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Spa Solage
Photograph: Courtesy Spa Solage/Trinette ReedSpa Solage

The best spas and spa resorts in the US

Stressed? In need of some serious pampering? These destination-worthy day spas and wellness retreats will restore your glow

Scott Snowden
Edited by
Scott Snowden
Written by
Lesley McCave
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Recently, more than ever, we've felt the stresses and strains of day-to-day existence. Having both a healthy body and a focussed mind is essential in order to handle everything life throws at us. So why not indulge and treat yourself—and others—to a spa break somewhere special?

Though many luxury hotels have equally amazing spas (we’re looking at you, Mandarin Oriental and Four Seasons), we’ve narrowed the field to focus mainly on independent establishments or small chains. From affordable treatments in NYC to A-list pampering in LA, these prime places offer the finest facials, massages and body treatments. So lie back, breath deeply and just relax. 

Note: For every spa listed here, all members of your party are required to present evidence of full vaccination for Covid. 

Best spas in the US

Even in wine country, where a stunning resort and spa lurks behind every twist in the road, Spa Solage is a standout for many reasons. Chief among them are the seductive farmhouse-style buildings and the geothermal pools, a nod to the local hot springs. A recent overhaul has resulted in additions such as a new indoor-outdoor relaxation lounge and an herb garden, whose crops will be incorporated into treatments.

Signature service: Solage Signature Mudslide, where you get to sidle up to the mud bar to select your own dirt. Can be enjoyed solo or as part of a couple or group (from 75 mins, $200 per person).

 

In the unlikely event Mii amo’s breathtaking setting—the ruddy buttes of Boynton Canyon, within Sedona’s Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness—doesn’t immediately captivate you, its exhaustive treatment menu should. Part of the Enchantment resort, the 24,000-square-foot spa draws extensively on its surroundings, from its name (which means 'one’s path or journey' in the Yuman language) to its services, many of which feature local, indigenous plants and flowers. Also on offer: wellness-oriented experiences and activities, including Past Life Regression.

Signature service: Prickly Pear Butter Wrap (from 60 mins, $210), including a sea-salt-and-jojoba body polish, prickly pear butter massage, and neck and head massage.

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Blackberry Farm has welcomed overnight guests and foodies since the late 1970s, but its spa component, Wellhouse, opened in June 2014. Nonetheless, the rustic stone-and-wood building feels like it’s been there forever, and the spa and wellness menus are hardly afterthoughts. From aquafit to Zumba, a wide range of fitness activities is available, alongside lifestyle lectures and 'forest bathing' (guided hikes and meditation in the woods). Meanwhile, treatments with such tempting names as Lavender and Vanilla Bourbon Body Drench will have your muscles unclenching—and your mouth watering—before you’ve even set foot in the door.

Signature service: Wellhouse Soothe (50 mins, $180), a farm-to-treatment-table body wrap showcasing sorghum, a gluten-free grain rich in vitamins and minerals that Southern farmers have been harvesting for centuries.

It’s hard to narrow down what we love about this mini chain, which currently operates two outlets: Portland and Boulder. From its recycling policies to its own range of gorgeous handmade lotions and potions, Dragontree checks all the eco-friendly boxes. As for the menu, it’s an appealing array of facials, massages and ayurvedic therapies, plus acupuncture, nutritional consultations and the like. Those on a tight budget should book a foot, hand or head treatment in the communal-but-comfy Sangha Room.

Signature service: The Abhyanga massage (60 mins, $138) is done with an Ayurvedic technique to decrease the pressure on your heart and increase circulation and improve energy levels. Unlike a Swedish massage, the Abhyanga focuses less on the muscle tissue and more on the skin, lymphatic, and circulatory systems, marma points and energy fields.

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Yes, it’s within a hotel (and a chain at that), but Spa Montage sneaked onto our list for several reasons. The 35,000-square-foot wellness wonderland is billed as an 'alpine oasis'—and we’re not arguing. Highlights include the indoor mosaic lap pool with mountain views, fireside his ’n’ hers copper soaking tubs for couples’ services, and even a dedicated spa menu for junior guests. Meanwhile, the Alpine Body Massage is targeted toward skiers who’ve overdone it on the nearby slopes.

Signature service: There are four variations of the Elements of Wellness Signature Service, but Pure Bliss offers customized body-balancing treatment designed to 'set you on a path of ultimate well-being and renewed vitality' (90mins, $375).

The Lodge at Woodloch | Hawley, PA
Photograph: Courtesy The Lodge at Woodloch

6. The Lodge at Woodloch | Hawley, PA

Think 'destination spa' and Pennsylvania might not immediately spring to mind, but The Lodge at Woodloch has rightly earned its numerous accolades. Frazzled urbanites flock to this Poconos hideaway to soak away their stress under the Aqua Garden’s HydroMassage waterwalls, nap by the fireplace or veg in the aptly named Whisper Lounge. Treatments are top-notch, ranging from massages and wraps to facials; some take their inspiration from the resort’s prime woodland location. And if choosing among them fills you with angst, simply call upon the customization skills of the spa concierge. 

Signature service: The Blues Be Gone massage (75 mins, $270) helps ease the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, including headaches, depression, stiff muscles, and aches, by enhancing the immune system and re-energizing the mind. This is a Swedish-style massage incorporating ginger root oil and acupressure techniques. 

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Just 20 minutes from LAX, the sprawling 50,000-square-foot Spa at Terranea is a destination in itself with its own boutique, pool, gym and café—not to mention facilities such as steam rooms, outdoor cold plunge pools and Jacuzzis. Sign up for a complimentary workout class in the fitness studio—offerings include open-air cycling with vast ocean views—or catch some rays by the private spa pool before your service. Some of the spa’s 25 treatment rooms and three suites come with copper bathtubs and balconies overlooking the water, adding the soothing sound of crashing waves to the experience. 

Signature service: Tranquility (60 mins, $240) is made up of a cocoon wrap to nourish, calm and harmonize the body. A neck, scalp, and face massage is incorporated for complete bliss.

A Japanese-style hot springs resort outside Santa Fe might sound a little unlikely, but Ten Thousand Waves’ legions of fans can’t all be wrong. Stay overnight in a hillside cottage or drop by for a day-spa service (facials, massages, wraps and more are all up for grabs). Or simply soak up the fresh forest air from the comfort of a communal hot tub (note: some are clothing-optional). If that sounds a little too social for you, prebook a private tub or spa suite. Don’t miss the nibbles and artisan sakes served in the izakaya-style restaurant, izanami.

Signature service: Shiatsu Deep Tissue Massage, performed fully clothed and designed to open major muscle-energy systems and address pain-related blockages (80 mins, $239).

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A good spa is all about relaxation, and the Allyu sets the tone from the moment you walk in the door for your appointment. Instead of sitting in a boring, run-of-the-mill waiting area, you can kick your feet up in a serene, dimly lit, semi-private tented chamber. The treatments take things to the next level too—think facials featuring botanical and vitamin-rich ingredients, hot stone massages, chakra balancing and more. On a budget but still need to relax? Allyu offers a free lunchtime meditation session the second Wednesday of each month.

Signature service: Infrared Detox Body Wrap (around 90 mins in total, $240), which harnesses infrared heat to enhance relaxation, followed by the 60-minute massage. 

A World War I barracks might seem an unlikely venue for an Asian-inspired holistic retreat, but somehow it works. Nestled in the Presidio, SenSpa was founded in 2006 by Dave Spencer following a life-altering car crash that launched him on the path to wellness. The voluminous treatment menu encompasses everything from standard spa fare to Rolfing, oncology massage and 'rhythm entrainment' designed to stimulate creativity (well, it is San Francisco). Other draws include a new infrared sauna, SenCafe, which serves organic grub from Bay Area chain The Plant and a large Senboutique retail area.

Signature service: Zen Bundle (60 mins, $325), which begins with a 30-minute infrared sauna session followed by a 20-minute Somadome session. 

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While terms such as 'lifestyle retreat' and 'wellness institution' are bandied about left and right these days, the all-inclusive Canyon Ranch enterprise was a pioneer in the field when it opened in Tucson in 1979. It now boasts offshoots in Las Vegas and even on cruise ships, but the Lenox location is the best—hence its heavy quota of repeat visitors. Pampering spa services are a major draw, but what really lures guests is the opportunity to reboot their lives—whether it’s via better nutrition, stress management or spiritual reawakening—all amid the backdrop of a glorious 1897 Berkshires mansion.

Signature service: The Hungarian Scrub (50 mins, $185) starts with a vigorous and effective exfoliation of the whole body. Using sea salt, Hungarian moor mud and capsicum peptide, the skin’s texture is refined and left radiant and soft. The invigorating, firming body oil improves skin elasticity while balancing and soothing the body and senses.

Hotel Bel-Air Spa | Los Angeles, CA

The Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie proves nature and nurture can coexist in equal measure. Set deep within the iconic hotel’s woodsy Bel-Air canyon, the spa evokes a tranquil indoor-outdoor vibe with lily-pad-like sculptures, warm woodwork and dappled light in the relaxation lounge. The nurture quotient here is evident in the spa’s chic nail salon with individual mani-pedi pods and the seven treatment rooms kitted out with waterbed-style tables. 

Signature service: The Signature Valmont Facial: Vitality of the Stars experience (90 mins, $1,000) is the ultimate in luxury beauty treatments, exclusive to Hotel Bel-Air Spa. Their 'bespoke massage technique will clear and detoxify, while Valmont’s cellular collagen masks for the face, eyes, neck and décolleté will renew and restore your skin. LED and microcurrent technology lifts and defines the contours of the face to add an effective finishing touch to this results-driven facial. 

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It’s nigh impossible to pick just one spa from all the striking spaces in Miami, but the Spa at Eden Roc gets our vote for its serene, Zen-like interior—a respite from the frenetic playground outside. Face and body treatments mingle with nail and waxing services on the menu, and in the unlikely event you’d rather work out than chill out, there’s a 24-hour fitness center (with ocean views, of course). The staff here goes above and beyond to deliver stellar customer service. 

Signature service: Eden Roc offers the much-ballyhooed HydraFacial MD (50 mins, $220), which promises to 'mitigate environmental damage, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and firm and plump the skin.'

Based on the theory that water brings health, Great Jones is outfitted with a popular water lounge complete with subterranean pools, saunas, steam rooms and a three-story waterfall. Access to the 15,000-square-foot paradise is complimentary with services over $100—treat yourself to a divinely scented body scrub, a massage or one of the many indulgent packages. 

Signature service: The Deluxe Facial (90mins, $300) uses natural antioxidant-rich ingredients to hydrate stressed skin and includes a fruit enzyme peel and an 'eye rescue' treatment.

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