Staying at a luxury resort is always a treat. But accommodations that incorporate the essence of your destination take travel to a whole new level. Have your cake and eat it too at these luxury resorts that make the most of their unique place in the world.
When in Rome
History permeates the Gran Melia Rome — the first urban resort in the heart of the Eternal City. Reconstructed from a monastery on the site of the Villa Agrippina, home to Empress Agrippina, mother of Nero, archeological artifacts and colossal images of Italian master works in the 116 ultra-chic guestrooms give the city sanctuary a museum-like feel. Breathtaking views put Rome at your feet, with the Trastevere, the Coliseum and Saint Peter's Basilica just a stroll away.
The legendary Roman baths are reflected in the sleek, state-of-the-art Yhi Wellness spa. The vitality pool, steam room, sauna and sensations showers combine with the calming Neuro-Sedative massage and other advanced techniques to purify the body and balance the soul. Afterward, luxuriate by the pool surrounded by age-old orange trees.
Local women sit cross-legged in the gardens selling shells and handmade souvenirs of the newly revamped Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa Fiji. The 271-room ocean-front resort boasts Fijian-inspired architecture with thatched roofs and tapa cloth art, creating a village ambiance.
The Eden-like Heavenly Spa by Westin enchants with 12 open-air spa bures nestled on acres of lawns, ponds and palms. The tropical tranquility is ideal for a traditional Fiji bobo massage to relax and rejuvenate the senses or the healing power of a dilo banana leaf wrap, utilizing indigenous dilo nut oil and aloe. Vichy shower and the signature Wrapture hot-stone massage are among myriad traditional delights.
Jungle chic and Maya mysticism define the Viceroy Riviera Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Upon arrival, guests are blessed by a Mayan shaman before being escorted to one of 41 sleekly styled jungle and beachfront villas. Soon, the Soap Concierge brings artisan soaps crafted by local Mayans. Maya healing traditions infuse every aspect of the Wayak Spa, resplendent with a Temazcal steam hut (symbolizing the womb), marble whirlpool and couples' jungle spa suite, with a waterfall. Rituals range from Hunan Kab, utilizing herbs, compresses and wild honey in an outdoor rain cabana, to modern techniques featuring the Valmont Swiss product line.