Caribbean: 10 of the best spas

Book clients into one of these sanctuaries and they’ll come back feeling refreshed, writes Lucy McGuire

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The Caribbean is, without a doubt, one of the go-to destinations for wellness travel. Yet with spas upping their game on almost every island, matching a client to the right retreat can be quite a task.

From affordable getaways to chic private-island retreats, we’ve picked 10 of the best spas to suit a variety of tastes.

St Barts spa

1 Le Guanahani Spa by Clarins, St Barts

Custom-created spa treatments are the health trend du jour, so Le Guanahani is the perfect match for those in search of a bespoke facial experience. Located on its own peninsula between Grand Cul-de-Sac and Marigot Bay, this naturally serene spa is just one of eight in the world to offer Clarins’ signature My Blend treatments and the only spa on the island to use the acid-based ‘Intraceutical’ skincare. The latest addition, the Expressément My Blend Treatment, for €275, combines expert skin analysis with French and Caribbean healing traditions. Expect holistic packages designed around sleep, diet and stress patterns too.
BOOK IT: Le Guanahani offers an Ocean Bay Room from £424 per night, including breakfast.

Carlisle Bay

2 The Blue Spa, Carlisle Bay, Antigua

A rainforest-meets-beachfront setting establishes the mood here and the spa itself is a sleek space of marble flooring, contemporary minimalist furniture and a bright and airy feel. The spa menu consists of everything from Reiki and reflexology to prenatal massage, and clients can expect high-quality products from the Spanish Natura Bissé range. There are some more unusual treatments on offer such as the Arawak Massage, while other highlights include jet lag remedies and exfoliations and massages for men. The Pepperpot of massages, $255 for 120 minutes, which treats indecisive spa-goers to an array of massages in one, is a top therapy to recommend. Guests can retreat to the sauna, plunge pool and wet room, with dedicated teen treatments available too.
BOOK IT: Gold Medal offers a seven-night stay in an ocean suite room with breakfast from £2,059. The price includes return flights from Gatwick.

Sandy Lane

3 Sandy Lane, Barbados

Everything about the 47,000sq ft spa at Sandy Lane is opulent. With a sweeping marble staircase and dramatic white ceiling drapes filling the reception, it’s immediately clear that you’re in one of the most prestigious spas in the Caribbean.Service is slick, and therapists use the renowned Sundari and Aromatherapy Associates range. A key talking point is the Rhassoul treatment, which uses a traditional steam bath and Pink Kaolin clay to revitalise the skin (from $141). Al fresco hydrotherapy pools and private gardens in each treatment room offer the perfect post-treatment relaxation. “The Sandy Lane spa has gone above and beyond to offer guests their own slice of heaven,” says Ross Sinclair, senior product manager for the Caribbean at Travel 2.
BOOK IT: Travel 2 offers a seven-night stay in an Orchid Room from £3,579, including breakfast and return flights from Gatwick.

Jumba Bay

4 Sense, A Rosewood Spa at Jumby Bay, Antigua

The wow factor of this 300-acre retreat starts with its location on a private island. And the extra hop from mainland Antigua certainly pays off when you arrive at its marvellous beach setting. The spa is confined to five treatment suites inspired by sugar mill ruins, each with their own relaxation terrace and hammock. Packages revolve around Sense Journeys designed to connect guests to the surrounding nature. Recommend the Slow Sojourn to couples – it takes them to a secluded bay via private yacht for lunch, before treating them to a massage in the spa, and there’s a children’s menu to ensure young spa aficionados aren’t forgotten.
BOOK IT: ITC Luxury Travel offers a seven-night all-inclusive stay in a Beachside Courtyard Suite from £4,145 per person, based on two adults sharing. The price includes return flights and resort transfers.

Sandals Royal Bahamian

5 Red Lane Spa, Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort, Bahamas

Located in the Bahamian capital Nassau, the Red Lane Spa at this Sandals resort is the perfect match for couples searching for romance and head-to-toe indulgence. Having been voted the Bahamas’ Leading Spa Resort three consecutive times, it’s a welcome respite from the busiest island in the Bahamas and impressively, offers guests a choice of three locations to enjoy their treatments: the Main Spa, Day Spa and Zen Garden located on the resort’s offshore island. In keeping with the romantic theme, guests can indulge in a new Night Blooming Jasmine Massage, from $366, or opt for a treatment that uses island botanicals such as Caribbean seaweed or sugar-cane oil.
BOOK IT: Sandals offers a seven-night all-inclusive stay in a Royal Village Deluxe Room from £1,715 per person. The price includes return British Airways flights from Heathrow and resort transfers.

Sugar cane club

6 Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa, Barbados

A stone’s throw from Barbados’ swanky west coast, Sugar Cane Club offers either couples or those with teens (aged 14-plus) a more affordable spa experience. It’s a no-frills set-up with a steam room and relaxation area and dipping pool. That said, the treatments – which use sugar cane, ‘bubbly mud’ and seaweed-based products – are just as tempting as any high-end spa. The serene hillside location and rooms (which include a kitchenette and living space) are a draw for families. Bridal spa packages are offered too.
BOOK IT: Kuoni offers a week all-inclusive in a garden-view one-bedroom suite from £1,269, including BA flights from Gatwick and in-resort transfers, for travel in September when booked by June 30.

The Caves Spa

7 The Spa at The Caves, Jamaica

In keeping with a rustic island style, the Spa at The Caves embraces a natural approach to well-being and lets nature do the talking. So expect an indoor-outdoor feel and the use of locally-sourced botanicals such as lavender, coconut and coffee. One of its speciality treatments is the Blue Mountain Elixir Body Scrub, from $100. It uses local coffee beans or brown sugar to exfoliate the skin and guests can follow up with a trip to the ocean-side sauna for unbeatable views. Twice-weekly yoga classes are complimentary for guests staying in the hotel’s colourful cottages and the resort is for adults only, unless you book the self-contained Deluxe Villa.
BOOK IT: A week staying all-inclusive in a one-bedroom cottage starts at £1,789 with Caribtours, based on two sharing, including return flights, private transfers, and use of a lounge at Gatwick.

Dreams Punta Cana

8 Dreams Spa by Pevonia, DREAMS Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The ultra-modern set-up and amenities make the Dreams Spa an attractive option for clients with children. With 12 luxury cabins, it’s super spacious, and enables spa-goers to while away an afternoon dipping in and out of steam rooms, whirlpools and detoxifying Scottish showers. There’s a spa menu for younger clientele while parents can enjoy everything from hot stone massages to luxurious Myoxy-Caviar Facials. “In keeping with the ethos of luxury family holidays, the hotel understands that a true holiday must include some me-time for parents, too,” says Rebecca Evans, senior marketing executive for Funway Holidays. “Dreams is set up to take the strain by providing a crèche, a babysitting service and kids’ club, while the parents escape to the spa.”
BOOK IT: Funway Holidays offers a seven-night all-inclusive stay from £1,289 per person based on two adults and two children under 12, in August. The price includes return flights from Heathrow with United Airlines.

The body holiday

9 The Spa at The BodyHoliday, Saint Lucia

With single room packages and the option of communal dining, this resort, at the northern tip of Saint Lucia, is great for groups and solo travellers, which can be a bit of a rarity in the couple-focused Caribbean. Its new BodyScience packages, available from £2,051, offer highly sophisticated DNA testing and consultations with a BodyScience doctor. Yet the vast Moorish retreat offers plenty of ways to just kick back and relax too. “BodyScience combines Western science and Eastern holistic principles such as Ayurveda,” says Dr Savitha Janna Mangalore, wellness leader at The BodyHoliday. “The aim is to achieve more efficient cellular and metabolic function, through holistic detoxification treatments, a healthy diet and advanced nutritional supplements.”
BOOK IT: A BodyScience programme starts at $2,700 for three days or up to $3,750 for a week-long programme, in addition to accommodation at the resort, which starts at $481 per person per night.

Parrot Cay

10 Shambhala Retreat, Parrot Cay by Como, Turks and Caicos

A short boat ride from the main island of Providenciales takes you to one of the most exclusive spas in the Caribbean. This Turks and Caicos gem, set in 1,000 acres, has won repeated awards for its secluded island setting. And with everything from fitness activities to Pranayama yoga and meditation, you can be as active or lazy as you want. Asian-inspired treatments are delivered across low-lying pavilions that overlook the North Caicos Channel, with added indulgences such as Japanese baths. There’s a very spiritual and serene feel and highlights include the rhythmic Abhyanga oil massage, which is designed to stimulate your ‘prana’ (energy), and consultations with the on-site Ayurvedic doctor and nutritionist.
BOOK IT: Carrier offers seven nights’ accommodation with breakfast from £1,940, which includes international flights and transfers by road and boat to Parrot Cay.

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