The circular Warming Room in the spa of Encantado – an Auberge Resort is an immediate statement that you are in the spiritual area of Santa Fe, New Mexico, a city celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2010. The Warming Room is the spa waiting room: it is circular, based on the kiva thinking places that have always been a feature of the Indian tribes of this part of the USA.
Inside the Warming Room, which is about 20 feet in diameter, is a real-log fire with a 200-year old Pueblo rug hanging over. Two of the small tables by relaxation chairs are solid columns of age-old Indonesian petrified wood. Designers Wilson & Associates have instilled so much history in this highly-modern, 65-room resort, which owners Canyon Equity opened September 2008 on the site of an earlier inn made most...
“This month I discovered the stunning Sense spa at Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda. With nine rooms in total, there are individual cabins on a high cliff edge overlooking the beautiful ocean far below. On arrival you relax and soak up the environment around a small curvilinear cantilevered pool, before having your treatments in one of the cabins. These are built with an open wall so you can hear the therapeutic sounds of the waves from below while you get pampered in bliss.
“Sense uses its own products for all of the treatments, and boasts the exclusive Cliff Spa Suite for couples packages. The private facilities are the ultimate way to relax in luxury, with your own patio and hot tub as well as an outdoor shower. A new yoga pavilion has just opened on a nearby hilltop, and the...
"I was bowled over by the Caudalie Spa at The Plaza, New York - it is just so beautiful! Designer Yves Collette has produced a haven that truly evokes vineyards - a reminder that Caudalie was started by former ski champions Daniel and Florence Cathiard at their Châteaux de Smith Haut-Lafitte vineyard in the Bordeaux region.
"The 8,000 sq-ft Caudalie Spa at The Plaza is all soft raspberry pinks and soft browns (think grapes in full bloom, on old vines) with startling highlights of bright, bright apple green on table tops in the wine-tasting bar (think new vine leaves, in spring time). Yes, this is a spa which not only has 14 treatment rooms but also its own wine-tasting area, which doubles as the relax room.
"The spa is complemented by a 75-foot indoor pool, a hair salon by top...
“This is a spa, within a hotel, within a hotel – like Russian dolls, you get the feeling of being hidden away from the madness of Hong Kong. Plateau is the hotel, a 14-bedroom cocoon-like modern ryokan-style baby on the 11th floor of the massive Grand Hyatt Hong Kong.
“I loved room 1110, zig-zag simplicity of odd-angled walls and natural materials, designer John Morford at his most futuristic, with stunning floor-to-ceiling views across Hong Kong harbour to Kowloon into the bargain. My walls were sassafras wood, my floors wood or mahogany granite, my futon Pluh, my toiletries Aesop.
“Plateau's exclusive relax area, indoor-outdoor in a tree-lined cloister, offers health drinks, and an ultra-healthy breakfast. You never need see any other guests, though I am told Monocle founder Tyler...
October was the month of blue-skies and jet-setting...
“This month I’ve been seen dozens of new hotels – nine in one day last week (by helicopter fortunately). However the one that really caught my eye was Chewton Glen in Hampshire. Here, you can start the day with a swim in the amazing indoor pool, with trompe l'oeil on three walls, 'clouds' painted on the 'blue sky' ceiling and real green trees visible through one all-glass wall. Next door, L'Orangerie has a series of inviting vitality pools.
“It’s sheer relaxation, especially when you know you have an appointment, later on, for a signature Linda Meredith facial.”
Find out more about The Spa at Chewton Glen, Hampshire
September was the month for mind-boggling architecture...
“The stunning, futuristic Norman Foster curve of the new Spa Wing at The Dolder Grand has an indoor pool shaped like a dancing whoosh. Even the entrance exudes modern glamour with 27 wooden stairs leading you up to the cream cocoon of the waiting room. From there you are led along a curving corridor to one of the 19 treatment rooms – all with working fires, lit from 6pm. My favourite is the double-occupancy spa suite, with private day-bed area, sauna, big jacuzzi and sensational views over the treetops down to Zurich and the lake.”
Find out more about The Dolder Grand Spa, Zurich
Mary Gostelow is an industry guru when it come comes to global hospitality and lifestyle.
She is Editor-in-Chief of WOW.travel, the online magazine of . She is International Advisor for Elite Traveler, The Private Jet Lifestyle Magazine. She also has her own global market intelligence, Gostelow Report, for the travel and tourism industry.
Mary spends 300 days a year travelling - plenty of time to explore the world's best hotel and destination spas and to share her tips on the latest and greatest health and beauty treasures.See my profile