Incredible Indulgences!

RAUL DIAS soaks in seven unusual luxury spas around the world pushing the envelope for the adventurous sybarite




Amply displaying more similarities with an eerie extraterrestrial habitation, than a spa, the Aquadome Spa that is situated in the Alps in Längenfeld, Austria, seems straight out of the latest Hollywood sci-fi movie. From three levitating bowl-shaped pools with underwater music and light effects to thermal domes housing indoor pools, everything about this spa is so cool; you can’t help but want to go there to see it for yourself. With plenty of options to pamper you silly, this spa offers classic treatments along with a heady mix of aesthetic and cosmetic packages, along with bath ceremonies and rituals. So, if you can picture yourself floating across the surface of a heated pool while gazing up at the alpine peaks; the thermal Aquadome Spa is there to make it a reality!

Top Indulgence: The specially designed for men 50 minutes Mountain Force Sport Treatment is the ideal treatment for reinvigorating your stressed muscles with cupping, massaging and stretching actions employed to rebalance you.




25,000 square feet. 678 portholes. 40 types of services. 35 massage therapists. 21 treatment rooms. In numbers, the floating Bota Bota Spa in Old Montreal, Canada is über impressive to say the very least. But throw in the fact that in its earlier avatar, it was a ferryboat carrying passengers from Sorel to Berthier in Quebec in the 1950s and ’60s, as well as enjoying a run as a showboat on the Richelieu River and you soon realise how truly unusual this floating spa is! Today, the gentle ebbing of the St. Lawrence River relaxes and energises guests across five decks that boast an eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor whirlpools and relaxing gardens. The treatments are mostly centred on the benefits of water, including the in-demand Nordic baths that detoxify and cleanse the body. While it might look slightly industrial from the outside, the Bota Bota Spa is surprisingly comfortable and very relaxing on the inside. There is also a restaurant on-board the ship, serving meals made from fresh, healthy and locally sourced ingredients from Quebec.

Top Indulgence: The 60 minutes ‘The Escape Treatment’ that includes an exfoliation, body wrap, head and neck massage.




As one of Iceland’s most popular spas — renowned for its therapeutic waters — it is no great surprise that The Blue Lagoon draws in over 400,000 visitors annually. Allowing guests to commune with nature in six million litres of geothermal seawater, the spa is located in Iceland’s lava fields of Grindavik on the Reykjanes Peninsula. This scenic, and often extreme environment is the perfect setting for this mineral-rich spa that, as its website claims, affords guests the chance to “actually bathe between two continents as the Euro-Asian and American tectonic plates meet at the Blue Lagoon”. While soaking in the waters is said to do wonders for the skin leaving it supple and smooth, the all-natural spa also uses the silica mud surrounding the lagoon to help soothe troubled skin. Be sure to experience the sauna at the spa, which has been carved into the lagoon’s lava rocks.

Top Indulgence: The 30 minutes Silica Mud Mask treatment that is the spa’s signature treatment is legendry for its soothing, toning and rehydrating properties, leaving your face rejuvenated.




While The Maldives Islands have so far been famous for their myriad underwater suites and restaurants, an underwater spa of this magnitude is a first. The Lime Spa at Per Aquum Niyama on the Dhaalu Atoll has taken that concept to the extreme by creating the world’s first underwater spa that offers natural treatments with a view of the ocean floor. Set within its own lagoon, The Lime Spa enables you to float through multi-day journeys of hydrating wraps, intuitive massages, couture facials and underwater dream therapies. It’s an immersive environment, designed to reflect the serene, aquatic surroundings — right down to the plush cushions that evoke a skin-friendly version of coral and sea sponges, to the ethereal fabrics created to look like kelp. In addition to the underwater and overwater treatment rooms, the spa is also home to Sublime, which offers pre and post-treatment relaxation with sauna, steam, an onsen shower, mist shower, ice room, and a relaxation lounge with panoramic views of the Indian Ocean as you spot exotic marine swim by. Trust us; Finding Dory was never this fun!

Top Indulgence: The 75 minutes Holistic Duo is the perfect couples’ treatment that includes an aromatherapy massage and a Himalayan singing bowl session that they guarantee will lull you both into a state of deep relaxation...




Created to resemble vegetal forms and trees, the striking geometric structures jutting from the Tschuggen Bergoase Spa in Arosa, Switzerland are a sight to behold with their vertiginous metal and glass shards that almost seem to piece the still, cool Alpine air. Set on 5,000 square meters of land, the spa provides an exceptional view of the rugged mountain terrain and allows natural light into the treatment rooms that are spread over four floors—some of them even underground and set into the mountain itself. Architect Mario Botta was mindful of the surrounding villages and natural environment, so he aimed to “build without over-building.” With Switzerland famous for its spas, the Tschuggen Bergoase Spa has plenty of treatment to choose from, using products from Sensai, Clarins, Comfort Zone, OPI and La Biosthétique for a truly indulgent experience. Moreover, the mountain of original, ancient rock combined with the various steam rooms and saunas helps you rejuvenate with the energy of nature seeping in.

Top Indulgence: The 50 minutes Men’s Facial is a personalised treatment using Clarins Men’s products, specially formulated for men’s skin types, designed to leave your skin feeling fresh, clear and rejuvenated.




This haven of tranquillity slap bang in the middle of Chicago, USA, relies on the benefits of Crimean salt. Low levels of iodine in parts of the US make Chicago a perfect spot for this pastel-hued spa. Derived from the mysterious Black Sea, which is known to have healing effects on dysfunctions in the respiratory, digestive, nervous and cardiovascular systems, the Crimean salt is crystallised naturally to mimic these effects. While the crystallised salt itself has a delicate pink colour, the lights inside the caves subscribe to colour therapy and are arranged in a way to soothe your senses. With a plethora of treatments that offer healing baths, water treatments, inhalation and irrigation, and the faint flowery aroma of the salt, this unique spa is a culmination of overall wellness and relaxation. Besides its cosmetic benefits, a visit to Galos is beneficial to the body, as the air is intensively charged with salt particles and has a natural anti-infectious effect; it stimulates the immune system and is great for the skin. The sea microclimate created inside the caves provides an oasis of peace and relaxation. Ah, bliss!

Top Indulgence: The 45 minutes Balneotherapy session uses the minerals from water, peloids and gases for glowing skin and rids the body of toxins.




An acoustically perfect tabernacle and energy machine in the mystical Mojave Desert in south-eastern California, USA, The Integratron is a geomagnetic vortex desert spa offering some seriously alternative therapies to balance out your body’s Qi. Creator George Van Tassel, who was an aeronautical engineer and test pilot, claimed that the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla and telepathic directions from extra-terrestrials (yes, you read that right!). The giant dome structure offers sonic healing sessions to those seeking a one-stop shop for physical and spiritual healing. Known as ‘Sound Baths’, the sessions will have you resting comfortably in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber, while a sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centres or chakras of the body.

Top Indulgence: The 60 minutes All Sound Baths Sonic Healing Session that consist of 25 minutes of crystal bowls played live and the balance of the hour to integrate the sound and relax in the sound chamber to recorded music that results in waves of peace, heightened awareness, and relaxation of the mind and body.


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