19 of the best luxury spas in the Mediterranean

The Elounda Spa & Thalassotherapy

Blue Palace Resort, Crete

With calming views out onto the gulf of Elounda the spa at the heart of Crete’s Blue Palace Resort offers 24 treatment rooms, three thalasso pools and two traditional Turkish Hammams. As well as its focus on Thalassotherapy, using seawater as a form of therapy, the spa offers a series of treatments using natural ingredients from Crete to improve your wellbeing.

Try the Traditional Cretan Experience, which starts with a relaxing soak in a hot tub of seawater at 34◦C, with chamomile, dittany and sage. This is then followed by a body scrub using a mixture of dried herbs, olive oil and warm honey before a final massage using olive oil, herbs, honey and raki.

Leave time after your treatment to unwind in the luminous relaxation pool which, during special spa evenings, is lit by candles and has a musician playing a grand piano.

Best by boat: Moor out in the bay, which is protected by the now deserted island of Spinalonga, and tender in to the hotel’s private jetty.

Capri Beauty Farm, Capri Palace Hotel

From the times of Emperor Augustus Capri has been a favourite retreat for Italy’s most influential. The draw of the island is not just its natural beauty and balmy temperatures but also its pure air and rich, health giving waters.

Located in the Capri Palace Hotel, and run under the guidance of Professor Francesco Canonaco, Capri Beauty Farm provides a balance of luxurious spa treatments with long-term medical benefits. The Beauty Farm offers the Metabolic Response weight loss program, the Clean & Lean method by Bodyism. It is also home to the “Leg School” — designed to give you the perfect pins the method has a celebrity following which includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Mariah Carey and Julia Roberts.

If you just want to recover from the stresses of life then book in for the three-day “La Dolce Vita” programme and truly embrace Mediterranean indulgence.

Best by boat

Capri is home to some of the most iconic Italian moorings. Simply anchor out and tender in to enjoy the delights of the Capri Palace.

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Catalonia, Spain

Resplendent on the 43rd floor of this slick beachfront hotel — just one floor from the top — the views of the city from 43 The Spa are staggering indeed. The treatments are spine-tinglingly good, too. Kick-start the proceedings with a circulation-boosting whirl around the circuit of vitality pools, steam rooms and ice fountains. Then switch the chromotherapy mood lighting to a soothing blue before you sample the wickedly indulgent spa treats from Natura Bissé, Spain’s most innovative skincare brand. Everything here looks tempting, but if you sign up for only one treatment, make it the 43 Sea Experience. The therapist uses deep-tissue chiropractic techniques followed by pressure manoeuvres with small sea shells. It’s so relaxing most people struggle to stay awake.

Best by boat

After completing an €80 million development in 2014 a further expansion is underway at OneOcean Port Vell in Barcelona, which can accommodate yachts up to 190 metres. Its central location makes it perfect if you are planning to spend 24 hours away from your superyacht in Barcelona.

The Romanos

Messinia, Greece

This glamorous beachfront resort is the first phase of an audacious plan to turn a little-known but spectacular pocket of the south west Peloponnese into a rival for Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. Explore Messinia’s secret islets and hidden bays on board the hotel's yachts, Carmen Serena and Carmen Fontana, with local crew recounting the area’s ancient myths and legends from the deck. The spa also references Messinia’s fascinating history. Its indulgent olive-oil treatments were inspired by techniques described on centuries-old clay tablets discovered at the nearby Palace of Nestor. They outlined the ancient Greeks’ bathing rituals, elements of which have been incorporated into signature treatments. These include Nestor’s Baths, a hydro massage in a therapeutic bath, using herbs from the spa garden, and the Healing Massage Remedy by Hippocrates that combines therapies described by the father of western medicine with cutting-edge methods.

Best by boat

Kalamata Marina, about 20 miles away by road, accommodates small superyachts, but if you moor in one of the quiet coves near the resort you can zip straight back to your yacht to explore the beautiful western Peloponnese coast when you are all spa-ed out.

Aman Sveti Stefan

Montenegro

There really is nowhere else quite like this place: a 15th century fishing village built on a tiny islet that rises out of the sparkling Adriatic Sea. Its cute cottages have been converted to five-star hotel suites and, across on the mainland at Aman’s Villa Miločer, is one of the best luxury spas in the Mediterranean, with a heated indoor/outdoor swimming pool and treatment rooms with fireplaces for cosy winter pampering. Therapists make full use of the herbs that grow wild along this rugged coastline to create restorative massages that are heavenly scented with local valerian, sage, thyme and lavender. You can moor in the nearby Bay of Kotor at the Adriatic’s superyacht capital, Porto Montenegro, which has ambitions to become as important as Saint-Tropez and Porto Cervo on the Mediterranean yachting calendar.

Best by boat

Superyacht Heaven Porto Montenegro has 400 berths ranging up to 180 metre and a huge range of facilities. Yachts often anchor off Villa Milocer and tender into its pier, or to the pier on Sveti Stefan island.

Thermes Marins

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Resembling a luxury spaceship hovering over Port Hercules, this massive spa is a suitably cutting-edge place to rejuvenate after the Monaco Grand Prix or Monaco Yacht Show. There’s a spectacular pool and a sprawling gym, both of which overlook the clutch of superyachts far below, but the must-have experience here is cryotherapy. Used in the sporting world to help speed athletes’ recovery, clients brave a cold sauna (at -110C) for three minutes, wearing protective socks, gloves and not much else. This is not for the panic-inclined but it’s worth gritting your teeth for the serotonin-induced marathon runner glow. Kiss insomnia, jet lag and muscle inflammation goodbye and rejoice in your newly glowing skin. The less intrepid can enjoy elaborate pampering, too. Don’t miss the Absolute Youth Experience, with its mother-of-pearl powder body peel and series of massages and scented baths. Cleopatra would certainly have approved.

Verdura Resort

Sicily, Italy

Rocco Forte, who built Verdura, is one of the world’s leading hoteliers and this is one of the Mediterranean's best spas. Forte has also represented Britain at the World Triathlon Championships and looks 10 years younger than his 70 years. How does he do it? Verdura’s anti-ageing Vita Health programme is overseen by Forte’s personal physician, Dr Nyjon Eccles, an integrated medicine expert who will customise treatments according to your test results. Yachts can moor just off this rugged stretch of coast and ask for masseurs to come on board. On land, the glamorous spa flows from an impressive gym and workout studio, to a vast hammam and alfresco hydrotherapy pools that overlook cypress-studded hills.

Helicopter in

Anchor and take a helicopter in to the resort’s helipad. This coast boasts beaches, olive groves and ancient history, so stick around for post-spa cruising.

D-Hotel Maris

Marmaris, Turkey

From the glass-walled gym, you look out on to a sparkling bay, where there’s always a visiting yacht – as well as the hotel’s own charters, an Azimut 55 and a 30 metre Turkish gulet. This slick resort has enlisted the personal training services of Bodyism, the fitness company that keeps Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s curves in cover-girl shape. Post workout, soothe aching limbs with a sea salt and oil scrub and an Aegean sea shell massage. Bodyism’s philosophy is hardcore but it’s not heartless, so sushi at the resort’s branch of the swanky Japanese restaurant, Zuma, is also on the schedule.

There are changes planned for the spa this summer so keep your eyes peeled as it looks set to become even more stunning in 2016.

Best by boat

Yachts anchor out in the sheltered bay around D-Hotel’s beaches. Tenders zip guests onto the jetty and straight into the heart of the resort. If you fancy a couple of nights on dry land book into the Presidential Suite which offers spectacular views across the bay.

Monastero Santa Rosa

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The nuns moved out a century ago but they still ring the church bell on your arrival at this heavenly spa hotel. Perched high on the cliffs at Conca dei Marini, overlooking the Amalfi Coast, the old convent is set among herb gardens that cascade down towards a wonderfully dramatic infinity pool; the perfect spot for eyeing the superyachts in the bay below.

In keeping with the ecclesial feel, treatments use Santa Maria Novella’s healing herbal creams and balms, originally made by Florentine monks for Catherine de Medici. The vaulted treatment rooms, in the old wine cellar, are cool and quiet. There, you can enjoy a herbal body scrub, nourishing bee pollen facial or maybe an Aloe Coulis body wrap that takes the sting out of sunburnt skin with manuka honey and ice poultices. Amen to that.

Borgo Egnazia

Puglia, Italy

Built from scratch in 2011 in the style of a traditional whitewashed village, this place is pretty enough for French Vogue to book it as a backdrop for fashion shoots. Staff welcome your bambinos with open arms at one of the Med’s best kids’ clubs. Furthermore, it doesn’t close until 10pm, so you can park the progeny and enjoy a gaping, guilt-free window to hit the spa. Expect acres of buttermilk marble, flickering candles, soothing pools, toga-clad therapists and top-notch treatments (Aquann, the saline float tank, is one of the best legal highs available).

Best by boat

The 318-berth Cala Ponte Marina from Camper & Nicholsons has recently opened, just down the road.

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