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Spa-ing Caribbean style

Jan 16, 2008
Easily reached by air within a few hours of most U.S. cities, the Caribbean is more like another world with its azure waters, white sand beaches, and lush vegetation. It's here that visitors come to truly escape from it all. Offering many types of refuge, today's Caribbean resort spas provide guests with everything from recovery from a heady night scene in San Juan to the ultimate escape - a few days on a nearly uninhabited island. With this in mind, Spa Finder highlights some of the Caribbean's "spa-musts" to add to your list.

Largely untouched by tourism and commercialism, Anguilla is a new kid on the block for many visitors. Opting for smaller luxury hotels and villas in place of mega-resorts and casinos, the island nation is a self-governing British nation known for its more than 30 untouched, white-sand beaches. On the southwest coast, Cap Juluca Spa features 79 luxury accommodations along its private beach. Spa-goers come for the resort's Mind, Body, Spirit Weeks and Dance for Joy programs. Guests also enjoy the convenience of booking spa treatments in the privacy of their rooms. While guests enjoy the resort's remote location, they can easily enjoy the shops, restaurants, and nightlife of St. Martin - only a 15-minute boat ride away.

With pleasant trade winds and a constant year-round temperature of 82 degrees, Aruba features unique Dutch colonial architecture and a thriving nightlife. Just 15 miles north of Venezuela, Aruba has two neighboring islands, Bonaire and Curacao. The three islands are often referred to as the ABC Islands. As the island lies outside the hurricane zone, visitors are able to plan their trips to Aruba all year long. Surrounded by fragrant gardens, lagoons and waterfalls, the 14-acre Radisson Aruba Resort & Casino is an ideal choice for spa seekers. Guests can take in views of the ocean from a private balcony, included in all accommodations. The oceanfront Larimar Spa assists guests in balancing body and mind. A selection of services, including therapeutic and integrated massages are offered in the 13,000-square-foot facility.

More laid back than the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands has kept tourism at bay by decreeing that no building can be higher than the surrounding palm trees and offers no direct flights to the U.S. mainland. Those who do make it to the B.V.I., however, are not disappointed. Hotels and resorts are spaced out, providing guests with the feeling of possessing an entire tropical island to themselves. Here, Peter Island Resort combines a balance of rejuvenation and energizing activity. Located on the fifth largest of the British Virgin Islands, the resort only welcomes 116 guests at a time where they can enjoy five beaches, including one that is reserved for use by one couple at a time. From scuba diving and island parties to luxurious accommodations and stunning scenery, guests re-energize while still having fun.

Dramatic landscapes mark the island of St. Lucia, with its twin volcanic peaks and rugged coastline. The island's northern part is home to the most population, which also contain most of St. Lucia's resorts. On the south side of the island are charming banana plantations and more than 19,000 acres of rainforest. Arranged around its own white beach and sparkling bay, LeSPORT looks like a charming village with its two-story white terraced guest buildings, cabanas, and spa pavilions. Guests indulge in mineral-essential seaweed body scrubs and facials, followed by an array of sports activities, while couples may learn how to massage each other during the Honeymoon Massage.

The Turks and Caicos, while off the beaten path, is a British colony that is home to the third largest coral reef system in the world and 200 miles of beaches. Made up of 40 islands, Grand Turk is the capital, and it is here that Christopher Columbus is said to have first made landfall on one of its beaches. Whale and dolphin watching are both popular pastimes. At Parrot Cay, the hilltop COMO Shambala Spa offers Eastern-inspired therapies and recently added a 6,600-square-foot extension. Fitness is a strong element to the spa's program, and includes a Pilates studio and yoga retreats. The spa is a popular choice for celebrities who seek a low-key getaway.
About the Author
Geologix Inc. manufactures products using a proprietary formula featuring 34 natural minerals contained in the ancient sea water from the famous Michigan Basin -- a concentration of minerals higher than that found in any known body of water in the world. Mineral Essentials focuses on spa, skin care, and massage products to moisturize and provide anti-aging protection for great skin. Mineral Essentials, and Acheaway
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