Bathe like the ancient Romans. Find zen in New Zealand. Experience the native botanicals of Belize — and more. It seems no matter where you go, there’s always a new spa to try. So where does a savvy traveler seek relief? We scoped out seven upscale LGBT-friendly spas offering treatments from light massage to intense rejuvenation. Some await in the urban jungle, while others can only be found on an island escape.
The Spa at Blue Waters, Antigua
Pristine, tranquil and sumptuous, the Spa at Blue Waters is a go-to therapeutic haven in the middle of the Caribbean. They offer a helpfully goal-oriented massage menu: unwind with Stress Away, recharge with Spirit Reviver, loosen up with Muscle Melt. Their full body therapies go even deeper — combining massage with scalp treatments and a seaweed wrap that feels like a restorative cocoon.
Blue Waters also recently debuted a Living Retreat Program, which adds bespoke personalized wellness activities to their repertoire. These programs offer help with issues such as managing stress, achieving better sleep, addressing body and fitness issues and more — helping you find a new sense of personal balance in a most idyllic environment. bluewaters.net
The Rittenhouse Spa, Philadelphia
Inspired by the haute couture spirit of designers like Alexander McQueen and Jean Paul Gaultier, The Rittenhouse Spa is a luxe hotel day spa that helps locals and visitors present their fiercest faces. Skincare offerings include a Vitamin C treatment to combat the signs of premature aging and a non-invasive, non-surgical facial resurfacing procedure known as the Hydrafacial MD. In the mood for something sweet? Their Citrus Drench uses natural ingredients like crystallized honey shea butter and orange juice to restore the skin’s elasticity and increase hydration.
Men in pursuit of perfection can continue their journey at the City Center Salon, which is a local men’s grooming Mecca. Select from a manly menu including hot shaves, back sculpting, eye grooming and even a signature gentleman’s mani-pedi. therittenhousespaclub.com
Naïa Resort and Spa, Belize
Belize may have waited until 2016 to legalize homosexuality, but the karmic reward may be this unique new spa that opened in January of 2017. Specializing in transformational multi-sensory experiences inspired by local tradition, the enormous Naïa Resort and Spa complex extends over a series of forested islands. Scattered throughout are six treatment rooms with private decks, which look out over lily-covered lagoons. Inside the treatment rooms, Naïa therapists (considered healers) utilize native botanicals and the restorative properties of water to enhance treatments such as massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs. Yoga enthusiasts will also want to wander over to the fitness center, which is specially equipped with silk ropes for aerial yoga. naiaresortandspa.com
The Spa at the Palmer House, Chicago
Sprawling across the fifth floor of the historic Palmer House Hilton, The Spa at Palmer House is a venue where size definitely matters. The 8,000 foot oasis boasts treatment rooms designed as individual suites, which are double the size of a standard spa room. It is also a trusted destination for hydrotherapy treatments, notably the Palmer House Polish in Vichy, in which water cascades over spa patrons while they are being pampered. palmerhousehiltonhotel.com
Chuan Spa at the Langham, Auckland
Nestled in the heart of a beautiful New Zealand property, Chuan Spa embraces Asian traditions that seek harmony in balancing the five elements: metal, wood, fire, earth and water. Their Tri-Bathing Ritual awakens the body with heat and cold: first you bathe under the spa’s “snail shower”; next, have an exhilirating “ice experience,” and warm up again in an herbal steam room. Now walk down a candlelit hallway, where the air is rich with relaxing aromas, to await holistic treatments that incorporate components such as five-element essential oils and incense. Special men’s treatments include the Man’s World, which offers a back exfoliation, and the Man’s Maintenance, which includes a warm blue-green algae mask meant to deeply replenish skin. chuanspa.com
Cavalieri Grand Spa Club, Rome
Situated above Rome with expansive panoramic 360-degree views, the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri offers an experience well in keeping with the tradition of the great Roman baths. For the ultimate power splurge, try a Caviar Firming Facial with its face and eye massage (infused with real caviar), or a Caviar Body Treatment to leave your whole body shimmering like the Mediterranean. romecavalieri.com
Thermae Bath Spa, Bath
Tradition meets trends in the U.K. city of Bath, which was named for its natural thermal waters that drew Celts and Romans there over 2,000 years ago. Visitors can experience the Cross Bath, an open-air thermal bath where the Celts once worshipped, and then venture on into the New Royal Bath: a beautiful fusion of glass, stone, light and water. The top floor’s open-air pool offers lovely views of the city and the surrounding hills (where the denizens of Downton Abbey might have once frolicked). Also not to be missed are the infrared sauna, ice chamber, Astral Room and enormous thermal Minerva Bath. thermaebathspa.com
Last modified: July 26, 2017