Yachting is more than a vacation. When you step onboard, it becomes a lifestyle.

Focus On… Charter Spa Services


Charter Spa Services are the yachting industry’s foremost providers of onboard spa treatments and have transformed more than 80 of the world’s most prestigious yachts into luxury health retreats. Director and therapist Heather Hawthorne speaks to Y.CO about life as a mobile spa therapist at sea.

Refelexology is one of the many treatments available


What we offer can be a great addition to guests on charter yachts which don’t have a spa or a full time therapist.  We’re totally mobile, so we can set up anywhere on board and have created treatment areas in cabins, gyms, on deck areas, in main salons… We bring everything with us so it’s just a matter of setting it up. Generally, we’ll stay onboard for the duration of a charter but we are available for just a few days or for individual treatments onboard. We try to be as flexible as we can.

The biggest challenge is definitely trying to work on a yacht that is moving.  Over the years I think our team have all developed super-balance!

One ‘on the move’ therapy that stands out was when I had an A-list Hollywood celebrity who is the face of a very, very well-known international cosmetic line.  She had been filming and was exhausted so as soon as she lay down she fell asleep.   The pressure was on – I shudder to think how much her face is worth!  Fortunately, when she woke up she was thrilled and she still maintains it was the best facial she has ever received.  Maybe the moving yacht added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi‘ to the experience.

On another charter, my massage table was lost on the flight and the first officer asked me if I could do a massage for the owner on the sun deck pillows. The weather looked unstable and the yacht was under way – a bad combination.  This time I had to say no. Providing a treatment in those conditions would be akin to shuttling guests around in a canoe if the tender was broken.  What we offer is therapy, and like all therapies it must be administered in a safe and appropriate environment.

Generally though, it’s not so different working on superyachts from onland – the kind of therapies guests request are still the same – deep tissue massage treatments, facials and yoga instruction are the most popular.

Onboard yoga is one of the most popular requests


What particular therapies or treatments do you recommend for guests on charter?

Massage Therapy, basic facials, personal training if there is a gym and equipment, and body treatments where the products are left on the body, such as moisturising and hydrating treatments.

How do you recommend guests take care of their skin and health on a yacht charter?

The #1 priority is to wear sun screen at all times and to reapply after being in the water.

I recommend facials later in the day, when guests know they will not be going back in the water or out in the sun with sunscreen on. If they are going to be in the sun afterwards I recommend not to use any products that include citrus oils or Vitamin C after the treatment.

Other than that, I recommend guests stick to their normal cleansing routines for their skin, drink plenty of water and for exercise I always recommend gentle swimming and definitely to get in the sea!

What brands do you use and recommend?

I use Dermalogica exclusively for all my facials and have used it for over 10 years now, both personally and professionally.

Young Living Essential Oils for my oils

Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil and Sweet Almond Oil for my massage oil

Odourless and pure Argan oil from Issahra in Paris for face and hair

Natural Rosewood and Fleur d’Orange body oils and Honey and Fig exfoliants from Baija in Paris for body treatments

Organic 100% pure Aloe Vera gel, and Biotone mud products for body treatments, from the US

Director, Heather Hawthorne

CSS services include a range of massage therapies, beauty and skin care treatments, body treatments, personal training, yoga / Pilates / fitness instruction, nail treatments, waxing, makeup and hairstyling. They can also provide licensed acupuncturists, osteopaths and physiotherapists.

CSS are based worldwide are available for an entire trip, just a few days or individual appointments.

For more information, please contact Heather or see their website.