Besides taking in the local sights, sounds, and foods of a new destination, one particularly enjoyable way to immerse yourself into a foreign culture is through a local beauty treatment—especially when it involves ingredients or time-honored techniques that unique to that destination. Whether you have a vacation planned in these regions or are looking for some getaway inspiration, don’t miss a chance to indulge yourself.
Oenophiles may flock to Bordeaux for its abundant wineries, but the most devoted fans can, quite literally, bathe in the grapes at Caudalie’s grand Vinothérapie spa. Among the vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, beauty haven Les Sources de Caudalie is housed in a family-owned wine country inn. Take a signature Barrel Bath, which gives hydromassage-fueled relaxation using grape marc and red vine extracts, known for their exfoliating and draining effects. Alternatively, opt for the cult-favorite crushed cabernet scrub, which features locally sourced grape seeds from the region combined with honey, brown sugar, and the essential oils of Caudalie’s firming contouring concentrate, for neck-to-toe skin-soothing refinement.
Local honey, sourced locally from the only known pure strain of Ligurian bees, provides a skin-softening reason to visit this island (and resident bee sanctuary) off the coast of South Australia. For some truly next-level aromatherapeutic unwinding, the Southern Ocean Lodge’s spa incorporates this precious ingredient along with nutrient-rich, hand-drawn Bay of Shoals mineral salts into sensory therapies based on the philosophies and botanicals of ancient Aboriginal cultures.
If Seoul is considered the capital of skincare, where better to pamper your complexion? While the newly opened flagship for the holistic Korean brand, Sulwhasoo, is ultra modern and features a sleek, six-story brass design by architect duo Neri & Hu, the treatments offered remain true to the 50-year-old brand’s heritage. All facials include Sulwhasoo’s signature massage techniques, using amber stones and jade rings combined with aromatic herbal oils to delicately target pressure points on the face, neck, and shoulders. Anti-aging ginseng is also a key ingredient for the brand, and each service begins with a ginseng foot bath to help relieve tension and boost circulation.
Forget the Blue Lagoon—if you’re looking for natural hot springs in a spectacular, under-the-radar setting, head to the Azores. On São Miguel, one of the nine islands off the coast of Portugal, you’ll find Europe’s largest concentration of thermal waters scattered throughout a lush landscape of volcanic mountains, lagoons, and foliage. If you somehow need a break from all that nature, the Furnas Boutique Hotel, located in the prime zona das aguas quentes—or “area of hot water”—offers indoor and outdoor thermal pools as well as locally-inspired Green Island rituals, including volcanic stone massages, homegrown Gorreana green tea exfoliation, Azores milk soaks, and more.
For a truly one-of-a-kind sauna(esque) treatment, head to Hotel Heubad Spa in northern Italy for a fermented hay bath—yes, hay bath. Guests are wrapped in steaming hot “fatty” alpine hay—consisting of 40 different types of grasses and flowers—and then left to lie on a warm waterbed for about 20 minutes. This long-standing tradition was originally practiced by farmers in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites and purportedly rejuvenates the immune system, eases muscle pains, and improves all-around circulation.
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