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News & Advice

Five Best: City spas

Indulge yourself in the world's premier urban hotels. By Rhiannon Batten

Four Seasons George V, Paris

Four Seasons George V, Paris

The spa at this Parisian stalwart offers all the usual suspects (body scrubs, wraps, massages, facials, hot-stone therapy, shiastsu, reflexology, aromatherapy) plus some quirkier tequila-based pampering. The Punta Mita massage blends tequila and sage to improve circulatory disorders, digestion problems and muscular tension, while the Margarita body scrub whips up a mix of tequila, salt and lime juice to condition the skin and soothe away stress. If that sounds like a waste of a good drink you could, of course, take the express route to intoxication and head for "Le Bar" upstairs.

Four Seasons George V, 31 avenue George V, Paris (00 33 149 52 70 00; www.fourseasons.com). Doubles from €695 (£496) per night, including breakfast, bubbly, museum passes and spa vouchers

The Cowshed, Edinburgh

Not the biggest spa in town but definitely the most chic, the fitness centre attached to the swish Scotsman Hotel was always going to draw the crowds thanks to its stainless steel swimming-pool with ambient lighting. Treatments at Cowshed's first Caledonian outpost range from Rawhide, a quick sea-salt body scrub, to Udder-ly Beautiful, a massage, facial and manicure combo, On The Hoof reflexology sessions and all manner of other cattle-themed cures.

The Scotsman Hotel, 20 North Bridge, Edinburgh (0131 556 5565; www.thescotsmanhotel.co.uk). Doubles from £195, with breakfast

Away Spa, Mexico City

Surrounded by the lively bars and restaurants of Mexico City's hip Polanco district, W Hotel's on-site spa has to work hard to attract customers - and it does. Bold colours, fresh flowers and bright murals give it a cosiness that's way more appealing than your average treatment room.

As well as a fitness centre, there are plenty of pampering treatments to work your way though, from local therapies such as temazcal (a kind of Latin American hammam experience) to more global offerings such as aromatherapy, shiatsu and Swedish massage. Away also has individual treatment cabins, as well as a fabulous adobe sauna and an on-site juice bar.

W Hotel, 252 Campos Eliseos, Mexico City (00 52 55 9138 1800; www.whotels.com). Doubles from US$221 (£116), without breakfast

Raffles Amrita Spa, Singapore

Amrita spas are currently being rolled out across most of the Raffles and Swissotel properties, but the showcase is the one at Raffles Plaza, just across from the main Raffles Hotel in the centre of Singapore. The spa takes its name from the Sanskrit tale of an elixir that gave the Hindu deities eternal youth. That might be quite a tall order but this spa gives guests its best shot, with 35 treatment rooms as well as VIP suites and couples' rooms, and a treatment list that runs the full spectrum from ayurvedic treatments to Moor mud wraps and anti-ageing caviar facials.

Raffles The Plaza, 80 Bras Basah Road, Singapore (00 65 6339 7777; www.amritaspas.com). Doubles from S$448 (£145), with breakfast

Agua Bathhouse, Miami

The Agua Bathhouse overlooks the ocean, on the roof of the Delano Hotel, and is as hi-tech as everything else in this Ian Schrager hotel - customised massages and Eve Lom facials are the way to go. During the day only women are admitted, while in the evening it is reserved solely for men. Guests must pay $10 (£5.30) to use the facilities.

Delano Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida (00 1 305 672 2000; www.ianschragerhotels.com). Doubles from $525 (£277), without breakfast