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Illustration: Melody Newcomb

The best winter spa breaks

Those shoulders look mighty tense from all that hunching against the cold. Loosen up with a trip to one of these luxurious out-of-town retreats.

By Lilit Marcus

Brush up on your spa etiquette and get ready to lounge at one of New York’s most delicious winter spas. And don't forget to pack some travel beauty products if you're planning on a weekend getaway to one of these fabulous upstate resorts. All together now: Aaaah…

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to winter getaways from NYC

Photograph: Jim Smith

Best massage

Mohonk Mountain House

1½ hours by bus
Situated in a sprawling 19th-century “castle” on the edge of Lake Mohonk in the Hudson Valley, this resort pairs R&R with stellar views. The spa’s signature Mohonk Red massage (80mins $185) is named for a variety of witch hazel grown on the premises that’s used as part of the treatment. But the weary city dweller’s best friends are the massages focusing on specific areas of the body, including tired-from-beating-the-icy-pavement feet, and sore heads and shoulders (each 50mins $130). 1000 Mountain Rest Rd, New Paltz, NY (845-765-3286, $340/night, for two $500–$600/night.

Best soak

Roosevelt Baths and Spa

4 hours by car
President Franklin Roosevelt, wheelchair-bound due to polio, was known to frequently visit hot springs and spas. A spa named in his honor at the Gideon Putnam Resort offers hydrotherapy, in which fresh and mineral waters are combined for maximum carbonation (40mins $35). Try the Full Body Bliss, a combo 20-minute mineral bath and 60-minute massage (Mon–Thu $119, Fri–Sun $145). The 2,200-acre grounds boast plenty of trails for long walks. And hey, history buffs: Staffers are knowledgeable about FDR and his family’s connection to the area. 39 Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY (800-452-7275, 518-226-4790; $129–$600/night.
Photograph: Courtesy The Spa At Norwich Inn

Most variety

The Spa at Norwich Inn

3 hours by car
Like a farm-to-table restaurant, this spa’s menu changes seasonally. Current winter services include a chocolate-and-orange body wrap and an orange-and-quince facial (both $125). You can also try year-round options like a reiki session with a medium trained in the Japanese healing method ($125); an ayurvedic mud wrap incorporating ingredients used in traditional Indian medicine ($115); and a tarot card reading in which you’re permitted to bring pictures of deceased loved ones, but not to wear perfume (25mins $65, 50mins $95). 607 West Thames St, Norwich, CT (860-425-3500, $125–$700/night.
Photograph: Courtesy Copperhead Resort and Spa

Best solo excursion

Copperhood Retreat & Spa

2 hours by car
Nestled between tall trees and a gentle creek, the remote Copperhood offers individual services aplenty—pure bliss for someone trying to get as far away from the big-city bustle as possible in the space of a weekend. The health- and weight-loss-centric spot specializes in some unusual treatments, such as the Scotch Hose ($150), a water massage administered while standing that leaves your muscles feeling like dough. You can also try acupuncture ($150), reflexology ($120) and an ayurvedic treatment in which oil is dripped onto your third eye ($140). 7039 State Rte 28, Shandaken, NY (845-688-2460, Three-night minimum stay; for one $1,502/three nights, for two $1339/three nights.
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

Most luxe

The Mayflower Grace

2 hours by car
Not to be confused with the famous Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., this posh hotel and spa will up your relaxation game. Why stop at mani-pedis ($60–$115) and massages ($175–$315) when you can take, say, private fencing lessons (60mins $110)? Capitalize on midweek (Mon–Thu) discounts with the Winter Spa Offer. 118 Woodbury Rd, Washington, CT (860-868-9466, From $775/night.

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