Luxury Residences Combine With Decadence to Take Relaxation to a Whole New Level
by Elizabeth Fontaine
In the past, the words “tropical paradise” elicited visions of sea breezes rustling the palm trees along ivory white sand shorelines and pastel-blue waters, sailboats cruising by. Now, for most people, it still includes all of that…for many it includes a massage table on a beach or pier. Couple this with hours of relaxation and self-indulgent quiet time spent in a beautiful spa environment while undergoing soul-renewing treatments is heaven on earth. For many, a place can simply no longer be called paradise without easy access to top-notch spa services.
Still, having to choose between a day at the beach or a day at the spa can be a difficult thing to do. On one hand, a tropical paradise calls to your soul with clear waters and warm sun. On the other, being massaged and pampered is among the most pleasant and relaxing experiences you can have. The good news? That choice may be a thing of the past. A new trend in residential and resort developments means the dream of owning a tropical home often comes with the perk of an on-site spa, providing an escape and sanctuary right where you live.
As developers in places like Latin America and the Caribbean strive to meet the needs and desires of their owners and potential owners, the menu of amenities found at luxury second and vacation home communities constantly improves, and the bar is raised ever-higher with creative new offerings. It’s now almost the norm to see world-class climate-controlled wine cellars, gourmet cooking classes, over-the-top fitness centers and experiential offerings catering to the growing population of active, fit baby boomers.
Spas are becoming a new standard amenity in many resort developments and residences-to the extent that they are practically a requirement for an entire tier of buyers today. People seeking health benefits and relaxation use treatments to release stress and negative energy, while others take advantage of rich indigenous mud or rainforest ingredients to purify the body and soul. Spa treatments have become weekly or monthly routines for many boomers and now often include couples experiences, holistic approaches and other cutting edge treatments as well as special diet regimens for a generation intent on living longer, healthier lives. Below, as part of Luxury Living International’s “Best of Paradise” series, our editors have compiled a list of luxury communities in the tropics with world-class spas and spa services to match. Relax and enjoy.
The Four Seasons at Peninsual Papagayo
Unspoiled beaches and lush rain forests envelope the Four Seasons Resort at Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica. This pristine natural setting is perfect for the environmentally conscious spa-seeker. The spa offers patrons stunning views of the Pacific and treatments that incorporate indigenous resources, including use of mineral-rich rainforest muds in facials and massage. Organic Costa Rican coffee is featured in a scrub of freshly ground coffee beans and rich natural oils, increasing circulation and reducing the appearance of cellulite. To soothe the discomfort of sunburns, white European lily and green tea team up for a calming effect on the delicate skin of the face and neck. Twenty-two unique treatment rooms-nearly the same number as the amount of secluded beaches surrounding Peninsula Papagayo-cater to the list of comprehensive services. The impressive two and three-bedroom residences at this luxury resort feature natural decor and ocean views capturing the soothing environment, while locally-harvested wood finishes accent the interiors. www.fourseasons.com
JW Marriott Guanacaste, Hacienda Pinilla, Costa Rica
Another Costa Rican coastal gem is Hacienda Pinilla, just south of the surf town of Tamarindo. Many of the five-star JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort’s services are available to real estate owners of Hacienda Pinilla, including the spa. The JW Marriot spa provides open-air palapa treatments, plunge pools and calming gardens to give it a feel of rustic Latin luxury. An extensive spa menu is available, including a signature Aromatherapy Raindrop Ritual, a blend of massage techniques, Tibetan Reflexology and eight essential oils. The entire community is being developed in sustainable harmony with the natural surroundings and is designated as one of Central America’s only Audubon-approved developments. Mountains, beaches, lakes and rivers nestle up to one another in this diverse coastal community, which also includes a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course. Care to become a frequent spa guest? Choose from beachfront lots, custom homes, and large villas located on 4,500 acres and over three miles of secluded Costa Rican coastline. www.marriott.com
Cabo Spa at Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The awarding-winning Cabo Spa at Esperanza in Cabo San Lucas is a celebration of stunning local beauty. Named the number one spa in Latin America by Travel & Leisuremagazine, the Cabo Spa specializes in water therapies. Their unique “water passage” treatment transitions between hot and cold waters, while steam caves and soaking pools provide purification and relaxation. Fresh fruits, minerals and herbs are prepared daily for rejuvenating treatments for the face and body. A large private soaking pool and sunbathing area is available for post-treatment relaxation. Papaya, mango, sea greens and hibiscus are some of the indigenous ingredients utilized in treatments. Full and fractional ownership real estate opportunities are available here, and include customized meals from the chef, priority seating at the restaurants and intuitive personal services, making this a superb way for buyers to take advantage of one of Mexico’s finest luxury resorts and real estate offerings. The refined residences honor their location, paying homage to regional culture by incorporating Mexican sculpture and art in the interiors. Fully furnished whole-ownership residences start from $1.6 million. www.esperanzaresort.com
The Estate at Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos
The Estate at Grace Bay Club in Turks and Caicos has something for everyone as far as residences. Options range from the 800-square-foot Junior Residence to the 7,000-square-foot penthouse. The collection of custom-designed villas are on the oceanfront on beautiful Grace Bay. Fabulous resort amenities include the world famous Infinity Bar, yoga and fitness center, and poolside daybeds with personal concierge. The Anani Spa specializes in Euro-Asian treatments and includes six luxury treatment rooms and al fresco showers. Additionally, two permanent full-service Anani Spa Tents are available for single or couple beachside treatments. www.gracebayclub.com
Tucker’s Point Club, Bermuda
The newly opened Tucker’s Point Club is Bermuda’s premiere destination for an indulgent spa residence. Paying tribute to the golden age of British tourism in the 30’s, the residences are elegantly styled in vintage British decor. The Spa Center’s treatments incorporate ingredients from surrounding natural resources, utilizing ocean minerals, tropical plants and honeys harvested on resort grounds. Invigorating fitness programs of Tai Chi and yoga are available in open air courts, while hydrotherapy suites feature the SilverTag shower with 18 strategically placed shower heads to shoot water of varying temperatures and pressures. For an absolute indulgence, take advantage of the popular Pre-Suntan Salt Treatment before heading to the beach. This exfoliating massage incorporates sea salt and natural oils followed by a light sunscreen. Chocolate and wine therapies maximize the benefits of these naturally occurring antioxidants. If you’re considering buying real estate in legendary Bermuda, Tucker’s Point offers a variety of choices. Residences follow traditional Bermuda decor, and Estate Homes begin near $3.2 million, while luxury fractionals begin at Tuckers Point Residence Club begin at $355,000 consist of one, two and three bedroom villas overlooking the Atlantic. www.tuckerspointhotelandspa.com
The Apuane Spa at The Four Seasons Punta Mita, Puerto Vallarta
The private villas at the Four Seasons Punta Mita, north of Puerto Vallarta, are the pinnacle of luxury in the area and offer their own unique brand of spa experiences for homeowners. Residences in this prestigious resort community boast infinity plunge pools, spacious terraces and gourmet kitchens that reflect the quality and attention to detail one expects from Four Seasons. Villas are ideal for those in the market for a second home that offers up five-star services on Mexico’s magnificent Pacific Coast. Click to View Related Video The resort hosts seven dining options, as well as the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Four Seasons chefs custom-cater so that private villa dining can be accommodated. The Apuane Spa is perfect for couples looking to rejuvenate and relax. Private spa suites complete with a jacuzzi, champagne and chocolate service is ideal for an intimate getaway and sun-drenched steam room and a private outdoor terrace are the perfect combination for tranquility. Cactus pulp and tequila massages are popular choices, and there are plenty of outdoor private enclaves utilized for massages and treatments. residences.fourseasons.com
Silver Rain Spa, The Residences at Grand Cayman, A Ritz-Carlton Property
The Residences at Grand Cayman capture the five-star standard of living expected from the Ritz-Carlton. Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa, incorporates Swiss heritage into the tropical surroundings resulting in treatments unique to the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman location. Known for their hydrotherapies and cellular anti-aging formulas, the Silver Rain Spa offers an extensive menu of indulgent treatments. It goes without saying that owning real estate in Grand Cayman-or anywhere, for that matter-is improved by association with Ritz Carlton, and a variety of ownership opportunities exist at The Residences at Grand Cayman, starting with 69 oceanfront homes. Situated in the middle of Seven Mile Beach, luxury residences are priced from $3 million, with floor plans ranging from two- to seven- bedrooms. In addition, The Deck Houses are a unique offering, combining the seclusion of private island living with the convenience of luxury automobiles, boats and furnishings found nowhere else in the Caribbean. A private boathouse, guest cottage, beach, infinity pool, golf cart, antique-style motorboat and luxury automobile are all located on an exclusive private island nestled into the resort property. www.residences-cayman.com
Viceroy Spa, Anguilla
Anguilla joins this list via the Viceroy Anguilla, which offers up its own unique take on spa practices, designed to provide a thorough, full-being rejuvenation. The spa occupies a two-story space with dramatic waterfront views, with custom offerings that create an increased awareness of holistic well-being. Lifestyle classes in healthy cooking and meditation enrich the spirit beyond life on the island. At the Viceroy Spa there is a focus on personal transformation to achieve an optimal state of health and balance, and their philosophy links the spa with the cutting-edge fitness center. Yoga and Pilates studios, lap pools, jogging paths and mountain bikes are available for pursuing fitness goals in the Caribbean sunshine. Ownership at the Viceroy Anguilla combines refined island living with an unexpected array of amenities. Condos, villas and resort residences designed by Kelly Wearstler feature truly chic and sophisticated interiors. The villas’ modern architecture challenges the traditional notion of island chic with state-of-the-art design and polished style. Amenities found in beachfront town homes and villas may include complete outdoor kitchens, dining areas and soaking tubs, while rain-head showers and modern fixtures elevate the bathrooms to an exceptional level of elegance. www.viceroyanguilla.com
Sense, a Rosewood Spa, Jumby Bay, Antigua
Antigua’s Jumby Bay debuts Sense, a Rosewood Spa, in November. While it may seem optimistic to include a spa that is just now opening, we are confident this one will offer a remarkable experience due to the track record of the brand: Sense will become the sixth “Sense” Spa in the Rosewood collection. Stone entryways and terra cotta roofs will mimic the historical sugar mill ruins throughout the island. The open-air spa will use local ingredients for maximum freshness and potency. Located just steps from the white sand beach, Sense will also feature lush tropical gardens and relaxation terraces to maximize the serene seaside experience. Resident offerings include beachfront villas and estate homes that are brilliantly designed and furnished, creating residences that radiate Caribbean glamour with sophisticated interiors and furnishings. Private infinity pools and beachfront locations combine with the world class Jumby Bay Resort amenities to make these residences prime Antigua real estate. www.jumbybayresort.com
Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
St. Lucia is one of the most desirable destinations in the Caribbean, due to its stunning natural beauty and year-round perfect temperatures. What better way to luxuriate in this environment than to take in a spa experience. Discovery Resort’s Lapli Spa therapists are all E’Spa trained and feature the E’Spa treatments and techniques. A full range of treatments are available using local fare such as bananas, coffee, honey, papaya, cactus and sea moss. Open-air showers screened with tropical flowers are available in three of the four treatments rooms. In addition, large wooden soaking tubs and massage cabanas are located in the feng-shui and Zen themed garden to maximize relaxation. The Apartments at the Discovery Resort in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, are located in the Marina Village, a bustling center of shops, bakeries and restaurants. The luxury apartments look out over Marigot Bay, regarded as one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, making them a nice way to own St. Lucia property while capitalizing on the amenities offered at Discovery Resort’s Lapli Spa. www.marigotbay.com
Owning a tropical home should provide a tranquil oasis to escape the stresses of everyday life. Owning a spa residence provides unparalleled access to a lifetime of relaxation and rejuvenation. Waking up to the sound of waves gently lapping at the beach and walking barefoot to a stress-relieving massage is the perfect way to clear the mind and renew the spirit. The beauty and comfort of these spa residences provides the ultimate tropical getaway, and for those interested in a more permanent vacation, each offers a means to own Caribbean or Latin American real estate…so you can extend your stay for a lifetime.