When you experience chocolate, your brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters, including dopamine. This might explain why some people can never get enough of this tempting treat. And why stop with merely eating chocolate? To commemorate National Chocolate Day we’ve rounded up some of the most unique, luxurious chocolate experiences around the world.
MUSEU DE LA XOCOLATA – Barcelona, Spain
Educational, cultural, and exquisite, the Museu De La Xocolata provides patrons with memorable chocolate experiences. Located in the former Sant Agusti monastery, this one-of-a-kind museum is an indication of the important role Barcelona played in the introduction of chocolate to the European continent. While at the Museu De La Xocolata, visitors can learn how to create an impressive array of chocolate treats including truffles, chocolate bars, chocolate rocks and lollipops. They can also discover how to use their senses of smell, sound, touch and taste to distinguish the different qualities of chocolate.
SENSE, A ROSEWOOD SPA – Riviera Maya, Mexico
Sitting on its own island and hidden by a tropical jungle, Sense, a Rosewood Spa offers guests the opportunity to discover how ancient Mayan culture channeled natural elements to master overall balance and wellbeing. The Riviera Maya is believed to be the place where the cacao seed originated. One of the spa’s most sensuous offerings is the Escape Together: Eclipse Sun & Moon Journey for couples. The romantic excursion begins with a private boat ride to the spa. Once resting on a comfortable cushioned bed, couples are treated to an invigorating cacao scrub.
BOUCAN BY HOTEL CHOCOLAT – Soufriere, St. Lucia
The breathtakingly beautiful island of St. Lucia dedicates an entire month to celebrating its centuries-old history of producing chocolate. Nestled in a 250-year-old cocoa plantation, the Boucan by Hotel Chocolat property is a chocolate aficionado’s fantasy. Guests can select ripe cocoa pods to harvest from trees in the estate’s cocoa groves, see how beans inside cocoa pods are changed when they’re fermented and sun-dried, and discover how to mix, pour, and temper their own chocolate bar. After learning how chocolate is made, guests can pamper themselves with spa treatments including cacao-infused massages, body treatments, detox body wraps and facials.
THE SPA AT THE HOTEL HERSHEY – Hershey, Pennsylvania
A visit to the chocolate lover’s paradise of Hershey, Pennsylvania wouldn’t be complete without stopping at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey. This luxurious spa strives to honor the rich legacy of confectioner and philanthropist, Milton S. Hershey. Guests can wash their stress away with a whipped cocoa bath. To invigorate mind and body, visitors to The Spa at The Hotel Hershey can receive a chocolate-bean polish or a chocolate sugar scrub, a cocoa massage, or a chocolate fondue wrap followed by a decadent lunch.
JOSEPHINE VANNIER CHOCOLAT – Paris, France
Paris is a bastion of famed chocolatiers. In 1996, another one emerged when Josephine Vannier Chocolat opened in the trendy district of the Marais. Located mere steps from the Place des Vosges, Josephine Vannier Chocolat’s collections are incredibly unique and are crafted from dark chocolate, 72-percent pure cocoa butter void of preservatives. When visiting this incredible chocolatier, patrons can select from interesting chocolate objects including shoes, mugs, musical instruments and the Eiffel Tower.
SIBU CHOCOLATE – San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica
At Sibu Chocolate in stunning San Isidro de Heredia, Costa Rica, fine flavor reigns supreme. Sibu chocolatiers create their confections by hand with organic Costa Rican cacao and other fresh, all-natural ingredients. During a chocolate tour, patrons can satisfy their cravings by sampling roasted cocoa beans, fresh cacao fruit, dark chocolate squares, and European-style bonbons. Their senses will scintillate when they drink an indulgent, indigenous hot chocolate recipe from the 1500s. After working up an appetite on the chocolate tour, visitors to Sibu Chocolate can enjoy lunch at the Garden Café on the property. However, a lunch of hearty slow-cooked stews, farm-to-table salads, and hot sandwiches wouldn’t be complete without a serving of a piece of New-York-style vanilla bean cheesecake consisting of a layer of dark chocolate ganache, or a warm fudge brownie covered in homemade coffee ice cream.
CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR BODY SPA – Chicago, Illinois
Chocolate for Your Body Spa in Chicago doesn’t view chocolate as a forbidden treat fraught with calories. Rather, this spa sees chocolate as a valuable ally in the anti-aging process. The Chocolate Signature massage at Chocolate for Your Body utilizes chocolate cream and chocolate massage oil to leave your skin hydrated, velvety soft and smelling like deliriously delicious chocolate. Guests can also benefit from receiving the spa’s Chocolate Signature facial made from rich, organic chocolate and pomegranates.