Full disclosure: Guana Island doesn’t have a proper spa, in the way we’ve come to think of spas. There is no building with a koi pond, no lobby infused with custom-designed scent, no locker rooms, and no real treatment rooms.
There is a tent-like structure, on one of the seven pristine beaches here, with an outdoor shower outfitted with Red Flower products, and a Frette robe.
And it is perfection.
This is Marlene’s domain. Originally from Jamaica, she is the spa on this private island resort, which has a maximum capacity of 35 guests. Marlene personally crafts scrubs, based on seasonal ingredients grown on the island, and offers those, as well as various massage therapies and even manicures and pedicures to resort guests.
I had the key lime scrub, made with salt, lemon juice, and essential oils. It was vigorous, perhaps a bit harsh on sun-exposed skin, and might have been friendlier/better as a sugar scrub, or using a different type of salt. The scrub started with a dry brushing, then the application of the scrub itself, after which I was asked to rinse off in that heavenly beachfront outdoor shower, then got back on the table for an application of almond oil. Total cost: $120.
Prices range from $50 for a dry-brush treatment or spa manicure, to $210 for an 80-minute deep-tissue massage.
Contributing Travel Editor Rima Suqi is an avid world traveler who was raised in an international home. She has explored and covered emerging destinations in the Middle East and Africa, far-flung luxury resorts in French Polynesia, as well as those closer to home including the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. The Chicago native has traveled to over 40 countries, writing about the trends and tastemakers for leading travel and lifestyle publications, and subjected herself to innumerable spa treatments—sometimes under very odd circumstances—all in the name of journalism. Her work is regularly published in national and international outlets including The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest and Elle Decor; she has also written, consulted and hosted panels for hospitality brands including Proper Hotels, the Baccarat Hotel, Edition Hotels, St. Regis Hotels, Miraval Resorts, Mii Amo Spa at Enchantment, Grupo Habita and Marriott Hotels. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.