SOME OF THE WORLD’S FINEST LUXURY SPAS WERE BOND FILM LOCATIONS— AND YOU CAN GO THERE, TOO
Imagine yourself in an exotic locale, a soft ocean breeze kissing your body. Strong yet supple hands release the tension in your back. A sauna awaits you—and a dry martini, shaken, not stirred. Go where James Bond went. Here are a few of the 007 film locations that are world-renown destination spas: the Taj Lake Palace Resort in India and Grand Hotel Pupp in the Czech Republic have both been famous for retreats for more than 300 years, and travel to the warm climes of the Caribbean and the Pacific to enjoy the tranquility of two exotic spas—each a realm of peace, tranquility, and pure relaxation.
The Man with the Golden Gun
Ko Tapu has been known as James Bond Island since 007 flew over the exotic spot on his way to confront hitman Scaramanga at his island hideaway in The Man with the Golden Gun. Stay in a private, waterfront villa at Koh Yao Noi Hotel and Island Resort, where you will enjoy private dining as you watch the sunset, and relish a massage with a spa specialist. A wide variety of activities and excursions are offered. Take a guided tour to Phang Ngu Bay National Park, a geological wonderment of inlets, sunken caverns, and startling rock formations that rise vertically from the sea, or arrange to go on the James Bond Island Three Islands Canoe Expedition where you can canoe through tidal caves and lagoons, and picnic and swim on a remote beach. If you prefer to go off on your own, kayaks, motorcycles, and mountain bikes are available. If you want to really embrace the island experience, take a class in batik painting or Thai cooking.
If you are looking for a dedicated “pioneering” spa experience that’s as close to Nature as you can be, not far away from Koh Yao Noi Resort is Six Senses Yao Noi where you can stay for a relaxing, remote spa vacation. Built upon a platform of ecological sustainability, you will first undergo a personally designed wellness screening and consultation with Dr. Aneesh Vadakkeveedu before you surrender yourself to a team of professional, skilled, massage therapists. Your personalized wellness program will boost your immunity through planned diet, sleep, meditation, and movement as you embark upon a new beginning to build a stronger, healthier body. Among the pampering treatments offered are Thai herbal massage, anti-aging facials, and coconut body scrub. Lush accommodations are fantastic and each spacious villa has its own private infinity pool.
James Bond swam across a lake to a secluded floating palace of beautiful women—the lair of Octopussy, herself. In reality, this Bond location is the historic 5-star hotel, Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India, on Lake Pichola, known as “the Venice of India.” This majestic resort is home to Jiva Spa, an award-winning, all-natural spa that offers traditional Indian treatments that embrace wellness techniques and therapy.
As the story goes, in 1743, a young Prince named Maharana Jagat Singh requested of his father, Maharana Sangram Singh II, if he could reside in the pleasure palace of Jagmandir with his ladies. His father refused, taunting his son to build his own. He did—in the middle of Lake Pichola. It took three years to build and today, this fully restored spectacular palace is one of the most elegant resorts in the world. This heritage hotel boasts 65 luxurious bedrooms and 18 grand suites, and every room has a breathtaking view of the Aravalli and Machala Magra Hills. Just as exquisite is the specialty gourmet cuisine served in three signature restaurants—only open to guests. At the restaurant Neel Kamal you will enjoy authentic Rajasthani cuisine; at Bhairo, contemporary European fare; and at the bar, Amrit Sagar, signature martinis, cocktails, and a grand collection of premium international spirits. You will be pampered at Taj Lake Palace’s Jiva Spa, where carefully created treatments drawn from the ancient wellness heritage and fabled lifestyle of India will make you feel like royalty. And if you want to tour the land, a special tour can be arranged in one of the Palace’s vintage cars.
The 52-acre, Goldeneye Hotel and Resort was originally the home of Ian Fleming and it is here he wrote all 14 James Bond novels—and you can stay at his secluded Jamaica villa, which comes with your own butler, housekeeper, and cook. Less than 10 minutes from Ian Fleming International Airport east of Ocho Rios, the villa sleeps up to ten people in the villa’s three en suite bedrooms, plus two standalone guest cottages, Sweet Spot and Pool House.
Adjacent is the GoldenEye Hotel and Resort is an enclave of luxury oceanfront villas and lagoon cottages built by Chris Blackwell during the 1970s. Here you can enjoy kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, glass-bottom boat excursions, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and swimming in the lagoon or fresh-water swimming pools.
Guests can indulge themselves at FieldSpa on GoldenEye Lagoon, a unique and luxurious spa in open-air treatment rooms nestled in the bush so you can connect with the lush, natural environment and be as one with Nature. FieldSpa offers an array of treatments, such as Warming Pimento and Ginger Massage, Swedish Aroma Massage with a menu of essential oils. Their signature FieldSpa Sports Massage is applying healing coconut oil infused with medicinal ginger to ease muscle aches with deep-tissue pressure point release with FieldSpa’s intuitive therapist, Lyndale and sea salt reflexology, an exotic assortment of body wraps, body scrubs. There is sound and energy vibrational healing where your therapist soothes you as you are surrounded by the harmonized tones from 14 Tibetan singing bowls. The healing waters of Bush Bath begin with a dry brush exfoliation and scalp massage followed by three levels of antioxidant and hydration treatments in the purifying waters. Facials, manicures, yoga, purifying treatments, and fitness sessions including kickboxing, fat-burning cardio HIIT, and dynamic total-body strength training will transform you into a Bond Girl yet.
Bond confronts the terrorist financier, Le Chiffre, in Montenegro at Casino Royale—but in reality, the film location was Karlovy Vary, the largest and best-known spa city in the Czech Republic. The world-famous Grandhotel Pupp posed as the Hotel Splendide. Many of the exterior scenes were filmed there, and the dining room in the hotel was where Bond and Vesper enjoyed their famous late-night dinner—and one another. The front desk will be familiar to you when you arrive: it’s where Bond and Vesper also checked in.
For over 300 years, international society’s elite has come to enjoy the scenery, dining, and most of all, the legendary healing properties of the thermal springs. Hot Water jets reach temperatures of 165-degrees Fahrenheit at a propulsion of 535 liters per minute. This super luxe, 228-room hotel was a health mecca for composers Johann S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Fryderyk Chopin, and Richard Wagner; leaders such as Otto von Bismarck, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor Franz Josef I, and Czar Peter the Great and founder of psychoanalysis, Austrian neurologist Dr. Sigmund Freud.
The spa is for hotel guests only. The state-of-the-art wellness and fitness center offers comprehensive training or Nordic walking under the supervision of an instructor and physiotherapist. The Spa features a large swimming pool with countercurrent, hot tubs, and sauna, and offers relaxing treatments and Ayurveda massages, as well as Abhyanga, Shirodhara, Pindasveda, and hot stone massages.