Traveling can be tiresome and stressful at times, as we all know and have experienced. What can you do to help rejuvenate and de-stress? Well of course, make time for a spa treatment(s). Pretty much everywhere you travel will have a spa that you can enjoy and relax. I know what some of you might be thinking- your vacation is to be spent seeing sites, beaches, enjoy the food and museums, not to spend time in spas. Well, many times I have discovered some cultural aspects at the spas. Local artwork on the walls, tea’s that they drink, special products made with the locals agriculture, not to mention different massage treatments. So don’t feel guilty about indulging some time for yourself, or having a luxurious experience, you can learn some things in the spas too. In this article we are going to take a peak at spas around the world. Let’s see if you may want to add any to your itinerary for a vacation, Valentines gift, or just to treat yourself. I know that I want to try one or two, well maybe a few more than that 🙂 Just think how wonderful a massage, a facial or even a body wrap will feel when you have been doing the tourist thing all day.
Starting off with a few that Kevin and I have indulged in our travels. Unfortunately, I do not have photographs of all the wonderful spas we have had the pleasure of experiencing. However, here is a list for you to give a try yourself.
- The Waldorf Astoria in Rome Italy 6. Fairmont Hotel Spa, Banff Canada
- Kenwood Inn and Spa Sonoma California 7. Ion Adventure Hotel Spa, Iceland
- Spa at Dromoland Castle Ireland 8. Princeville St. Regis Spa, Kauai Hawaii
- Brenners Park Hotel & Spa Baden Baden Germany 9. Montage Spa in Utah, United States
- Fairmont Hotel St. Andrews Scotland
Wine & Grapes Spa: Yerevan, Armenia
36/2 Proshyan St, Yerevan, Armenia
Home to the oldest known wine cellar in the world, Armenia is the perfect place to indulge in grapes and wines. The Wine and Grapes Spa in Yerevan, Armenia is a wine-lover’s paradise. This spa caught my eye as I was looking for relaxing things to do in Yerevan. After several weeks of nonstop travel, I was ready for a rejuvenating and relaxing experience.
When you walk through the front door at Wine & Grapes Spa, you immediately escape the dusty city streets into a serene paradise. After flipping quickly through the guest book, I realized this spa receives visitors from all over the world! Inside, a generous hostess offers you wine, tea, and refreshments as they show you to your cellar-like spa room. Down a dark staircase, the rooms are dimply lit and smell faintly of wine, the perfect ambience for a relaxing spa experience.
When I visited Wine & Grapes Spa, I decided to go all-out and book their biggest combo, the Goddess Package. It came complete with a facial, a relaxing hour in the wine steam box, a massage, a wine bath, and more. All the while, glasses of wine continued to be plentiful. My spa attendant was gracious and kind, despite not speaking much English. The staff at Wine & Grapes Spa really made my experience one to remember.
Submitted by Kay at Jetfarer
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Spa Shá at Kurá Design Villas: Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica
Private Rd, Provincia de Puntarenas, Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica
Created by married partners Martin Wells (who was born in Costa Rica to American parents) and Alejandra Umana (a local), Kurá Design Villas is a perfect example of eco luxury in action. Located on a long, winding private road high in the hills above Uvita, Costa Rica in January 2013, this posh boutique hotel offers a unique mixture of traditional cultural influences, upscale modern design, and impressive array of eco-friendly initiatives.
Though tiny in scale (with just 8 suites), the adults-only hotel offers a perfect romantic escape for couples. Wells, who’s also an architect, designed the villas, mixing indigenous elements (including dramatic masks from Costa Rica’s Boruca tribe) with glass, teak, and steel. The rooftop infinity pool provides awesome views of Marino Ballena National Park, which is known as a great place for whale-watching. The pool is surrounded by cushy white lounge chairs, a purple hammock built for two, and a beautiful restaurant/bar/lounge area.
But our favorite memories from our time at Kurá Design Villas involved the wellness offerings at Spa Shá. When the owners found out we were there to celebrate our anniversary, they insisted we head to the spa after dinner for a special surprise. When we arrived, we found a candlelit room, Champagne, sumptuous dessert, and a romantic deep tub bath for two. They left us alone there for hours, with the floor-to-ceiling windows open to allow the sounds of the rainforest (frogs, crickets, owls, etc) into the room.
The next day proved equally magical, as we treated ourselves to an hour-long couples massage. The spa was run by a lovely San Jose native named Adriana, who specialized in alternative medicine and used only all-natural oils. She was arguably among the most talented masseuses we’ve met, giving us the most relaxing and transcendent massage we’ve ever had. It was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary, and wound up being among the most romantic getaways we’ve experienced during our 10 years of traveling together.
Submitted by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett at Green Global Travel
Bleiche Resort & Spa: Brandenburg, Germany
Bleichestr. 16, 03096 Burg (Spreewald), Brandenburg, Germany
The German capital Berlin can be somewhat of a hustling bustle sometimes, which makes it even easier to just get out of town once in a while. A great place for some time off the chaos is the Spreewald. The Spreewald (German for ‘Spree Forest’;) is a picturesque section of the German state of Brandenburg located about 100 km south-east of Berlin. Located right here is the traditional hotel “Die Bleiche”. This wellness temple is housed in an old building which was used as bleach, hence the name of the hotel. When entering the place you might feel as if you just walked right into Bavaria. With its wooden details and squared patterns, this barely looks like Berlin anymore.
What’s more is that the wellness area is absolutely amazing! From 12 to 5pm there is a free buffet with small snacks and sparkling wine adding a little glam to you in your gown. Trust me, drinking sparkling wine has never felt better! Apart from that the range of sauna, steambaths and relaxing area is endless. Decide for yourself whether you want to hang out in one of the comfy chairs or whether you want to sit by the fireplace – it’s up to you! But one is definite here: Leaving “Die Bleiche” you’ll feel like a newborn, who is ready for the stress of daily life.
Submitted by Clemens at Travellers Archive
Onsen Ma, Melbourne Australia
12-18 Meyers Pl, Melbourne, Victoria
Onsen Ma is set on a smart city street away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne. As you dip inside you’ll be greeted by calming fountains and an atmosphere of total zen. Pop your shoes off and slip into a comfy pair of slippers and a robe.
This is a place to truly relax – and that’s why it means so much. I thought I’d be nervous getting into the Japanese bath, as I’m body conscious and it’s a shared space where you bathe naked with other women. But you’ll soon feel a million dollars, blissing out in rose scented water with soothing music floating about you. Everyone was natural and respectful and I felt totally comfortable.
There’ll be no more than seven others in the bath with you. And you can also book the bath privately for you and your friends
After that, step into a simple room with flickering candles to have the most amazing oil massage that you’ll ever feel. There are dry massages too, but this one was my favourite and the Japanese style of massage is really worth trying. It’s different from other styles, and I think you’ll be a fan!
The whole place feels like it’s been transported straight from Japan and it’s a great way to treat yourself.
Submitted by Danielle at Live in 10 Countries
Dao’s Care: Hanoi, Vietnam
Lane 173/24, 7 Hoang Hoa Tham, Hanoi, Vietnam
It’s not difficult to find a good massage in Hanoi, Vietnam. But after three years in Southeast Asia and a year living in Hanoi, I can say without a doubt that the traditional Dao massage at Dao’s Care is the best I’ve ever had.
The Red Dao are one of Vietnam’s ethnic minority groups. Living at high elevations in the mountainous areas around Sapa and Ha Giang, they use a range of herbal remedies to promote blood circulation and general well-being. Dao’s Care is one of the first spas in Hanoi to harness traditional Red Dao techniques.
Treatments offered include the Dao massage, a deep tissue massage that uses acupressure techniques. I love this massage because it focuses on releasing tension in the neck and shoulders. Swedish, hot stone and Zen sports massages are also available. Therapists use Dao’spa Mama massage oils, extracted from herbs grown locally in Ta Phin village in Sapa.
Dao’s signature treatment is the Red Dao herbal bath. For this, you soak for 30 to 45 minutes in a round tub made from Fokienia wood, which releases essential oils. The steaming hot bath water is infused with a blend of fresh and dried herbs—made according to Dao recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. The bath is exalted for its detoxifying qualities and benefits for the skin.
One of the best things about Dao’s Care is their business model: The spa is a social enterprise, employing visually impaired people and training them to become skilled massage therapists.
Submitted by Emily at Wander-Lush
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The Nordik: Chelsea, Canada
16 Chemin Nordik, Chelsea, Canada
The Nordik Spa is in the charming village of Chelsea, just at 15 minute drive from downtown Ottawa, Canada. It’s North America’s largest outdoor spa, with 3 different outdoor areas including numerous hot tubs, waterfalls, saunas, patios, and cold pools.
There are all kinds of wonderful things to do at the Nordik Spa, ranging from invigorating to relaxing treatments, or spending time with friends in a beautiful spot. The Nordik Spa treatments draw on rituals from around the world. The Thermal Cycle, which the Nordik Spa is most known for and from which it got it’s name, is based on a 1,000 year old Nordic Spa tradition. The cycle involves opening your pores in the heat of sauna, dipping in cold water to give your body a boost of adrenaline, and relaxing while endorphins take over.
Other treatments include a salt water bath, and sauna rituals from Finland and Russia where the room is infused with essential oils for incredible health benefits. Massages are also offered, both indoors and outdoors.
My favourite thing about the Nordik Spa is definitely the pools. There’s a beautiful infinity pool, and two pools with waterfalls where you can relax and rest after a treatment. Best of all, no cameras or cell phones are allowed once the spa opens so you are completely disengaged from the outside world for a little while.
Submitted by Nina at Nina Near and Far
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Vidhun Spa at Park Hyatt: Maldives
North Huvadhoo Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Republic of Maldives
Vidhun Spa at Park Hyatt Maldives is a spa you need to visit! Vidhun means “to shine” and you will definitely be shining, both inside and on the outside after a relaxing spa treatment. The spa promotes Maldivian holistic wellness and uses natural oils to help you radiate good health. You will begin to relax as soon as you enter the beautiful spa village with its own infinity pool, private treatment cabanas with thatched roofs, and lush gardens. We loved receiving tea and scented cold washcloths to refresh ourselves upon arrival. They offer many holistic treatment options including their signature Sehathu massage, which balances out your hot, cold and dry aspects as per Dhivehibey tradition with a blend of rose, lotus and jasmine oils.
We were there for Valentine’s Day and indulged in the chocolate-inspired Be My Valentine package. Our fantastic couples treatment included a mineral salt foot scrub, chocolate body wrap, customized aromatherapy massage, soak in a flower-filled outdoor bathtub in the private couples treatment villa, chocolate smoothies and a decadent chocolate cake. We enjoyed every minute of our 2.5 hour couples treatment and were able to completely unwind and tune in to each other. The spa even brought our chilled bottle of sparkling wine (which was a welcome gift for Hyatt Globalists) to sip during our romantic bath. It was the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple! Vidhun Spa can be found at North Huvadhoo Gaafu Alifu Atoll, Republic of Maldives at the exquisite Park Hyatt Maldives. Add it to your spa bucket list now and read more about our Vidhun Spa experience! (Please link to this post about our spa experience
Submitted by Alexis and Bertaut at World Travel Adventurers
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Jamahal Private Resort & Spa: Jimbaran Bay, Bali
Jalan Uluwatu 1, Jimbaran Bali Indonesia
I’m the hugest spa junkie, I would go every other day if I could! While I absolutely love the Korean spas here in Los Angeles, especially love the indulge in some of the best luxury spas around the world. One of my favorite spas in the world is at the award-winning Jamahal Private Resort & SPA in Jimbaran Bay, Bali. It’s located at Jalan Uluwatu 1, Jimbaran in Bali Indonesia and it’s absolutely heavenly.
There is so much that is amazing about this spa, first of all, its located just steps away from the Master Suite Villa, where we stayed,
totally recommend that villa! We stopped over to the spa after enjoying a luxurious breakfast by the pool and were welcomed by our technicians, who first let us sample three different oils for us to choose our favorite scent for the treatment. The massage starts off with a calming foot bath. Next, we were escorted into the room for the Jamahal Signature Treatment for 90 minutes, which features long, rolling strokes. I didn’t want the massage to ever end! Next time that I visit, I want to try the Balinese back massage, five sense treatment, chocolate body treatment (yum!), and zen ritual.
Submitted by Kaila at Nylon Pink
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Loma de Vida Spa: San Antonio, Texas
16641 La Cantera Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78256
Loma de Vida Spa is located at La Cantera Resort & Spa and was the highlight of our stay.was our time spent at the Loma de Vida Spa. Resort spas often feel like they are just another area of the hotel, but to get to Loma de Vida you leave the hotel and walk through a garden and under the bridge to get there. There were butterflies and native plants along the path and you could hear water splashing and calming music in the distance.
The locker rooms were top notch with showers, a hot saline pool and saunas. Our massages took place in one of the Sky Lofts that are available for reservation. Inside were two massage tables and an indoor shower with wall to wall windows looking out on the Texas hill country and into the city. On the private deck there was also a large soaking tub they filled and added relaxing essential oils. We had our massage in the morning after a foggy night. It did not feel like San Antonio being surrounded by fog and rolling hills. After the massages and some relaxation time on the deck, we went to lunch at Signature. The spa also features a large pool, juice bar and a gym.
Submitted by Dan at Honeymoon Always
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Dragon Hill Jjimjilbang Spa: Seoul, South Korea
40-712, Hangangno 3-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The Dragon Hill spa in Seoul is a big traditional Korean Jjimjilbang in the capital of South Korea. It is well known by foreign tourists and Korean locals for its spa treatments and healing zones for .
When visiting a Jjimjilbang you first shower and bathe in gender segregated rooms and then you get dressed in the Spa Outfit and go to the mixed the resting halls. Each hall is connected to kilns and sauna rooms. At Dragon Hill you can try the charcoal kiln, pine tree firewood sauna, red clay sauna, ice room and more. There is also a small mixed swimming pool on the roof outside.
The treatments available in the spa are: skin care (shaving + facial massage), body scrub and massage and sports massages.
Steamed eggs and a refreshing rice drink (Sikhye) is a must try when in a traditional Korean Jjimjilbang. Inside the spa are 2 restaurants, you pay for the food and drinks at the end when leaving.
Submitted by Marie at Be Marie Korea
Karma Kandara Spa: Bali
Wijaya Kusuma Ungasan, Bali, 80362 Indonesia
Our most memorable spa experience was our massage at Karma Spa at Karma Kandara Resort, Ungasan, Bali, Indonesia. Located at the most southern point of Bali, Karma Kandara resort is truly 5 star with a luxurious spa to match. On arrival to Karma Kandara we were escorted to the open-air spa lobby to take our time to wind down before we were led to the couples spa room. Perched a top of a steep clifftop, this is definitely the most stunning spa room we have experienced. The view across the Indian ocean set the tone for what was about to come.
Our 75 minute Balinese massage was made even more enjoyable by the crashing waves on the beach below the cliff top massage room. Featuring Karma Spa’s very own massage oils, the massage was well worth the price tag. After the massage was finished we enjoyed taking in the view from the room and were then shown the clifftop spa and sauna overlooking the ocean. Relaxing in the spa was a perfect way to end what can only be described as a truly romantic experience at Karma Kandara Resort Spa.
Submitted by Kate at Rolling Along With Kids
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Los Altos De Eros Spa: Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica
Located just outside of the touristy town of Tamarindo, Costa Rica is a little piece of heaven. On top of a small mountain, nestled in the forest lies Los Altos De Eros Spa and Hotel. The open-air spa contains five private treatment rooms, all with stunning views of the lush jungle and the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
Our day started with pick-up service in their van from Tamarindo. After about a fifteen-minute drive we arrived at the hotel and spa. We choose the Spa Day Package which gave us the choice of three treatments each. I started with an amazing massage. It was then followed by a body scrub. My final treatment was a facial. All the treatments provided were exceptional and relaxing.
In between the treatments we relaxed in the open-air lobby. It is furnished with lounge chairs and contains a hydro-therapy pool. The cascading waterfall and the sounds of nature create the most tranquil atmosphere one could ask for. Our day package also included lunch and wine. The gourmet dishes were outstanding. It included ceviche, vegetable salad, pasta salad, and three different types of kabobs. Our dessert was cheesecake. All of this was perfectly paired with our choice or red or white wine. The unforgettable day ended with the drop off service back in Tamarindo. I can’t wait to go back to the best spa in Costa Rica.
Submitted by Sally at Luxurious Lifestyles
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QC Terme Spa: Pozza di Fassa, Italy
Allee Des Thermes, 11010 Pré-Saint-Didier AO, Italy
One of the nicest ways to pamper oneself after a long day hiking in the Dolomites is by going to a spa. The best one in Trentino, in the North of Italy, is QC Terme. This is located in Pozza di Fassa, one of the nicest villages in Val di Fassa. The day package at the spa includes access to a multitude of water treatment rooms, including the uber-relaxing underwater music pool, where visitors can float in the water and at the same time listen to some incredibly relaxing tunes. There’s several other pools with very strong water jets that are perfect to get a back and shoulders massage. A number of other treatment rooms offer aromatherapy – there’s a room where the 40 degrees celsius and 100% humidity room helps purify the skin; there’s a few sauna rooms at various temperatures. The numerous relaxation rooms also have different aromas, and all have incredible views of the Dolomites. The best, yet, is the outside pool and the smaller jacuzzis, for they all have incredible views of the mountains and the surrounding villages.
A full day at the spa, which includes a buffet lunch with delicious healthy options, and an aperitif dinner, costs €54.
Submitted by Claudia at My Adventures Across the World
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Sense Spa at The Rosewood Hotel: London, United Kingdom
252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN, UK
The minute you walk through the gates into the courtyard of The Rosewood London hotel, your stress will start to melt. The outside world is gone and you are enveloped in luxury. The doorman will welcome you to the hotel and you enter the rose hallway into the main lobby. The fun is yet to come as you make your way to the lower level of the hotel to Sense Spa. You’ll open the door and immediately sense that this place is different – it’s not your average city day spa nor is it a hotel afterthought. In fact, much thought has gone into all of the details of the design, common areas, bamboo flooring and relaxing spaces.
Once you exit the changing room in a big fluffy robe will find a chaise lounge chair in the circular common lounge to relax in while waiting. I could have stayed in this area for hours reading and relaxing and some do post treatment. Sadly, my name was called and I followed the massage therapist to a treatment room that was decorated in rich tones and candlelit. The massage table was layered with luxury linens and warm blankets. I was provided a drink while the therapist quizzed me on my health, massage selection and fragrance preferences (I vetoed lavender). The next sixty minutes went by too quickly as I lamented not choosing a ninety minute session. The Sense Spa experience was so much more than a massage.
Sense Spa at Rosewood London uses products from France (Maison Caulieres) and Australia (Sodashi) and also has a separate Matthew Curtis salon on-site. Signature British treatments include British Rose Facial with Rose Quartz and a British Rose Body Massage.
Submitted by Suzanne at Philatravelgirl
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Capanna Presena Spa: Trentino, Italy
Loc. Ghiacciaio Presena, 38029 Passo del Tonale TN, Italy
This brand new spa is located inside of a rifugio in Italian Alps. Rifugios are small mountain huts or chalets located in Italian mountains. The small spa is located in a guest house high above Tonale Pass in the Trentino province of Italy. Capanna Presena sits on the Presena glacier and provides guests solitude and a chance to connect deeper with the mountains. Anyone who has the opportunity to stay will thoroughly enjoy the amazing spa with a whirlpool, sauna, and infrared saunas that provide breathtaking views of the mountains at sunset. After a revitalizing evening, we were the first ones to snowboard down the famous Paradiso-Tonale piste.
Submitted by Natasha at The World Pursuit
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Well Doshe Spa: Taichung, Taiwan
No. 12, Municipal North Road in Taichung, Taiwan
On a recent girls’ weekend getaway I discovered one of the most beautiful and relaxing spas available in Taichung, Taiwan. This luxurious spa focuses on holistic care and markets a philosophy of touching all the 6 senses – the 6th being beauty! Treatments are a blend of Eastern and Western techniques and therapies with special attention to organic products. It’s no surprise we discovered this is a favorite spa of world travelers visiting Taiwan for vacation.
When you arrive, a living wall full of green plants greets you at the entrance. The immediate feel is relaxed, peaceful and clean. While enjoying a cup of Taiwan’s famous oolong tea, you can relax and explore their products. Aromatherapy oils, mud treatments, hair products and nail polish are all available. Their extensive spa menu offers a full range of services. I tried the “Water Elf” aroma massage and wrap and was blissfully relaxed for hours afterward. Well Doshe Spa also offers massages and treatments for women who are pregnant and even spa services for young children like ear cleaning and relaxation treatment. Add this luxurious spa to your list when you travel to Taiwan next!
Submitted by Cerise at Enchanted Vagabond
Parknasilla Resort & Spa: Kerry, Ireland
Sneem, County Kerry, Ireland V93 EK71
Arriving at Parknasilla Resort & Spa, located in County Kerry, Ireland on the Ring of Kerry and The Wild Atlantic Way was a gift from heaven. I was suffering from a huge dose of motion sickness from the twisty roads on the Ring of Kerry. I needed something to help me feel better immediately! The Parknasilla Spa was just the solution I needed. I took advantage of the Thermal Suite. I needed hydration and detoxification to help my body recover. The Thermal Suite was a series of treatments meant to detoxify, purify, relax and promote well being. The Spa had a sign recommending specific amounts of time to spend in each of its thermal rooms, and I referred to it often. Luxurious robes and towels were provided to guests.
I began my spa treatment in theLaconium Roomwhich used dry heat of a lower temperature and lower humidity to slowly detox and purge my body of toxins. When I was feeling relaxed I went into the rain fall shower to cool off a bit. Felt like soft rain falling on my body! Next to the Aromatherapy Steam Room. With high heat and high humidity, along with the use of essential oils to aid the lungs, this steam room was just what I needed. A trip to the tropical mist shower was next to refresh and bring down my body temp a bit. The dry heat sauna of the Herb Sauna was next and used the essence of drying herbs to detox.
On to the Salt Inhalation Steam Cabin, with its high heat and humidity and the added use of salt inhalation to aid in purification and respiratory health. Dry heat followed by the steam heat worked wonders! I headed to the ice fountain where a chilled bowl of ice chips awaited me to rub across my chest and arms to assist in cooling down. It felt like quite the shock after being so overheated.
To conclude an afternoon of luxury and perhaps my favorite part was relaxing in the Parknasilla Spa’s heated loungers! The loungers were positioned where floor to ceiling windows literally brought the epic land and seascapes from the outdoors inside! All of these incredible treatments aided my body to rest and relax and the car sickness and dizziness lessened and did not interfere with the rest of my day. I would highly recommend if you are ever in County Kerry in Ireland, you look up Parknasilla Resort and Spa. You won’t be disappointed.
Submitted by Linda at Linda On The Run
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Bamboo Spa at Paradise Taveuni: Waiyevo, Fiji
Getting to the Oceanfront Bamboo Spa at Paradise Taveuni resort in Waiyevo, Fiji, is quite a trek. For me it involved flying from the main island of Viti Levu on a very small plane. I remember thinking of the opening scenes of King Kong as we flew into clouds and saw lush green lands below. Then it was a long drive over bumpy unpaved roads to get to the other side of the island from the airport, and finally to my private thatch-roofed bure. I was informed by the friendly Australian owner that I was now “on rooster time.”
So, I kind of lost track of time. Since I don’t scuba dive, I needed to entertain myself during the day while the others were away looking at fishes. I headed for the spa, which is indeed ocean-front, and which is also completely open to the sea. I had a relaxing basic Swedish massage and a pedicure, and they were both delightful. I wound up with a dose of local culture, too, as the woman who attended me told me about her life. Use of my now-favorite Pure Fiji products made the experience feel and smell wonderful, and my favorite nail polish is still a shade of pink that I continue to search for at home and call “Fiji Pink.”
Submitted by Carole at Travels With Carole
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