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10 spas with breathtaking views

Marilyn Green
June 6, 2012

Usually relaxing involves sitting back with your eyes closed. But you might not want to even blink in these spas, where the view out the window (or from the hot tub, or even your private bungalow) will get your heart racing.

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From the desert of Arizona to a jungle in Belize to the 116th floor of a Hong Kong tower, we've found 10 spas worth traveling to for the view alone. Some even encourage you to come early and sit back in the lounge, taking in views of the city, the ocean, or even the jungle.

Best of all, basic treatments like waxing and manicures at these spas are priced as low as $11. Combine that with a spectacular view, and there will be a lot to say ahhhh about.

Bauers Palladio Hotel & Spa,
Venice, Italy

Venice's most famous landmarks are St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace — and that's exactly what you will see here. The hotel is located on the island of Giudecca (a quick vaporetto ride from the main section of Venice) and the three windows in the spa's lounge look out on the signature view.

Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong

Retreat 1,624 feet above the streets to the 116th floor of The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong's Spa by ESPA. The spa claims to be the highest in the world, and the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase amazing city and harbor views. Treatments include Asian-influenced techniques, like using cooling jade stone rollers to soothe eyes.

La Serena spa at The Reefs Hotel & Club, Southampton, Bermuda

Ocean views are one of the top reasons to travel to Bermuda, and La Serena delivers. The view of the soft pink sand and transparent water are pure Bermuda. Spa guests are even asked to come 30 minutes early to sip herbal tea or fruit-infused water while soaking in the dramatic views of the Atlantic from the floor to ceiling windows of the relaxation room.

Montelucia Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona

Spa-goers at the Joya Spa here have the best views of the dramatically carved and layered Camelback Mountain from the spa's rooftop pool. Lounge and take in the view before or after your treatment. If you want to harness the spiritual traditions of the area, sign up for hypnotherapy, meditation, or Tarot reading. Their list of massages is pretty comprehensive too — choose from cranial-sacral to lymphatic treatments.

Spa by Occo, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Adriatic Sea is on full display on the southern shore of Croatia. Guests here at the Radisson Blue Resort & Spa at Dubrovnik Sun Gardens can turn in all directions to see the different angles of the unspoiled Elafiti islands and the stunning blues of the sea. Take advantage of the panorama from the lagoon pool and the spa garden before exploring the spa's other highlights, including a traditional coal sauna, a hammam, and an aromatherapy steam room.

Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Belize

In the midst of the verdant rainforest of Belize, the Maruba puts you in treatment rooms as natural as the surrounding jungle. Massages, mud wraps, facials, and even manicures are done in thatched roof bungalows, where you can relax amid the scent of the jungle and the views of towering palms and blooming orchids. There is a whole menu of treatments that use the spa's Mood Mud, made from local natural ingredients with potent mineral properties said to do everything from stimulate healing to encourage confidence.

The Spa at Travaasa, Austin, Texas

The ancient oaks and rolling hills in the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve seem to go on forever, at least when you are looking out this spa. The peaceful location also means you will hear the chirping of the endangered songbirds that call the preserve home, including the adorably named Golden Cheeked Warbler and the Black-capped Vireo. The spa is located on 210 acres of serene country landscape, and treatments use natural ingredients like avocado body butter blended with essential oils of lavender, pine, orange, and lemon.

Maluhia Spa, Kapaau, Hawaii

Aromatherapy oils aren't really required at the northern tip of Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast, thanks to the refreshing scent of the surrounding evergreen trees. Beyond the trees is the tropical valley and the crashing ocean. It's no wonder that the Maluhia Spa at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho'omaluhia has glass walls. Enjoy a Reiki or deep tissue massage in one of the bungalows, or try an hour-long Kukui Experience where the body is exfoliated with kukui nut scrub, then massaged with kukui oil.

Carrick Spa, Alexandria, Scotland

Framed by the heather and woods surrounding Loch Lomond, this spa at the Cameron House has spectacular views across the loch to Ben Lomond, especially from the rooftop terrace and infinity pool. Don't worry if there is a very Scottish misty rain falling: you can heat up in the infrared sauna, the Roman-inspired tepidarium, or the aromatherapy steam room.

The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town, South Africa

It's hard to choose which view is better: the rolling ocean or the majestic mountains that give The Twelve Apostles its name. The spa itself is surrounded by the wilderness of Table Mountain National Park, and the ocean sounds usually piped in at spas are actually the waves lapping against the golden sand here. Take your treatment in the shaded open-air mountain gazebos or try Arabic cleansing in the steam of the Rasul Chamber or a Hydrotherapy Capsule Bath.

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