Spot Treatments: 11 Spas With Local Flair
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Is it just us, or has the experience of visiting a spa become almost generic? The dim lighting and vaguely Asian decor. The New Age music. A treatment menu that travels from Sweden to Thailand to India. Once you step over the threshold, it's easy to forget just where you are: Is this spa in Koh Samui, the jungles of Costa Rica—or Chicago? Perhaps sensing this creeping sameness, spas are starting to distinguish themselves by paying more attention to their surroundings. They're using locally sourced ingredients in treatments that draw from homegrown traditions. They're finding design inspiration close at hand, not just from the Far East. Above all, they're creating one-of-a-kind experiences worth traveling for. The 11 spas listed here—all of them on Condé Nast Traveler's 2009 Hot Spas, an annual roundup of the world's best new spas—demonstrate this trend, and guarantee that you'll leave feeling not just relaxed but connected to the place you're in.
Published October 2009