5 High-Flying Spas
April 30, 2014
What’s it like to get rubbed down way up in the clouds? Jeninne Lee-St. John says, Heavenly.
Published on Apr 29, 2014
1. Oberoi Spa
Wildflower Hall, Shimla in the Himalayas
Hike Everest? Wouldn't it be more fun to get a hot herbal poultice massage in the Himalayas? With sound and vibration therapies, the takes place 2,500 meters above sea level among the planet's highest peaks. The hotel was the château of Lord Kitchener, who ran the British army in India a century ago, but the spa's roots are more local and even older. And there's that timeless view. Himachal Pradesh; +91 17 7264 8585; oberoihotels.com
2. Southern Spa
Southern Ocean Lodge
Views don't get much more pristine than due south to Antarctica. High on a ridge, the Southern Spa has a panoramic view of Hanson Bay and the white-capped blue yonder, as well as its green surrounds at the confluence of Flinders Chase, Kelly Hill and Cape Bouguer protected parks. At this refuge on Kangaroo Island, southwest of Adelaide, not only is the air pure, but so are the practices: all spa therapists are trained by Aboriginal teachers to make best use of the local natural resources and indigenous culture. Kangaroo Island via Kingscote, South Australia; +61 2 9918 4355; southernoceanlodge.com.au.
3. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA
Way up on the 116th floor of the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong is the tallest hotel spa in the world. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA capitalizes on its perch in the clouds with floor-to-ceiling windows opening you up to Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island and making the city's teeming humanity feel worlds away. The equally ambient pool is two flights up on the building's top floor, so you can survey that famous skyline under the glittering sun or twinkling night lights. On that rare clear day, you'll feel eye-level with Victoria Peak. Talk about ethereal. International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Rd. West, Kowloon; +852 2263 2040; ritzcarlton.com.
4. Banyan Tree Spa
Marina Bay Sands
Bamboo is naturally one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, but it took human ingenuity to build a bamboo garden 55 stories in the sky. The Tree of Life is the running theme throughout this vast spa in Marina Bay Sands (itself resembling post-modern arbor), and you're sure to feel revitalized by the Asia-Pacific-inspired treatments from the likes of China, Hawaii, India, Java and Thailand—as well as the sweeping scene of Singapore from 200 meters. 55F, 10 Bayfront Ave., Tower 1, Singapore; +65 6688 8825; banyantreespa.com.
5. Six Senses Spa
Pacific City Club
Let's be honest: few "relaxation" rooms are actually very relaxing. Zen music in a windowless room is more like an invitation to escape. Not so at the brandnew Six Senses Spa on the top floor of the recently redone Pacific City Club, which ensconces you in the vibrant vista that is Bangkok. Book a treatment in the late afternoon; by dusk your therapist will escort you to the den of relaxation, where the chaise lounges face out over the city's big parks and toward a sprawling skyline. Chill in your bathrobe over ginger tea and dried mango as night falls and the towers and traffic light up. You'll be sitting pretty above the fray and among the angels from which Krung Thep gets its name. 30F, Two Pacific Place, 142 Sukhumvit, Bangkok; +66 2 653 2450; sixsenses.com.