Forget sightseeing, walking tours, and signing up for adventures you don’t have the energy for. It’s time for vacation to mean vacation again, and there’s no better way to escape completely than by taking a trip to a spa—preferably one in the middle of nowhere. These days, the only way to truly relax is to get off the grid and emphasize in your out-of-office message that you’ve set off for somewhere where the Wi-Fi is “very limited.”
If you’re looking for a vacation where no one can bother you, check out these luxurious and far-flung spa getaways and their most delectable treatments.
Naia Resort and Spa in Placencia, Belize
Although Belize is closer to the U.S. than most people think (just a two-hour flight from Miami), you’ll need to take another short flight on either Tropic Air or Maya Island Air to get to the Naia Resort and Spa in the small city of Placencia. The hotel itself is lovely on its own, located on a wild beach lined with ocean-view studios and villas, but the spa hidden away on a private lagoon is what makes this resort really worth the trip. Perched over a lily pad-speckled pond, each treatment room has a private deck perfect for enjoying the spa’s quiet serenity. You can book a treatment whether or not you’re staying at the resort, and you’ll also have day access to the spa’s pool area.
Top Treatment: The Maya Cacao and Cinnamon Wrap is one of Naia’s most famous and delicious treatments. Your body will be exfoliated with a mix of dark chocolate, brown sugar, and hydrating coconut oil, and then wrapped in warm towels to infuse. It’s the closest you’ll ever get to becoming a chocolate brownie.
dipiu at Hotel Giardino in Ascona, Switzerland
The Hotel Giardino is “located where the Alps meet Italy’s lemon trees” and is home to the dipiu Spa. Named for the Italian phrase “a little more,” you’ll be wanting a lot more when you see the facilities like the indoor pool and lovely treatment rooms. In the small town of Ascona, right on Lake Maggiore, the hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere halfway between the busy financial centers of Zurich and Milan.
Top Treatment: You can’t go wrong with the Fusion Stone Massage, a treatment that blends classic massage techniques with hot stones and aromatherapy.
Forest Spa at the Bwindi Lodge in Uganda
If you want the adventure of a lifetime and a remote spa getaway all in one trip, it’s time to think about Uganda. At the Bwindi Lodge, when you sign up for a gorilla trek, you’ll also receive a complimentary 30-minute massage upon your return. You can choose to have your treatment in the spa or in your room. There are eight private bandas, or bungalows, for guests, each with its own luxury shower, sitting area, and terrace overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Top Treatment: Try the African Rungu Massage, which uses a rungu, a Maasai throwing club carved out of eucalyptus wood. This treatment uses long strokes and deep pressure to reduce soreness and improve blood circulation.
Maya Spa at Azulik in Tulum, Mexico
On a secluded beach in Tulum at the adults-only, eco-friendly resort of Azulik, the Maya Spa offers spiritually inspired treatments meant to reinvigorate your mind and body. From sound-bathing and biomagnetism to massages and facials, you’ll find the perfect treatment to suit your physical and emotional needs—whether you’re looking to relax or rejuvenate.
Top Treatment: For vitality, try the Ancient Traditional Massage. Using traditional Mayan techniques, this full-body massage utilizes lemons and herbs to detox your body, as well as cupping to help restore balance and give you more energy.
KurSpa at the Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, British Columbia
If you want to get away to somewhere quiet but don’t want to stray too far, check out the Sparkling Hill Resort, one of the most luxurious spa getaways you can get, where the 40,000-square foot-spa is the height of luxury. This wellness resort is owned by the Swarovski family and decked out in beautiful crystals everywhere you look, from the large chandeliers in the lobby to the decorative details in the guest rooms. At the spa, you have all the basic spa treatments available, as well as the opportunity to visit the Wellness Clinic, which customizes treatments for guests to address issues like chronic pain, inflammation, and slowing the aging process.
Top Treatment: For something on the colder side, test out the KurSpa’s three-chamber approach to cryotherapy. Guests pass through a series of chambers that get progressively colder. The cold treatment boosts the nervous and circulatory systems and is effective for treating arthritis, multiple sclerosis, blunt joint trauma, sleep disorders, and more.
The Arctic Bath in Harads, Sweden
The trendy Arctic Bath is a floating spa that made waves when it opened in 2018. In Harads, Sweden, this timber- and ice-inspired building will feature four saunas, a pool, outdoor showers, and overnight lodging in rooms featuring large skylight windows for appreciating the northern lights in the winter months.
Top Treatment: The Arctic Bath might not be open yet, but there’s no way you won’t be able to get a classic Swedish massage when it does. Is there any place better in the world to get a Swedish massage than floating on a lake in Sweden underneath the northern lights?
Jawa Juu Spa in Pacuare, Costa Rica
At the Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica, Jawa Juu is a spa where you can experience the rainforest all around you. Treatments are inspired by the ancient traditions of the indigenous Cabecar culture, and the spa offers a menu of holistic massages, reiki, and rituals that combine aromatherapy, sound therapy, and yoga. Jawa Juu’s wellness philosophy has been instilled with all things restorative with an emphasis on using local materials.
Top Treatment: Costa Rica is famous for its coffee, so while you’re staying at the Pacuare Lodge don’t miss a chance to try the Invigorating Coffee Exfoliation. After the coffee bean rub leaves your skin silky smooth, the infusion of orange-essence body cream will have you feeling fresh and renewed.
Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain in Chengdu, China
Settled in view of the majestic Qing Cheng Mountains in China near the city of Dujiangyan, Six Senses is a decadent spa retreat with beautiful suites and villas. No trip to Six Senses is complete without a visit to the spa, where the architectural design of the facilities matches the natural beauty of the mountains. Every treatment is incorporated “with the purity of Taoism” and uses a variety of holistic therapies personalized to guest needs.
Top Treatment: While in China, treat yourself to the Bamboo Massage. This treatment uses different types of bamboo sticks to apply firm pressure to your back, legs, and arms. At Six Senses, it is followed by a face massage that will reduce signs of fatigue.
SpaTerre on Little Palm Island, Florida
Florida might be the last place you think of as remote, but in order to get to Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, you’ll need a seaplane. Located on an exclusive island in the Florida Keys, SpaTerre is inspired by Balinese spa treatments and Thai rituals.
Top Treatment: Order the Madrugada Water Massage for a blissful experience you’ll never forget. With your massage table located right in the water, you’ll be surrounded by the sounds and smells of the ocean while receiving a customized massage that makes use of seashells. Note that this massage is only available in the morning and when weather conditions are suitable.
More from SmarterTravel:
- 9 Amazing Things You Can Only Do in First Class or Business Class
- 11 Epic Hotels Worth Planning Your Whole Trip Around
- 6 Ultra-Exclusive Hotels for the Top of Your Bucket List
Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who loves a good facial while traveling. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.