8 Fabulous Island Spas and Their Best Beauty Buys!
Check out our picks and products from the sugary white beaches of Antigua to the seaside cliffs of the Canary Islands.
Writer Alison Miller
1 of 8Courtesy of Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque Resort
In a tropical garden above Negril’s volcano-formed caves is a laid-back paradise known as The Caves. The charming network of thatched-roof cottages, grottos, and Caribbean Sea views features an open-air gazebo for outdoor spa treatments. The only sound you'll hear is the nearby lapping surf or an occasional contented sigh.
Treatment to Book: The Caribbean Brown Sugar Body Polish will make your limbs buttery soft and sweet smelling. The treatment also includes a peppermint scalp massage that will leave you soothed and probably a little hungry; islandoutpost.com/the_caves.
Favorite Island Import: Calming Composition bath and body oil with jojoba and pure flower essences, $21; 800/644-4831
2 of 8Courtesy of Carlisle Bay
The Spa at Gran Hotel, Bahía del Duque Resort by ESPA
Swirling indigo seas surround Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s seven Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. After an afternoon of scuba diving and sea turtle sightings, plunge into seawater pools, unwind in the solarium, or soak in a Vichy shower at The Spa at Bahía del Duque by ESPA. The outside is brought inside at the resort’s 1-year-old spa, which offers treatments and rituals that blend local volcanic lava and banana leaves. Treatment to Book: The Soothing Aloe and Banana Leaf Ritual. Hydrate your sun-drenched skin with a full-body treatment that incorporates native banana leaves, aloe, lavender, and cypress to blissful effect; bahia-duque.com. Favorite Island Import: Mineral Sea Salts, $33; espaonline.com
3 of 8
The Blue Spa at Carlisle Bay
The Blue Spa is two stories and 17,000-square feet of serenity with the Antiguan rainforest and covered hills as its backdrop. The spa offers six treatment rooms that inspire a deep calm and meditation, which can only be interrupted by the crashing waves on the sugary shores of this West Indies island. Between yoga class and windsurfing, experience a luxurious treatment and fulfill one of the spa's primary tenets–feeling fantastic. Treatment to Book: The Four Hand Massage is two sets of hands massaging your body in tandem, described as easing “your body into a state of oblivion.” We feel further convincing isn't necessary; campbellgrayhotels.com/carlisle-bay-antigua.html. Favorite Island Import: Aromatherapy Associates Renew Rose Overnight Repair Eye Cream, $69; 800/709-1865
4 of 8Courtesy of Elbow Beach, Bermuda
The Spa at Elbow Beach
Feel Bermuda’s famous pink sands between your toes while taking in the sparkling blue waters of South Shore, where the 235-room Elbow Beach resort will charm you with its old traditions and updated style. By booking a Spa Suite, you can enjoy a little post-treatment cooldown on your private balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The coastal breezes may reenergize and blow you poolside for a swim or a sip of the island’s signature beverage, the Rum Swizzle. Treatment to Book: The Pink Sand Scrub is distinctly Bermuda. The sand, combined with essential oils, will smooth and exfoliate your skin, leaving you refreshed and probably hoping to take a little of Bermuda’s pink sand home with you; mandarinoriental.com/bermuda. Favorite Island Import: Elemental Bath and Shower Oil Set, $46; 441/239-8900 for purchase information
5 of 8Courtesy of The Cove Atlantis
Mandara Spa at The Cove Atlantis
“Walk along the glass bridge and through the bamboo water garden” sounds like directions to a fantastical land. Indeed, this path at The Cove Atlantis will lead you to the 30,000-square-foot Mandara Spa, a Balinese-style sanctuary of private spa villas and wellness therapies (the most important being retail therapy) that delivers a relaxing, East-meets-West-meets-Bahamas luxury level of pampering. Treatment to Book: Taking The Waters bathing experience is bathtime made fabulous with a succession of sauna to steam and cold plunge to hot whirlpool. Go ahead―soak until your fingers get pruney; atlantis.com/content/thecoveatlantis. Favorite Island Import: Travel candle with scents of water lily, coconut, and beach grass, $10; shopatlantis.com
6 of 8Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa at The Ritz-Carlton
La Prairie’s Swiss heritage and healing waters meet the sensual delights of the tropics, with de-aging hydrotherapies, crystalline decor, and a glass-encased rushing river underfoot. You'll never look at rain in quite the same way after a massage in softly falling water or the intoxicating scent of Silver Rain perfume that wafts through the spa. Treatment to Book: The Advanced Marine Biology Facial reminds you why you love the ocean. The 60-minute facial energizes your skin using undersea antioxidants, such as sea algae, sea pearls, and mineral rich seawater; ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/GrandCayman/Spa. Favorite Island Import: La Prairie Advanced Marine Biology Tonic with de-aging antioxidants, $95; 800/222-6527 or ritzcarltonshops.com
7 of 8Courtesy of Hawaii Island Retreat
The Spa at Hawaii Island Retreat
Discover the natural beauty of Hawaii, as well as the traditional art of healing, at this eco-friendly luxury lodge set among 50 acres of evergreens and ocean breezes and replete with treatments and massages to guide you on a journey to wellness. Achieve the ultimate unwind with the seclusion that only an eight-room hotel can offer, and a cool plunge in the spa’s saltwater infinity pool that reflects the island's pure blue skies and overlooks the valley below. Treatment to Book: The Foot Focus soak, scrub, and leg massage is a concentrated treatment that will stimulate reflexology points and reduce weariness while you explore the island. After 30 healing minutes, you’ll be up and in hula form; hawaiiislandretreat.com/home. Favorite Island Import: Botanical Bar with Tea Tree & Aloe, $24; 888/830-7546 or mdskincare.com
8 of 8Courtesy of Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Blu Mediterraneo Spa at Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
This Edenic escape in the Mediterranean Sea is a slice of heaven for sailing enthusiasts. Sardinia’s azure waters are often dotted with luxury yachts as plentiful as the island’s 300 days of sunshine. If you can’t bear to leave the great outdoors, then book your treatment “on board” your boat rental or in a seaside treatment cabana at the Blu Mediterraneo Spa, situated next door to the exclusive yacht club. Allow the therapist to slather and polish you Italian style with perfumed products from Acqua di Parma. Treatment to Book: The Mediterranean Oxygenating Complex nourishes and brightens your face and body with an Italian tour de force of essences native to the country: orange from Capri, cypress of Tuscany, almonds of Sicily, and figs from Amalfi; yccs.it. Favorite Island Import: Mediterraneo Italian Resort Radiant Face Cream with shea butter and licorice extract, $75, Acqua Di Parma; 877/551-7257 or saksfifthavenue.com
(Published February 2010. Information correct at time of publication.)