Insider's Guide to Spas
Guana Spa/photo by Rima Suqi


Guana Island

Rima Suqi

  • Guana Island
  • British Virgin Islands
  • 800-544-8262

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.

Rima Suqi

Rima Suqi

An avid world traveler raised in an international home, Rima 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, and the burgeoning arts scene in Marfa, Texas. Rima has traveled to over 30 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. A weekly contributor to The New York Times Home section, Rima held the envious position of Best Bets Editor at New York Magazine for six years, and is regularly published in national magazines including T Magazine/The New York Times, Departures, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and American Way. Her last book American Fashion: Designers at Home (Assouline) in partnership with CFDA, sold out three printings.