The word “vacation” conjures up visions of spectacular food, delicious cocktails, exciting activities, and exceptional accommodations. Add a few hours of indulgent pampering at an opulent spa, and I am packed and ready to go. Punta Islita, Autograph Collection; Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo; Nayara Springs Costa Rica; Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos; and Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection all feature the above luxuries and several unique spa therapies.

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Punta Islita, Autograph Collection

The Punta Islita boasts spectacular views of Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline. Perched on the hillside and enveloped in the lush tropical forest near Islita, Guanacaste, personalized service abounds at this uncrowded, boutique-style resort. Although more intimately sized than many resorts in the area, the suites are spacious and well appointed. The seafood-focused dining menus are delicious, and the swim-up bar serves tasty and creative adult beverages. Whether lounging in the sun or taking part in an eco-adventure or cultural experience, there is plenty to do at this ocean paradise.

Therapists at the NANKU Wellbeing Retreat take advantage of the centuries-old healing traditions and practices of the Nicoya people that settled in this blue zone located on the peninsula. Blue zones are renowned for their health properties, and inhabitants typically have lower disease rates and live longer. The Nicoyas were proficient in Thalassotherapy, treatments that induce relaxation and healing using the curative properties of coastal air and seawater.

When visiting NANKU, book the peloid marine massage. It is a delightful experience where the masseuse applies a combination of warm therapeutic mud and algae over the body with long, firm strokes. Afterward the masseuse gently wipes off the mud with wet towels; and a beautiful, blue-tiled tub filled with bubbles, aromatherapy oil and vitamins C and D await you. The staff escalates the experience by leaving a glass of rosé bubbles near the tub to enjoy.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Experience “Pura Vida,” the pure or simple life, at the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo. This luxurious resort rests high on a hillside overlooking an entire spectrum of variegated blues. The resort offers a wide variety of water and land activities, delicious cuisine, tasty libations, and numerous treatments at the opulent spa.

The spa area is an ideal place to unwind. Well-trained instructors lead invigorating yoga classes, and skilled massage therapists work miracles to relieve stress and anxiety from clients. The 60-minute Signature Rainforest Massage features essential oils, relaxing music and each guest’s preferred massage pressure creating a magical experience.

Nayara Springs Costa Rica 

The Nayara Springs lies nestled within a colorful and lush tropical jungle boasting incredible views of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. This adults-only resort is part of part of the exclusive Relais & Châteaux collection of properties and features opulent accommodations, fine dining, wine tasting, spa treatments and up-close and personal sightings of remarkable wildlife.

After a day of adventurous activities, a 30-minute reflexology session at the Nayara Springs spa is a welcome idea. Nestled into a gorgeous pocket of the rainforest, the open-air facility features several therapies using locally grown coffee, chocolate, and volcanic mud. Relax on the table and listen to the sounds of local wildlife while savoring the gentle breezes. Reflexology is so much more than a fabulous foot rub. Gentle pressure is used on various reflex points, releasing tension, and giving new vitality and life to the entire body.

Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos

Situated on a beautiful white sandy beach, the Garza Blanca Resort & Spa lies between the lovely towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo in Mexico. This modern, luxurious, all-inclusive resort offers a variety of spacious suites and residences, delicious cuisine, daily activities, eight exclusive swimming pools, numerous spa indulgences and a hydrotherapy circuit.

Spa Imagine at Garza Blanca highlights stunning ocean views from the ninth floor. The hydrotherapy circuit is one of the most comprehensive in Los Cabos. Begin with a few minutes in the sauna and then a few more in the steam room. Personal chaperones guide clients through timed stays in the vitality pool, cold plunge pool and high-pressure shower. Hydrotherapy is an immersive experience that helps calm the mind and relax muscles, the perfect preparation for a relaxing massage.

All specialized treatments at the spa begin with a foot ritual designed to connect guests with the energy of water, encouraging perfect balance mentally, physically, and emotionally. After a stimulating trip through the circuit and a fabulous foot soak, muscles are well prepared for a deep tissue massage. Therapists at Imagine use deep, long strokes that alleviate stress knots and send guests home physically stress-free.

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

The Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, overlooks the crashing waves of Cabo’s Punta Ballena’s coastline and boasts one of the most beautiful outdoor dining spots in Baja California. This five-star resort offers opulent casitas and suites, haciendas, villas, and oceanfront villas that provide the perfect accommodations for solo travelers, couples, and entire families.

The Spa at Esperanza brings the lush desert into its indoor and outdoor spaces. Enjoy a selection of local fresh fruit beverages, relax in one of the steam caves, stretch out on one of the palapa shaded lounges or replenish your body and soul in one of the hot or cold pools. After entering the spa through its weather-beaten wooden gates, experience paradise. Treatments including the healing powers of local plants take place in private suites. Core-strengthening workouts, detoxifying treatments and deep tissue massages are just a few of the incredible offerings at this resort.

Spoil yourself with a stay at one or all these fine destinations. Each place offers luxurious accommodations, delicious cuisine, and incredible spa options to deliver the ultimate pampered vacation.