★ Featured Article, Wellness By Jonathan Hermann

True Island Bliss

Close your eyes and hear the rhythmic songs of the waves, gulls gliding on the trade winds—just picture yourself lounging on an idyllic island, surrounded by the sentinel palm trees silhouetted in twilight by the setting sun, and your weary bones are instantly warmed, your skin begins to glow.


That’s the beauty of islands—they are naturally inclined to relax your mind and body as well as any big-city spa

Yet some island oases, like the three we spotlight here, are outright spa destinations themselves. Not only do they surround you with tropical charm and island glamour, but they also offer five-star wellness experiences to create a peaceful paradise unlike any other.

The Maldives

The string of tiny paradise-like islands that make up the Maldives has long been considered the world’s most relaxing destination, serving honeymooners and wellness-seekers alike. But can they possibly be as heavenly as Instagram suggests? Odds are, you’ll make up your mind before you even land on them. Just sitting on the 15-seater plane, staring down at the strings of coral-fringed islands scattered across the vast Indian Ocean, you’ll quickly realize that it’s true: the Maldives are a dream come true.

Once you arrive at the resort, your first order of business will be to strip off your outer layer and dive into the ocean, feeling the stress of everyday life instantly melt away. The clarity of the water is staggering. Aside from the odd sea cucumber, there’s literally nothing but baby-soft sand underfoot. And the temperature of the ocean is perfect, just cool enough to be refreshing.

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Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is a land of contrast. Bustling docks give way to long stretches of pristine sand, cotton candy-colored cottages live side by side with powerful buildings still bearing the architectural style of 19th-century colonialism, and powder-soft white sand is tempered by the glistening blue of the radiant sea.

The island may be just 22 miles long, but there’s a lot packed into this tiny enclave. An afternoon could wonderfully be spent getting sprayed by the blowholes near Frank Sound, watching blue iguanas zigzag through the sand gardens of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park, and feasting on a traditional jerk pork sandwich at the Rum Point Club.

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Mykonos

Mykonos is the most glamorous of the Cyclades, famed for its long, sandy beaches, its lively scene and its sizzling nightlife. All the action flows through Mykonos Town, where it’s easy, and extremely fun, to get lost in the enchanting maze of whiteness punctuated by splashes of brilliant color from the surrounding Mediterranean and artfully arranged flowers. Every balcony is festooned with orange and purple bougainvillea, every white stone stairway ablaze with scarlet geraniums.

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore"

Amid your wanderings, you’ll delight in art galleries, designer stores and lively, open-air bars beckoning with DJs spinning hightempo beats. By nightfall, seek out the waterfront in Little Venice, the old fishing quarter, and drink a fishbowl-sized Aperol Spritz, gazing idly at water so clear you can spot sea urchins scattered across the seabed.

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