Whether it’s a singing bowl ceremony in Hoi An, Vietnam, or a mosaic-lined hammam in Cairo, Egypt, Four Seasons hotels and resorts across the globe have perfected on-trend spa treatments inspired by the destinations they call home. Here are six restorative experiences worth the trip.
Offered exclusively at the six-suite Spa at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in the Tanzanian bush, the newly created Kifalme Ritual is as life-changing as spotting the Big Five in their element. “This treatment is the perfect way to relax following a morning game drive,” says Assistant Spa Manager Sajeesh Pazhayidath. “There is such excitement and adrenaline involved in seeing the Serengeti’s wildlife, but coupled with the early wake up time, it can also be quite tiring.”
During the 90-minute ritual, two therapists use baobab oil – from the seeds of an African superfruit stocked with vitamins A, E and K – to massage your aches away with all four hands at once, working at opposite ends of the body, and finish with a baobab oil facial and foot reflexology. “The baobab oil used in the Kifalme Ritual aids rejuvenation,” Pazhayidath says, “leaving you feeling refreshed and relaxed to enjoy a spectacular African sunset.” The ideal place for a sundowner just may be in your spa suite itself – several of the al fresco pavilions have soaking tubs that overlook the plains.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, Tanzania
“When we design our spa experiences, we always offer something special that goes beyond the expected,” says Luisa Anderson, Regional Spa Director of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. For proof, look no further than Blessings of Bali, which is far more than your typical treatment (though it does include a traditional Balinese massage). At the seafront Spa surrounded by lush gardens, you’ll start with yoga and breathing exercises to reinvigorate your spirit, take a “sound bath” created by a Balinese gong, and then have an ancient seaside purification ritual with Balinese-Hindu High Priest Aji Ngurah.
“The entire treatment is very ritualistic and meaningful, and specifically tailored for couples,” Anderson says. “The blessing by our Balinese priest on the edge of the ocean, where the couple is literally bathed with holy water, is a wonderful experience to share together. This treatment supports the higher spiritual principle of intimate relationships, and if we can enhance that journey on any level – whether it’s reducing stress loads or reminding a couple why they first fell in love – then we have succeeded.”
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
Set on glassy koi ponds near three UNESCO World Heritage sites, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai Hoi An is home to a surprising source of Zen: singing bowl artist Oanh Ngo, who’s in residence at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto for the month of November. The guru of calm combines seraphic treatments with the sonorous sounds of crystal singing bowls, each of them tuned to 432 Hz – reputedly the same frequency as the natural world.
You’ll want to book the 150-minute Nam Hai Earth Song, a euphoric blend of deep pressure massage with gem-tipped tuning forks, exfoliation with herbs from the on-site farm, a cleansing agarwood smoke treatment and, of course, sound vibrations, which Ngo asserts can heal imbalances down to your cells. “Oanh’s understanding of humans on a physical, emotional and spiritual level is quite incredible,” says Kyoto Director of Spa Chinnapat Veerasomboonsin. “Her singing bowl spa treatments offer a beautiful parallel to the Zen-inspired teachings we offer here, enabling us to better understand our inner self and the true nature of our place in the universe.”
Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence, situated on the cinematic western bank of the Nile, is now home to something ancient Egyptian pharaohs could only dream of: an authentic Turkish hammam, decked with warm marble and lined in mosaic tile. The newly opened facility furthers bathing traditions introduced into Egypt centuries ago, when the area was under Turkish rule. “Hammams were once reserved for royalty,” says Spa Director Mohammed Sabry. “There aren’t many Turkish hammams in Cairo, so the fact that we’re able to provide an authentic experience to our guests thrills me.” The accompanying hour-long treatment – which includes a steam bath, foam body massage and scrub in your choice of age-defying sandalwood, citrus or even coffee – is rumoured to reduce the appearance of cellulite and provide a burst of energy.
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence
A byproduct of the city that never sleeps? Occasionally, your skin needs a major reset. Enter L.RAPHAEL Beauty Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York, where oxygen-infused treatments will leave you feeling completely refreshed. The eight-room day spa in the I.M. Pei–designed monolith has perfected an experience called the Oxy Cure C. “The treatment includes a high jet spray of pure oxygen combined with a high concentration of vitamins C, A , E and other anti-ageing agents that penetrate deeper into the skin to stimulate the endothelial cells and collagen production,” says Spa Manager Keren Deutsch. “It combines all the benefits of the others we provide and more; the result is radiant and rejuvenated skin.”
Four Seasons Hotel New York
Inspired by the iconic Sea to Sky highway that guides guests from Vancouver to the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, the 80-minute Sea to Sky Massage is as local as spa treatments get. You’ll be scrubbed with organic British Columbian sea salt and seaweed to make your back feel brand new, then massaged with hot river rocks found in the surrounding mountains. “What makes our Spa so special is that we take all of our inspiration from the British Columbian outdoors, from the moss used in our décor to the products that include locally harvested ingredients and are produced nearby,” says Caitlin Hubbard, Spa Director. “Our guests travel here from all over the globe, and we want to show off all we have access to. There’s nothing like a great day on the slopes followed by a Sea to Sky massage – it’s absolutely delightful.”
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler
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