5 Locally Inspired Spa Treatments from Around the World

Finch Hattons Chyulu Spa
The Chyulu Spa at Finch Hattons
Photo courtesy of Finch Hattons

Some of the most unique spas consider setting, consumer base and cultural influences when curating treatment menus. These five spa resorts offer guests spa and wellness treatments that are influenced by local culture and traditions, from the healing powers of the Plose Mountain forest to Thai aquatic therapy and more.

Related: 7 Wellness Treatments Inspired by Indigenous Cultures

1. FORESTIS: The Healing of the Celts

FORESTIS is located amidst thick mountain forests on the southern slope of Plose Mountain, a pristine destination to practice wellness activities at the FORESTIS Spa. The Forest Tree Circle Ceremony includes pure spring water, clean mountain air, many hours of sunshine and a mild climate to form the concepts of gentle touch and exercise rituals that recall the practices and wisdom of the Celts, who developed their extensive healing knowledge and tree ceremonies in the surrounding forests.

The Celts believed in the healing powers of four indigenous trees: mountain pine, spruce, larch and Swiss stone pine. Each of the trees possesses different active substances, frequencies and material substances that allow the human body to regenerate deeply. Each wood is assigned a specific stone and frequency.

The tree circle ceremony begins with the choice of the tree. The guest faces the four pieces of wood and intuitively chooses a wood for themself after touching, seeing and smelling the scent of the wood. The scent of the wood is sprayed in both the room and the purifying foot bath with bath salts, beginning the Plose spring water.

To prepare the body, the meridian points are stimulated, then the massage begins with the wooden stick to release tension and then a body temperature stone to release its energy, flowing through throughout the body during the massage. The constant rhythm of the energy flow of the wood and stone, combined with the special technique and the warm oils from the essences of the particular tree brings balance to the emotional, vital and mental realms. The sound frequencies of the tree create vibrations that, when combined with healing woods and stones, release blockages and create harmony and physical activation, thus closing the circle.

2. Finch Hattons: A Safari Retreat  

Located in the heart of Tsavo National Park, Finch Hattons offers the ideal escape for the body, mind, and soul to be gently restored. The nature-immersed location offers game drives, bush walks and full-day hikes. Guests can also relax, rejuvenate and refresh in nature with Finch Hattons’ Chyulu Wellness Retreat Safari Experience, the largest bush spa in East Africa.

The Chyulu Spa is complete with a yoga deck, two treatment rooms with air conditioning and infinity spa pool, indoor and outdoor shower facilities, a gym, a Hammam and a relaxation area with treatments inspired by ancient African indigenous ingredients. The Chyulu Experience begins with a full body exfoliation followed by a luxurious body mask, formulated with mineralized clay and nourishing oils, leaving a soft, smooth and supple sensation on the skin.

The treatment concludes with a 15-minute Hammam and deep tissue Oringa body massage, a holistic treatment that is based on the psychological and physical benefits of essential oils where Swedish and deep treatment massage techniques are designed to relax the muscles and ease tension, improving circulation and promoting general well-being.

3. The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui: Thai Aquatic Therapy

The Spa Village Koh Samui at The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui in Thailand features Thai healing practices integrated with therapeutic properties to create a holistic and rejuvenating spa program. One of their signature therapies, the Thai Aquatic Freedom Therapy, combines Thai massage with aqua therapy. Guests experience weightlessness in the water as their body is moved through a series of stretches that soften the muscles, relieve stiff joints and quiet the mind. Travelers can also combine this with Thai Aquasana, an aquatic fitness session that combines yoga, karate and Thai chi for improved balance and flexibility.

4. The Gainsborough Bath Spa: Healing Thermal Waters

The Gainsborough Bath Spa is the only hotel in the UK with direct access to the natural thermal waters supposedly used by the Romans in the ancient city of Bath. The water contains 43 minerals and for centuries has attracted visitors to the city for curative purposes. Reviving the Roman's ancient practice of social bathing, the property's Spa Village Bath offers guests a one-hour Bath House Circuit featuring time in three different pools of varying temperatures reminiscent of a Roman bathhouse, traditional saunas, a steam room and an ice alcove.

5. The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa: A Rebalancing Stay

A sanctuary of the senses, the Saxon Spa boasts cascading water features, lush gardens and quiet surroundings alongside its signature wellness treatments. The Saxon Signature Rebalancing Package is exclusive to the Saxon, realigning the body’s natural balance through a seven-hour serene experience. The package is designed to rejuvenate and rebalance the body to promote better sleep.

The package features a 60-minute sleep therapy treatment, settling guests onto a floatation bed so the programmed lighting can guide them into a restful sleep. The therapist will lead guests through a full-body treatment to maximize relaxation.

The Rejuvenating Saxon Himalayan Journey, a multi-step treatment, begins with a milk foot ritual to dissolve stress. A Himalayan salt scrub with the spa's signature Saxon scent is then used to renew skin cells by reducing irritation, scaling and redness before rinsing the scrub off and indulging the body in a stress-dissolving hot granite massage. This massage uses heat-retaining stones and rhythmic massage movements to warm and ease muscle tension. The treatment concludes with the application of a cold Rose Quartz to relieve and heal muscular inflammation.

The package also includes a Saxon luxury pedicure with another milk bath soak and Himalayan salt scrub to relieve any residual tension in the feet and soften the skin.

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