Above: A lofty treatment suite at Mandarin Oriental, Sanya.
Bliss out at the region’s most seductive new island spas
By Petrina Price
A 2,800-square-meter enclave at the St. Regis resort in Nusa Dua, Asia’s second Remède Spa wraps around koi ponds and butterfly-themed art installations. In addition to a hydrotherapy pool and a pedicure room, the spa offers dozens of face, body, and beauty treatments. An Indonesian lulur exfoliation scrubs the skin with sandalwood, turmeric, ground nuts, and rice, while the detoxifying Bloody Mary ritual—the perfect antidote to too many sundowners—utilizes vodka and fresh tomato (62-361/847-8099; stregis.com).
Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Sanya
Set on a hillside overlooking the South China Sea on Hainan Island, this 3,200-square-meter facility takes a holistic approach to well-being, complementing popular beauty rituals with an extensive program of traditional Chinese medicine. It features 18 rooms where therapists perform everything from acupuncture and acupressure to cupping and moxibustion. For something less intrusive, try body scrubs of fresh local ingredients like pearl powder and rice milk, or coconut and cinnamon. It all ends with a tea ceremony, presented by a Shaolin monk (86-898/ 8820-9999; mandarinoriental.com).
Part of the Atlantis megaresort on Dubai’s artificial Palm Jumeirah island, this ocean-themed spa made a splash when it debuted last year. Lengthier offerings include an Amazon Deep Forest Aqua Cure and an equally exotic Atlantis Sunset Ritual, which features a mineral-rich Mediterranean seaweed wrap and facial. Aquaphobes are catered to as well with treatments such as hot-stone therapy and rose-quartz facials, both designed to rehydrate dry skin without having you dive into the deep end (971-4/426-1000; atlantisthepalm.com).
Como Shambhala Spa
The newest addition to the Kandooma Maldives resort occupies a whitewashed pavilion overlooking the cerulean waters of the South Male Atoll. Therapists from Como Shambhala’s Bali flagship property are on hand to treat spa-goers to therapies like the signature bath ritual, which begins with a dry body brush and salt scrub infused with macadamia oil and oat bran, and finishes hours later with an invigorating massage (960/664-0511; kandooma-maldives.com).
This sleek aqua-and-white hideaway delivers specially designed treatments for him and her in a three-level shophouse in Chinatown. Beauty therapies utilize spa and skincare products du jour like Själ and Omorovicza, while body rituals feature organically harvested essential oils from Britain’s Aromatherapy Associates. Jet-setters will want to book a Travel Revival package for a grapefruit-and-juniper detox wrap followed by a deep-tissue rubdown and a reviving hand massage (65/6227-2722; wenspa.com).
Anantara Spa Phuket
Set amid tropical gardens overlooking Phuket’s longest beach, Mai Khao, this serene resort spa features everything from aromatherapy to Ayurveda. If time is not an issue, treat yourself to one of the multiday wellness retreats, which offer a globetrotting array of therapies. Shorter, but just as sweet, the four-hour Journey of Siam incorporates a turmeric body scrub, a Thai herbal compress massage, and a facial. A yoga menu tailors sessions to different skill levels (66-76/336-100; anantara.com).
Originally appeared in the June/July 2009 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Island Idylls”)