For some, the ideal holiday involves sunshine, a pool, a good book, and not much else. For others, even mentioning the word ‘holiday’ has them conjuring up ideas on the site of their next mountain bike ride, scenic skydive, or thrilling underwater encounter.
A 1-hour full body massage is undeniably a blissful experience, but when compared to the experiences on offer at these unique day spas, the massage does seem a little less memorable. From wine baths to a healing bath in an abandoned brewery, these are some of the world’s day spas you just have to see to believe.
Bota Bota, Montreal
An abandoned ferry in the middle of Montreal’s Old Port in Canada is probably the last direction you would expect to be pointed in for a sumptuous full body massage, but that’s exactly where you’ll find the luxurious Bota Bota day spa. Born in the early ‘50s as a ferry, then repurposed as a theatre boat in 1967, the Bota Bota day spa is the historic ferry’s current incarnation. Not only does the ferry offer your traditional day spa menu, but there are umpteen plunge pools, spas, saunas, and baths for you to soak away your stresses in.
Salt Cave, Santa Barbara
From the outside, Salt Cave in Santa Barbara, USA, is rather unassuming - it looks just like your regular day spa. But, take a turn through the Himalayan salt arches in the shopfront, pass the treatment rooms, and you’ll find yourself inside a cave made entirely out of pink Himalayan salt. The owners imported over 60 tons of rock salt from Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan which now covers the walls, ceiling, and even the floors of the treatment rooms. It’s claimed that spending time in the salt cave induces calm, relieves stress, boosts circulation, and calms respiratory upset.
Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza
Nestled in the heart of a vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, Cavas Wine Lodge is the ultimate romantic retreat. They’ve become a well-known name around the world not for their accommodation (which is spectacular), but for their unusual signature spa treatment. Pop into the day spa and you could find yourself soaking in a bath of the good stuff. The Bonarda Soaking Bath treatment is a 45-minute package that sees guests submerge themselves in a steaming bath of red wine extracts, enhanced with organic essential oils. Claimed to infuse the skin with antioxidants and clear it of free radicals, the wine bath may be a novel experience, but it has definitely got its benefits.
Aire Ancient Baths, New York
Aire Ancient Baths take their inspiration from the traditional baths of the ancient Romans, Greek, and Ottomans. Around the world, the company is transforming historical buildings in the heart of the city into relaxing bathing centres. In New York, right in the heart of TriBeCa, Aire has taken up residence in a beautifully restored 1883 textile factory. Though the day spa experience here is centred around the different baths, there is also a regular day spa menu of massages and rituals to lose yourself in.
B2 Thermalbad and Spa, Zurich
What once was a Hürlimann beer brew site in Zurich, Switzerland, is now known as the B2 Thermalbad and Spa. It’s a design-driven hotel and spa that cleverly incorporates nods to the site’s brewing days into all of its offerings. Take, for example, the spa’s underground vaults. Hiding beneath the hotel, the spa has expertly restored the 100-year old wooden beer vats to create a series of thermal whirlpools, spa baths, and relaxation baths, all drawing from Zurich’s pure Aqui springs. The stone cellars are open for guests to book in some time in the baths, or a more comprehensive spa package can be designed upon request.