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Travel

7 incredible spas for a total body reboot

Anantara Peace Haven, Sri Lanka

In need of a complete overhaul? From ultra-relaxing to ultra-intensive, these luxury spas will get you in peak condition for vacation season

Lifestyle

ANANTARA PEACE HAVEN Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Learning to empty the mind is the end goal of Anantara’s new Ayurvedic Detox Program, which includes luxe accommodation and 10 spa treatments per stay. After your first consultation with the resident Ayurvedic doctor, you’ll embark on a week of daily journaling, painting lessons, yoga, guided meditation, a personalized dosha analysis and nightly tech blackouts. Takeaway sleep and nutritional tips are gleaned from the daily life-coaching sessions. The surreal seaside setting is a natural arcadia, where peacocks preside while you prepare your pitta for return to city life. Programs available all year

BEST OF BOTH
Bask in the resort’s total tranquility or explore the island’s tropical jungle and surf spots from Anantara
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SVATMA Tamil Nadu, India

Rather than the traditional 21-day Ayurvedic practice of Panchakarma, Svatma’s eight-day siddha program is a short but powerful detox, while also offering an immersive cultural experience into this temple-rich region. Every spiritual practice is catered for, from hatha yoga and meditation on tap, to chanting practices with a Vedanta priest, sessions with a naturopathic doctor and even astrology readings. You’ll follow a strict diet of fruit and vegetarian thalis for lunch then soup and salad for dinners, which can feel somewhat tiresome after a few days. But when combined with the twice-daily detox treatments, including hot oil massages, fresh herb scrubs and floral baths, it all becomes a little less painful. Programs available all year; book through Ampersand

BREATHE DEEPLY
Svatma’s peaceful resort comprises an Ayurvedic spa, a fully equipped gym, yoga center and pool

LA RÉSERVE Ramatuelle, France

La Reserve’s three- or six-day Nescens Bootcamp begins with a consultation, weigh-in and medical check-up, covering everything from eating habits to joint health. Mornings are spent ‘awakening muscles’ with Pilates-style stretch sessions, but the daily hikes along the picture-perfect coastline, cliffs and rugged rocks are the real challenge to your fitness levels. Each hike varies from two to three hours using Nordic poles to help condition the entire body; expect to walk roughly 10km and burn from 700 to 1,000 calories each time. After a strenuous day, wind down in the sublime La Réserve Spa – up to four treatments a day are included in your program. Open from April to October; program dates on request

LIGHT RELIEF
Choose from treatments such as balneotherapy, body wraps and the signature ‘Better-Aging’ massages in the La Réserve Spa

COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE Ubud, Bali

The allure of Como Shambhala Estate is that everything is made to feel like a gift – from the perfectly presented banana leaf wraps in the picnic hampers and the fresh ginger tea that is left by your elbow after a therapy session, to the idyllic location itself, outside the fabled artistic commune of Ubud. Health packages include time with Nancy Kim, an Oriental medicine consultant who specializes in acupuncture, massage and personalized nutrition, and life-affirming yoga sessions in the jungle pavilion with resident yogi Budi. After a week you’ll feel transformed, inside and out. Programs available all year

LIFECO Bodrum, Turkey

This modest residence of 30 rooms has a heavyweight celebrity presence (Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell are among its loyal visitors) who come for the results-driven fasts that aim to help you lose up to 5kg in a week. LifeCo offers the same medical backup as a traditional European medispa, with diagnostics, nutritionists, specialists and targeted treatments, but in a more relaxed environment. The fasts range from gentle (delicious raw vegan meals) to brutal (alkaline water only) , but most people choose the Master Detox Program, which consists of four shakes and two wheatgrass juices a day. There is a menu of activities to help fill your time, from yoga and Zumba to nutrition lectures and film screenings, and staff are on hand to see you through the worst stages of cold turkey. Programs available all year

SEA CHANGE
The intimate LifeCo retreat has its own expansive private beach

VIVAMAYR MARIA WÖRTH Lake Wörthersee, Austria

This year, the famous Vivamayr route to healing and health (involving semi-fasting to rest the digestion, retraining of harmful eating habits, therapeutic medical massages and system-cleansing with Epsom salts) celebrates its 15th anniversary on the shores of Lake Wörthersee. Inside the modern mansion retreat you’ll find sunlit balconied suites, an indoor pool, a garden sauna and an array of wet rooms to induce a heathy sweat, after which you can plunge into the freshwater lake to lower your body temperature. The most recent addition to the treatment menu is Emotional Detoxification with Claudia Kohla – mental health being a key component in the holistic approach to shedding stress. But even a walk through the surrounding woodland, early morning yoga on the pontoon or a cycle around the waterfront will help shift years of accumulated tension in body and mind. Reopens from Jan 6; program dates on request

MOUNTAIN AIR
The breathtaking surroundings and medical-backed wellness programs are the big draw at VivaMayr Altaussee

BUCHINGER WILHELMI Überlingen, Germany

At Buchinger Wilhelmi, intermittent fasting is the mainstay. Leaving aside the clinic’s cutting-edge diagnostics and its vast repertoire of holistic therapies, resisting food in a controlled environment creates a chain reaction of chemical and psychological effects on the body, which makes expert supervision essential. The support network of medical staff versed in the practice of fasting remains the foundation upon which Buchinger, on the picturesque shores of Lake Constance, has built its reputation over the 50 years since Dr Otto Buchinger developed the cure to fight his own battle with rheumatoid arthritis. Programs available all year

PICTURE OF HEALTH
The tranquil Lake Constance offers a serene setting for Buchinger Wilhelmi’s intensive programs