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Warming wellness rituals: from hot stones to lava shells

Increasing the temperature of spa treatments by introducing an element of heat therapy works wonders for improving circulation, not to mention taking relaxation levels up a notch. Soothe sore muscles and sweat away any stress with these thermal treatments incorporating volcanic stones, candle wax, heated minerals, and other sizzling samples…

Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, Pinzolo – Italy…There are breathtaking views from the temple-like Lefay SPA – 5,000 square metres of natural wellbeing and innovation, where Eastern and Western influences blend together. Warm yourself up after a day in the Italian Dolomites with the Aromatic Hot Lefay SPA mud, known as Il Potere del Cielo e della Terra, which is rich in oils, clays, sulphates and marillonite, while the mud performs an osmotic detoxifying and antioxidant action.

Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, Mykonos – Greece…The Oqua Spa at this marine chic Mykonos retreat harnesses the energy of the sun-drenched island in an array of warming treatments, including a Healing Stones Massage, Lava Shells Massage, and Candles Massage – the creamy warm candle oil slides over the body, deeply nourishing the skin, while a combination of various massage pressures, stretches and continuous movements, relaxes the muscular system and stimulates the blood microcirculation.

Can Ferrereta, Mallorca – Spain…This converted 17th-century grand house’s version of a bedtime story for grownups comes in the form of the Sa Calma therapy, inspired by the sound of waves lapping on the island’s honey-toned shores. The soothing treatment begins with a White Sand Body Scrub, followed by the Sa Calma Body Massage with Hot Lava Shells, brought to a blissful end with a Soothing Facial Drainage Massage & Hypnotic Scalp Massage.

Keemala, Phuket – Thailand…An air of serenity hangs over this gravity-defying collection of private villas, some of which are suspended in the canopy of the Thai forest. Mala Spa embraces traditional healing approaches to offer a selection of holistic therapies, including the Voya Seaweed Hot Stone Massage – fresh seaweed leaves are warmed and infused with aromatic organic essential oils, then layered over the body, before hot stones are placed on key points around the body – and the Voya Organic Heated Herbal Massage, during which soaked warm bags containing a combination of the finest herbs and seaweeds are gently massaged into the body. Choose between Chamomile (calming), Peppermint (detoxifying), and Fennel (stimulating) for a rejuvenating and exfoliating experience.

Canaves Oia Suites, Santorini – Greece…Take in unrivalled views of the caldera and the volcano from the al fresco treatment rooms that are elegantly carved into the rocks at this clifftop retreat, while experiencing a Candles Massage or Hot Stones Massage using special volcanic stones that are heated in water at high temperatures and then massaged on to the skin, getting deep into the muscles to release tension. It is said that these mythical stones can retain heat for a very long time, but when they become cold quickly, this is where we find blockages within the body.

Tanjong Jara Resort, Dungun – Malaysia…The Tuam Pasir (heated sea sand therapy) is an ancient but effective Malay formulation known for its healing power for strength and vitality. It is an effective treatment for joint pains, severe inflammation and mothers in confinement. Hot sand, fenugreek and blackseeds are heated in a frying pan and placed on a cotton cloth that is made into a pouch. Medicated ointment is then applied onto the affected area before the hot pouch is used as a pressure massage.

Columbia Beach Resort, Limassol – Cyprus…Spend some time at this blissful beachfront spa with award-winning treatments by ELEMIS. The 60-90 minute Deeper Than Deep Hot Stone Massage bathes Balinese stones in ELEMIS Frangipani Monoi Body Oil before working the stones deep into the muscles, eliminating areas of tension and intensely hydrating the skin.

137 Pillars House, Chiang Mai & 137 Pillars Suites, Bangkok – Thailand…The Nitra Serenity Centre at 137 Pillars Hotels & Resorts offers a 90-minute Hot Stone Massage which combines ancient healing wisdom and natural resources in this therapeutic treatment. The smooth volcanic stones are heated and then placed on the trigger points of the body which deeply penetrate the muscles which are then further relaxed with an aroma relaxer massage. This releases tension, improves blood circulation and meridian energy flow.

Hotel Schweizerhof, Zermatt – Switzerland…Fire meets ice at the foot of the mighty Matterhorn where post-piste treatments are housed within four modern chalet-style massage room – to warm ski-weary muscles, opt for the Hot Volcanic Stone Massage.

Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Mykonos – Greece…Named after the Greek goddess of healing, Althea Spa Retreat overlooks the sacred island of Delos, and enjoys one of the sunniest spots in the Cycladic islands. Indulge in a Three Candles Massage within the 8,000 square-foot wellness sanctuary, incorporating the calming properties of the essential oils. As the candle wax melts, it turns into soft aromatic oil that the spa specialists will use with a combination of various massage pressures and continuous movements to eliminate stress and relax the body.

Byblos Art Hotel Villa Amistà, Verona – Italy…Expect statement design throughout this Venetian-style villa, which boasts Anmin Cosmetics as its wellness partner for the ESPACE Byblos Spa, using gold and amber as its main essential minerals. The Hot Stone Massage warms basaltic stones which can slowly release the beneficial effects of the heat, relieving muscle pain and relaxing the body.

Eagles Villas, Halkidiki – Greece...The ELEMIS Hot Mineral Body Boost Energising Massage at this Aegean Sea-facing collection of luxury pool villas stimulates every cell in the body, helping to alleviate muscular pain and remove toxins. The heated minerals act as a catalyst to warm and deeply relax the body, perfectly prepping for the nourishing Amber Balm, while the mind is whisked off to invigorating shores with the aromatic Ocean Spa. Completed by a restorative facial massage, this is a revolutionary minerally-charged experience of skin conditioning, metabolic balancing and energising wellness.

Urso Hotel & Spa, Madrid – Spain…This early 20th-century palace brings the first branded luxury hotel spa to Madrid, offering treatments from prestigious skincare specialists Natura Bissé and Sisley Paris. Relax in one of the three super slick treatments rooms with a Hot Stones Massage – this holistic technique uses heated basalt stones in combination with warm essential oils to release muscular tension.

The Cellars-Hohenort, Cape Town – South Africa…Wrapped in natural beauty, it’s little wonder the Fresh Wellness Spa at this 17th-century manor set within sublime gardens takes its inspiration from the elements. The Hot Stone Full Body Massage which uses warm volcanic pebbles can be customised with your choice of essential oils to treat specific conditions. Similar thermo-therapy treatments are also available at sister properties The Marine and The Plettenberg, along the picturesque Western Cape coastline.

Santorini Secret Suites & Spa, Santorini – Greece…The Caldera Hot Stone Massage at this idyllic Aegean Sea-facing collection of cliff-clinging suites uses hot volcanic stones and plant-derived oils enriched with essential oils for the ultimate relaxation and rebalancing of energy. The targeted movements with hot stones relax the muscles while massaging and the use of oils hydrates and deeply conditions the skin.