Answers on a postcard

Some of the world’s best spas are finessing their treatment menus in order to offer a bespoke service to meet individual needs. It means that whatever problem you may have, there’s a spa solution for you.



BEST FOR DETOX: Hotel Tannenhof, Austria

Hotel Tannenhof 5***** St. Anton am Arlberg

It may sound like an oxymoron, but bon vivants will be pleasantly surprised with the new detox package on offer at Hotel Tannenhof, an exquisite seven-suite property, based in the mountain village of St Anton in Austria. The uber-luxe hotel’s five-day experience puts a new spin on the concept of ‘going without’. First up are the treatments. Wonderfully indulgent – detox here does not mean deprivation – and so the package includes a variety of pampering seaweed and mineral mud body wraps, massages, facials and reflexology treatments spread out over five days. Personalisation is key so guests are given an initial in-depth consultation and your therapist adapts each treatment to your likes or dislikes and diarises according to what works best for you. Fitness is also tackled – in style, of course – with private yoga sessions, mountain hikes led by your own personal guide and ski passes for the duration of your stay. So far, so good, but mention the words ‘detox spa menu’ to a hedonist and they are likely to run for the hills. Except, joyfully, here it’s a highlight. The hotel’s gourmet chefs cook up a delectable – yet healthy – range of feast-like dishes, such as rich watercress soup with hazelnut and truffle and turbot served with spinach, artichoke and olive. Juices and warm drinks are available on tap as are homemade canapés and a ‘detox deli’. Fancy something different? It’s not a problem – just ask the obliging staff for whatever you desire. It’s that kind of place.

Tannenhof Sankt Anton am Arlberg Hotel Tannenhof 5***** St. Anton am Arlberg

Having converted the original 23-room hotel into a much more intimate offering, the owners wanted to emulate an upscale home-from-home experience. So you’ll discover a welcoming team of 20 staff, catering to a maximum 16 guests, who provide a service that is discreet and exceptional. The same goes for a the surroundings – with expansive suites boasting their own dressing rooms, huge bathrooms and terraces with jaw-dropping panoramic mountain views. Each one has deep carpets, Austrian linens, wood-burners and pressed stone baths (so that the bath water stays hotter for longer). Other well-thought out details include digital music channels in the bathrooms, all-inclusive mini-bars featuring local delicacies and a rolling art exhibition throughout the hotel. If this is going without, we’ll have more of it.

The five-night Detox Package costs €3, 750 per couple, all-inclusive with the exception of flights. BA flies to Zurich, from London City Airport.




BEST FOR STRESS: Canyon Ranch, Miami

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If the idea of rubbing shoulders with the world’s most glamorous jetsetters won’t cause your blood pressure to rise even further, then head to Canyon Ranch on Miami’s fashionable Collins Avenue for a new, slick approach to stress-busting. Renowned for their results-driven therapies, the Canyon Ranch brand has long been beloved by celebrity names since it launched in Tucson 30 years ago. While this and the Lenox, Massachusetts property are traditional health resorts, the more recently-opened Miami outpost is unique in combining Canyon Ranch’s serious health credentials in a luxury, boutique hotel setting. With a staggering 54 treatment rooms, 40 fitness classes per day and a menu book bursting with cutting-edge treatments, this is also the largest spa in Florida – a vast place catering to the wellness needs of the glitterati. The original Art Deco features (from its former life as the iconic Carillon Hotel) have been blended beautifully with hip David Rockwell-designed interiors. It goes without saying then that the all-suite hotel, each with an ocean view, is impressive, but expect to be wowed further by the wellness expertise on offer.

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The new Mini Stress Buster package, for instance, is aimed at offering a positive, life-changing experience to time-poor individuals. Like all Canyon Ranch offerings, it has been designed by leading wellness professionals. Acupuncture, one-on-one meditation, massage treatments and a healing energy consultation are personalised and combine to make even the most frazzled urbanite unflappable – even when you happen to bump into Eva Longoria in the dressing room.

A four-night stay at Canyon Ranch Miami with Healing Holidays ( ) is from £1,525 per person based on two sharing. Price includes return flights with four nights’ accommodation in a one-bedroom suite and includes the Stress Buster package.




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Thanks to its pristine landscape, rich cultural heritage and a recent crop of design hotels, Vietnam continues to reign supreme on the travel connoisseurs’ radar. Adding another jewel to its crown is the innovative beachfront Fusion Maia retreat, based in Da Nang, Central Vietnam. A first of its kind for Asia, its irresistible USP is that all spa treatments and wellness activities are all-inclusive as part of your room rate – meaning you can be pampered as many times as you want during your stay without worrying about the costs mounting up. If that wasn’t relaxing enough, you’ll feel the stress of everyday concerns melt away just wandering around the resort’s idyllic tropical grounds, which has a cascading waterfall at its heart and villas with their own courtyard garden and pool as standard.

With a huge choice of treatments and activities on offer, not to mention the 50 therapists waiting to ease your cares away, it can be mind-boggling even knowing where to start. So to make sense of it all, a genius colour-coded system – based on aromatherapy blends – is in place. This also extends to the resort’s Natural Living program, a range of lifestyle classes and activities – think tai chi, yoga, meditation, cultural workshops, beach walks and guided excursions. You can match your treatments with your activities and even with what you eat, from the nutritious – and utterly delicious – spa cuisine on offer.


Unlike many other spa retreats that offer a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, Fusion Maia specializes in its personal touch. From its wonderful holistic treatments (highlights are the Mindful Energy therapies and the chakra-balancing massages) to its glittering Asian-fusion restaurant with show kitchen, the place has been designed to nourish the body and nurture the spirit. It’s a real gem.

A seven-night stay at Fusion Maia with Healing Holidays ( is from £1,635 per person based on two sharing. Price includes return flights, private airport transfers, seven-nights’ accommodation in a pool villa, daily breakfast, unlimited spa treatments and access to daily activities.



BEST FOR HARMONY: The Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland

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When the much-anticipated The Alpina Gstaad opened its doors for the first time earlier this year, the chi-chi holidaymakers who usually frequent the glitzy ski resort were agog. The first hotel to open here in 100 years, it took 15 years in the planning and cost an eye-watering $337m to build. Suffice to say that the 56-room resort in Oberbort, the most exclusive part of Gstaad, is seriously luxurious. Singing (with perfect pitch) rather than shouting its wealth – much thought has been put into memorable details. Gentle nods to an Alpine sensibility (think beautiful hand-painted Swiss dressers, specially sourced by antique specialists) are juxtaposed against modern-day indulgences (state-of-the-art lighting, contemporary open fires). Best of all, though, is the spectacular Six Senses spa.

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The vast space is packed with state-of-the-art facilities, which include an authentic hammam, floatation room, colour therapy room, sensory pods and heated water-beds. The two pools – inside is a 25m lap-pool and outside is a heated version surrounded by manicured gardens and mountain vistas – are the highlights. While you can revive tired muscles after a day on the slopes with intense massages or invest in a hi-tech QMS Alpina facial, the expertise here lies in the spa’s Ayurvedic packages, with its very own Ayurvedic doctor on tap. Lifestyle consultations, Kati-Vasti (a nurturing back treatment), and the Ku Nye Bodywork (a Tibetan treatment to strengthen the body’s flow of energy), are crafted around each guest and will leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed. The piece-de-resistance, however, is the two-and-a-half hour Tree of Life Signature Ritual, which helps to promote vitality and includes a Himalayan salt exfoliation, a vital energy massage, a liver pack and gentle cleansing with a facial massage. You’ll find the new you in no time.

The Ayurveda Lifestyle Consultation starts at £50.50 for a half hour session. Rates start at £327 per room per night during the summer season.



BEST FOR WEIGHT LOSS: Simply Healing, West Sussex, UK

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Feeling wiped out and found you’ve been putting on the pounds of late? Then head to Simply Healing, the UK’s best-kept beauty secret, for its intensive five-day Weight & Inch Loss Juice Detox. Housed in a picturesque 19th century manor house, overlooking the South Downs, the countryside retreat is renowned for delivering serious results in a nurturing environment. Run by detox expert and healer Vivien Kay, a choice of programme is on offer – weight-loss, general well-being and fertility – but all have the same focus of eliminating toxins from the body.

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An intensive consultation kick-starts your journey, which is based around a diet of freshly-made fruit and vegetable juices, broths and colonic hydrotherapy. If that sounds daunting, don’t fret. You’re kept nicely busy with the team of experts on hand and a wide itinerary of treatments. Detoxing body wraps help the inch loss, while body scrubs firm and contour, deluxe foot treatments draw toxins out of the body and meditation classes empower the mind. Guided woodland walks, to get a blast of fresh air, anti-ageing facials and nutritional guidance are also included. At the end of the day, early nights beckon in the comfort of your stylish and cosy room. While your personal aims are a focus, it’s not all-encompassing for its all-rounded holistic approach that Vivien and the team put emphasis on. Yes, you’ll feel lighter and re-energised but you’ll also be equipped with the know-how to continue a healthier way to live when back at home. It will leave you glowing in more ways than one.

The Simply Healing Five-Day Inch and Weight-loss Juice Detox Plan starts from £1,600, including a wide variety of treatments and consultation.


This feature is also in the August issue of Kensington & Chelsea Magazine.

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