Located four hours from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil's São Paulo, a city of 20 million people, is Zym Spa (www.zym.com.br), a holistic getaway that looks and feels more like a country home than an urban day spa.
Opened nine years ago by architect and holistic practitioner Manoel Mattos and his wife, Claudia, a ballet dancer, body therapist, and holistic chef, the business opened as a space to offer classes on well-being. Spa services were added in April 2002. Today, Zym Spa offers dance, music, pottery, and yoga classes; facials and massage; an ofuro Japanese soaking tub; radiestesy, a healing method that uses pendulums to read a person's energy field; and five- to seven-hour-long packages. It also houses an art gallery, a gift shop, and an all-natural spa café. Prices range from $5 for an organic breakfast to $125 for a full day (seven hours) at the spa. Sounds like the perfect respite after Carnival. Óimo!—Julie Sinclair