A Luxury Cottage entrance at Coral Reef.
The Coral Reef Club Spa, St. James, Barbados
With its genteel, plantation-style architecture, this resort on the island’s west coast has enticed guests since the Fifties. A new 6,000-square-foot spa added to the property and opening mid-December maintains its open-air, breezy atmosphere. Two guests can be pampered together in the outdoor couples’ pavilion, and each of the spa’s four treatment rooms opens to its own private garden. Those eager to sample the island’s crops can choose one of the spa’s signature body scrubs—lemongrass and ginger, mojito, the less abrasive pineapple and coconut, or the manly allspice—but patrons who prefer Natura Bissé products for treatments will find those on the menu as well. coralreefbarbados.com.
The warm room at Encantado.
The Spa at Encantado, Santa Fe, New Mexico
A modern Southwestern vibe pervades the new Santa Fe hotel Encantado. Classic stucco buildings are updated with large glass windows, all the better to see the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo mountains, and massive sliding doors and terraces give guests a sense that they are one with the desert landscape. The 10,000-square-foot spa adds a bit of zen to the already serene surroundings. Of 15 treatment rooms, the two oversize suites designated for couples and VIPs are our favorites. Each comes equipped with its own steam room, sauna, indoor and outdoor showers, and private entrance. The Altitude Adjustment Massage incorporates aromatherapy to help guests adapt to Santa Fe’s elevation, and the seamlessly fluid Interpretive Touch, choreographed by a dancer, promises a deep-tissue massage without the torture. 877.262.4666, encantadoresort.com.
Lapis, the Spa at Fontainebleau.
Lapis, the Spa at Fontainebleau, Miami Beach
There’s nothing like a $1 billion renovation to shake the old-fashioned reputation from a Miami landmark that’s been around for more than 50 years. The legendary hotel has been meticulously restored to its original splendor, but it has also added a 40,000-square-foot spa called Lapis. A 35-foot-long rain tunnel leads to several immersion pools and comfy hammam benches. Signature treatments include the Oh So Deep Russian, an intense massage that reaches down into the body’s fascia area below the muscles, and the S & M in Miami, which has nothing to do with bondage. Two round crystals—one warm, named after the sun (S), and one cold, representing the moon (M)—are worked over the body after a mineral bath. The spa’s biggest draw may be famed New York facialist Tracie Martyn, whose two most popular treatments will be offered at her first satellite location. 866.750.4772, fontainebleaumiamibeach.com.
A wet room at 29 Spa at the Mansion on Peachtree.
29 Spa at the Mansion on Peachtree, a Rosewood Hotel, Atlanta
Given that Lydia Mondavi owns grape-seed-fueled 29 Cosmetics and is married to renowned winemaker Robert Mondavi Jr., it comes as no surprise that her debut spa revolves around vinotherapy. Set inside a stately Southern hotel, the inviting space offers such treatments as Cream of the Crop, an exfoliating facial that relies on antioxidant grape seeds culled from vineyards around the world, the Mondavis’ in Napa, California, included. A potentially dangerous treat is the shoe and handbag shopping service available in the manicure-pedicure room: Beginning in December, clients need only point to their favorite pair of Manolo Blahniks midpedi, and a personal butler will run across the street to Neiman Marcus to pick them up. “It’s like a Batphone to luxury,” Lydia jokes. 404.995.7500, rwmansiononpeachtree.com.
The over-the-top staircase at Sense, a Rosewood Spa at the Carlyle.
Sense, a Rosewood Spa at the Carlyle, New York
The historic Carlyle’s first-ever spa boasts an intimate salon run by New York hairstylist Yves Durif and a treatment menu that brings a hint of the quirky to the indulgent. The esoterically named Flowers Hold Life includes a private steam that doubles as a light show, with sounds and colors evoking thunderstorms or sunrises. Even more eccentric is the Apaisant Treatment, involving bundles of oak leaves from Central Park, which are sterilized, soaked in olive oil soap and then whisked across the body to exfoliate skin. Curious touches aside, the space flawlessly captures the Carlyle’s gracious style, both in its attitude (the facility’s gym opened prematurely to accommodate Tony Blair) and Art Deco decor, executed in warm, soothing grays. Especially impressive is the staircase leading down to the treatment rooms, which is surrounded by $70,000 worth of platinum tiles— the spa’s only show of flash. 212.660.7560, thecarlyle.com
Dior Institut at Hôtel Plaza Athénée.
Dior Institut at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris
Inside Dior’s first Paris spa, the label’s latest fashion show is projected onto one wall, making for an artsy and edgy contrast to the otherwise pervasive atmosphere of tranquillity. Within the spa’s treatment rooms, however, the focus is entirely on relaxation. The L’Or de Vie facial fights signs of aging with grapevine extracts from France’s Château d’Yquem vineyard, the same formula that powers the company’s L’Or de Vie skincare line. To help hotel guests ease their way into the City of Light, Jambes en Apesanteur is a back and leg massage that aims to revive weary limbs after a taxing flight or an arduous shopping trip. 188.8.131.52.65.35, plaza-athenee-paris.com.
The Peninsula New York
The Peninsula Spa by ESPA, New York
This elegant midtown hotel has completely overhauled its spa, ditching the outdated greens, burgundies and brass in favor of golds, bronzes and Asian-inspired touches such as a ceremonial tea lounge. A black marble bowl of shaved ice placed against a 24-karat gold mosaic is an indulgent setting for a poststeam cooldown. The Super Active Calming and Soothing Facial includes chilled rose quartz, while the Yang Soother promises to ease tension with a warm stone massage and a marine mud and chrysanthemum flower body wrap. In keeping with the spa’s holistic approach to beauty, yoga is offered in the Sun Lit Movement Studio, where floor-to-ceiling windows provide the same sought-after city views as the Peninsula’s popular rooftop bar. 212.903.3910, new york.peninsula.com.
Coral Reef Club: Courtesy of Coral Reef; Lapis: Courtesy of Hotel Fontainebleau; Spa at Encantado: Courtesy of Encantado