From infinity tubs to massage suites, Forbes Travel Guide’s incognito inspectors are robe-wrapped every day assessing the world’s best spas.
For the first time, the company is providing a glimpse into the data it gathers for its annual Star Ratings, revealing the Five-Star and Four-Star spas that scored highest specifically on attributes related to luxurious touches.
The company’s first Verified List names the World’s Most Luxurious Spas, the top performers in the standards that focus on sumptuous comfort, as well as lavish choices and conveniences afforded to guests.
The list includes 21 Five-Star and nine Four-Star spas spanning six countries. Macau leads the pack with five winners: ESPA at The Ritz-Carlton, Macau; Nüwa Spa Macau; The Spa at Encore Macau; Spa at Wynn Palace Macau; and Zensa Spa. Hong Kong gained three, and Puerto Rico and the Riviera Maya each scored two spots.
The standards that determined the list weighed factors such as whether the spa uses exceptionally luxurious amenities (e.g., shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc.); the use of sound, light, scent and other visual elements to create a unique sense of place; and whether the atmosphere in the treatment rooms is relaxed, quiet, private and plush.
Upon entering Five-Star Spa Botánico, a five-acre haven tucked inside Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico, you’ll walk through the apothecary portal filled with fragrant herbs that will be used in your treatment. Some services take place in a tree house, while the pools, waterfall showers and steam pavilions hide under palm fronds in the lush garden.
At The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Guangzhou, even the consultation with your therapist gets an upgrade, as you’re escorted into a stylish private pod where you can start to unwind on the sofa with a cup of steaming tea. Next comes the complimentary tian quan, a calming Chinese bathing ritual. And all of this happens before you even start your treatment at the Five-Star spa.
Unlike most places, Eau Spa injects fun into wellness. The Five-Star spa serves champagne and cupcakes instead of the usual cucumber water and nuts. Get hands-on with your spa experience and make your own exfoliant at the scrub and polish bar. But leave plenty of time to lounge in a pool hanging chair in the lovely Self-Centered Garden.
For more Verified picks, click here.