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Home > Articles > Miscellaneous > Spa Resorts > Twelve Spectacular Spas

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Twelve Spectacular Spas
Crete – Blue Palace Resort & Spa

About three kilometres from Elounda on the north Cretan coast, this resort has a dramatic east-facing view towards the Spinalonga, a now uninhabited island that was once a leper colony. There are 204 rooms in the 5-star Blue Palace, where the main treatment is water therapy, or thalassotherapy, to give it its appropriately Greek-derived name. There are five restaurants and an outdoor terrace bar.

Slovenia – Terme Catez

This resort in the southeastern part of Slovenia offers a newly built spa centre and a choice of hotels. Here you can have a variety of treatments, such as body wraps, facials, massages and treatments with hot stones. Get there by flying to Ljubljana from Stansted or Luton.

France – Salles-de-Béarn

This mediaeval village in southwestern France lies over deposits of curative salts, which are used to fill the waters of the town's thermal baths. The nearest large towns are Biarritz and Pau, themselves beautiful towns set in glorious countryside.

Sri Lanka – Ulpotha

Northwest of Kandy is a place of ancient pilgrimage, where people have come for centuries to receive treatments based on Vedic wisdom. Ulpotha offers no five-star or indeed any-star accommodation, but instead a variety of treatments, both Ayurvedic and not, including yoga and massage and wholesome organic food. The lush scenery around the town is in itself worth a visit.

India – The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram

The ashram is situated about 60 kilometres from the airport at Trivandrum and offers a complete break with everyday Western life. Spending some time there involves doing yoga, meditation and physical exercises, hearing lectures and providing some selfless service for others, as well as eschewing sex, baring of flesh above elbow or knee, smoking and drinking, meat, coffee, sugar, garlic, onions and dairy foods. The regime may come as a shock to the system, but most visitors leave calmer, more flexible and more relaxed.

Iceland – The Blue Lagoon

Created partly by accident from the outflow of a nearby industrial plant, the Blue Lagoon has become a major attraction for tourists. Open every day of the year – and we do mean open, as the pool is not covered – the Lagoon boasts warm, in parts hot, geothermal water. In winter it is possible to have your body submerged in warm water while snow falls on your head. The waters are full of minerals, which are said to be an effective treatment for psoriasis and other skin conditions, and the Blue Lagoon health and beauty products sold in the centre's shop have protective, palliative, anti-ageing and other excellent qualities. The Blue Lagoon is half an hour by bus from Reykjavik; closer still, for those in a hurry or en route elsewhere, to the main airport at Keflavik (incidentally, one of the most attractive terminals in the world).

Hungary – The Danubius Thermal Hotel Maritsziget

The Danubius is situated on an island in the River Danube in the centre of the capital, Budapest. Opened in 1873, the hotel offers indoor and outdoor pools, hydrotherapy and other health treatments, mainly thanks to the three thermal springs on the island.

Morocco – La Sultana

La Sultana, at Marrakesh, is a combined hotel and spa in a lavishly restored riad, with a colonnaded pool and several treatment rooms, where you can enjoy body wraps, facials, massages and other treatments guaranteed to soothe and restore.

Switzerland – Clinique La Prairie

The setting alone, on the shores of Lake Geneva, is enough to make you feel better, even without the magnificent array of treatments and cures offered by this famous clinic. Here, albeit at quite a price, you can enjoy massages, Pilates and hydrotherapy sessions and access to the fitness centre, as well as medical consultations.

Thailand – Chiva-Som

This is a spa boasting a huge outdoor pool, glorious all-you-can-eat buffets, Thai pavilions for accommodation and a relaxation area with daybeds, as well as a vast choice of 'retreats' and treatments, which include colonic irrigation, massage, exercise programmes, saunas, body wraps and detox programmes.

Bangkok – Wat Pho

Wat Pho, Bagkok, is a famous, though little advertised, massage school, where you can get a rub-down for as little as £4 an hour. It's just round the corner from one of the oldest temples in the capital, with its reclining, 46-metre long, brick and gilded plaster statue of Buddha.

UK – Holistic Clinic and Spa

The Clinic, in Ludlow, Shropshire, prides itself on using only organic products, cleaning with environmentally friendly products and recycling all rubbish. It will soon have solar heating. Water-saving equipment, good building design, insulation and ventilation help to mitigate the environmental impact of basing treatments on the use of water.
About the Author
© 2006 Harish Kohli. Harish Kohli is an avid traveller who likes to share good adventure travel ideas with others. He is also CEO of AwimAway.com where he can help tailor-make an experiential or adventure holiday for you.
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