The word 'spa' is an acronym, from the Latin 'salus per aquam', or 'health through water'. People have benefited from the therapies offered by spas for hundreds of years to treat certain medical conditions and promote a feeling of well-being. Nowadays the term ‘spa’ encompasses many different experiences and is associated with relaxation and enjoyment. One of the things that spas generally have in common is water, a natural healer which soothes the mind and body. Some of the spas featured in this guide benefit from their own mineral-rich thermal waters while others offer a range of hydrotherapy treatments to boost the circulation.Stress is becoming all the more prevalent in the modern world, leading to fatigue, irritability and depression. A course of spa treatments offers the mind some well-deserved time off and can boost the immune system. We all feel better when we look good, so a beauty-enhancing skin treat will uplift your mind as well as your body.
Which Type of Spa?The majority of spas in this brochure have been chosen for their deluxe beauty and pampering treatments that leave you feeling refreshed and glowing. Some of the hotels have resident doctors who are able to offer treatments designed to relieve a wide range of medical conditions like arthritis. Programmes designed to promote weight-loss or reduce the prominence of cellulite are a good way of relieving a particular problem. Some spa hotels propose more unusual experiences, like the Sources de Caudalie set on a vineyard in the Bordeaux region of France. The grapes and wine are powerful antioxidants and are used in treatments such as the Red Wine Bath. The Hotel Son Brull has produced a spa menu based around local Mallorcan products and healing traditions for a truly unique experience. Many of the spas we work with can be divided into 3 main groups - Therapeutic Spas, Holistic Spas and Pampering Spas. However, some spas can fit into more than one group, for example, a pampering spa with some holistic treatments.Therapeutic SpasThe treatments offered at Therapeutic Spas are often more medical in nature than pampering. The mineral-rich waters can be used to treat a variety of conditions and are ideal if you are feeling particularly run down and in need of a boost. Treatments will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated and do have aesthetic benefits as well as promoting good health. Thermal Spring and Hydrotherapy spas, Thalassotherapy Spas and Fangotherapy (treatments using mud) are examples of typically therapeutic spas.Holistic SpasThe theory behind holistic treatments is that our beauty is strongly linked to our general state of health and the holistic method treats the whole body and mind to induce a sense of wellbeing. Spiritual rather than physical sports are promoted. Yoga and meditation are often available to treat your spiritual health. Many spas now provide a combination of holistic treatments and more traditional therapies allowing the spa-goer to test out what works best for them. At Le Sport in St Lucia you can take part in their ‘Mind Holiday’. A selection of spa treatments are combined with yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation and Stress Management which all have a holistic effect on the body. These can be taken in conjunction with more physical sports such as tennis or water sports, if you wish.Ayurveda Spas are a typical example of holistic spas.Pampering SpasMost of the spas included in this guide are pampering spas, where a relaxing enjoyable holiday is combined with a course of treatments. Savouring the fine wines and cuisine is part of the experience! Some hotels do offer low-calorie menus that you can follow or healthy options served in the main restaurant or in their own spa restaurant. In the Maldives, Huvafen Fushi’s spa restaurant Raw serves innovative and creative spa cuisine that is both delicious and low in calories. Destination Spas, where everyone staying at the hotel is taking part in the spa experience, offer more of a traditional ‘health farm’ experience. They might not serve alcohol and the cuisine is aimed at detoxifying and weight-loss.The treatments at Pampering Spas are focused around beauty boosting and inducing wellbeing and relaxation. Many of these hotels offer a luxury experience in fabulously private surroundings.Brand Name SpasThese spas offer beauty treatments by recognised skincare specialists and fashion houses, for example Givenchy, Guerlain, Clarins and Elemis. These spas offer top-of-the range treatment products and staff trained to know how best to administer them. Sometimes the brand name treatments sit on the spa menu next to other treatments, or sometimes spas offer these treatments exclusively.
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