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Because you can't spend all day every day journeying around IgoUgo, editors round up the highlights: members' notable trips, newest reviews, favorite destinations, contests, and more. Have a question or idea? Let us know!

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6 Genuinely Unique Spa Travel Tips - Forget the Fish Pedis

6 Genuinely Unique Spa Travel Tips - Forget the Fish Pedis Photo

Photo by IgoUgo Staff

Posted on November 12, 2012 in Spa

If you pay attention to all the usual spa news you’d be forgiven for thinking that fish pedis and dung beetle facials are all the rage as the “latest” body and wellness treatments.

Well, nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re looking for genuinely unique (and maybe wacky?) spa travel experiences, forget the usual fads and look out for these instead. Just remember to bring your credit card.

Born Again at Casa Magna Marriott

What could be more rejuvenating than being reborn? The Rebirth treatment, which is offered at the Ohtli Spa in the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta luxury resort, promises to utilize the healing power of water to mimic the therapeutic conditions inside the womb.

I guess it’s perfect for those of us who need a reboot to life itself.

The treatment starts in a pool with the water perfectly warmed to aid meditative focus. The therapist (midwife?) guides you through rhythmic movements to relax your mind and body and bring you into a meditative state which allows your tension and stress to be released, presumably into the amniotic fluid.

The treatment promises to refresh and rejuvenate and leave you feeling younger and revitalized. The spa recommends multiple treatments, but at $140 a session, it’s going to get pricey!

Get Stone Age in a Cave Spa in the Austrian Alps

In Austria they have an entirely different take on the best setting for a spa. The cave spas (“Healing Caves”) in Bad Hofgastein, a high-end ski and spa resort in the Austrian Alps, feature sauna-like temperatures to treat aching joints - perhaps after a day skiing in the surrounding mountains.

Healing Caves Bad Hofgastein
Healing Caves Bad Hofgastein

To reach the caves, guests actually ride into the heart of the mountain on a specially-built mine train, which clearly adds to the excitement. The caves are co-ed, so bathing suits are required. Note: claustrophobic people need not make an appointment here.

Reiki Healing Energy at Harbor Beach Marriott

Okay I call this one "unique" since the whole point is to not be touched by the therapist. Usually some contact is good for a spa treatment, but sometimes less is better.

Harbor Beach Marriott
Harbor Beach Marriott

Hailing from the mountains of Tibet to the private beaches of Fort Lauderdale, the spa at Harbor Beach Marriott offers Reiki treatments based on ancient healing techniques that use very subtle, light body contact in an attempt to channel life force energy and create a positive change in your mental and physical well-being.

Harbor Beach Marriott
Harbor Beach Marriott

Sometimes the touch is so light that you are not certain if the treatment is still in session, but trust me – all that energy afterwards didn’t come from a 5 Hour Energy shot.

Aquabella Circuit Treatment at Westin Playa Bonita

Back to the water we go, but this time for the amazing Clarins treatment called Aquabella, a hydrothermal wellness circuit offered at the luxurious Westin Playa Bonita in Panama.

Aquabella Treatment Room_Westin Playa Bonita
Aquabella Treatment Room at Westin Playa Bonita

By merging holistic therapy with advanced technology, the treatment promises to stimulate your circulation via a sequence of treatment chambers, each one delivering either a hot or cold hydrotherapy treatment.

Aquabella Spa - Westin Playa Bonita
Aquabella Spa - Westin Playa Bonita

They can be enjoyed in any order you please, but each has its own place in your personalized therapy so be sure to request advice on your ideal sequence. Up first is the “rain dance experience shower” for cleansing before moving on to the vitality pools. A good sweat in the herbal sauna will boost your blood circulation before the skin gets hydrated in the “amethyst crystal steam room.”

A first for me was the “pediluvio stream,” where round river stones massage your tootsies. The last stop is a lounge in the relaxation area.

Temazcal Sweat Lodge at Viceroy Rivera Maya

The end of the Maya calendar (and the world?) is just around the corner, so what better way to spend it than experiencing a purification ritual in a traditional Temazcal Sweat Lodge at the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

Above we were reborn, but now it is time to return to Mother Nature’s womb. This treatment is revered as a sacred act and must be performed by a Shaman. The ritual is said to allow us the opportunity to free ourselves from unnecessary emotional baggage and give us the ability to live in only the present.

These are some genuinely unique spa treatments for you to try, but if you are also looking for some unusual companionship maybe these monkeys would be willing to join you!

Ava_Roxanne_Stritt
Ava Roxanne Stritt

Ava Roxanne Stritt
Ava is a travel writer and editor of the blog Spa Travel Gal. She believes that travel, spa and skincare experiences are not a luxury, but essential to a healthy body and mind. If her family needs to find her they just call the local luxury spa.
A renowned expert in spa and luxury travel, Ava is featured in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Spa Week, Fox News, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, among many other publications.

You can follow Ava on Twitter, Facebook and Google+


Comment by fuskiegirl21 on November 12, 2012

I have stayed here CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta. It is awesome! The lobby is indoor/outdoor and the pool is an infinity pool with views of the mountains surrounding you.

Ava Roxanne

Comment by Ava Roxanne on December 9, 2012

So glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Mountains near the coast are magical to view!

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