Blending, that is the key to a really fabulous spa experience. In this case royal tropical elegance meets Bahamian culture to produce a world class experience in whitewashed plank and stone cottages floating like islands under tall rustling palms. This is the luxurious stage set by the designers of the Regent Palms spa. Sweet in its simplicity and rich in mental, physical and spiritual reward, the environment and lusciously delivered therapies leave you with an internal hum that lingers longer than your tan.

I did the signature Zareeba (Afrikaans for “personal space) treatment. I had never seen a Zareeba space before, and it looked for all the world like a teak crate, maybe 5’ tall and deep, 8’ long. Lying on its side with no front on it. There was a small bench on either end with a candle lit on the floor underneath. In the center was a large cerulean ceramic vessel. A handsome young Bahamian man came in and filled that vessel with boiling water that had been simmering lemon and eucalyptus. I sat on the small bench as a thick curtain was lowered that closed me into the Zareeba with the steam.

This is the cleansing and it worked wonders for my body as the thoughts of the outside world drifted into utter unimportance. I found this to be much more soothing than electrically heated steam which is pumped into a space and sometimes seems too hot to breathe. Nothing but soft candle light, gently scented steam and me for 20 delicious peaceful minutes.

When the curtain was raised I stepped out into the softly shaded massage cottage and was gently dried of by sweet Amor, the Polynesian therapist. Once on the table she used long smooth slow strokes to renew my skin with an oil that never felt oily. For an hour it just rolled over my body smoothing skin and relaxing muscles. The sun peeked through the jalousie blinds, the palms rustled outside in the scented breeze and that became the whole sweet world. An hour disappeared in a blissful few minutes.

Days later I did the Pearl and Water Lily Passage because I simply could not help it. Earl, the lead therapist at the spa performed one of the most sensual and sensitive treatments that I have ever had. This is a treatment that combines gentle natural scents with gold infused oil for a full body massage that is followed by a facial massage treatment with essential actives combined to nurture the skin while slowing the aging process. The soothing was enhanced by the gentle glittering light from the water surrounding the cottage as jasmine floated on the breeze. There were many elements to this beautiful 90 minute therapy but frankly I couldn’t focus to pay attention. When it was time to go I could barely tell where my body ended and the soothing tropical breezes began.

I am a serious “spa hound” and consider myself pretty hard to “wow” but it happened with both experiences at this spa. The stage that Regent Palms has set for such restoration is as good as they get. The sound of water soothes and the light of it glitters softly on everything as it flows through the interior courtyard and surrounds the therapy cottages. Interior spaces are cool, graceful and soothing in the tradition of the Bahamas. The practitioners are gentle and intuitive in their usage of hands, nutrients, scents and oils. It’s a place that you never want to leave.

Not surprising to me was the news that On December 16th this spa won the Leading Spa Resort in the World, given out by the World Travel Awards.