Best Island Spas

For the June 2009 issue of ISLANDS, the editors updated the master list of the world's best island spas. Find the new favorites highlighted in yellow on the map, as well as more spectacular spas we recommend. There's no better way to indulge on an island than with a day at the spa. The nine spas on the 2009 list offer a true taste of the islands. From the colorful Fijian rainforest to Porto Santo's golden-sand beaches to the deep-blue ocean in the Maldives, these spas speak to the senses in the same ways their island locations do: with stunning sights, calming aromas, soothing sounds and a healing touch. Click on the spas' links below to book a treatment on your next trip!

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Fiji: The Koro Sun Rainforest Spa at Koro Sun Resort The trickling streams and calling birds you'll hear during your coconut-oil massage at this spa on Vanua Levu come from the lush Fijian jungle just outside your window. And the detoxifying bindings that swaddle you during your body wrap come from the banana trees in the resort's own grove. Even the coconut shavings used to polish and exfoliate your skin in the Sensational Scrub are gathered from a nearby plantation. That's because everything at Koro Sun Rainforest Spa is as homegrown as possible — from the three treatment bures lighted by candles and lanterns and decorated with giant ferns to the 11 treatments ripe with ingredients like organic papaya, aloe and cucumber. All you have to do while you're here is sit back, relax — and see, feel, hear and smell the island.

Hawaii: Mauna Lani Spa at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows The spa at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows isn't just located on Hawaii's Big Island; it's a part of it. After all, how many spas leave you with a pule, or Hawaiian blessing and a handmade ti-leaf lei? A saltwater watsu pool for aqua therapy is built into the entrance of a lava tube; the nine treatment hale, or huts, feature thatched roofs woven by the spa's therapists; and the open-air sauna comprises lava rocks from the island. More than 40 treatments help you merge with this aloha-infused environment at the piko (center) of five mountains, such as the Fire and Ice Pa'akai Therapy, which uses a sea-salt-enriched pikake oil made from Hawaiian jasmine. Leave feeling more relaxed — and more connected to Hawaii — than ever.

Indonesia: Amanjiwo When you walk into the Amanjiwo resort's spa on the Indonesian island of Java, you may suddenly feel like royalty. It might be the hypnotically twanging degung music; it could be the cool ginger, turmeric, galangal & honey drink you'll be served, called jamu; or it may be the deep, therapeutic massage you'll receive using pijat techniques. Which ever detail amid the 20 treatment options, baths and rituals inspires your indulgences at this intimate, one-room spa, you can be sure it's based in Javanese tradition. It feels like the royal treatment because the Mandi Lulur ritual actually is: Javanese princesses preparing for their weddings once received this massage, followed by a white turmeric and honey rice-scrub, capped off with an herbal bath filled with rose petals. Bask in that knowledge as you soak in your rose- petal bath — fit for a king, naturally.

Maldives: Lime at Huvafen Fushi Traveling to the North Male Atoll in the Maldives means soaking in luxury and even surrounding yourself with inky blue water. But few places can offer immersion like Lime at Huvafen Fushi resort. In addition to six glass-floored overwater treatment bungalows, the spa features two rooms and a relaxation suite actually submerged in the sea-life-rich Indian Ocean. From 13 ft. below the surface, the underwater world provides the backdrop for customized treatments, such as the Unite Me Crystal Ritual. Like many of the 30-plus treatments on the menu, this combination of scrub, wrap and massage uses indigenous ingredients like lime and virgin Maldivian coconut oil. But whether you experience it from above or below, the main ingredient at this spa is most definitely water.

Nantucket: Spa by the Sea at the WauwinetThe Spa by the Sea lives up to its mariner-esque moniker. The spa's inn home, the Wauwinet, sits perched on the north coast of Nantucket, backed by sprawling ocean views and a soundtrack of rolling waves. Windows in the spa's three treatment rooms open toward the Atlantic Ocean, and the menu of more than 20 massages, scrubs, wraps and facials incorporates sea salt, sea weed, sea mist and, well, cranberries. For a sweet taste of inland Nantucket, opt for the Cranberry Crush Body Treatment, which uses a blend of New England cranberries, cane sugar & orange to tone, exfoliate and hydrate. Still, whether you choose ocean salty or cranberry sweet, this spa promises an experience you will savor.

New Zealand: Cavalli Island Retreat and Spa If mud is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of luxury, the Cavalli Island Retreat and Spa will change that. The therapists at this hideaway out in the midst of New Zealand's Cavalli Islands incorporate the earthy essence in many of the spa's 18 treatments. From the Tropical Spa Mud Wrap to the Mineral Mud Bath, the menu combines ingredients like avocado oil, fresh lemongrass and coconut milk with natural clay, using techniques based on Maori beauty regimens. Rinse off in the spa's eight-headed Vichy shower or in the Pacific Ocean, which surrounds the main treatment villa and open-air massage room. Getting dirty has never been so delightful.

Porto Santo: Hotel Porto Santo & Spa Anyone who's ever enjoyed a relaxing stroll along the beach knows there's something therapeutic about sand. But on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, it's a scientific fact. Researchers from the Portuguese University of Aveiro have confirmed that clay and sand from the island have high mineral concentrations with healing properties for rheumatism and ailing skin. That's why many of the 30-plus treatments at the Hotel Porto Santo & Spa incorporate the golden grains. But if a white-sand wrap coupled with a rhythmic massage in one of the spa's two treatment rooms doesn't satisfy your aches — or if you just want a bit more beach-inspired wellness — slip into a hot sand bath in the morning and again at night, letting the mineral-rich sand (kept at a comfortable and soothing 102 degrees) work its magic. Long walks on the beach haven't got a thing on this spa.

St. Lucia: Lapli Spa at Discovery at Marigot Bay The lush, green landscapes and swirling, indigo seas of St. Lucia make it difficult to step indoors — even for a spa treatment. At Discovery at Marigot Bay's Lapli Spa, you don't have to: Two outdoor treatment rooms (in addition to four indoor rooms) are built from locally grown bra-madam wood and allow Caribbean breezes to drift across your skin as you unwind. The spa's 30 treatments range from massages and facials to body wraps and scrubs. Local remedies — like a papaya facial to exfoliate or a cocoa body wrap to hydrate — use ingredients brought in fresh each day by local farmers, and aloe-infused therapies use the garden's own flora. You'll leave with an even deeper appreciation for the island's nature. Turns out those orchards and plantations climbing across the hills aren't just beautiful to look at; they're also wealthy with the makings of pure spa bliss.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Amrita Spa at Raffles Canouan A view of the Caribbean Sea can enhance any experience — especially a spa treatment. So why should those gently lapping, electric-blue seas disappear when you lie face down on the massage table? At the Amrita Spa at Raffles Canouan, they don't. Two of the spa's 11 bungalows — each named for the varying shades of blue surrounding the island — are built on stilts over the water. And thatched roofs and glass floors mean you're surrounded by sea air and sea views as you indulge in any of more than 30 selections, which include touch-therapy and after-sun treatments. After taking in the ocean vista mid-massage, absorb it from an upright position on your treatment bungalow's private balcony; you may find you have a whole new perspective on the ocean.