Friday, February 4, 2011

Spa-tacular in the Caribbean

Whether it’s rejuvenation for your soul or a massage for your soles, a day in a Caribbean spa is a must-have guilty pleasure. From an apricot pit scrub to a mineral mud bath, welcome to the world of unbridled relaxation where the wise and the weary soak, scour and soothe their way to feeling good.

There’s plenty of sensual healing in the Blue Spa at the swank Carlisle Bay in Antigua. With views of the rainforest, the glass walls are covered with louvered shutters to ensure peace and quiet in the six treatment rooms, plunge pools and sauna. “Guests occasionally find it hard to relax on a vacation, “said Bruce Lawrence, spa manager, “however, after a hot stone or deep tissue massage, relaxation is instant.”  Stand-out treatments include the ‘Citrus Drench” which hydrates the skin with Shea butter, honey and orange extract.  Visit . 

At the pair of Ocean Club Resorts in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, Spa Tropique delights with unmistakable island calm. Friendly front desk staff at both resorts, Ocean Club and Ocean Club West , will arrange a myriad of massages either en suite or inside the aptly named spa  with its warm colors, aromatic scents and a jazzy soundtrack that is never too loud. “Foot massages are popular with folks coming from cold cities,” smiles Patricia Amor De la Rosa, masseuse, “because walking on the beach in comfort is a priority.” Massages worth the splurge include the “Turks Island Salt Glow” using sea salts from the flats of Salt Cay and a gentle “Eye Candy” treatment that softens winter weary lines around the eyes.  Visit

In St. Lucia, La Mer Spa at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort in Rodney Bay is a tranquil haven for rejuvenation offering sports massages, body scrubs and full-body rubdowns for couples. “Feeling relaxed and gorgeous should be easy, “said managing director Joyce Destang, “we bring a full-service spa experience to a convenient setting on our hotel premises.”  Visit

Soaks in tubs filled with water from the Diamond Mineral Baths where Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife Josephine reportedly “took the cure” is the quintessential St. Lucian experience at the chic Ladera Resort. Visit

The “Body Oasis “at Janissa’s Spa at the Spice Island Beach Resort is Grenada’s ode to well-being.  The all-day package - $610.00- includes treatments that utilize the fragrance of nutmeg, restorative powers of coconut and the calm of ocean seaweed. Visit


Get in touch with your inner hedonist at the Wellness Center at Cap Juluca in Anguilla where a “Green Tea and Ginger Sea Enzyme Wrap” relaxes to the tune of $205.00 for eighty minutes. Visit

Across the sea in St. Maarten, an hour flies by under a steam dome as warm honey is rubbed all over the body at the Good Life Spa in the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort.  The “Salt and Honey Glow” joins other regal treatments like the “Four Hand massage” where a pair of therapists performs a choreography of moves that will remind clients why they booked a vacation in the first place.

Everything about it is exclusive from the marble floors to the bathrobes embossed with the Dior signature.  The first and only Christian Dior spa in the Caribbean, The Dior Spa at The Cliff in Cupecoy Beach, excels with a power soak in a hydrotherapy tub where sea water, seaweed and more than two hundred jets melt tension into oblivion. Visit
Pampering is paramount in Jamaica with a vast array of the crème de la crème of tropical spas. Setting the gold standard in Montego Bay, relaxation at the Ritz-Carlton Resort is de rigueur with eleven treatment rooms, fitness center and saunas. With fine finesse and nimble fingers, the “Gentlemen’s Retreat “ - 130 minutes / $349.00-  is for the boys in the crowd and includes a massage, facial and  round of golf on the 18-hole White Witch course. Visit

The scent of lemongrass permeates the air at the Red Lane Spas in Sandals Resorts region-wide. Hot and cold plunge pools, eucalyptus saunas and perfumed garden sanctuaries compliment a menu that includes a  no-nonsense facial that uses vitamin-rich red oranges, grapefruit oil and seaweed and massages like the ‘Wake up and Smell the Coffee’ that exfoliates the skin with coffee grounds but won’t keep you up at night.  Visit
Life is laced with languor at the open-air KiYara Spa at the Jamaica Inn in the cliffs of Cutlass Bay, outside Ocho Rios. Translating to ‘sacred place of the earth spirits’ in the language of the Taino Indians, treatments harness river-smoothed stones in the “Hot Stone Energy Balancing Massage “and  organic cocoa for a  “Chocolate Indulgence’” rub that is good enough to eat and too good to miss. Visit
Centuries-old healing traditions are alive and well at the Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay. From a massage with heated sea shells and a sugar and allspice body exfoliation to a “Jamaican Bush Bath” steeped in the local healing herb known as “cerasee”, the spa on the sandy crescent dotted with fragrant gardens is relaxation par excellence. Visit

And for mommies-to-be, Breezes Resorts in Jamaica and Curaçao are selling a “Blue Mahoe Maternity” spa package for women in their second and third trimesters. The package includes a massage, facial and pedicure and unlimited pickles and ice cream at the resorts buffet tables. Visit

Spa 101 – The Glossary
  • Acupuncture: The ancient Chinese healing system that uses fine needles to open up blockages to balance the flow of energy.
  • Body Polish: Skin exfoliation using botanical, fruit or marine extracts.
  • Chakras: Seven energy centers located between the base of the spine and the top of the skull.
  • Couples Massage: Side-by-side therapeutic massage for two - one therapist for each person.
  • Eco-Spa: Facilities that limit the use of plastic packaging bleached paper and chlorinated water.
  • Exfoliation: The removal of dead skin cells by loofah rub or body brush.
  • Hot Stone Massage:  Hot and cold stones used for relief of sore muscles.
  • Reflexology: An ancient system of applying pressure to reflex points on the feet.
  • Salt Glow:  Hydrating treatment using salt and fragrant oils.
  • Vichy Shower:  Multiple showerheads spraying warm water while you recline on a wet table.


  1. Many thanks Luxury Traveler for following my BLOG!
    and yes, Carlisle Bay is top-shelf Antigua !

    keep reading,