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.
Floating on the edge of the Judean Desert.
Tall cliffs and the Dead Sea come together to make up an unforgettable view at the Sea of Spa at Ein Gedi Hotel. This is the lowest point on the planet-1,388 feet below sea level-and the spa attracts both locals and tourists who come to float in the water (you can't sink because of the high salt content). Slather the black mineral mud all over your body, relax for twenty minutes, and wash off in a shower on the shore. Afterward, take a swim in a fresh water swimming pool surrounded by palm trees. All this, and then a massage. Best Deal Massages are basic, and are the perfect way to end a day in the waters. The 50-minute Swedish starts at $67. Kibbutz Ein Gedi, M.P Dead Sea, 011-972/08-658-4444, ein-gedi.co.il. Treatments from $67.
A landmark view from across the canal.
Venice's most famous landmarks are St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace—and that's exactly what you will see from the Bauers Palladio Hotel & Spa. The hotel is located on the island of Giudecca (a quick vaporetto ride from the main section of Venice) and the three windows in the spa's lounge look out on the signature view. Best Deal The spa is known for its baths—a 30-minute scented soak in a king-size Jacuzzi next to a wood fire. Choose to have your waters infused with a mix of rose, almond oil, milk and honey; Himalayan salts with fresh lemon juice; or a combination of mineral salts, seaweed, and bay-leaf ($113). 1459 S. Marco, Venice, Italy, 011-39/041-520-7022, www.palladiohotelspa.com. Treatments from $31.
The serene landscape of Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.
The ancient oaks and rolling hills in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve seem to go on forever, at least when you are looking out from The Spa at Travaasa Austin in Texas. The peaceful location also means you will hear the chirping of the endangered songbirds that call the preserve home, including the adorably named Golden Cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. The spa is located on 210 acres of serene country landscape, and treatments use natural ingredients like avocado body butter blended with essential oils of lavender, pine, orange, and lemon. Best Deal The Detoxifying Juniper, Olive Stone Exfoliation & Polish is a 50-minute treatment using juniper, seaweed, and cypress, said to increase circulation and jump-start metabolism ($130). 13500 Farm to Market Rd. 2769, Austin, Texas, 855/868-7282, travaasa.com. Treatments from $45.
A blue ocean peaking between towering evergreens.
Aromatherapy oils aren't really required at the northern tip of Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast, thanks to the refreshing scent of the surrounding evergreen trees. Beyond the trees is the tropical valley and the crashing ocean. It's no wonder that the Maluhia Spa at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho'omaluhia has glass walls. Enjoy a Reiki or deep tissue massage in one of the bungalows, or try an hour-long Kukui Experience where the body is exfoliated with kukui nut scrub, then massaged with kukui oil. Best Deal Book a one-hour Lomilomi massage, the traditional Hawaiian rhythmic technique using hands, arms, and elbows ($130). 250 Maluhia Rd., Kapaau, Hawaii, 808/889-6336, hawaiiislandretreat.com. Treatments from $55.