Any spa worth its artisan bath salt is soothing and pretty. But some go beyond trickling fountains and plush robes. These design masterpieces beckon you to unwind while mesmerizing you with their architecture and decor. We've rounded up seven spas that will wow you visually while you get your pores detoxified and your muscles pummeled.

Kronenhof Spa, Switzerland

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The spa at the legendary Kronenhof Hotel is a sight for sore eyes and a treat for sore muscles after a long day of skiing or snowboarding. Covering 2,000 square meters, this wellness oasis counts among its features a pool with multiple jets and a waterfall to gently massage your body. There are several saunas, a relaxation room with a fireplace and a grotto you can float in as you listen to underwater music. Don't forget to glimpse (or full-on gaze) out the floor-to-ceiling glass windows at the snowcapped Alps.

7504 Pontresina, St. Moritz, Schweiz, Switzerland. +41 81 830 30 30; 
kronenhof.com

 

La Mamounia, Morocco

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There are few spas more photogenic than the one at La Mamounia, with its coppery red, ocher and deep blue tiles; tall, ornate pillars; and brass chandeliers. Whether you’re indulging in a traditional hammam experience, scrubbing your body with rhassoul clay, enjoying a massage or having your hair styled for an event, you’re in good hands at this haven. 

Ave. Bab Jdid, 40 040 Marrakech, Morocco. +212 5243-88600; 
mamounia.com

 

The Spa at Twelve Apostles Hotel, South Africa

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This spa is a showstopper both indoors and out. Release your tensions by drifting in a saltwater floating pool — your jetlag will lift, as a 20-minute floating session is said to refresh you like a two-hour nap. If you’re traveling with a special someone, definitely get the couples massage in the mountain gazebo overlooking the ocean. It will be one side-by-side experience you'll never forget. 

Victoria Rd., Camps Bay, 8005 Cape Town, South Africa. +27 21 4379000; 
12apostleshotel.com

 

Auriga Spa at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, St. Lucia

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This spa is an indoor-outdoor refuge nestled among tropical foliage. Try a St. Lucian treatment that draws on the island’s diverse cultural influences, like the Panse Body Exfoliation. During the 90-minute treatment you'll be covered in fine natural ingredients such as sea salt, palm husk, farine, sea moss, nutmeg and honey. You'll leave with glowing, soft and nourished skin. 

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia. +1 758 458 5300; 
capellahotels.com

 

Grotta Giusti, Italy

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There are many beautiful spas around the world, but how many of them exist in Europe's largest thermal cave complete with stalactites, stalagmites, tunnels and a pond of hot water? Better yet, how many also feature scuba diving? There’s only one place that can claim this cool feature: Grotta Giusti in Tuscany. If you’re not in the mood to dive, you can just chill and let the cave's warm steam work its healing magic on you. 

Via Grotta Giusti 1411, 51015 Monsummano Terme (PT), Italy. +39 0572 90771; 
grottagiustispa.com

 

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, Japan

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To call Tokyo bustling would be an understatement, but when you ascend 37 floors to the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, total serenity awaits. Experience a traditional deep-soak bathing ritual to unplug, float and breathe in therapeutic scents. A luxe Oriental Harmony massage/scrub is guaranteed to relieve those urban-tourist tensions as you take in the spectacular skyline in total peace. 

2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8328, Japan. +81 3-3270-8300; 
mandarinoriental.com

 

Bearth Spa at El Mangroove, Costa Rica

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The tree-topped boho-chic spa suites at El Mangroove are made for laid-back (or aspiring-to-be-laid-back) nature lovers who want alfresco massages on wooden decks hovering above rustling green grasses. Loosen tight muscles with the Volcanic Soothing hot-stone massage, which increases circulation and relaxation. You’ll be walking on air by the time you leave. 

Papagayo Bay, Guanacaste, 50503, Costa Rica. +506 2105 7575; 
elmangroove.net


By Rana Good

Rana Good is a writer and editor who hails from Switzerland but calls New York home. She's on a quest to scour the world for the best eats, sites and experiences and share them with you. Whether she's traversing the wilderness of Mongolia or swimming with sharks in Bora Bora, she's happiest when she's discovering a new place.