Amazing Overwater Spas
These relaxing spots soothe couples with more than massage
Most honeymooners keep their eyes shut during a massage. Not the lucky folks at so-called overwater spas. The locations of these pamper palaces (above the water) and their architecture (windows in the floor) ensure that every facedown sybarite gets a glittering eyeful of the life aquatic.
First up: the Big Island's Spa Without Walls. For many newlyweds, scoring an outdoor massage can be a game of chance, particularly if there's only one open-air spot to share among a resort full of rubdown addicts. To solve this problem, the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, added ten waterfall hales (huts) and scattered them amid an Edenic landscape of tropical flora and sparkling cascades. The only hitch: Now everyone's clamoring to book the two puka (window) hales, each of which hovers over a koi pond filled with the tangerine-colored fish. Treatments from $79; 800-845-9905, fairmont.com/orchid.
If you prefer a balmy sea to a freshwater pond, check in to Raffles Resort Canouan Island in the Grenadines. Guests hop on a boat to get to the Amrita Spa's overwater treatment palapas. But on arrival, they're amply rewarded with sightings of bar jacks, harlequin pipefish, and the turquoise splendor of the Caribbean itself. Treatments from $88; 877-226-6826, raffles-canouanisland.com.
Turning from glass-bottomed huts to a glass-bottomed ship, the Lindblad Polaris, which runs eco-expeditions throughout the Galápagos, has added a floating treatment platform (a.k.a. Lexspa) with a fabulous see-through floor. Ogling sea lions during an aromatherapy session? Now that's evolved! Treatments from $30; 800-397-3348, expeditions.com.
We didn't think anything could top the overwater experience, until we heard about the underwater rooms at Huvafen Fushi's Aquum Spa in the Maldives. While most of its massage huts are poised above the deep, two nooks are completely submerged and surrounded by transparent walls—veritable aquariums—allowing you to get as wrapped up in the manta rays drifting by as in the therapist's magic touch. Treatments from $60; 800-525-4800, aquumspa.com.