Top 10 spa hotels in the Indian Ocean
As if the warm waves of the Indian Ocean weren't soothing enough, a visit to a spa hotel will just about push you over the edge of a pampering precipice and if you're ready to take the plunge then read on for the ultimate in 5-star tropical island indulgence.
Banyan Tree, Seychelles
The setting: Perfectly placed within the borders of Intendance Bay along Mahe Island's southern coastline.
The scene: Ocean views, hillside villas and your own private swimming pool help to create a thoroughly romantic luxury setting from where to rest and relax in the Seychelles. The Banyan Tree Spa offers some equally intimate experiences with double outdoor treatment rooms showcasing a range of body and beauty therapies amongst a tropical garden filled with blossoming flowers and bird song.
The stay: Just under 50 luxury villas can be found perched overlooking the ocean with an elegant array of amenities including sunken baths, jet pools and those all-consuming views.
The best bits: Aside from your very own private pool the communal freeform infinity pool is a great location to chill out with a glass of fizz as the sun sets.
More information and to book: Situated in the scenic Intendance Bay along the south coastline of Mahe, the luxurious Banyan Tree commands a majestic view of the Indian Ocean.
Conrad Maldives, Rangali Island
The setting: Straddling a couple of Indian Ocean islands in the Maldives' archipelago.
The scene: Linked by a bridge and surrounded by ocean, Conrad Maldives has often been considered as one of the most exclusive and luxurious hotels on the planet and if you're into fine dining, crisp white sands and heavenly accommodation then welcome to perfection. Offering the only destination spa in the Maldives as well as 2 choices of location (the Retreat and Over Water) no smooth pebble has been left unpolished when it comes to your pampering pleasure.
The stay: Seriously, wow! Garden settings, outdoor bathrooms, glass-walled living space and sublime bedding and hand-carved furniture. Life doesn't get any better than this.
The best bits: The undersea restaurant just about tips the balance when it comes to the ultimate in awesome experiences.
More information and to book: Relax in paradise at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. This luxurious five-star property embodies the awe-inspiring beauty of the Maldives with the benefit of world-class amenities and indulgent accommodation.
Shanti Maurice A Nira Resort, Mauritius
The setting: To be found on the lesser-visited southern coast of Mauritius within a coral sand cove shaped like a horseshoe.
The scene: Pretty much designed to incorporate everything that your mind, body and soul desires with meditation classes, cultural lectures, watersports and cooking lessons helping you to indulge as your mood dictates. The Nira Spa is amongst the most comprehensive in the Indian Ocean and you'll discover 25 treatment rooms dedicated to all manner of therapies, programs and organic ingredients from around the world.
The stay: Just over 60 suites and villas are arranged within a sensuous tropical garden with modern technology combining with contemporary comforts to bring you the very best in luxury living.
The best bits: There's no better place to experience jolly good rubs, scrubs and massages other than Nira Spa with a post-spa trip to the tea pavilion always providing that little extra tickle of joy.
Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius
The setting: Situated in the southwest of Mauritius within the fabulous and vast estate of Domaine de Bel Ombre.
The scene: An abundance of colonial touches, such as butler service, plantation houses and its very own golf club, make Heritage Le Telfair a charming and elegant introduction to life on the Indian Ocean. Seven Colours Spa will not fail to impress as from traditional remedies to contemporary techniques, there's no better place to rest, rewind and rejuvenate against a sublime tropical backdrop.
The stay: Over 100 rooms and suites provide an indulgent and luxurious living space with 4 poster beds, antique stand alone baths and cascading outdoor showers complementing the general colonial feel.
The best bits: A day at the spa or time spent on a Championship golf course – this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.
More information and to book: With a style that harks back to the former plantation houses, there is a magical atmosphere that filters into every feature of Heritage Le Telfair.
Constance Ephelia, Mahe, Seychelles
The setting: Overlooking Port Launay National Park on Mahe Island, Seychelles.
The scene: Constance Ephelia is an absolute must for nature lovers as it boasts a beautiful and unique collection of flowering plants and luscious vegetation that would get even the most passionate of gardeners in a spin. Once you've finished marvelling at the assortment of tropical views a trip to the spa will no doubt be in order with a sauna, Jacuzzi and thermal pool adding to the full-compliment of massages, therapies and signature treatments.
The stay: More than 200 guest rooms with traditional thatched roofs and contemporary fixtures and fittings, including: free WiFi and iPod docking stations.
The best bits: Aside from the grounds, the beach and the spa, Constance Ephelia also has 5 boutiques to browse around with an option to create your own perfume and body cream often proving a thoroughly enriching experience in more ways than one.
More information and to book: Situated on two of the most beautiful beaches on the island of Mahé, Constance Ephelia Resort overlooks the marine national park of Port Launay.
One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius
The setting: Situated on its own private peninsula on the east coast of Mauritius.
The scene: Silver sands, a sheltered lagoon and a lush green 9-hole golf course designed by Gary Player, does life get any better? Of course it does and if you're looking for more watersports than you can shake a paddle at then check into the One&Only and let the good times roll. After all that splashing about you'll find the One&Only Spa has just what you need to soothe your limbs and smooth your furrowed brow with massage programs, beauty treatments and private lap pools to be found at the start of a long list of pampering pleasures.
The stay: Over 150 luxurious rooms and suites offer discerning guests a glimpse at the VIP life with hand-selected furniture, state-of-the-art tech and inter-connecting room options providing plenty of 'yes please' moments for the whole family.
The best bits: Rasoi by Vineet Indian restaurant has been decorated with numerous culinary awards and this is your chance to discover why.
More information and to book: Endlessly stylish and incredibly luxurious, One&Only Le Saint Geran is a haven of tranquillity and indulgence.
Taj Exotica, Maldives
The setting: One of the Maldives' largest lagoons provides the setting for this quintessential desert island luxury retreat.
The scene: Surrounded by warm ocean hues and swaying palms, Taj Exotica pretty much ticks all of the tropical paradise boxes and if you're looking for that 'Bounty moment' then you might want to upgrade your camera. A visit to the Taj Spa is almost too much to bear and you'll be treated to a wide range of traditional and signature treatments to help you sink into the sand as readily as the setting sun.
The stay: Just over 60 traditional-style thatched villas filled with modern amenities such as air-con, MP3 players and internet access.
The best bits: Take a seaplane over the surrounding area just to gain a glimpse of some of the world's most incredibly beautiful and untouched coral cays and reefs.
More information and to book: Boasting 64 palm-thatched villas, you’ll experience a new level of luxury at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa – this hotel offers exclusivity and a tranquil environment that’s second to none.
LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives
The setting: Exclusive residence on Dhidhoofinolhu Island which is one of the largest in the Maldives and located on the South Ari Atol.
The scene: Around a mile long and a couple of hundred metres across, Dhidhoofinolhu Island is just about as tropical picture postcard as you can imagine with snow white sand surrounding lush green vegetation to create a fabulous base from where to escape and relax. Once you tire of the watersports, fishing and infinity swimming pools the spa is on hand to pick you up and revive your senses. 15 treatment rooms, 4 of which are over the sea, provide everything that your body needs to melt into the Maldives with a sauna, hammam and ice room giving you a few more.
The stay: Almost 200 guest rooms and suites offering the very best in ocean views and modern comforts, including: air-con, WiFi access and even glass-bottomed floors so you don't even have to get your feet wet.
The best bits: The untouched nature of the surrounding ocean is simply as good as it gets.
More information and to book: The only resort nestled on the picture-perfect atoll of Dhidhoofinolhu, LUX* South Ari Atoll is an island paradise with its own 4km white-gold beach and offers a true experience of luxury.
The Fortress, Sri Lanka
The setting: Suitably situated on Sri Lanka's golden southern coastline.
The scene: Aptly named after the local historic fortress with Dutch and Portuguese architectural styles combining to great effect. Inside the fortified walls you'll find secret gardens filled with hammocks and day beds with restaurants, galleries and luxury accommodation tempting you further from spending time at the beach or exploring the local area. The spa has its very own Ayurvedic centre which is well-known for its natural treatments and organic approach to well-being and relaxation.
The stay: Just shy of 50 guest rooms feature private balconies or courtyards with fabulous garden or ocean views as well as a full-compliment of 5-star fixtures and fittings.
The best bits: There's nothing better after a day exploring Sri Lanka's heritage-packed southern coast than to enjoy a spot of wine tasting within a glass cave known simply as Wine3.
More information and to book: A seamless blend of colonial grandeur and contemporary design touches, The Fortress basks its guests in lavish splendour.
Sainte Anne Island, Seychelles
The setting: Just a couple of miles off the east coast of Mahe within Sainte Anne Marine National Park, Seychelles.
The scene: The largest of the 6 islands occupying the marine national park, St. Anne is around 1.5 miles squared and an absolute paradise if you're hoping for lots of luxury against a totally tropical screen-saver backdrop. Watersports, swimming pools, tennis courts and a fitness centre will all help you maintain an active lifestyle away from home however, for the rest of us, a hammock, palm tree and fruity cocktail will no doubt prove to be just as enticing. Spa by Clarins is fully-equipped with everything that you need for a good rub, scrub and massage within a wonderfully relaxed and tranquil setting.
The stay: Just short of 90 private villas, 29 with their own pool, Sainte Anne Island accommodation is as cosy and comfortable as it's fitting for a modern lifestyle with some incredible locations providing plenty of peaceful pockets to sit and stare.
The best bits: As you're located in one of the world's most vibrant marine parks it would be rude not to dip your toe in the water or at least hire a glass-bottomed boat for a few hours.
More information and to book: Sainte Anne Island is the kind of paradise that holiday dreams are made of; this luxurious property expands on its stunning location in the Seychelles and provides an experience that is both spectacular and tranquil.