13 Spas With Breathtaking Views
Sometimes what's on the outside matters as much as what's on the inside. That's certainly true at these world spas, where the views are as enriching as the treatments. From Venice’s iconic St. Mark’s Square to the glaciers of Alaska, we found 13 spas where you can take in million-dollar views for the price of a massage.
The Windy City's icons on display.
The highrises of Chicago have some amazing views: bridges over the Chicago River, the Loop, or Lake Michigan. The Spa at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago overlooks it all. Guests are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes before their appointment to take in that view (and spend time in the sauna). This is a Trump property, so expect some seriously over-the-top touches like treatments using gemstone-infused oils (including the $300 Revitalizing Rubies Massage, said to stimulate creativity). Best Deal The hourlong Ultimate Urban Neck and Shoulder Massage combines acupressure, hot and cold stones, and shea butter to really relax your muscles ($150). 401 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, 312/588-8020, trumphotelcollection.com. Treatments from $35.
See what's under the Mayan rainforest canopy.
In the midst of the verdant rainforest of Belize, the Maruba Resort Jungle Spa puts you in treatment rooms as natural as the surrounding jungle. Massages, mud wraps, facials, and even manicures are done in thatched roof bungalows, where you can relax amid the scent of the jungle and the views of towering palms and blooming orchids. There is a whole menu of treatments that use the spa's Mood Mud, made from local natural ingredients with potent mineral properties said to do everything from stimulate healing to encourage confidence. Best Deal The 50-minute Mud Pack rejuvenates skin after exposure to the tropical sun ($80). 40 1/2 Mile Old Northern Highway, Maskall Village, Belize, 800/627-8227, maruba-spa.com. Treatments from $30.
Desert vistas in Paradise Valley.
Spa-goers at the Joya Spa at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale have the best views of the dramatically carved and layered Camelback Mountain from the spa's rooftop pool. Lounge and take in the view before or after your treatment. If you want to harness the spiritual traditions of the area, sign up for hypnotherapy, meditation, or Tarot reading. Their list of massages is pretty comprehensive too—choose from cranial-sacral to lymphatic treatments. Best Deal The 50-minute Cranberry Orange Body Glow includes a cranberry-orange sugar scrub and a masque of red clay (from $159). 4949 E. Lincoln Dr., Scottsdale, Arizona, 888/691-5692, montelucia.com. Treatments from $20.
Fantastical heights over the vertical city.
Retreat 1,624 feet above the streets to the 116th floor of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's Spa by ESPA. The spa claims to be the highest in the world, and the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase amazing city and harbor views. Treatments include Asian-influenced techniques, like using cooling jade stone rollers to soothe eyes. Best Deal Book a 60-minute Aromatherapy Massage and choose the jet-lag reviver. The masseuse will use either energizing or soothing oils to help you get on local time (from $127). International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Rd. West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 011-852/2263-2263, ritzcarlton.com. Treatments from $58.
The sea greets the mountains just outside Cape Town.
It's hard to choose which view is better: the rolling ocean or the majestic mountains that give The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa its name. The spa itself is surrounded by the wilderness of Table Mountain National Park, and the ocean sounds usually piped in at spas are actually the waves lapping against the golden sand here. Take your treatment in the shaded open-air mountain gazebos or try Arabic cleansing in the steam of the Rasul Chamber or a Hydrotherapy Capsule Bath. Best Deal The 105-minute Apostles Touch signature experience includes hot stones from Table Mountain, shells from the beach, and fynbos—a plant found in the Western Cape said to have healing and detoxifying properties ($149). Victoria Rd., Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, 011-27/21-437-9000, 12apostleshotel.com. Treatments from $11.