Why opt for a basic deep tissue when you can travel the world for a stretching ritual in a pool in the middle of the Austrian mountains, a healing rubdown underneath the stars in the Seychelles, a rose-infused bath in a wine cellar in Tuscany, or a clay painting treatment that's performed to the sounds of the didgeridoo in Australia? Thought so. If you do have the travel bug and want to book yourself a day of TLC, check out this roundup of 8 of the craziest spa treatments in the world.
1. Alisselle Amethyst Himalayan Massage at Ame Spa Turnberry Isle in Miami, Florida
This new spa in Turnberry Isle is known for having the "Rolls Royce" of spa equipment—like a table with a color, sound, and a light fountain of dancing waters. #NextLevel. They also have a bed filled with a special quartz-salt mix that's used for one of their most luxurious treatments, known as the "Himalayan Touch." Since heated salt creates ionized air, your entire body, as well as your lungs, will benefit from this detoxifying massage. It also boosts the immune system, reduces stress, and helps you sleep better. Plus, the best part of Ame is that you have access to their Hydrotherapy Wellness Circuit whenever you book a service, which means you can visit any of the following: Himalayan Salt & Infrared Sauna Chamber Aroma, Chroma & Music Therapy Steam Room, and Cryotherapy Dip. You will never want to leave, basically.
2. SOKAI Signature by SOA Treatment at Grandhotel Hessischer Hof in Frankfurt Germany
As bustling and business-focused a city as Frankfort is, you would never imagine one of the best world-class spas and medical lounges to be tucked away here. Think again. SOKAI offers an array of services such as Shiatsu, Reflexology, and Aromatherapy, but their most popular treatment is their SOKAI Signature by SOA, SOA being their Ayurveda master from Madagascar. Casual. This holistic Asian experience starts with a food bath, goes on with a body peeling, shower, and than a massage with various strokes and pressures to cure tension. You also drink celebrating tea through the 2 to 3 hour process and if this isn't one of the most glam spa rooms ever, we don't know what is.
3. Tribal Dreaming at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Queensland, Australia
Going down under is worth it for this treatment alone, as the picture shows. Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat's senior therapist, Stephen McInnes, developed the tribal dreaming ritual exclusively for this Australian spa, which combines massage techniques with dance. During the two and a half hour experience, you are taken on a forest walk for a "intention ceremony" before undergoing didgeridoo healing, an ochre clay application, and a customized 80-minute massage that draws from KaHuna, Myotherapy, Hot Stones, and Chi Nei Tsang elements. Oh, and then there's a tribal dance session led by Stephen. Best ever? We think so.
4. Rose-Infused Ritual at Castello di Casole in Tuscany, Italy
The quickest way to relaxation is definitely in a spa located in a Tuscan wine celler. Essere Spa features barrel-vaulted ceilings and restored stone walls with sweeping views of the valley and offers a range of services all inspired by local ingredients like rosemary, grape, and olive oil. Enjoy the pool, steam room, and private outdoor garden, before heading in for a "Lusso" or Rose-Infused Ritual. When you can't decide between a massage or a facial, this ritual is perfect for you. It begins with a good soak in a rose petal bath, then a crystallized cream is lathered everywhere during a full-body classic massage, before a detoxifying facial is applied. Under the Tuscan sun is a great place to be pampered.
5. The Signature Treatment at Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa in Grindavík, Iceland
Arriving to one of the 25 wonders of the world in the middle of the night in total darkness is kind of insane, but then imagine getting scrubbed, wrapped, and massaged by a Viking, underwater—even more insane. Nothing compares, let me tell you. I think one of my masseuse's hands was bigger than my thigh and that little detail made this pretty unforgettable, as you can imagine. This one-of-a-kind offering at Blue Lagoon is definitely one worth booking. Get ready to relax, because it lasts two hours and combines a salt scrub made out of Blue Lagoon minerals and oils, then a silica or algae wrap as you float on a mattress in the most incredible water in existence while your face and scalp are gently massaged. The final stage of the treatment is a 50-minute full-body relaxing massage, which also takes place, underwater. Out of control.
6. Rainfall Garden Retreat Treatment at Auberge Spa at Hacienda AltaGracia in Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
In a setting that's rich with coffee and coconut, surely a scrub bar comprised of those ingredients exists. There's also a Rainfall Garden Retreat Treatment that begins with a full-body exfoliation in a Vichy shower, followed by a warm soak in a private jacuzzi. Zen goals achieved. Then you get to swing! Seriously, there's a garden swing where you listen to birds and connect with your inner child. Finally you are massaged in the middle of this Costan Rican habitat. It doesn't get better than that.
7. Haki Water and Earth at Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt in Tirol, Austria
Imagine rolling up to the most charming Sound of Music-esque luxury resort and spa in the middle of the mountains and being greeted with views that could make Maria von Trapp jealous. That's what you're dealing with at Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt. Then you enter the "Waterworld" area and interlocking pathways filled with holistic saunas and different saltwater pools and you're definitely sure the hills are alive. Treatments like the Alpine Herb Pouch Massage (which has major health benefits thanks to a rubdown with this sack filled with herbs, roots, and berries grown directly on the farm) and Whey Baths (AKA the milk curd soak Cleopatra swore by for her flawless skin and hair) are signature to Stanglwirt, but you can't come here without partaking in some form of a Haki experience. Creator Harald Kitz's belief is that anything that can be done in a massage bed can also be done in 36-degree brine water, so that's where this treatment starts. Your therapist straps you into a few bands attached to buoys and then proceeds to stretch your shoulder, neck, and head area, alleviating pressure while simultaneously floating you gently around the pool. At one point you're even elevated for a mid-air stretch that reminded me of that Dirty Dancing lift scene although maybe not *quite* on that level or at that height. It's everything. The treatment doesn't stop there, but rather continues upstairs with a relaxing massage back in a bed, on land. Double dose of zen—I like it. Hands down a must-try if you're ever in Austria.
8. ila Starlight Experience at the Four Seasons Resort in Seychelles
The Four Seasons in Seychelles is taking things to a dark place, literally, by offering a unique nighttime treatment. During the ila Starlight Experience, you are guided up to the roof of the hilltop spa at 7 PM for a re-energizing massage that's performed under the moon and stars with views over Petite Anse and the Indian ocean. First, a fire and earth essential oil blend is applied with rhythmic strokes all over the body, then herbal potali bags saturated in warmed pine, amber, and frankincense are used to thoroughly relax you. At the end of your service you are even given a glass of champagne. Um, try topping that. Who doesn't want a selfie on a candle-lit table with starry night as your backdrop?