These are the 8 best spas in the world right now

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As more countries open their doors and drop the last of their pandemic-related travel restrictions, travelers are flocking to destinations far from home for their much-needed relaxation rituals. Just in time, the World Spa Awards released its annual list of the best spas around the world right now.

Chosen by industry professionals, the media and the public, these spas range from pristine white-sand beaches in Vietnam to a unique desert oasis in Saudi Arabia and a medieval town in Italy known for its healing flow of water.

luxury resort

The Mandarin Oriental on the luxurious coast of Dubai and the Ritz-Carlton in the Maldives cemented their reputation for elegance by winning prestigious awards for Best Hotel and Best Resort Spa. For those looking for a fusion of city life, two spas were rewarded in Bangkok (perfectly in sync with Thailand which just lifted its latest travel restrictions in September); or nature lovers can look no further than the Tallebudgera Valley in Queensland, Australia, which has been hailed for its eco-friendly practices.

Each spa offers its own vision of health and well-being, influenced by its natural and cultural environment. With a range of treatment options from holistic to science-backed, check out the top eight spas below:

Best hotel spa

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai (UAE)

Best hotel spa
Image courtesy of: Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah, Dubai

Nestled between the Arabian Gulf and the city’s backdrop, this urban resort offers an elegant spa with nine treatment rooms. The spa’s signature treatment is a 150-minute ritual called “Essence of Arabia,” which uses 24-karat gold, saffron, and Arabian jasmine to aid in cell regeneration, pigmentation, and rejuvenation. If you want to try hammam style, the 90-minute “Brightening Emirates Cocoon” includes a black soap cleanse, body scrub, and pomegranate enzyme-rich wrap.

Check prices at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai (UAE)

Best Resort Spa

The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

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Best Resort Spa
Image courtesy of: The Ritz-Carlton Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Maldives

A doughnut-shaped sanctuary inspired by earth energy, the Ritz-Carlton Spa is surrounded by a crystal blue lagoon and offers nine treatment rooms with a spa suite and a relaxation room. Signature treatments include the ‘Bamford Signature Journey’, which combines Japanese Shiatsu and Swedish massage to release tension and balance the flow of energy, as well as massage with bamboo sticks.

Check prices at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands

Best Wellness Retreat

Fiuggi Palace, Italy

Best Wellness Retreat
Image courtesy of: Fiuggi Palace

Set in eight acres, Palazzo Fiuggi is a fifty-minute drive from Rome and offers stunning views of the medieval countryside. The spa has three pools, the oldest dating back to 1936. The pools are filled with mineral water from the Fiuggi region, renowned for its healing properties. Other offerings include sound healing and detox treatments with light and infrared therapies.

Best day spa

Clinique La Prairie Aesthetics & Medical Spa at St. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Best day spa
Image courtesy of: Clinique La Prairie Aesthetics & Medical Spa at St. Regis Bangkok

Founded by the father of fresh cell therapy, Dr. Paul Niehans, Clinique La Prairie first opened its doors in Switzerland before expanding to Bangkok in the heart of the city. Known for pioneering anti-aging treatments, which combine science with holistic health and wellness, the menu ranges from Dr. Niehans’ anti-aging facials to Tibetan Singing Bowl sound massages.

Best New Spa Hotel

Auriga Wellness at Capella Bangkok, Thailand

Best New Spa Hotel
Image courtesy of: Auriga Wellness at Capella Bangkok

Another Bangkok spa, located near the famous Chao Phraya River, has won the desirable title of best new hotel spa in the world. Offering seven treatment suites with a vitality pool, water therapy, and relaxation lounge, the spa offers a variety of massage rituals from Thai Tok Sen Therapy to Harmonized Qi; or try the signature Hom Mali treatment with a local moisturizing rice scrub.

Check prices at Capella Bangkok, Thailand

Best New Resort Spa

The Regent Phu Quoc Spa, Vietnam

Best New Resort Spa
Image courtesy of: The Regent Phu Quoc Spa

Located on the white sands of the west coast of Phu Quoc Island, it is considered an island gem with unparalleled sunsets. The spa offers beautiful ocean views and rejuvenating treatments such as traditional Vietnamese therapeutic massages, Chakra Cleansing Glow, or a cocoon of sand with a quartz bed, which conforms to the shape of the body and relieves muscle stiffness.

Check prices at Regent Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Best New Wellness Retreat

Habitas AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Best New Wellness Retreat
Image courtesy of: Habitas AlUla

This one-of-a-kind wellness retreat is surrounded by tall sandstone cliffs in a desert oasis and features sustainable practices to ensure no trace is left behind. Offering multiple programming options with adventure, arts and culture, music and wellness, this off-grid retreat offers treatments that combine global and Middle Eastern techniques with age-old practices.

Best eco-friendly spa

Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia

Best eco-friendly spa
Image courtesy of: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat

The beautiful retreat in the natural setting of Queensland’s Tallebudgera Valley, just 15 minutes drive from the famous Gold Coast beaches, wins this award for the second time. Long a celebrity hotspot and owned in part by Hugh Jackman, it’s ecotourism certified and holds the title of largest spa in the southern hemisphere with 18 treatment rooms.

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