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Outdoor spas capture the imagination

There’s something special about enjoying spa treatment under the sky. Here, we review some of the best on offer


In the high-stress environment of the business travel one often finds too little time to spend relaxing. This is probably why spas have become so popular during the last couple of decades. Outdoor spas, where you can relax surrounded by nature while being pampered in the lap of luxury, have become particularly popular in recent years.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali
The dominant philosophy in Bali is based on tri hita karana. Essentially this means maintaining harmony and balance between the gods, the community and the environment. The Balinese believe that this is the only way to achieve peace and happiness.

COMO offers a choice of 20 Western and Asian holistic treatments. There is also a gym, a yoga pavilion, a pilate studio and four outdoor treatment pavilions. Everything carries mysterious-sounding Sanskrit names; for example, the spa is called Ojas, which means ‘essence of life’ in Sanskrit, while a typical residence would be named Wanakasa; forest in the mist.

Sereno Spa, Goa
Spreading over 36,000 ft2, the breathtaking outdoor spa pavilions have beautiful ocean views. A complete range of body and skin treatments and Ayurvedic-inspired massages are on offer.

The traditional Marma Facial is ideal for mature skin types and includes a Crown Chakra massage. However, if you really want to invigorate your body, go for the Synchronised Abhyanga massage, ‘The Four Hands’.

The Spa at the Breakers Palm Beach, Florida
This spa is situated in the heart of Palm Beach, Florida, at an Italian Renaissance-style resort. In total, there are 20,000 ft2 of indoor and outdoor facilities, where customised and individualised spa treatments are on offer.

This beachfront property offers no less than 13 different types of massages and a wide array of body treatments, as well as skin-care and facial services under the open sky and fronting the ocean. There is no other spa, outside Paris, that offers the unique ‘Guerlain Institut de Beaute’ facial.

Lake House Spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort, Texas
This spa offers a lavish range of services and treatments in its outdoor cabanas. Its prime location, in Texas, makes maximum use of its waterfront location with top-of-the-range relaxation, fitness and sports amenities and classes, including acupuncture, yoga, Nia and tai chi, pedal-boat workouts and kayaking.

There are several areas where guests are able to enjoy outdoor massages. This includes a huge screened porch, where guests can indulge themselves in a Texas Pecan Scrub, a Swedish massage or a Ruby Red Grapefruit Refresher treatment.

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