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Take Five

In a world where futuristic spa treatments push the boundaries of length and complexity, many spas are doubling down on the restorative power of simple physical pleasures — gorgeous vistas, soothing sounds, rich flavors, intoxicating scents and a healing touch — allowing us the chance to return to our senses


How many masseuses does it take to untie the knots in your back?

• Royal Four-Hands Massage at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, New Orleans (50 min., $295)
• Royal Trisara Massage at Trisara Resort in Phuket, Thailand (90 min., $480)
• Texas Eight-Hand Massage at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dallas (50 min., $500)
• Dieci Mani Ten Hands at the Qua Baths & Spa in Atlantic City (180 min., $5,000)

A tension-relieving massage with a touch of silk

Think of Nâga, an exclusive new treatment at Tucson’s Miraval Resort and Spa, as Thai massage — but instead of hands grabbing at you to manipulate your body, it uses sheets of silk suspended from above to wrap around your limbs, holding you in various tension-releasing positions. Or think of it as a circus act: As part of the session, the therapist is suspended aloft while digging in with his feet to get at deep tissue, making the treatment look as spectacular as it feels. (100 min., $400)

Indulgence reaches new heights with a 10-therapist treatment for two

The Spa Grande at Grand Wailea on Maui doesn’t do anything small. Witness, for instance, its hydrotherapy circuit, which comprises a hot tub and a cold plunge pool, five scented salt baths arranged in the shape of a conch shell, a Swiss jet shower, a Japanese furo bath and three waterfalls. If possible, the spa has gone even further over the top with its new 20-Hands Duo Massage, a feat of pampering wherein a couple is massaged by 10 therapists simultaneously. To begin, the masseuses walk in a circle around the couple, performing a synchronized rubdown called a “hula wave.” They then split into two teams to focus on the four quadrants of the body (and the scalp), where they remain for two and a half hours. Couples can even start the night with a private session in the hydrotherapy circuit and end with the massage, after which, presumably, they stumble out of the spa and collapse onto beach chairs to contemplate the pinnacle of pleasure they have just attained. If they’re still awake. (150 min., $2,000)

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