At these spas, water isn't just for showering
Whenever I visit a spa, I look for the unique treatments I can’t find back home or at just any spa. Among my favorites are those therapies that involve exotic ingredients, state of the art equipment and time-honored therapies that have roots in past cultures. These five resort spas break the mold by offering out-of- this-world treatments that involve water, steam and even ice.
Release physical and emotional tension with Jansu therapy at Belmond Maroma, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Watsu is an in-water treatment that resembles Shiatsu. You relax in warm, chest deep water while the therapist gently cradles you and works you through various dancelike movements that encourage relaxation and create a healing experience.
At Maroma these sessions are called Jansu and take place in an isolated area far from the center of the resort. Here in the mediation pool, your therapist will guide you through movements, stretches, twists and even submerge you for brief moments. Opt for a mid-day treatment just after the sun has warmed the pool, when sunbeams dapple the water’s surface.
Cleanse body, mind and spirit in the steam of a Temascal treatment at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Embraced by the majestic valley of the Pitons, the Rainforest Spa is secluded in 100 acres of tropical rainforest. Tree house gazebos become treatment rooms; each reached by wooden walkways and spaced for ultimate privacy.
The on-site earthen steam room is inspired by the traditions of the indigenous people of Mesoamerica, who used steam ceremonies to purify the body and improve health. You’ll sit in a circle around a mound of hot rocks that are periodically doused with water to produce steam. Some people have visions; others just relax, as the treatment can be very cathartic. After a stint in the hot, moist heat, you head for a cool shower and drink liquids and juices to replenish lost electrolytes. Most people note that this treatment induces some of the best sleep.
Rain and Mist
Transport yourself to the rainforest of Thailand as you experience the Rain Walk at Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico
This Asian-inspired spa brings centuries of Eastern healing wisdom and knowledge to each of its treatments, which are based on the traditions and techniques of Thailand. You could spend your entire stay experiencing a different therapy each day, but the Rain Walk is unlike any other.
This extensive treatment can take an afternoon, as it includes eight unique hydrothermal therapy experiences. You begin with a walk on a pathway of river stone, where streams of water flow gently down from above. It’s immediately relaxing and takes your mind to another level. You’ll then move from room to room to experience even more unique sensations. There is the eucalyptus steam chamber, a summer storm chamber, a brine fog, and a chamber of ice fountains and cool winter rains. Treatments follow a sequential flow that culminates with an immersion into a vitality pool where water jets create gentle acupressure.
Not Just a Shower
Splish-splash away with a Tropical Rain Splash in the Silver TAG shower at Sense spa at Tucker’s Point on Bermuda.
The Sense spa at Tucker’s Point offers all of the world-class treatments you would expect from a Rosewood Resort. Treatments also incorporate natural materials found on the islands. Honey and sugar cane are used to exfoliate; cedar oils to relieve tension and stress; and papaya to nourish the skin.
You can add the Silver TAG shower to any spa treatment, or opt for an experience such the Bermuda Triangle, which is geared toward those arriving after long flights. You begin by entering the chamber where 18 showerheads massage you from top to bottom, both cleansing and relaxing the body. You then move to the massage table for a rubdown with aloe freshly plucked from the garden and end with a citrus inspired facial. You can come back the next day just for the shower, or combine it with another treatment.
The Colors of Relaxation
Receive the effects of crystal healing and color therapy at Cambridge Beaches on Bermuda.
The resort’s private and secluded setting is conducive to canoodling, but it’s not just for couples. Singles will also love the pool area, the four beaches and the many options for treatments at the Ocean Spa.
A signature element is the Experiential Suites, which provide a four-stage journey of color, temperature and moisture. Chambers allow each guest to enjoy private spaces as they move through a steam room, cooling mist room, rainfall shower and sauna. Along the way, glowing crystals set the mood as they change colors to invoke a sense of well-being. The whirlpool, relaxation pool and lap pool are also available before or after the experience. Many of the Ocean Spa Experiences are longer treatments that also include a stint in the Experiential Suites. Couples can partake in a Sauna Ritual where they exfoliate each other with sea salt before retiring to their couples massage.