So long 2019 and all the crimes we committed with you. With 2020, itâ€™s time for a little rest and rejuvenationâ€”and health-geared hospitality destinations are here to help. From a remote Costa Rican retreat with tent-like structures conscious to a sensitive tropical landscape to a spa that cocoons guests in hanging teepees and a pool promising a â€śwomb-likeâ€ť experience, here are 10 standout spas and wellness retreats around the globe. Weâ€™ve focused mostly on those new to the sceneâ€”but youâ€™ll find one established favorite and one yet to come.
1. Kasiiya Papagayo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
In remote Costa Rica, Paris-based architecture firm AWÂ˛ designed custom timber-and-canvas â€śluxury tentsâ€ť for wellness retreat Kasiiya Papagayo, opened in March of 2019. Raised off the ground, the tents protect the sensitive landscape of the dry tropical jungleâ€”and can be broken down to disappear without a trace. The master bath in this tented suite provides a soaking opportunity in a custom copper tub, but self-care can also be drawn from strong personalities on the propertyâ€™s staff. Yamuna, the propertyâ€™s healerâ€”rumored to have treated Brad Pittâ€”will quickly pinpoint over tea both the troubles of your soul and how to release them, while fitness expert Bruno teaches strength-building exercises based on animal movements.
2. Hotel PalĂˇcio Estoril, Estoril, Portugal
With another James Bond film gearing up for April 2020, what was once the setting for the classic film â€śOn Her Majestyâ€™s Secret Service,â€ť released in 1969, could be just the place for a limber spyâ€”or anyone else eyeing a few days of well-being. Designed by French architect Henry Martinet and built in 1930, the Hotel PalĂˇcio Estoril was a playground for royals for decades. Today the property combines historical grandeurâ€”think a doorman smartly dressed in traditional garbâ€”with high-class health facilities. In the 27,000-square-foot Estoril Wellness Center designed by Palmer Grego Arquitectos, two floors are occupied by a Banyan Tree Spa. For one spa massage treatment, staff takes aim with high-powered water jets, hosing the brave off firehose-style. A more subdued water experience is found in the dynamic pool, where jets slowly spin guests around in circles under the twinkle of LED lights recalling the night skyâ€”no crime-fighting required.
3. The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, London
Glass above a 60-foot-long pool reveals a loungeâ€™s fire place at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park. With a restoration and enlargement completed by New York designer and Hall of Fame member Adam Tihany in the Summer of 2019, the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London now includes 13 treatment rooms, a massage suite for two, a traditional mosaic-tiled steam room and warm rain shower, mani-pedi studio, and room dedicated to Chinese medicine consultations and treatments.
4. The Rena Spa at The Midland Manchester, Manchester, England
Spa lounging reaches new heights at The Midland, Manchester, which opened in November after a rebranding conceived by an in-house design team drawn from developers Leonardo Hotels and U.K. and Ireland hotel group Jurys Inn. In the Rena Spa, ceiling-mounted tepees and Eero Aarnioâ€™s retro Ball chair, designed in 1963, are among unique opportunities that tuck guests away from the outside world.
5. Six Senses Thimpu, Bhutan
Perched on a hillside and capturing breathtaking views of a nearby mountain range, the Six Senses Bhutan will be the most recent debut for global hotel brand Six Sensesâ€”its fifth property in Bhutanâ€”when it opens in Spring 2020. Packed soil, hemlock wood, bamboo, granite, and natural stone are the dominating materials in a sustainably conscious design crafted by Thailand-based firm Habita Architects and the brandâ€™s in-house design team. In the spa area, shown here, floor-to-ceiling glazing allows an infinity pool to reflect both sky and mountains.