Whether you are a spa regular or trying to decide where to go on your first spa vacation, our list features some of the most unique and fascinating spa getaways in the world. You will find underwater spas, mountain spas, wine spas, and much more. Unique facilities and treatments include Temazcal saunas, floating sundecks, Vichy showers and oceanview massage cabanas. Some of the spas that made our list are world-famous, while others are yet to be discovered, located in beautiful destinations like Peru, the Swiss mountains and Thailand. Plan a romantic trip with your better half, a girlfriend getaway, or indulge in a rejuvenating vacation by yourself. Many spas offer special suites for couples where you can receive side-by-side massages, body wraps and other therapies.

1. Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives

Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives
© Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi is a vacation idea for anyone who is looking for a place where the architecture is anything but ordinary. Meera Spa is built on stilts over the blue lagoon and lets you, quite literally, escape from the worries of daily life. Guests are accommodated in over-water bungalows connected to the island via three piers, and some are accessible only by boat. Roof sundecks, floating sundeck and open-air private bathrooms with plush tubs make it easy to continue relaxing after your visit to the spa.

2. Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico

Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico
© Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto

Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, white sandy beaches, rich heritage and spectacular sunsets, Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto redefines barefoot luxury. Overlooking Danzante Bay and the Sea of Cortez, this idyllic oasis offers exceptional accommodations, outstanding cuisine, and an array of facilities creating a slice of tropical heaven. Relax next to one of the five spectacular swimming pools, and enjoy pampering treatments at the Sabila Spa, which has deluxe wet areas, saunas, soaking spa tubs, and a cold-water plunge pool.

Accommodations ranging from deluxe suites and bungalows to ultra-luxurious penthouses boast fully equipped kitchens, spacious living and dining areas, comfortable en-suite bedrooms and huge balconies with stunning ocean views. The Presidential Penthouse is opulence at its best, accommodating up to 10 people with a private butler to take care of every need. Mouthwatering cuisine can be enjoyed at three restaurants: for a casual buffet-style feast of Mediterranean, American and Mexican fare, head to the Market Restaurant. Casa Mia offers light meals, salads and sandwiches, while Danzante Fine Dining promises an intimate evening with superb cuisine and fine wines in an elegant locale.

3. Vichayito, Peru

Vichayito, Peru
© Vichayito

Embraced by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, pristine beaches with ivory sands and panoramic views towards an endless horizon, Vichayito is a luxurious spa retreat that promises an idyllic island escape. Nestled on the sandy shores of Vichayito Beach on Peru’s north coast, the hotel is ensconced in lush tropical forestation, coconut and palm trees. Have a massage at K’oral Spa, followed by a relaxing time by the pool, in the hot tub or on the beach.

Nine Crusoe-style bungalows and 26 luxury Bedouin tents overlook the sandy beach, some with large private decks with swinging hammocks and outdoor seating. Designed in a contemporary, yet comfortable style to seamlessly blend in with the surrounding environment, both enjoy luxurious en-suite bedrooms with large beds dressed in crisp cotton linen and unsurpassed views of the beach and the sparkling ocean. Expert chefs are on hand to create a variety of delicious local and international dishes according to your tastes, made with only the freshest ingredients to come out of the fully equipped kitchen. Get lost in the multi-colored coral kingdoms of the surrounding reefs, explore the rich landscape of the surrounding island or simply relax in the privacy of your outdoor deck and soak up the views.

4. Badrutt's Palace, Switzerland

Badrutt's Palace, Switzerland
© Badrutt's Palace

Plan a relaxing spa getaway to St. Moritz in Switzerland and rejuvenate at a five star European wellness center at Badrutt's Palace. The treatment center has 10 elegant treatment rooms named after Alpine flowers. There is a beautiful garden where guests can relax before and after a treatment. The wellness center has a Sauna (Ladies only), Mixed Sauna, Ice Room, Mist Room, Aroma Steam Room, Salt Steam Room, Massage Shower and a Rain Shower. Facilities include a Hair Spa, Solarium and a Pedi Spa. For the ultimate indulgence, book one of the specialty spa suites. Suite Veronica has a spacious steam bath and a double whirlpool, two treatment beds and a Lounge Chair for two that enable treatments on the spot.

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5. El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica

El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica
© El Silencio Lodge

Embedded in Costa Rica’s Central Volcanic Valley and flanked by Juan Castro Blanco and Poas Volcano National Parks, El Silencio Lodge & Spa is an eco-friendly retreat surrounded by the swirling mists of a private cloud forest reserve, teeming with birds and wildlife. Escencia Spa offers an array of pampering treatments, hot stone massages and body wraps. The spa is designed in harmony with nature and features a unique room designed to channel the life energy of the forest. Beautifully appointed wooden cabins are comfortably furnished with contemporary décor and boast deluxe amenities. High ceilings and large bay windows create a wonderful feeling of spaciousness and invite the views in to create a luxurious cocoon surrounded by nature.

Dining is unforgettable at Ventanas Restaurant, where an open-sided dining room offers a dramatic setting for an unrivalled farm-to-table dining experience. Savor an exotic menu of Costa Rican cuisine conjured with an array of delicious regional ingredients, accompanied by a selection of world-class vintages. Located in an area that is famous for its incredible landscape, the lodge gives guests access to exciting activities and outdoor adventures - take exhilarating canopy tours in the dense rainforest or go on a horseback tour to see the volcano.

6. Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
© Huvafen Fushi

Seasoned spa enthusiasts know that an underwater spa is a rarity because of the building costs, but the experience is like no other. Watch colorful tropical fish swim past you as you receive relaxing massages and other treatments at this unique spa at Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives. Lime Spa merges cutting edge architecture with soothing treatments in a stunning underwater setting. The spa is a free-standing complex with overwater treatment rooms with spectacular views out to the horizon, as well as underwater treatment rooms with huge glass windows facing the fish. The underwater treatment rooms are a bit surreal, reminding you of a James Bond movie. The design of the underwater rooms incorporates ethereal fabrics inspired by oceanic kelp. Soft cushions imitate the surrounding coral and sponges. Try one of the signature therapies such as LIME Light - Crystal Ritual and Turquoise Explosion and immerse yourself in this unique experience.

7. The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
© Fairmont Hotels

Relax and rejuvenate at the new Maui spa on the shores of the family-friendly Polo Beach. The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui's 9,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa is the place to be pampered from head to toe in a tropical Hawaiian setting. Spa facilities include three outdoor cabanas, treatment rooms with state-of-the-art treatment tables, manicure and pedicure stations, experience showers (including the Palolo (Mud) Bar) and retail space. Choose from a menu of massages, facials and body treatments. You can choose to receive your treatment indoors, outdoors or in the privacy of your own suite or villa. The Garden Spa Cabana is located next to the resort's culinary garden and offers two unique treatments that utilize hand-picked herbs. The Poolside Cabana offers both sigle and couples' massages. Our favorite is The Oceanside Cabana which is just steps from the Pacific Ocean, offering massages in the most relaxed setting. Remember to book your treatment well in advance, especially during the holidays. After your treatment, head to the sandy beach for a day of relaxing in the sun. You may also like: 12 Best Spas with Water Views.

8. Barcelo La Bobadilla, Spain

Barcelo La Bobadilla, Spain
© Barcelo La Bobadilla

Plan a romantic spa trip at U-Spa in the South of Spain. The wellness center offers many relaxing treatments for couples and extensive facilities. U-Spa is located at Barcelo La Bobadilla, a full service resort with a beautiful pool area surrounded by Mediterranean gardens. There are 3 personal treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy room with a hydro-massage bath, a Vichy and a sensations showers. Experienced therapists can create custom treatments based on your personal wishes. Couples can take side-by-side baths or enjoy relaxing massages. Try one or all of these facilities: Heated swimming pool with counter-current swimming, Hydro-massage pool with swan neck fountains, neck massages and a waterfall, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, Aromatherapy and colour-therapy showers and a Scottish shower. The fitness center and an array of outdoor activities ensure that you will have plenty to do. There is Cardiovascular and body-building equipment, Spinning bikes and an Abdominals bench. Have a candlelight dinner in one of the restaurants, tasting delicious Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Take a romantic walk through the hotel gardens at moonlight.

9. Villa d'Este, Italy

Villa d'Este, Italy
© Villa d'Este

Lake Como is a romantic getaway one hour from Milan, Italy. Set right on the shores of the lake is the luxurious Villa d'Este, originally built in 1568 as a summer residence for Cardinal Tolomeo Gallio. Since that time, Villa d'Este has been the playground of an empress, an English Queen and various aristocrats, until 1873 when it was transformed into a luxury hotel. Anyone looking for a romantic place to settle for a few days need look no further than Villa d'Este. Spend a few days at this lakeside retreat and enjoy fine dining, several rejuvenating treatments, the classical gardens, and views across the lake. The property is open from March to mid-November. Find out more about Villa d'Este.

10. Hotel & Spa Iadera, Croatia

Hotel & Spa Iadera, Croatia
© Hotel & Spa Iadera

Plan a relaxing spa getaway on the Croatian Coast, trying innovative European spa treatments in a relaxed beach setting. Acquapura SPA at the Hotel & Spa Iadera on the Croatian coast is a 64,000 square foot facility with a spacious spa area which includes an earth sauna with a sea view. Facilities include Thalasso indoor/outdoor pool, indoor/outdoor pool, infinity outdoor pool, children's indoor pool, Turkish hammam, A secluded wellness garden with a relaxation area and outdoor whirlpool, Sauna area with a Finnish sauna, steam bath, brine steam bath, panoramic earth sauna with sea view, sanarium, Kneipp, cold-water canal, crushed ice, Various relaxing areas – Panorama relaxing room, Dark room with relaxation swings, Relaxing room with waterbeds, Cardio fitness room and gym and a Wellness gift shop. Guests can choose from a variety of massages and pampering packages.

11. Alpina Gstaad Hotel, Switzerland

Alpina Gstaad Hotel, Switzerland
© Alpina Gstaad Hotel

The very first Six Senses Spa in Switzerland is located at the new Alpina Gstaad hotel in the Swiss Alps. The spa brings Eastern healing traditions to the Swiss mountains, featuring signature spa journeys and a calm setting. Unique facilities at the spa include a floatation room, a hammam, an Oriental room and a cave room especially built for couples. Choose from a wide selection of Asian therapies, Ayurvedic treatments, Moxibustion, Chakra Balancing and Reiki, colonic hydrotherapy and beauty services. In addition to spa treatments, spa guests are invited to participate in wellness activities, educational talks and relaxation techniques. The Alpina Gstaad has 56 rooms and luxury suites, offering guests personal attention and luxury service. Amenities and facilities include Japanese cuisine from Megu, a Cuban cigar room and a Swiss Stubli restaurant. The hotel indoor and outdoor pools, making it a relaxing year-round destination.

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12. El Palace - Barcelona

El Palace - Barcelona
© El Palace - Barcelona

Visit this five star getaway in Barcelona, Spain, to relax with a unique treatment and detox in the Temazcal Sauna. The wellness center at El Palace - Barcelona is inspired by the Mayan Culture. Experience traditional Mayan treatments combined with the French luxury cosmetics brand Anne Semonin. Choose from Mayan Massages, Facials and Signature Rituals that will transport you to the Caribbean Sea. Unique treatments to try include the Intensive Cryotherapy Luxury Facial where Anne Semonin Cryotherapy Ice Cubes and serums are used to boost cellular renewal. A firming algae mask is applied to detoxify the skin. Another favorite is the Mayan Signature Pack - Jetlag Cure. Book the treatment as soon as you arrive to help your body recover from jet lag. The jetlag treatment begins with a 10 minutes in the sauna and a Sensations shower with Cromotherapy to purify your body after a long trip. Afterwards, you will receive an Express Facial and a signature jetlag massage. The Temazcal Sauna is based on the traditional handcraft of the Mayan Culture. Inside the dome, water with aromatic medicinal herbs is poured onto hot volcanic stones, releasing steam. Try the "Mayan Rebirth" Ritual led by the Temazcaltzin o Chaman. This is a spiritual place where Earth, Air, Water and Fire are blessed with native sounds and language. People describe the experience as purifying and healing.

What are the 35 Fascinating Spa Resorts Around the World?

The 35 Fascinating Spa Resorts Around the World according to local experts are:

More Unique Spa Hotels & Resorts

  • New York City: The wellness center at the Mandarin Oriental, New York is one of the trendiest in New York and also one of the most expensive. For a 1 hour 20 minute Shiatsu Massage expect to pay $305. Located on the 35th floor of the new Time Warner Center near Central Park, the property offers a calm setting and a menu of relaxing therapies. The facility measures 14,500 square feet in size and includes a fitness center and a 75-foot indoor lap pool. Facilities include seven rooms with personal showers, vitality pools, amethyst crystal steam rooms, Experience showers, his and hers Relaxation Lounges and an oriental-style Tea Lounge. Couples can rent a private VIP Suite with a separate changing room, steam sauna and a fireplace. The Peninsula New York offers an extensive menu of body, skin, and hair-care treatments. If you visit around lunchtime, enjoy a healthy meal by the pool after your spa appointment. Treatments include Swedish, shiatsu, and reflexology massages, body wraps, foot wraps and facials. Affinia Wellness Spa at The Benjamin Hotel in New York City and an urban retreat featuring holistic spa treatments, including Aromatherapy, Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue, Prenatal Massage and Foot Reflexology. The interior follows the Practice of Feng Shui and provides the most relaxing setting. Treatments at Affinia begin with a soothing aromatherapy footbath of lavender which you can enjoy as soon as you put on a plush cotton robe and slippers.
  • North Carolina: Pinehurst features six private suites perfect for side by side massage for couples. After a relaxing massage, you can play a round of golf on one of the resort's eight golf courses.
  • Half Moon Bay, California: The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, located 30 minutes from San Francisco, offers a Couple's Package which includes an Essential Oils Bath or a Fresh Lavender Wrap, followed by a simultaneous Couples Massage in the couple's treatment room. Combine pampering with an array of other activities, such as swimming, sailing, snorkeling and sunbathing. There are many fabulous getaways to choose from, whether you are looking for a quick weekend trip or a longer getaway. Always ask about packages and spa specials, especially in the off season.
  • Florida: Doral in Florida offers over 100 different services and treatments. Try one of the relaxing packages or take part in daily exercise classes such as Yoga, Pilates or Aqua aerobics. The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida is set on three miles of white sandy shore. There is a 51,000 square foot wellness complex which offers a number of relaxing services and signature treatments. The Shores is a AAA Four Diamond hotel with a diverse menu of therapies.
  • Senses Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort: A Victorian-themed spa recently opened at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort to offer travelers a diverse menu of treatments in a unique setting. Guests can choose from many different massage therapies, body therapies, skin care, bath & soak treatments at this luxury retreat. When you enter, you notice a giant mural of old Florida which hangs behind the reception desk. There is calming lighting and music throughout the facility. Relax in a steam room or whirlpool before or after your treatment. Access to the facilities is free if you are receiving a treatment. Several signature packages are offered, such as the Grand Floridian Signature Treatmentor the Couples Escape, perfect for couples who like to relax together. If you are planning a wedding at Disney, sign up for the Bridal Package to relax before the big day. Senses is situated in its own building so be sure to allow enough time to get there for your appointment.

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  • Napa and Sonoma: In Napa Valley, you will be able to get relaxing massages at the Farmhouse Inn.
  • Big Sur: Post Ranch Inn is an amazing getaway where you can re-connect with nature while enjoying five star service.
  • Utah: Red Mountain Resort in Utah offers signature treatments, Tai Chi, healthy meals and many fitness classes.
  • Canada: Fairmont Algonquin in New Brunswick offers ocean-inspired treatments that incorporate sea salt, seaweed and other natural ingredients. Visit during the warmer season if you want to soak in the outdoor pools.
  • Florida Keys: Cheeca Lodge is the place for outdoor massages, fitness classes, nutrition consultations and incredible ocean views.
  • Georgia: You will need several trips to the spa at Chateau Elan to sample its diverse menu of treatments. Afterwards, tour the winery and have a romantic dinner at the restaurant.
  • Bahamas: Atlantis in the Bahamas features a full service spa with a range of exotic treatments, 24 treatment rooms, two tropical rain showers, a sauna, two steam rooms and a thallasotherapy pool.
  • St Lucia: Cap Maison in St. Lucia has a restaurant with panoramic ocean views and elegant accommodations.
  • Los Cabos: Marquis Los Cabos is located in the Cabo Real section of Los Cabos, Mexico. Lounge by the pool, enjoy room service breakfast on the private terrace of your suite and long relaxing body treatments at the wellness center. If you are feeling adventurous, there are many activities to choose from, ranging from golf to biking tours. All of the suites at the resort offer ocean views. If you are looking for something special, ask for one of the Marquis suites which come with a private pool, a living room, bedroom and bathroom. You can request a treatment right in the privacy of your own suite, a great idea for honeymooners. If you are looking for a special, check online for packages.

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