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Healthy hols

January 27, 2004
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Amarvilas, India

Luxury-loving couples will appreciate this hotel where the spa, rooms, foyer, bar and restaurants all enjoy a view of the world’s greatest monument to love: the Taj Mahal. The exquisite mausoleum was built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died bearing their 14th child.

Completed six years ago, Amarvilas is the first truly sumptuous hotel in Agra, in India’s beautiful north. Outside, elaborate pavilions, fountains and ornate gardens are wrapped around a huge swimming pool. Inside, each room is a shrine to luxury with Egyptian cotton sheets, marble bathrooms and impressive touches such as notepads with handmade turquoise silk covers and jewel-encrusted paperweights.

Echoing the grandeur of the Moghul era, the spa offers a level of self-indulgence fit for royalty. Therapists will re-energise you with personalised holistic treatments based on Ayurveda, ancient remedies and Western techniques, with exotic oils and creams used by royalty 500 years ago.

Winelands, South Africa

The Wellness Centre at Winelands is the only spa outside Bordeaux offering Vinotherapy, a beauty treatment based on the use of grap eseeds, pips and skin left over after the wine-making process. The oil harvested from grape seeds contains antioxidants, known to help to prevent skin ageing, heart disease and improve circulation.

Winelands and Les Sources de Caudalie in France are the only places in the world where you’ll be offered a Chardonnay Cocoon wrap, Pulp Friction, a Cabernet scrub – or just a good wallow in a wine-casket bath. Appropriately, South Africa’s first Vinotherapy spa is situated in the lush vineyards of the Franschhoek Valley, but the facilities aren’t all wine-related.

The centre also offers saunas, steam rooms, Pilates, tai chi and yoga, a luxury restaurant and an à la carte health cuisine restaurant and health bar. And if you don’t fancy a bath in it, you can always enjoy a glass or two instead!

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Twilight turns India's Amarvilas hotel into a magical place of twinkling lights and shimmering reflections
Guests at India's Amarvilas hotel can soak up the romantic view of the Taj Mahal without even leaving their bathtub
South Africa's Winelands is one of only two spas in the world to offer vinotherapy
In addition to its wine-related therapies, the spa also offers a host of other activities including yoga and tai chi. And if you feel you've been good enough, you can always enjoy a glass of fine wine from the surrounding vineyards

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