19 of the best luxury spas in the Mediterranean

JW Marriott Venice


What have we here? A spa with its own dock, so you can rock up, tousled from a turn around the lagoon, and hop straight on to a treatment bed. Built on a private island, on the grounds of a former hospital for respiratory disease, JW Marriot’s GOCO Spa Venice has fast gained a reputation as one of the best luxury spas in the Mediterrean. Clean, white lines, porthole windows and outdoor decks looking across to St Mark’s Square make it the ideal retreat from the crowds and velvet brocade stuffiness of old school Venice. QMS Medicosmetics is at the helm with its famous skin-brightening oxygen facials and collagen-boosting formulas. Guests can detox in the hammam, with its lung-cleansing salt wall, tone up in the aqua tonic pool with massage jets set to key metabolism-boosting points or wind down with alfresco yoga in the herb garden. It is the perfect place to end a luxury yacht charter in Venice or to recover after the Venice Film Festival.

Picture courtesy of JW Marriott Venice/Facebook

La Réserve Ramatuelle


There’s no better place to avail yourself of age-defying know-how than at this sexy space-age Saint-Tropez bolt-hole. Add in the country’s first Crème de la Mer spa and you have an unbeatable formula. The skincare brand’s success is centred around its Miracle Broth, made from sea kelp treated with light and sound to intensify their potency. The results can be astonishing. The food here is all about stripping out unnecessary sugar and fat. Don’t worry: that tastes a whole lot better than it sounds in dishes such as celeriac mousse followed by coffee parfait.

Helicopter in

Port de Saint-Tropez, just north, accommodates 100 visiting yachts, but those over 70m must drop anchor out of port. Helicopter facilities are at La Ramatuelle.

Le Mas Candille

Mougins, France

After the energy-zapping fluster of the Côte d’Azur, the green hills of Grasse are a rejuvenating haven. This Shiseido Spa is housed at the Hôtel Le Mas Candille in the medieval village of Mougins, 10 minutes from Cannes – and it brings the latest Japanese-inspired anti-ageing treats to brighten skin and undo the sins of sun worship. Indeed, as you cross the spa’s ornamental bridge you can feel your frown unfurrow. All the treatments use the Qi method: a traditional Oriental philosophy that aims to restore the vital energy that runs through the body. The Future Solution LX Facial Ceremony, which uses ingredients ranging from pearl to green tea and star fruit, involves a number of delicate steps, from exfoliation to light steaming with Oshibori hot towels and a firming face massage. And there’s the excellent Shiseido boutique, which sells hard-to-find specialist anti-ageing creams and Serge Lutens fragrances.

Picture courtesy of Le Mas Candille/Facebook

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.

Puente Romano

Marbella, Spain

A 10 minute tender ride from Puerto Banús harbour, Puente Romano is a palm-fringed oasis set in gardens brimming with orange trees, open cabanas and swings that gently rock to the rhythm of the ocean. Treatments at its Six Senses Spa have a wonderfully Mediterranean flavour thanks to the Organic Pharmacy’s uplifting orange blossom therapies, while the spa itself exudes typical Andalucian charm with its hand-painted tiles and natural stone and timber.

The focal point here is the splendid wet area, where you can relax in the perfectly ergonomic loungers, your privacy assured by waterfalls running down the big windows and a strict limit on numbers. For more intense beautifying, the Olive Oil and Sea Salt Treatment is perfect for softening parched skin. Come back later for an Indian head massage and you’ll ooze out the door. There’s a cluster of fine dining options around the hacienda-style courtyard; don’t miss chef Dani García’s, which has two Michelin stars.

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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