When considering a luxurious spa getaway, it’s important to select a resort of splendor and distinction. Likewise, it’s essential to choose a locale in an extraordinary place around the world that offers exotic, immersive experiences that stimulate and rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.

I asked a much sought-after expert to share how our readers could personally select the best resort for their solo vacay, couples retreat, or friend escape.  Melissa Dohmen, Senior Brand Manager for Hotels.com, offered keen insight. The brand is a division of Expedia Group, a company specializing in global travel.

How can travelers go about selecting the best luxury spa retreat or wellness retreat? 

If you are planning a specially curated trip, reputable travel sites have many search filters to help find specific types of accommodations. For example, Hotels.com has search filters to find hotels with spas, five-star properties, or those offering an all-inclusive meal plan”, says Dohmen.   

What specific experiences should upscale travelers look for when selecting a spa retreat? 

“Under ‘Special Features’ hotels will share details on their spa and wellness treatments, services, and programs. Soothing massages, facials, and saunas are common at spa resorts but be on the lookout for unique experiences on wellness menus like mud baths, rainforest bathing, and guided nighttime hikes under the stars,” advises Dohmen. 

Why are the unique, luxury resorts below excellent choices for travelers? 

“These recommendations are for travelers looking to go on a memorable wellness retreat in some of the world’s most beautiful places like the mineral-rich Blue Lagoon in Iceland or a serene tropical rainforest in Bali. These wellness sanctuaries have also received high marks and ratings from previous hotel guests who went on once-in-a-lifetime retreats,” she shares. 

Retreat at Blue Iceland Spa

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, Grindavík, Iceland

Sited near the globally renowned Blue Lagoon in Iceland, the spa resort offers amazing mineral-rich treatments. Guests can relax in the Lava Cove Hidden Spa. The Blue Lagoon Iceland offers visitors the opportunity to go into the volcanic earth on a five-hour exclusive, transformative journey. This experience includes entrance into the retreat spa, The Blue Lagoon, a private changing room, the Blue Lagoon Ritual, access to eight subterranean spaces, and skincare amenities. Spectacular services include massage therapy, in-water massage, and float therapy.  

Ananda In The Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India 

You will find this beautiful 100-acre full-service resort on Maharaja’s Palace Estate at the foothills of the Himalayas. Ananda in the Himalayas is a destination spa that integrates traditional remedies with international therapies. The more than 80 body and beauty treatments include Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta Talks, Meditation, Emotional Healing, Active Fitness, Physiotherapy, and Oriental Experiences. 

COMO Shambhala Estate Spa

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia

This intriguing resort has a 360-degree, holistic methodology for promoting health and well-being.  COMO Shambhala Estate has standalone villas and multi-suite residences that are immersed in wildlife and designed to spotlight Indonesia’s rich culture. Created to stimulate the mind, body, and spirit, the wellness program offers numerous exceptional experiences. They include curated cultural tours, immersive hikes, COMO Shambhala Cleanse, COMO Shambhala Sleep, COMO Shambhala Glow, COMO Shambhala Massage, Taksu Massage, and Indian Head Massage.

InterContinental Atlanta Spa

Intercontinental Buckhead Atlanta, Georgia, USA

This stunning hotel is in a magnificent metropolis. In the exclusive and scenic Buckhead vicinity, guests can retreat to Spa InterContinental and immerse themselves in this glorious world. InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta offers its guests a state-of-the-art fitness center and heated saltwater outdoor pool. Moreover, it partnered with Biologique Recherche to give visitors an elevated spa experience that includes immersive treatments and innovative professional skincare. With products cold formulated in France and containing botanical, marine, and biological active ingredients, the spa-goers will feel the difference in services such as their BeSpoke Facial, Hot Stone Massage, and Deep Cleansing Back Therapy. 

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz Spa

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Located in the foothills of the Alps, the spa at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz uses bathing and healing techniques that date back to 1242. Using a unique blend of their proprietary thermal springs and holistic medical expertise, the spa offers its guests harmony for the mind and body. They also incorporate the healing waters of the Tamina gorge. Services include the Body Retreat, Tamina Flow Massage, Niance Facial, Lomi Lomi Nui Massage, Vitalis Body Treatment, Chi Nei Tsang Therapeutic Massage, Tibetan Singing Bowl Massage, and Inner Balance Chakra Massage. 


CIVANA Wellness Resort and Spa, Carefree, Arizona, USA

This sanctuary is sited on more than 20 acres in the Sonoran Desert. On staff, CIVANA has internationally renowned wellness guides and healers. One unique program is the Chopra Health Retreat. It offers a 5-night Chopra Health Retreat that was inspired by Deepak Chopra’s book called Perfect Health. It espouses the Ayurveda method of balancing the mind and body. Other services of healing, cleansing, and rejuvenation include personalized massages, meditation, yoga, hydrotherapy in hot and cold pools, cool waterfall showers, samarium, Revive to Thrive, Sound Bowl Healing, and Spirit of the Desert Spa experiences. 

Hacienda AltaGracia Spa

Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, San José Province, Costa Rica

Adventurers can experience total escape at the Hacienda AltaGracia in the Talamanca Mountains as it features a 50-casita resort in untamed tropical forests with the songs of more than 180 types of birds in the background. It has equine stables, a coffee farm, organic chef’s gardens, and a well-being center as well as leading holistic wellness providers from around the world. The integrated holistic services include a hydrotherapy tub, thermal suite, outdoor mindful movement classes, on-property healing garden, “Casa de Agua” purifying ritual, heated tepidarium, and aromatherapy steam room. Exclusive experiences encompass Hierbas Y Flores, having providers use freshly picked native herbs, and flowers as they, heal and cleanse the body with a deep massage. There is also the Maderoterapia, a holistic Wood Therapy massage technique. 

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Leslie E. Royal is an international travel writer, author, micro-influencer, and veteran multi-media journalist. She loves to travel with her wonderful husband Tony, grandbaby Kedei Savanna, children Antasha and Jay, and son-in-love Jules! When she's not traveling, she's writing and working on other exciting projects. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including Chicago Tribune, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, Upscale Living, Medium, The Ashro Blog, AAA Midwest Traveler, Upscale, and AAA Southern Traveler. She is an Ashro Brand Ambassador and the host of their popular video series called Onward and Upward with Leslie E. Royal. The creator of the Leslie’s Lane consumer information blog, she has two books: Leslie Lane The Book!: Your One-Stop Internet Resource Guide to Links for Jobs, Inspiration, Discounts, FREE Stuff, Scholarships, Travel & More ( $14.95) and How to Write and Self-Publish Your Book for FREE with Amazon’s KDP: An Easy Way to Complete Your Manuscript in Seven Stress-Free Steps ($9.95). Follow Leslie on Instagram @LesliesLane and see her Amazon Author Page.