The world’s top 10 luxurious spa break experiences 

Janet Brice reveals some hidden gems for city spa days and rural spa breaks, from the urban jungle’s of New York and London to a royal retreat in Africa and secluded hideaway on Ian Fleming’s favourite Jamaican island…


Smart, sophisticated with all the thrills of banging about in the bush. The eight colonial rooms are outrageously extravagant (antiques, canopies, king-sized beds, Victorian baths) and the food is incredible.

Singer Elton John even had the wholemeal bread flown home to him after his idyllic stay in this hidden gem deep in the Kruger National Park.

Amid all the splendour is one of the most stylish spas in on this vast continent. African rituals restore your equilibrium; hydrotherapy treatments use the mineral-rich waters from an underground stream and the local healers offer powerfully holistic and recharging therapies. Best spa break in South Africa. This really is the big cat’s whiskers of a spa!


If the buzz around Skyfall has you both shaken and stirred, then send yourself on a glamorous mission of your own – to the decadent Caribbean hideaway where James Bond was born.
It was at Goldeneye, on Jamaica’s ravishing northern coast and a 90 minute drive from Montego Bay, that high-society writer Ian Fleming dreamt up the world’s favourite spy, and wrote all 14 of his original adventures (the first, Casino Royale, in 1952).

Post-Fleming, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell bought Goldeneye. Somehow both spectacular and totally laid-back, the setting is pure Bond: six luxurious suites and 13 ocean-front beach cottages reached via a beautiful footbridge that spans a soft lagoon and the exclusive FieldSpa.

The spa-without-walls is located in a lagoon’s edge cottage and open-to-the air treatment rooms and  is a sanctuary for massage, salt scrubs, skin brightening facials, herbal wraps, and energy work. Built into the natural landscape, guests can kayak or swim through the lagoon to arrive at the spa and enjoy sunset yoga at the end of the day.

Amid the seclusion and the luxury, Blackwell’s triumph here is that you never feel cut off from real life – a wander into the nearby village of Oracabessa is as every bit as languorous and pleasurable as an afternoon snorkel in that twinkling lagoon. Our top Caribbean spa break recommendation.

BADRUTTS PALACE, ST MORITZ, SWITZERLANDworldTop_788x500_Badrutts-PalaceSwitzerland

worldTop_684x385_Badrutts-PalaceSwitzerland_02Palace Wellness is a unique spa break refuge which takes its inspiration from the wonderful natural surroundings of the Engadin Valley. It is seen and felt in every corner – from the vast amount of natural light, fresh air and spectacular views of the Swiss Alps to the patio under the sky, the so-called Alpine Garden.
Its very openness to the elements captures the changing seasons. This luxury spa offers therapeutic luxury treatments to the latest in fitness equipment, complete Palace spa/wet zone facilities, indoor and outdoor pool with breath-taking views and connects with an unspoiled nature – all designed to stimulate your senses and enhance your state of wellbeing.
Ideal spa break in Switzerland.

ESPA LIFE AT CORINTHIA, LONDONworldTop_1300x400_ESPA-LondonThere’s nothing square about ESPA’s new signature spa housed over four floors of The Cornithia Hotel in London – this is a city spa that’s thinking out of the box.

Circular spa treatment rooms, cosy cocoons, curved corridors all mark the era of a new spa experience in the new ESPA Life.
The designers of this breath-taking, marble-clad temple have definitely thought out of the box to give clients a seamless experience from the cool elegance of reception to the fireside beds of the relaxation area.
The smooth lines of this day spa are evident the moment you walk into the spacious reception area where the cool Tunisian white marble and silver tables are offset with a shot of vibrant purple from the flowers.
Spread over four floors and covering 3,300 square metres, the enormity and grandeur takes your breath away as you walk along the vast curved-walled corridors to your circular treatment room.
There are 17 luxurious treatment pods but this city day spa also boasts a nail studio, Daniel Galvin hair studio, nine-metre silver steel swimming pool, amphitheatre sauna, black mosaic steam room and a state-of-the-art gym.
Beaded curtains, a fireplace curved into the marble heating your space, black marble dressing tables with hairdryers inside and the circular shower area.
In fact, the lines within the changing area were so smooth I couldn’t find the door to get out! But after this minor blip I headed upstairs to the luxurious spa café with its white leather seats and pink petals scattered in a bowl on each table.
A jewellery box is even provided in the changing rooms for your diamond necklaces, earrings and rings. What more could you ask for a city spa day in the heart of London?

ROME CAVALIERI, ROME, ITALYworldTop_1300x650_Rome-CavalleriFifty years ago, Rome Cavalieri opened its doors and became one of the Eternal City’s most luxurious spa hotels.



The world's top 10 luxurious spa break experiencesWhen you escape to COMO Shambhala Retreat, Cocoa Island in the Maldives you will literally live the dream.

THE BANYAN TREE SPA, SEYCHELLESworldTop_788x500_Banyan-tree-seychelles

THE SPA AT CHATEAU DE LA MESSADIERE, ST TROPEZworldTop_788x500_Chateau-de-la-Messadiere

Luxe, calme et volupte’ – or luxury, tranquillity and voluptuousness – is a much quoted maxim and could be used to describe the imposing hotel that is the Chateau de la Messadiere in St Tropez.

SHANGRI-LA HOTEL, PARISworldTop_788x500_Shangri-la-hotel-Paris

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