Spas Go Native: Relaxing with Local Treatments and Ingredients



Travelers are looking for destination-specific experiences, and spas are incorporating local goods, everything from salt from the Red Sea to Vermont maple sugar — into their treatments, making a day of “sightseeing” as easy as an hour nap.

Out of Africa

Africa’s diverse lands and people boast numerous plants and practices, some of which find their way into the following spa treatments.

African Potato Body Wrap & Foot Massage: This wrap and massage combine African potato — which contains various extracts to boost your immune system and aid in skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea — and Marula oil that, like olive oil, has antioxidants to soften and smooth skin.

Matombo Massage Treatment:Using fynbos plants that are exclusive to the region, this massage treatment exfoliates, rids the body of impurities, and improves circulation. Aloe ferox extract — rich in amino acids, enzymes, and mineral salts — is an anti-inflammatory and promotes cell regeneration; rooibos extract is known to heal and soothe; and Cape chamomile can help relieve stress and depression.

Pharaonic Massage: This traditional massage, once reserved for Egyptian royalty, aims to improve circulation and relieve stress. Warm sweet almond oil and poultices filled with locally grown chamomile and mint “soothe sore muscles, nourish the skin, and induce a feeling of relaxation

Sugar Scrub with Hydrating Date Wrap Sugar, which was cultivated in Egypt almost 6,000 years ago, is at the heart of this Arabian-inspired treatment.

Thalassotherapy, Hasdrubal Thalassa Yasmine Hamammet: Sea water is known to have many benefits, ranging from stress relief to weight loss, and this resort doesn’t have to go far to get it — it’s located right on the Mediterranean.

Foot Massage:  Masai Herbal footbath infused with Olsimomi leaves, which are known to detoxify and purify, followed by a pressure point massage.

America the Beautiful

From the maple trees of Vermont to the traditional sweat baths of Central America, the Americas boast a diversity of ecosystems and traditions — with spa treatments to match.

Citrus Sugar Scrub:  After cleansing you with a citrus bath gel, your body is rinsed and massaged with dry citrus oil.

Inkaterra Therapy: Cocoa holds a special place in Andean tradition. This natural stimulant aims to detox the body and improve circulation.

Maple Sugar Body Scrub: Maple isn’t just for pancakes and waffles. Sugar from Vermont maple trees exfoliates dead skin cells and moisturizes skin.

Papaya or Banana Facial & Décolleté: Fresh papaya or banana and brown sugar to gently exfoliate the skin.

“Shawangunk Grit” Mineral Body Treatment:  The fine quartzite “grit” is mixed with a white pine, balsam fir, and silver fir body oil to gently exfoliate the skin, which is followed with a warm rosehip and plantain body massage and a power nap.

Signature High Desert Body Treatment Indigenous plants and flowers are incorporated into the treatments at this spa.

Sweet Mountain Metamorphosis: Lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and peppermint grown at the resort’s 33-acre garden find their way into a body scrub, which is followed by a massage, moisturizer application, and cocooning.

Texas Pecan Scrub: Pecans taste great in pie, but try them in a scrub, and you’ve got a recipe for soft skin. This treatment uses locally harvested

Asian Invasion

As the world’s largest continent, Asia has a lot to offer, so would you expect any less from its spa offerings? Here is just a taste of what you can find from Jordan to the Philippines.

Apsara Local ingredients such as yellow ginger, black sesame see, sticky rice, tamarind, and honey are combined in a scrub that exfoliates and leaves skin silky and smooth.

Bornea Rainforest: This full body treatment starts with a lemongrass and pandan leaf foot ritual, followed by a herb and milk body scrub and Balinese boreh spice wrap.

Champi Indian Head Massage: Indian women are known for their luxurious locks, which are likely due to weekly hair-oil massages. This treatment — said to promote hair growth and leave you with shiny tresses — combines amla, brahmi, jatamansi, curry leaves, and neem, and includes a head, neck, and shoulder massage. Neem is said to clear dandruff, while jatamansi, a mild sedative, can help relieve a stress-related headache.

Dead Sea Natural Mud Wrap: It might be the Dead Sea, but it’s alive and kicking with body benefiting minerals. This wrap employs mud from the sea to promote circulation.

Exotic Coconut & Milk Ritual Wrap: The secret to soft and smooth skin is in this traditional Balinese wrap, which incorporates coconut, mung bean, lavender, and frangipani monoi.

Mandi Lulur: This scrub, inspired by the beauty practices of ancient Javanese royalty, combines turmeric, herbs and spices, and a yogurt splash.

Mountain Ritual: Tabanan cocoa beans to green tea — is featured at this spa, where all organic and local ingredients are used.

Sabai Sabai Ritual: A rain forest sweet honey and tamarind scrub exfoliates and moisturizes skin, while fresh mango and ginger soften and stimulate.

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