You can thank us later. We explore the exotic, superluxe treatments to try stateside and far, far beyond. By Joy Hernon
spaSpa Saffire at Saffire Freycinet
Coles Bay, Tasmania (saffire-freycinet.com.au)
Why it rules: Home of the Tasmanian devil and the cleanest air on the planet, the Freycinet Peninsula, with its sweeping views of the Hazards (a pink-granite mountain range), makes for the ultimate spa setting.
Local flavor: Try the Sapphire Ritual ($420), which is performed on a Daintree-wood treatment table sourced from the Australian rain forest. We're not exactly sure how a blue topaz balanced on your forehead serves to "stabilize your energy field," but we're interested, and the locally mined, sapphire-dust-infused facial, which aims to restore luminosity and tighten pores, sounds promising and so luxe.
The Spa at the Mandarin OrientalThe Spa at the Mandarin Oriental
Prague, Czech Republic (mandarinoriental.com/prague)
Why it rules: It's the only spa in the world located in a former Renaissance monastery, yet is within proximity to pubs boasting Czech national treasure Pilsner Urquell.
Local flavor: The Linden Embrace treatment ($203), inspired by the healing linden tree, helps to "adjust your equilibrium" - aka relax you - via essential oils applied through heated poultices that are kneaded into tired muscles. Then a warm-blanket wrap and scalp massage lull you to sleep.
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La Prairie Spa at Hotel Bel-AirLa Prairie Spa at Hotel Bel-Air
Los Angeles, California (hotelbelair.com)
Why it rules: This Spanish-mission-style hotel - nestled in the rustic canyons of L.A. - recently reopened with a whopping $100 million, two-year renovation and a brand-new spa that marries intricate design (think hand-painted murals and a chic black-Swarovski-crystal reception desk) with serene garden-side treatment rooms. The specialty of the house? High-tech Swiss skincare coveted by the likes of Emily Blunt and Zoe Saldana.
Local flavor: Treat your used and abused paws better than you normally do with an indulgent Illuminating Manicure and Pedicure ($80 and $120, respectively). The facial for your hands and feet begins with a gentle (yet effective) exfoliation care of a beta hydroxy acid peel. And just when you thought your skin couldn't get any smoother, a rich microdermabrasion cream infused with diamonds, freshwater pearls, and quartz crystals buffs away another layer to reveal a serious glow. End with a lavish massage application of La Prairie's good-enough-to-eat white caviar soufflé, which plumps skin and targets age spots. Afterward, cool your baby-soft heels - and hands - on the spa's private outdoor patio, complete with a lush wall of greenery and a waterfall.
RoseWood Spa at the Rosewood Little Dix BayRosewood Spa at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (rosewoodhotels.com/en/littledixbay)
Why it rules: We'd happily chillax in the infinity pools overlooking this Caribbean paradise, nestled on a high cliff and surrounded by white-sand beaches and tranquil turquoise seas.
Local flavor: The Caribbean Breeze body treatment ($180) uses a pineapple-papaya enzyme scrub to exfoliate, a ginger body wrap to nourish, and warm coconut oil to hydrate. Sip on a fresh coconut for the full island effect.
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Spa Alila at Alila Villas SooriSpa Alila at Alila Villas Soori
Tabanan, Bali (alilavillassoori.com)
Why it rules: The backdrop couldn't be more perfect for a spiritual sanctuary - we're talking black-sand beaches and terraced rice paddies against picturesque Mount Batukaru.
Local flavor: If you love a head massage - and who doesn't? - opt for the hour-long, traditional Balinese Cream Bath treatment ($98), during which essential oils are decadently plied into the scalp. Rosemary and honey hydrate, mint and tea tree help eliminate flakes, and, finally, a pressure-point massage stimulates the scalp (and, some say, hair growth).
Agua at the Delano HotelAgua at the Delano Hotel
Miami, Florida (delano-hotel.com)
Why it rules: The elegant rooftop haven provides 360-degree views of South Beach, and is just a short stroll to shopping and waterfront-dining mecca Ocean Drive.
Local flavor: The Indian-inspired KeSARI Saffron Glow Facial ($180) begins with a soothing rose-petal foot soak, followed by a traditional facial that combines Indian clay, kokum butter made from Indian mangosteens, aloe, and handpicked saffron, said to induce a radiant glow.
Spa at the One & Only Cape TownSpa at the One & Only Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa (capetown.oneandonlyresorts.com)
Why it rules: After catching a wave on the city's local swells or a "strenuous" day at the vineyards, throw your feet up at this sophisticated resort set in the heart of the city on the fashionable Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
Local flavor: The Bushmen of Cape Peninsula inspired the indigenous signature treatment, the Essence of Earth and Ocean Experience ($182), which utilizes nourishing oil pressed from the fruit of the baobab tree for massage and a detoxifying South African seaweed wrap, followed by a serving of calming English tea made from the antioxidant-rich South African herb rooibos.
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The Spa at Trump Soho New YorkThe Spa at Trump Soho New York
New York City (trumphotelcollection.com)
Why it rules: Trump's trendy, modern digs in the heart of NYC's Soho mixes the old and new by featuring the ancient-bathing and water-pouring rituals of Morocco and Turkey, complete with a glamorous, ornately mosaicked hammam fit for an ancient Eurasian palace.
Local flavor: In the Moroccan Hammam treatment ($195), black soap whipped up with raw olives is used in tandem with a kessa mitt for a full-body exfoliation, after which Ghassoul clay, mined from beneath the fertile Atlas Mountains of eastern Morocco, is applied for detoxification and increased skin clarity.
Can't make it to one of these luxe destinations? Try these treatments at home.
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