Wellness By Lisa Kahan

Take Me to the Water

The curative power of water has been recognized for thousands of years. In 60 A.D., the Romans perfected the art of a warm soak in Bath, England, where they built their famous temple dedicated to the steaming waters that naturally rise from the Somerset countryside. In the late 19th century, fashionable mineral spring resorts drew well-to-do Victorians throughout Europe and America.

Today, a new collection of spas and wellness resorts have brought this ancient practice into the 21st century with expanded menus that combine time-honored traditions with modern techniques. Along with recognized rituals such as soaking pools and saunas, these spas offer treatments that may be new to your vocabulary, such as Vichy showers, Watsu massages and Janzu therapy.

A good place to explore this promising new world is London's Akasha spa at the Hotel Caf? Royal. Boasting the city's first Watsu pool and a specially designed Vichy shower treatment room, Akasha is an international destination for wellness treatments. Patrons rave about the spa's Watsu massage performed in a dedicated pool heated to a balmy 95 degrees.

Janzu, another emerging form of water massage, is known for releasing physical and emotional tension. At the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico, the Kinan Spa's warm water meditation pool was purpose-built for the treatment's fluid, dance-like movements. Guided by a therapist, this massage is less about body manipulation than it is achieving a state of total relaxation.

The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, named the "Best Wellness Hotel in Switzerland" nine years running by the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung, has taken the healing waters of its thermal spring up a notch. Through an exclusive partnership with Altearah(R) Bio, the spa infuses their water therapy treatments with color therapy and aromatherapy to create a holistic approach to health that brings a new sense of lightness, energy and harmony.

Whether you're a traditionalist who favors a good hot soak or a curious adventurer willing to go out on a limb to find the latest and greatest wellness experience, there is no denying the restorative power of water. As Sylvia Plath famously wrote, "There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know many of them."


Healing waters and more-including revitalizing treatments, relaxing massages and a special non-standard wellness amenity awaits you at these Internova SELECT Hotels & Resorts properties.