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4 New Global Pampering Hotspots

SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Russian-style saunas with birch branches to invigorate the skin, Alpine reenergizing massages, private hammams and caviar body treatments are just a few of the luxuries being unveiled by the Four Seasons at spas around the globe.

The spas, at Four Seasons hotels in St. Petersburg, Milan, Geneva and Shenzhen, are aiming to be among 2014's best new pampering hotspots, focusing on authentic, locally inspired treatments and over-the-top amenities.

The spa in Geneva for instance, Spa Mont Blanc at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, was more than three years in the making and includes such things as an infinity edge pool overlooking Geneva, Roman hammams and a massage circuit pool that prepares the body for a hands-on massage.

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"These are the things that make a difference between a normal spa and a destination spa," Jose Silva, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, said during a recent phone interview. "People will say, 'I've been to spas, but I've never seen this before.'"

The Four Seasons has been at the forefront of the movement to include spa experiences as part of a hotel's offerings. Its first opened in 1986.

Spas in Geneva and Milan opened in October. St. Petersburg and Shenzhen spas are scheduled to open in early 2014. The luxury chain will be opening four additional hotels in 2014 in Dubai, Moscow, Orlando, Fla., and Johannesburg -- all with cutting-edge spas

But these spas are about far more then just deluxe amenities.

The spa in Geneva for instance, features highly trained therapists, some with medical backgrounds, and the treatments offered involve locally sourced products, Silva said.

"Two-thirds of our therapists have a medical background. They either have had chiropractic or shiatsu or Chinese medicine training, which are each typically four to five years of medical training. And the other members of our team are trained by them. So one of the first unique things about our spa is we elevate treatment from masseuse level to chiropractic or Chinese-medicine level. The precision of what is being done to the body is very different."

Spa Mont Blanc is also the only spa in Geneva to use exclusive Swiss Perfection products, Silva said. The local company makes products aimed at stimulating cell metabolism and enhancing the skin's natural renewal process. Treatments involving the products don't exactly come cheap: from 450 to 800 Francs per treatment at Spa Mont Blanc, or from about $500 to $880. The $500 treatments include such options as a cellular eye contour treatment that lasts 45 minutes or a cellular neck and decollete treatment, also 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, for $880 the spa offers the Cellular Exclusive Lift Concept, which among other things is supposed to improve firmness and promote cellular renewal. It also includes rejuvenating techniques to smooth away wrinkles.

The spa, open for only a little over eight weeks, is sold out nearly every weekend, Silva said. During the week the spa averages about 200 treatments.

"Our clientele are the affluent, but it's also people who have made a life choice. They want to be connected to the current time and like to be current and in style," Silva said.

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