Often times, before I get to a des­ti­na­tion, I’m not sure what I’m going to write about. Most stories—or, at least, the best stories—come from the unex­pected, only unfold­ing after I’ve truly immersed myself in a place. And many times, the story doesn’t truly reveal itself until I go some­where else; mean­ing that I might find some­thing inter­est­ing in Hawaii, but I don’t find the true story until I head to Mex­ico, Whistler, and Turks & Caicos. Such was the case for this story, one cen­tered around the grow­ing trend of spa treat­ments that incor­po­rate food (some good enough to eat!). 

It all started ear­lier this year when I found myself at The Four Sea­sons in Whistler, British Colum­biaOn the evening of my arrival, I dined at the award-winning steak­house on prop­erty, Side­cut. The very tal­ented chef, Edi­son Mays, offers nearly two dozen choices of house­made spice rubs to com­ple­ment his vari­ety of steak cuts (Edison’s Medecine on the Kobe steak is not to be missed!). The next day, after an after­noon on the slopes, I headed to the spa, where I dis­cov­ered that Mays had devel­oped a sim­i­lar line of bespoke rubs to use in spa treat­ments. The ser­vices, like “The Awak­en­ing” (a rub made from epsom salts, cit­rus zest, cit­rus and lemon­grass essen­tial oils), didn’t offi­cially hit the spa menu until June, but they’ve already taken the spa by storm. If you’re headed to the area, I highly rec­om­mend the “Romance Rub”, a blend of Epsom salts, cin­na­mon and cin­na­mon essen­tial oil that brings blood and nutri­ents to the skins sur­face and relieves mus­cle ten­sion.

No mat­ter where you are, though, you’ll likely be able to find other culinary-inspired spa treate­ments on the menu. Here are four more I can per­son­ally vouch for:

At the recently ren­o­vated spa at The Regent Palms in Turks & Caicos, guests can choose from a vari­ety of culinary-inspired treat­ments, like the indige­nous island “Zareeba” treat­ment, a ser­vice where guests inhale an aro­matic steam from a blend of freshly brewed ther­a­peu­tic herbs, or the “Ori­en­tal Essence Cer­e­mony”, a ginger-infused salt scrub inspired by ancient Asian and Indian tech­niques using an aro­matic spice sachet filled with smooth peb­bles and soaked in warmed exotic oils. 

The 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea in Maui recently launched two new treat­ments based on the power of the “Niu,” the coconut palm tree in Hawaii known for cre­at­ing radi­ant, smooth skin. The Royal Niu Coconut Dream for Two is a win­ner! The two-and-a-half hour treat­ment employs fibrous coconut husks (nat­ural exfo­lia­tors) to apply a mild coconut scrub, which is fol­lowed by a coconut but­ter body cocoon, com­plete with a scalp and foot mas­sage. Next comes a 25-minute coconut milk bath, fol­lowed by The Royal finale, a 50-minute mas­sage employ­ing coconut oil, shells and husks.

The spa at Grand Velas Riv­iera Maya takes guests on a culi­nary jour­ney through Ancient Mex­ico with treat­ments like the “Cof­fee Ritual”, an exfo­li­a­tion fol­lowed by a relax­ing cir­cu­la­tory mas­sage with cof­fee oil extract, the “Cocoa Rit­ual”, which uses a smooth, fresh mint choco­late cream to leave your skin invig­o­rated and full of vital­ity, the “Puri­fy­ing Vanilla Facial”, a deep cleans­ing treat­ment, or the “Olive Clay Wrap”, which begins with a honey exfo­li­a­tion fol­lowed by a puri­fy­ing hot clay mask made with guaraná-mate, and a cold clay mask made from olive and mint (both of which boast ton­ing and slim­ming effects). 

At Travaasa Austin’s award-winning spa, you don’t want to miss the “Invig­o­rat­ing Avo­cado Wrap”, which uses sump­tu­ous avo­cado body but­ter blended with essen­tial oils of laven­der, pine, orange and lemon to bal­ance, purify and tone. Other foodie-centered treat­ments include the “Ancient Purification”, which begins with an organic pan­ela sugar scrub made from fos­silized Dead Sea mud and organic herbs of chamomile, dan­de­lion and lemon balm, and the “Detox­i­fy­ing Juniper, Olive Stone Exfo­li­a­tion & Pol­ish”, which employs juniper, sea­weed and cypress (all of which have a rep­u­ta­tion for puri­fy­ing and revi­tal­iz­ing the body and mind and jump-starting the metabolism).