What it lacks in stature, Ixora Spa at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina makes up for in ambience. Located in a villa high on a south-facing bluff offering a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea, Ixora Spa is a secluded oasis on a small island already far removed from the traffic (no cars), commerce (the resort and its chandlery are the only businesses) and the frenzy of neighboring, more populated islands.
My husband, Kevin, and I spent a glorious two nights at Scrub Island Resort during a weeklong spring junket to the British Virgin Islands. The private island resort — the first resort development built in the British Virgin Islands in more than 15 years — opened in 2010.
The resort takes its name from its location on Scrub Island. The 230-acre island, one mile east of Tortola, traces its name to the 16th century when, legend has it, pirates trolling the region would anchor in its shallow coves to scrub barnacles from their boats.
Accommodations comprise 26 guestrooms and 26 one- and two-bedroom suites in addition to several hillside villas. Appropriate to its location, guestroom interiors evoke a Colonial West Indies feel. We stayed in a one-bedroom suite, an expansive 960-square-foot space with a covered veranda overlooking the marina, a full master bath with a separate tub and shower, a half-bath for guests, a living/dining area and a fully equipped kitchen with SubZero and Wolf stainless steel appliances.
Ixora Spa was a short but steep walk from our suite, so we opted to hitch a ride on the complimentary, on-call shuttle that circulates around the island. (On a related note, the best beaches are on the north coast opposite the guestrooms, restaurants and the marina, so the shuttle comes in handy for the return trip after soaking up rays and, perhaps, relaxing with a margarita or two while lounging beachside.)
Due to its location in one of the resort’s original guest villas, the spa boasts a relaxing, homelike atmosphere. Following check-in, a member of the spa staff escorted us to a lounge with glass doors opening onto a veranda and framing a postcard-perfect view of the Caribbean Sea and nearby islands.
We sipped cool glasses of water and enjoyed the vista until the same staffer returned to escort us across a terrace — and past an inviting infinity swimming pool — into the treatment room where we were given robes and slippers and directed to change our clothes in the adjacent bathroom. While the layout of the treatment room was a bit unexpected in light of it being repurposed from a villa bedroom, it was comfortable and functional.
We had opted for a couple’s massage. I’ve only recently become a fan of the dual treatment — enlightenment that came when I realized the benefits of being able to schedule spa appointments at the same time as my husband, and I noticed the savings: $225 for a one-hour massage in a shared room versus $125 per person for a one-hour massage in two separate rooms. I was pleased when our individual therapists asked about our personal preferences (pressure, problem areas) and tailored our treatments to our separate likes and dislikes instead of attempting to choreograph the experience.
We had intended to soak in the infinity pool (reserved specifically for spa guests) following our massages, but afternoon was waning into dusk and the air was getting cool by the time we emerged from the treatment room. Instead, we decided to embrace our warm, post-treatment afterglow while enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sunset from our veranda.
In addition to its couple’s massage, Ixora Spa offers an assortment of massage options including Chakra Balancing Massage, incorporating chakra stones and traditional energy therapy; Deep Tissue Massage, integrating heated soft packs placed along the spine and trigger-point therapy; Eterno Massage, a signature treatment combining heat packs and lavender oil; Island Rock Massage, incorporating heated basalt stones; and Ixora Massage, a gentle treatment based on principles of Swedish massage.
The spa menu also features a roster of signature body scrubs utilizing indigenous and natural ingredients including turbinado sugar crystals, natural aloe, finely ground cocoa, coconut, mango, papaya, seaweed, sea kelp and even shiitake mushrooms.
Ixora Spa by L’Occitane
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina
British Virgin Islands
tel 877 890 7444
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