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Four of the most exciting new spa openings in 2022

Despite the challenges of the past couple of years, the spa world is still welcoming plenty of exciting new additions. Here are some of the best.

Published 21 Mar 2022, 15:00 GMT
The spa at Joali Being has cutting-edge tech and facilities under its calm exterior.

The spa at Joali Being has cutting-edge tech and facilities under its calm exterior.

Photograph by Joali Being

1. Joali Being

Bodufushi Island, Maldives

Occupying a pinprick island in the Raa Atoll (40 minutes by seaplane from Malè) this Eden-like newcomer promises next-level transformation. The whole island is dedicated to wellness with 39 treatment rooms and 68 guest villas. Facility-wise, there’s nothing they don’t have: state-of-the-art fitness gear, over-water meditation deck, Russian banya, sensory deprivation room, you name it. Experts are on hand 24/7 to check your pulse or hand you an ice-cold flannel — among them a resident herbologist and sound healer. 

The belief here is that education is the key to long-lasting wellness. Hence the daily lectures, workshops and group classes in everything from Afro dance to tai chi. Aktar is the retreat’s fragrant herbology centre, home to a laboratory and library filled with spiritual tomes. It’s here that the island’s aforementioned herbologist pummels herbs, spices and essential oils into remedies for all manner of afflictions. Show a little interest and she’ll even hand you a pestle and mortar and teach you to make your own.

It’s impossible not to be wowed by Joali Being. The chlorophyll-packed environs and microscopic attention to detail underpin nature as the guiding principle. Every woven palm has been placed according to biophilic design principles that are said to eliminate negative vibrations and harness the energy of the Earth. Needless to say, not a single tree was disturbed during construction. Immersive programmes ranging from five nights to three weeks focus on  strength and vitality, mental clarity and wellbeing, hormonal balance, digestive and weight rebalance, restorative sleep, movement and alignment.

Spa Talisa at Four Seasons Napa Valley has been built to showcase the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Photograph by Rupert Peace

2. Chenot Espace at One&Only

Portonovi, Montenegro

Hugging Boka Bay’s shoreline, the glossy Adriatic beauty One&Only has 28 treatment rooms and every piece of hi-tech spa whizzery the 21st century has to offer. Programmes are strictly science-led and progressive, ranging from two to six days. On arrival, spa-goers are put through a series of diagnostic tests to ascertain, among other things, vascular stiffness, skin collagen thickness and their level of emotional stress. The prescription might be anything from daily vitamin-infused IV drips and hydro-colon flushes to a course of cryotherapy. For gym buffs, there’s a vast modern fitness centre with personal trainers on tap and, in terms of skincare, the technology is next level. That said, it’s the detox programmes people come for. The one-week ‘Advanced Detox’ programme includes targeted treatments, low-calorie flavour-packed plant-based meals and a lifestyle overhaul said to be one of the most effective in the world. 

One of the indoor pools at Chenot Espace.

Photograph by Rupert Peace

3. Natural Wellness Centre, Kisawa Sanctuary

Mozambique

Mere steps from the sea, the stripped-back refuge at Kisawa Sanctuary is a salve for the soul. Built in the traditional Mozambiquan way with lime plaster, thatch and cork, the centre comprises a series of rustic wellness ‘domes’. It’s earthy and it’s wondrous, without skimping on the facilities. There’s a steam dome that doubles as a hammam, a Japanese Iyashi Dôme for infra-red heat treatments, a yoga and Pilates dome that does exactly what it says on the tin, and a fitness dome equipped with Technogym cardio machines and free weights. The focus is on ayurvedic healing. Treatments are led by a team of practitioners from southern India including an ayurvedic doctor, yoga teacher and fitness master. Massages, reiki, meditation, breathwork and energetic healing are what they do best. The ‘Pancha Mahabhuta Five Elemental Blessing’ is a not-to-be-missed five-pronged ceremony designed to calm mind, body and soul using organically grown honey, coconut and almond oil. 

Kisawa Sanctuary is set amid striking Mozambiquan scenery.

Photograph by Elsa Young

4. Spa Talisa at Four Seasons 

Napa Valley, USA

Tucked within a working vineyard, Spa Talisa  was designed with pleasure-seekers in mind. The name ‘Talisa’ comes from the Native American word for ‘beautiful water’ — there are hot springs in nearby Calistoga — and ‘beautiful’ the surrounding countryside is. Treatment rooms are simple and elegant, positioned to make the most of the sweeping views of the Palisades mountains. The most popular treatment is the self-applied Calistoga mud treatment whereby spa-goers slather themselves in mineral-rich mud then lie out to bake on a vast sundeck (there are misters for extra-hot days). This being Napa, many of the treatments are wine-inspired. The estate’s grape seeds are employed in deeply satisfying scratchy scrubs and there’s plenty of pinot to enjoy after. Want to go the extra mile? The ‘Brave Spirit Ritual’ reinvigorates both mind and body with a grounding foot soak, sage-spritzing aura cleanse and a skin-nourishing algae wrap.

Published in the 2022 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK) The Spa Collection

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