to Paris’s largest hotel spa, which com­bines the classic French ap­proach to beauty with Asian heal­ing ther­a­pies. There are six treat­ment rooms, two pri­vate suites, three pools, a ham­mam, sev­eral saunas and a healthy range of juices and dishes for post­treat­ment sus­te­nance.

VERDURA GOLF RE­SORT & SPA, RIBERA, SI­CILY

Rocco Forte ho­tels and high-end lux­ury go hand in hand – at the Verdura, guests are pam­pered to within an inch of their life at the 4,000-square-me­tre Rocco Forte spa. We’re talk­ing treat­ment rooms, dou­ble-storey steam room, spa bar, four out­door tha­las­sother­apy salt pools, Fin­nish saunas, in­frared saunas, and per­sonal ex­er­cise and nu­tri­tion plans.

HOTEL VILLA HONEGG, ENNETBURGEN, SWITZER­LAND

With­out a doubt, it’s the in­fin­ity pool at this Swiss hotel that is its most strik­ing fea­ture. Perched above Lake Lucerne, the prop­erty’s spa pool some­times seems to sit in the clouds and is a warm 34o cel­sius year round. Hop over to the in­door pool, which plays mu­sic un­der­wa­ter, be­fore bliss­ing out with a mas­sage, fa­cial, or beauty treat­ment in the spa.

AMANZOE RE­SORT, PORTO HELI, GREECE

Far, far away from the tourist hotspots of San­torini and Mykonos, Amanzoe sits atop the rolling hill­sides of the Pelo­pon­nese penin­sula. The whop­ping 2,800-square-me­tre spa looks out across the olive groves to the ocean – the best views are from the open-air treat­ment rooms or per­haps the glass-walled yoga pavil­ion. Full moon yoga takes place in the re­sort’s Am­phithe­atre, but there’s also hy­dro-ther­apy pools, ham­mam, in­door treat­ment rooms, pool and stu­dio ded­i­cated to man­i­cures.

HOTEL METROPOLE, MONTE-CARLO, MONACO

The build­ing it­self may date back to 1889, but the Spa Metropole by Givenchy is brand new and out­fit­ted with all the lat­est in spa ther­apy – in­clud­ing Givenchy’s Le Soin Noir prod­ucts. Tak­ing notes from its beau­ti­ful Belle Epoque build­ing, de­signer Di­dier Gomez has cre­ated a so­phis­ti­cated space that ex­udes lux­ury. The em­bossed treat­ment room walls are designed to evoke the lace of haute cou­ture dresses, and there’s even a dig­i­tal plant wall to help you re­con­nect with na­ture. •

Be­low: Six Senses, Douro Val­ley treat­ment room. Right, clock­wise from top: Cheval Blanc, © Fabrizio Nan­nini; Ladies steam room re­lax­ation area at Hotel Adler Dolomiti; Spa re­lax­ation room at Man­darin Ori­en­tal Barcelona.

Clock­wise from top: Sauna with a view, Grand Hotel Tremezzo, © Tommy Pi­cone; Spa Vil­lage Pool at the Gains­bor­ough Bath Spa; Corinthia Hotel Budapest in­door pool, © Sean Scott Foto.

Open­ing im­age: Hot tub views at The Scar­let Hotel Corn­wall. Left, from top: Aman Venice, © Daniel Herendi; Bliss Spa Treat­ment Room at W St. Petersburg.

Pho­tog­ra­phy by var­i­ous es­tab­lish­ments.

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