Travelers are looking for destination-specific experiences, and spas are incorporating local goods -- everything from salt from the Red Sea to Vermont maple sugar -- into their treatments, making a day of "sightseeing" as easy as an hour nap.
Out of Africa
Africa's diverse lands and people boast numerous plants and practices, some of which find their way into the following spa treatments.
African Potato Body Wrap & Foot Massage, Sun City Health Spa, South Africa ($72, 80 min., www.suninternational.com): All carbs don't have to be bad for you. This wrap and massage combine African potato -- which contains various extracts to boost your immune system and aid in skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea -- and Marula oil that, like olive oil, has antioxidants to soften and smooth skin.
Matombo Massage Treatment, Pezula Spa, South Africa ($104, 105 min., www.pezula.com):
Using fynbos plants that are exclusive to the region, this massage treatment exfoliates, rids the body of impurities, and improves circulation. Aloe ferox extract -- rich in amino acids, enzymes, and mineral salts -- is an anti-inflammatory and promotes cell regeneration; rooibos extract is known to heal and soothe; and Cape chamomile can help relieve stress and depression. The treatment includes the spa's Phumla African Massage, which uses an "African drumbeat" method of long and deep strokes.
Pharaonic Massage, Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, Egypt ($120, 80 min., www.fourseasons.com/alexandria): This traditional massage, once reserved for Egyptian royalty, aims to improve circulation and relieve stress. Warm sweet almond oil and poultices filled with locally grown chamomile and mint "soothe sore muscles, nourish the skin, and induce a feeling of relaxation," Martin Hilton, spa director, says. "Chamomile has antiseptic properties -- calming inflamed skin, reducing swelling, and relieving pain. Mint cools the skin as well as treating aches and pains."
Sugar Scrub with Hydrating Date Wrap, Six Senses Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Sharq Village, Qatar ($131, 60 min., www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SharqVillage): Sugar, which was cultivated in Egypt almost 6,000 years ago, is at the heart of this Arabian-inspired treatment. After a gentle exfoliation, you'll be wrapped in a mixture of dates, Hasawi red rice, and rose water.
Thalassotherapy, Hasdrubal Thalassa Yasmine Hamammet, Tunisia (pricing and treatment lengths vary, www.hasdrubal-hotel.com): This spa offers a number of packages that bring together the bounty of the sea with treatments such as massages, facials, and body wraps. Sea water is known to have many benefits, ranging from stress relief to weight loss, and this resort doesn't have to go far to get it -- it's located right on the Mediterranean.
Foot Massage, Masai Wellbeing Space at Saruni Camp, Kenya ($45, 30 min., www.sarunicamp.com): Almost everything about this place, from the designer to the ingredients used, is from Kenya. Start with an herbal footbath infused with Olsimomi leaves, which are known to detoxify and purify, followed by a pressure point massage. "The treatment is extremely relaxing and is used to refresh trail-weary feet," Cecilia, the spa director, says. "The cleansing properties of an Olsimomi bath remove accumulated sweat and dirt from the pores of the feet."
Complement the treatment with the spa's Pedicure ($40, 45 min), which utilizes local stone and an Ol-Emoran leaf herbal foot bath.
America the Beautiful
Citrus Sugar Scrub, Spa at Desert Springs Resort, California ($85, 50 min., www.desertspringsresort.com): This newly opened spa in the Coachella Valley incorporates local citrus -- lemon peel, lime blossom, grapefruit -- into this body scrub. "Citrus acts a natural glycolic to exfoliate the skin," spa manager Laura Rogers says, "and it's high in antioxidants." The treatment is meant to stimulate circulation and invigorate, not relax, Rogers adds. After cleansing you with a citrus bath gel, your body is rinsed and massaged with dry citrus oil.
Huey Temazcal Aahuatlan, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Costa Rica ($65 per person for group ritual, $145 per person for private ritual (2 person min.), www.tabacon.com): In the words of Beyoncé, "a little sweat never hurt nobody." Time in this Mexican sweat bath will have you sweating out all the ails you -- both mind and body -- and is led by the spa's shaman.
Inkaterra Therapy, UNU Spa at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel, Peru ($140, 180 min., www.inkaterra.com): Cocoa holds a special place in Andean tradition. This natural stimulant aims to detox the body and improve circulation. This treatment begins with a lymphatic drainage massage using cocoa oil and cream, followed by a cocoa-leaf body mask. After a shower, your body is moisturized with cocoa cream. Finish or start the treatment with some time in the spa's Andean sauna.
Maple Sugar Body Scrub, The Spa at Topnotch Resort, Vermont ($75, 25 min., www.topnotchresort.com): Maple isn't just for pancakes and waffles. Sugar from Vermont maple trees exfoliates dead skin cells and moisturizes skin.
Papaya or Banana Facial & Décolleté, Jade Spa at Matachica, Belize ($45, 40 min., www.matachica.com): Belize's bounty finds its way into this treatment, which uses either fresh papaya or banana and brown sugar to gently exfoliate the skin. After a purifying and anti-aging sea-clay face mask, skin shines with a combination of royal black bee honey, almond oil, and vitamin E. The sea-clay serves to tighten skin, while "the enzyme mix of the blending of ingredients serves as a face lifter," Gricel Graniel, general manager at Mata Chica, says. "It can also unclog pores from sun block and insect repellent, allowing skin to breathe and feel renewed." Those with sensitive or sunburned skin can opt to use the fresh fruit pulp without the brown sugar.
"Shawangunk Grit" Mineral Body Treatment, Mohonk Mountain House, New York ($160, 80 min., www.mohonk.com): When this resort was built, 17,000 tons of ridge rock were excavated, 600 of which were incorporated into the spa's interior, facade, and some of the treatments, including this one. The fine quartzite "grit" is mixed with a white pine, balsam fir, and silver fir body oil to gently exfoliate the skin, which is followed with a warm rosehip and plantain body massage and a power nap.
Signature High Desert Body Treatment, Living Spa at El Monte Sagrado, New Mexico ($170, 90 min., www.elmontesagrado.com): Indigenous plants and flowers are incorporated into the treatments at this spa. Start with a Zuni salt exfoliation followed by a volcanic ash body mask to detox. Finish with a massage and application of sage lotion.
Sweet Mountain Metamorphosis, The Spa at Old Edwards Inn, North Carolina ($275, 110 min., www.oldedwardsinn.com): Lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and peppermint grown at the resort's 33-acre garden find their way into a body scrub, which is followed by a massage, moisturizer application, and cocooning.
Texas Pecan Scrub, LakeHouse Spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort, Texas ($70, 25 min., www.lakeaustin.com): Pecans taste great in pie, but try them in a scrub, and you've got a recipe for soft skin. This treatment uses locally harvested pecans (Texas is the second-largest pecan producer in the U.S.), which are ground and combined with pumice and magnolia to exfoliate and moisturize skin. "We have many pecan trees on the property," Lynne Vertrees, director of treatment development, says, "which inspired us to use pecans in a treatment. The scrub is very stimulating and is good for people who are not sensitive and want to really feel the exfoliation." Vetrees recommends adding a massage to complement the scrub.
As the world's largest continent, Asia has a lot to offer, so would you expect any less from its spa offerings? Here is just a taste of what you can find from Jordan to the Philippines.
Apsara, Spa at Amansara, Cambodia ($185, 90 min., www.amanresorts.com): The name of this women's-only treatment translates to "angel," and while you won't come out with wings, you will come away with cherub-soft skin. Local ingredients such as yellow ginger, black sesame see, sticky rice, tamarind, and honey are combined in a scrub that exfoliates and leaves skin silky and smooth.
Bornea Rainforest, Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ($114, 110 min., www.mandarinoriental.com/kualalumpur): This full body treatment starts with a lemongrass and pandan leaf foot ritual, followed by a herb and milk body scrub and Balinese boreh spice wrap. Enjoy a head and face massage before you end with a traditional Urut massage. Also try the spa's Regenerating Pink Lotus facial ($93, 80 min.), which combines pandan leaf (said to contain antioxidant and rejuvenating properties) and pink lotus extract to give mature skin a more youthful appearance.
Champi Indian Head Massage, Taj Spa at Rambagh Palace Jaipur, India ($99, 45 min., www.tajhotels.com): Indian women are known for their luxurious locks, which are likely due to weekly hair-oil massages. This treatment -- said to promote hair growth and leave you with shiny tresses -- combines amla, brahmi, jatamansi, curry leaves, and neem, and includes a head, neck, and shoulder massage. Neem is said to clear dandruff, while jatamansi, a mild sedative, can help relieve a stress-related headache.
Dead Sea Natural Mud Wrap, Zara Spa, Jordan ($45-$78, 25-45 min., www.zaraspa.com): It might be the Dead Sea, but it's alive and kicking with body benefiting minerals. This wrap employs mud from the sea to promote circulation. Also try the Dead Sea scalp revitalizing treatment ($45, 25 min.) to ail a dry and flaky scalp.
Exotic Coconut & Milk Ritual Wrap, Spa at Anantara Koh Samui, Thailand (60 min.; http://samui.anantara.com): The secret to soft and smooth skin is in this traditional Balinese wrap, which incorporates coconut, mung bean, lavender, and frangipani monoi. In addition to a warm milk bath, enjoy a face massage and scalp treatment.
Mandi Lulur, Mandala Spa & Villas, Philippines ($99; www.mandalaspa.com): This scrub, inspired by the beauty practices of ancient Javanese royalty, combines turmeric, herbs and spices, and a yogurt splash.
Mountain Ritual, Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa, Indonesia ($90, 120 min., www.ibahbali.com): Bali's best -- from Tabanan cocoa beans to green tea -- is featured at this spa, where all organic and local ingredients are used. This treatment includes an aromatherapy footbath, lavender body wash, Balinese massage, and body scrub. Choices for the latter include the Javanese Lulur, made with rice powder and turmeric, and Balinese Boreh, made from clove, ginger, and galangal.
Sabai Sabai Ritual, Chiva-Som Spa, Thailand ($71, 50 min., www.chivasom.com): Chiva-Som is known for its holistic practices, and this ritual is a perfect example of its offerings. A rain forest sweet honey and tamarind scrub exfoliates and moisturizes skin, while fresh mango and ginger soften and stimulate. All the ingredients are grown in the spa's organic garden, so they're always fresh and don't have to travel far -- meaning the impact on the environment is minimal. Also try the Aloe and Hibiscus Hair Intensive ($64, 30 min.), which combines aloe vera and coconut oil to repair damaged hair and stimulate growth.
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