Portugal’s most popular historic town is now a great destination for a Thai massage. Although Sintra, a Unesco World Heritage site, is renowned for its exceptional Romantic architecture with thousands of tourists flocking to its sorbet-hued Pena Palace every year, it has an even longer history as a destination for spirituality and relaxation. Celts worshiped their moon god there, and Portuguese royals have been vacationing in its fresh mountain air and pine-covered hills for hundreds of years. It seems fitting then that the 30-room hotel Tivoli Palácio de Seteais—located within an 18th-century palace—has given its spa a seriously luxurious upgrade.
The boutique property has partnered with Anantara Spa—a world-renowned Thai brand known for its exclusive mixture of oils and traditional techniques that stimulate circulation, promote deep muscle release, and restore energy flow along deep relaxation lines—to open the new Anantara Seteais Spa and Wellness Centre earlier this month. Located within the palace’s refurbished pigeonnier (a dovecot or pigeon tower), which once housed live pigeons as a common symbol of status and power, the spa will offer signature Anantara spa treatments. Of particular note is the ever-popular 90-minute Detoxifying Body Ritual ($221). Modified for each individual, the treatment uses an organic green coffee scrub to remove impurities from the skin and then melts away stress with an hour-long massage using aromatherapy detoxifying oils.
The spa will also offer a selection of treatments unique to Sintra that utilize local ingredients and evoke a specific sense of place and history, like the Organic Hydrating Wine Body treatments. Available as a 30-minute body scrub ($102) or a 60-minute body wrap ($167), the treatment uses Colares wine, which has been produced in Sintra’s hills since the 12th century. Couples can also opt for the Anantara Seteais Romantic Experience ($418). During the 150-minute treatment, long, flowing massage strokes from the Polynesian Lomi Lomi technique are combined with hot poultices scented with local rosemary, sandalwood, orange blossom, and a Colare vinotherapy (also known as a wine facial).
Of course, the spa also offers a plethora of yoga and meditation classes. Guided nature walks are available to help guests reconnect with nature while exploring nearby national parks Parque e Palacio Nacional de Pena and Parque Natural de Sintra-Cascais. Those wanting to stay a bit closer can happily wander the resort’s lush landscape where the scent of lemon trees, lavender, rosemary, basil, mint, jasmine, and hibiscus fill the air.