Nowadays nearly every hotel that has a sauna and a treatment room calls itself a spa hotel. But if you’re looking for a truly design orientated spa hotel in Europe these five hotels truly deliver on that promise. Whether you want to get away from it all at a destination spa or round off a full day of buzzing city life, these design spa hotels guarantee a truly special experience.
Voted the ‘World’s Best Boutique Spa Resort’ by ‘SENSES’ wellness guide, this hip city escape lives up to its well-deserved accolade. Located on the top floor of The Mandala Hotel, with views over Berlin, guests can choose from a variety of high-tech facilities, some unique to Germany. For instance, the ‘Via Sensus’ reflexology walk-around course on the spa terrace enhances health and wellbeing through its stimulation of foot pressure points. For fitness fanatics, the gym has power plates, which vibrate during exercise, or – for an easier way to shed some pounds – the Iayashi Dome uses infrared rays to burn up to 600 calories in one 30-minute session. There is also an Alpha Space Bed, which relaxes the body and mind with sounds and vibrations. The spa is one of the very few spas worldwide to use Kenzoki products in treatments.
MAVIDA Balance Hotel & Spa, Zell am See, Austrian Alps
Surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, the Balance Centre & Spa at the MAVIDA offers state-of-the-art spa facilities and a stunning lakeside location with a private beach. Awarded the Gala Spa Award 2009 for its Mental Balance treatments, the spa offers varied and inventive treatments like a personal horoscope, acupuncture or energy healing. There’s also the option for a body mask with goat butter and a ‘Moonshine Bath’ with seaweed. For couples wanting to enjoy the utmost privacy, a spa suite with a steam cabin, tub for two, rest area and partner massage cabin can be hired. Other spa highlights include a Blue Box with special light and sound techniques, a floatarium that allows users to float weightlessly in a soundproof room of salt water, a 25-metre outdoor pool and an organic herbs sauna.
The term ‘homemade’ is certainly true at this oriental city spa in the heart of Barcelona. Inspired from the hotel owner Rosa Esteva’s many trips to Asia, the spa has its own 100% organic line of products, including milks, creams and oils, which are mixed by specialists specifically for individual treatments. Guests can enjoy the ‘Water Circuit’, which includes a Hammam, rain-shower sensations and a hot tub, or simply relax in the hydro-massage swimming pool overlooking the hotel’s vegetable garden in the inner patio. There is also a relaxation room with rocking gravitational beds accompanied by chromo-therapy. To finish off a day’s pampering the rooftop infinity pool with sundeck is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail in the summer sun, or in the winter guests can retreat indoors to the stylish Lobby Lounge with lush sofas, an open fireplace and floor to ceiling windows.
For those looking to tackle more than just fine lines, this glamorous spa with 17 treatment rooms, 40 staff members and a vast range of treatments, using La Prairie and Cinq Mondes products, offers seven-day or 14-day Better–Aging programmes based on two phases – Detoxification and Revitalization. Programmes are individually designed for each guest, beginning and ending with a medical assessment by a doctor. They include a selection of specific treatments, among them La Réserve signature body and face treatments, a light and healthy customised diet, and a personal coach to help with physical activities. Facilities at the spa include a 16-metre swimming pool with underwater music, fitness studio, relaxation area with daybeds, saunas, steam baths and tennis courts.
At the Miró Hotel it’s all about exclusivity. For a truly special spa experience guests can now book the wellness and massage areas for private use, allowing them to enjoy the state-of-the-art facilities, including steam bath, hydromassage bath and hydromassage column shower. The massage area has also been expanded to offer a wider variety of treatments like Shiatsu and Chiromassage. Moments from the world-famous Guggenheim museum, the spa features a soothing monochrome interior of teak flooring which creates a warm space and adds to the elegant style of the hotel, designed by renowned fashion designer Antonio Miró.