Switzerland’s Blissful Spas

Thermalbad & Spa, Zurich

A subterranean relaxataion area at Zurich's Thermalbad & Spa.

A subterranean relaxation area at Zurich’s Thermalbad & Spa. Photo courtesy of the spa.

Giving the ancient Roman tradition of bathing a modern twist, this jaw-dropping spa center occupies an old brewery building in Zurich West, drawing its mineral-rich water from a spring deep beneath the city. You can enjoy a soak on the rooftop with views over the city’s skyline, or bathe in huge wooden tubs in the basement, encased in century-old vaulted stone walls. It’s here that you’ll find the Irish-Roman spa where, over the course of two hours, you work your way through 10 pampering stations: your body is gradually warmed, cleansed, pummeled, then relaxed as you move from a floral steam bath to a body peel, hot herbal steam bath, Roman bath with massage jets, whirlpool, and heated lounger.

Walliser Alpentherme & Spa, Leukerbad

Tucked away in the Upper Valais, this is one of the largest and highest thermal resorts in the Alps, with a mountain backdrop that’s an attraction in its own right. But what makes the Walliser such a standout is its extensive facilities, which include a Roman-style bath and a sauna complex laid out to evoke a traditional Valaisian mountain village, with various slate-and-timber cabins housing an herbal sanarium, a Finnish sauna, steam baths, and a glacial pond. As for body treatments, the spa menu includes everything from fango mud wraps to hot-stone massage and scrubs that utilize local hay flowers, grape seeds, and goat’s butter. Come nightfall, candlelit soaking sessions in the outdoor pool are worth sticking around for.

Mineralbad & Spa, Rigi Kaltbad

Set on the flanks of Mount Rigi to the east of Lucerne, the indoor and outdoor pools at this thermal bath spa are filled with healing water drawn from a hot spring directly under the village. Each also comes with a plethora of pleasurable diversions: whirlpools, head-to-toe massage jets, bubble loungers with mountain views, and neck showers. When you do finally step out, considerably more prune-like than when you arrived, you can enjoy yet more hydrotherapy in the herbal steam baths and Crystal Spa. As its name suggests, this facility has soaring crystal skylights, which you gaze at while floating in a pool set nine meters below ground. Mineralbad’s sister operation in Samedan, near St. Moritz, is equally indulgent, offering bathing rituals in rooms decorated with elaborate glazed mosaic tiles, set over five floors.

Nescens Spa, Geneva

A relaxation lounge at Geneva's Nescens Spa.

A relaxation lounge at Geneva’s Nescens Spa. Photo courtesy of the hotel.

A leader in keeping you looking youthful longer, this cutting-edge spa—located in the La Réserve hotel just steps from Lake Geneva—is known for its “Better Aging” programs, which harness the expertise of the Nescens brand. Intensive multiday packages include private consultations with leading health and wellness specialists, paired with massages, personal training, nutrition advice, and yoga sessions. You don’t have to give up a week to reap the benefits, however, with the day spa offering treatments including CoolSculpting (to freeze fat cells), lipo-massage, and facial tissue regeneration. Much more luxurious are the facials using products from Switzerland’s own La Prairie: the Swiss Ice Crystal Facial sees the brand’s nourishing skincare range paired with a relaxing rose-quartz facial massage.

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Swiss Bliss”).

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