When A-listers such as Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss and Cameron Diaz need to recharge their batteries they head for the world’s most exclusive spas. But it’s not just about leaving the external world behind and relaxing in comfort. These oases of calm – from sunshine-soaked Greek beaches to the Maldives, by way of Los Angeles and the Somerset countryside – also offer the most effective antiageing facials, the ultimate massages and body treatments for restoring your natural equilibrium, and the quickest way to detox and get in shape for summer. HELLO! reveals the top spa destinations – and the celebrities’ favourite treatments.
The Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, The Maldives
Fringed by white beaches and surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean, this island resort offers a luxury version of the Robinson Crusoe experience. Choose between three first-class restaurants after one-to-one yoga instruction and diving the nearby reef, or watch dolphins and learn about marine preservation – then relax with some indulgent treatments at the Landaa Ayurvedic Spa.
The spa The first step is a consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner, who will assess your dosha, or mind and body type. Once you have your personalised eating, exercise and treatment plan you can sign up for a bespoke Ayurvedic programme based on the ancient Indian healing system. This includes spa treatments, a course of yoga classes (suitable for all levels) and a guide to which foods to eat during your stay.
Treatments using Sundãri products – an anti-ageing line, based on Ayurvedic principles, originally co-developed by Christy Turlington – take place in individual spa villas at the lush, green heart of the island. The villas are open to the elements, but offer total privacy too.
The treatment Be sure to try the devi bhavani (divine mother) tantric ritual – with mantras, luxurious oil massages and a steam cleanse – to nourish your female energy.
The stars Cameron Diaz recently returned from a romantic stay at the Landaa.
The lowdown A Stay Longer – Fourth Night Free starts at US$800 (£605) per person per night based on two sharing a Beach Bungalow, and includes breakfast and airport transfers by sea plane from Malé. The 150-minute devi bhavani treatment costs about £175. Visit fourseasons.com/maldiveslg.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
Stylish and super-luxe, this place is five-star all the way, from its faultless service to its prime location. Set on Santa Monica Boulevard, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from the designer boutiques of Rodeo Drive, so you can shop and bliss out to your heart’s content – not forgetting to pop up to the rooftop pool to take in the sunshine.
The spa Specialising in super-effective – but still pampering – quick fixes, it offers body treatments using gemstone-based Shiffa oils, and customised facials featuring Naturopathica organic skincare. Highly trained therapists who minister to the needs of some very famous faces will target skin dehydration, sun damage, fine lines and sensitivity in the spa’s tranquil location in the hotel’s roof garden. The spa has seven stylish treatment rooms as well as a Jacuzzi, steam room and relaxation area with waterfall. Be sure to book a manipedi and plumping lip treatment – this is Los Angeles, after all.
The treatment The Shiffa Gemstone Revival is a jetlag-busting full-body scrub, followed by a relaxing back, neck and shoulder massage using one of four gemstone oils: diamond, emerald, ruby or sapphire.
The stars Jennifer Aniston regularly books in for the Oxygen facials, while Jennifer Lopez has been known to reward herself with a Shiffa full body massage after a workout.
The lowdown Rooms at The Peninsula Beverly Hills start at £326 per night for two including breakfast; visit peninsula.com. The 60-minute Gemstone Revival treatment costs approximately £115. British Airways flies to LA three times a day; prices start at £401.70 per person including taxes. Visit ba.com.
Anne Sémonin Spa at Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece
The four luxury, familyfriendly hotels of Sani Resort are set in 1,000 acres on the magnificent wooded Kassandra peninsula of Halkidiki, a 45-minute drive from Thessaloniki. Choose from Sani Beach Club and Sani Beach Hotel, both with kids’ clubs offering everything from water skiing to breakdancing lessons, or the five-star Porto Sani Village and Sani Asterias Suites.
The spa Porto Sani’s eight treatment rooms offer holistic therapies from pioneering cult French beauty brand Anne Sémonin, including a lymphatic drainage technique that improves circulation and reduces puffiness and fine lines. All treatments are tailor-made using active plant serums. There is also a fitness studio, yoga tuition, heated indoor pool, thermal suite and relaxation area offering herbal teas and juices.
The treatments Try the extreme-moisture Phyto- Aromatic facial, in which the face is cleansed with botanical milk then nourished with essential oils of lavender, mandarin zest and Egyptian basil – which is known for its healing and moisturising properties. A 50-minute de-stressing Phyto- Aromatic full body massage is the perfect way to round things off.
The stars Denise Van Outen, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalia Vodianova, Bruce Willis and Princesses Stephanie and Caroline of Monaco are all Anne Sémonin fans.
The lowdown Seven nights’ half-board, including return BA flights from Gatwick and transfers, costs from £940pp staying in a Marina Junior Suite at Porto Sani Village, and from £845pp in a Bungalow at Sani Beach Club. Tel: 01244-202000; or visit seasonsinstyle.com. The extreme moisture Phyto-Aromatic facial costs 90 euros for 50 minutes; the de-stress massage is 90 euros. Visit annesemonin.com.
The Cowshed at Babington House, Somerset
Babington House has long been the place to chill out in the countryside and dine on the best of modern British food. To celebrate the hotel’s tenth birthday it has been refurbished, and now has a brand-new, first-class spa in the Victorian walled garden.
The spa The Cowshed Relax spa has a stylish, rustic feel, with great wet rooms, a hydrotherapy room, freefall showers, plus mani-pedi room and sauna.
The treatment Book the Mud Room for an application of rhassoul – the king of clays – from Morocco, then deep-cleanse with coarse sea salt crystals.
The stars Daisy Lowe, Zoë Ball and Kate Moss have all stayed at Babington House. The lowdown Rooms start at £195 per night for two (non-members). The Mud Room treatment costs £45 for one person; £80 for two. Visit babingtonhouse.co.uk
Text: Nadine Baggott