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Healthy hols

January 27, 2004
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Spas are booming and no new hotel is complete without one. Celebs from Naomi Campbell to Jennifer Lopez have taken advantage of down time between work sessions to relax, shape up and pamper themselves. In case you fancy a little of the same, here are the fab four currently making waves.

The Banyan Tree, Seychelles

For full-on glamour, the Banyan Tree in the Seychelles is near the top of the luxury league. A host of celebrities has already discovered this pampering paradise of 35 villas scattered around the secluded Intendance Bay on land once owned by Peter Sellers and George Harrison.

If there’s any spa setting more soothing and relaxing, we’d like to know about it. Treatment rooms are open to the sound of waves, and warm Indian Ocean breezes ripple through the lush foliage. Thai women serve herbal tea, smother you with exotic body wraps and massage with strong, expert hands that belie their delicacy. You’ll emerge feeling like a million dollars.

The Blue Palace, Crete

In the past Greece’s largest and most fascinating island has not really been able to boast about its spa facilities. That all changed last summer, however, with the opening of the Blue Palace hotel which sports a 2,000-square-metre thalassotherapy spa that is rapidly gaining global recognition.

The setting, on the beach overlooking the sparkling Bay of Elounda, is glorious; the philosophy is to combine the benefits of seawater treatment(thalassotherapy) with the pampering surroundings of a luxury hotel. At least half the bungalows and suites have their own private infinity pool.

There are nearly 50 wet and dry treatments on offer, ranging from traditional olive oil massage and Indian head massage to cellulite wraps. And if you’re not interested in the treatments, there are plenty of other activities to keep you happy including watersports, snorkelling safaris, sandbar picnics and island-hopping by yacht– and then, of course, there are the five restaurants.

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At the Banyan Tree beachfront villas and the spa pavilion are set among lush tropical gardens
When not taking advantage of the spa facilities guests can enjoy a dip in the wonderful infinity pool
Crete's Blue Palace spa overlooks the sparkling waters of Elounda Bay
It offers a wealth of treatments all based on thalassotherapy

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