T+L Reports: Hotel Spas
Published: May 2009
Immersing yourself in the culture may be a great way to see Europe, sure, but each of these new spas has created a universe unto itself—which may make you consider not venturing beyond the property boundaries at all. SWITZERLAND Complimentary foot rituals (reflexology with healing crystals, followed by tea) are performed before every extended treatment at E'Spa (Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel, 41 Höheweg, 800/223-6800 or 41-33/828-2828; www.victoria-jungfrau.ch; treatments from $55), which stands in the shadow of the Alps in Interlaken. The spa, connected to the hotel by a glass-domed walkway, focuses on Asian techniques, such as the ayurvedic Purva Karma four-hand massage, using oils blended according to a guest's dosha. FRANCE On the penthouse floor of the Hotel Martinez Cannes, Spa Givenchy (73 La Croisette, Cannes, 33-4/92-98-74-10; www.hotel-martinez.com; treatments from $50) has no yoga mats in sight. Pampering—with treatments such as Exclusif Givenchy, a three-part body experience combining a scrub, an oil bath, and a hydrating wrap—is the order of the day. Guests prolong the bliss on beds scattered across the terrace, where there's nothing to do but stare at the Côte d'Azur below. ITALY Housed in a former 17th-century monastery on a private island in Venice, the Beauty & Wellness Center (San Clemente Palace, Isola di San Clemente, 39-041/244-5001; www.sanclemente.thi.it; treatments from $50) is accessible only by motorboat and helicopter. After making the 15-minute jaunt over the lagoon from St. Mark's Square, guests are rewarded with aromatherapy massages, mud treatments, and Turkish baths—fitting indulgences for anyone living out a doge fantasy. IRELAND Though the notion of Irish nirvana more often includes pints of lager than tai chi and seaweed wraps, Sámas (Park Hotel Kenmare, Kenmare, County Kerry; 35-3/64-41200; www.parkkenmare.com; three-hour treatments from $155), the Emerald Isle's first destination spa, endeavors to change that stereotype. With a minimalist design punctuated by a grass roof, the sanctuary stands in quiet rebellion against the traditional country hotel. The daily three-hour regimen begins with a muscle-relaxing rain shower and ends with a nap in an ash wood daybed.