Spring Spa Bliss in the Caribbean

by  Donna Heiderstadt | Apr 28, 2010
Jade Mountain spa
Jade Mountain spa / Photo courtesy of the property

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You have to love the Caribbean in May and early June—families on spring break have packed up and gone home, resort prices have dropped and the weather is still fabulous. That makes it an ideal time for a spa-centric couples retreat. Here are four of my favorite, and uniquely indulgent, spots to relax:

British Virgin Islands If aquamarine is your favorite color and you feel at ease on the sea (transport to most resorts is by boat), these breezy isles just 30 minutes by air from San Juan make an ideal playground. The place for pampering is pretty Virgin Gorda, where you can check into Rosewood Little Dix Bay, a tranquil 500-acre oasis that carries on the nature-and-nurture vision of its founder, conservationist Laurance S. Rockefeller. Sprawled along a half-mile crescent beach, the 100 rooms and suites (my pick: an upstairs Rosewood Junior Suite for the perfect mix of view and privacy) retain their circa-1964 casual-elegant vibe but with all the modern amenities. Before you arrive, book a series of treatments—the 60-minute Couples Seaside Sedation massage is a great way to relax after your flight—at cliff-side Sense, A Rosewood Spa. There, you can spend hours sunning at the infinity pool as you enjoy the panoramic view. Come dinnertime, enjoy a private torch-lit beach dinner or book a table at the resort’s romantic Sugar Mill with its eclectic pan-Asian-European fusion menu. Five-night “Best of LDB” package includes accommodations, transfers, daily breakfast, three dinners, a private picnic lunch and four spa treatments, from $4,500.

Grand Cayman Nothing could be easier than an escape to the largest of the Cayman Islands, located just an hour by air from Miami. This peaceful isle’s showstoppers are its remarkably clear blue water and its sublime, white-sand Seven Mile Beach. Located front and center in that sand is The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, a 365-room luxury resort with the island’s most surreal spa sanctuary: the Switzerland-inspired Silver Rain, a La Prairie Spa, where the shimmering white and blue décor take a sexy, wintry turn that’s a soothing contrast to the hot Caribbean sun. The focal point is the serene Silver Haven relaxation area, where the two of you can lounge on a fluffy daybed surrounded by billowing curtains after a couples massage. Resort dining is also a treat, ranging from chef Eric Ripert’s seafood emporium Blue to sushi bar Taikun. Reconnect Packages start at $399 per night, including accommodation, breakfast and a $100 daily voucher that can be used at Silver Rain.

St. Barths If you feel you deserve a splurge, there’s no better spot than this très French little isle. Barely eight square miles—literally since several of its beaches can be enjoyed au naturel—St. Barths prides itself on being the winter escape of the same see-and-be-seen A-listers who flock to St.-Tropez in the summer. Right now, it’s affordable for escapist types who enjoy fine food, fabulous wine and sensuous spa treatments. You’ll find all three at 16-acre Hotel  & Spa, the island’s only full-scale resort, featuring 68 rooms and suites in colorful Creole-style cottages, two tennis courts and the sophisticated Guanahani Spa by Clarins. Book the 90-minute Couples Relaxing Massage, then sun by the secluded spa pool before enjoying a romantic gourmet tasting menu at Le Bartolomeo by chef Philippe Masseglia. Five-night St. Barts Spree Package, from 3,345 euro—with a special summer package promo of $1 = 1 euro—including accommodations, breakfast daily, lunch or dinner daily, five-day car rental and two Clarins spa treatments, excluding massages.

St. Lucia With its soaring emerald peaks and serene sapphire coves, this is perhaps the Caribbean’s most visually striking island. And its most visually striking resort is without a doubt Jade Mountain, an architectural wonder of 24 sumptuous “Sanctuaries,” where there’s nothing between you and the view from your bed, bath and private infinity pool—literally since there is no fourth wall. Sanctuary is an apt name since you never have to leave: Simply dial in for 24/7 room service and as many spa treatments as you desire. My pick? The ultra-romantic “Alchemy of Two,” which is an aromatherapy bath for two featuring rose petals, Champagne, chocolate, fruit and sexy love poems followed by side-by-side massages with chakra-harmonizing Vibrational Tantra Oil. Five-night Total Romance Package from $6,524, including accommodations, transfers, all meals, drinks, guided island excursions, scuba lessons or dives, half-day yacht sail, one-hour massage for two and more.

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