There are hundreds, if not thousands of luxury spas located all across the United States. Some are parts of chains which require membership for better spa prices. Others are day spas where people go to unwind and recharge on occasion. Still others are destination spas, where arriving means staying long enough to transform the spirit before it is time to leave.
There are many rating services and award systems for spa establishments in America. Some of the better spas are small, personalized places that cater mostly to local customers. While other resorts are big business with prices and premium services available. Here are five spas which have been serving customers for years, and have developed reputations for distinctive experiences and superb spa quality.
1. Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii
The Travaasa Hana is Conde Nast Traveler’s top Hawaiian spa. The spa is famous for its signature lomilomi massages. Guests stay in the resort’s Sea Ranch Cottages featuring king size beds with organic linens and Pacific Ocean views to enjoy from the wide lanais. The resort features island sourced produce, freshly caught fish provided by the local fishermen and a gourmet menu that is friendly for vegetarians. Chef Derek Watanabe creates sumptuous meals for Travaasa guests.
Some activity highlights include circuit training with personalized outdoor regimens, learning the story telling language of hula, and flying a glider over Haeakala volcano. Guided meditation at the sea’s edge on black lava rocks can start the day. There are yoga classes held under the coconut palms on green grass. Guides lead coastal walks to explore the plants of Polynesia and the Alau Island bird sanctuary. Writers and painters are encouraged to spend some creative time. There is a fire pit each evening for sharing experiences.
Private whirlpools, an infinity pool, horse stables, wine tasting, snorkeling and star gazing are only some of the amenities offered at this AAA Four-Diamond Awarded resort. It also received the Andrew Harper Grand Award. Prices start at $450 per night.
2. Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico
This extraordinarily beautiful spa is focused on the Japanese tradition of bathing for health, relaxation and skin care. The spa is modeled after the mountain hot spring resorts of Japan. It is nestled among junipers and pinons with lovely outdoor spa suites and hot tubs. For over 35 years, the spa has been dedicated to providing relaxation and serenity.
The spa is located just ten minutes away from downtown Santa Fe, but there is limited lodging available for overnight stays. The amenities are decidedly luxurious and first class, including complimentary high speed wireless internet, breakfast, nightly chocolates, private tub reservations and shuttle service to the spa and Izanami.
Rates for the Houses of the Moon lodging begins at $249 per night. Spa packages range from under $200 to over $500 based on the number of services provided and the hours stayed.
Izanami restaurant is in isakaya dining format, where small plates for sharing are served slowly and come from the kitchen as they are ready. The atmosphere is casual and focused on spending time together. Because Santa Fe is far from the sea, a thousand miles, the restaurant doesn’t serve fish. Reservations are required.
3. South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Temecula, California
Anything that could possibly be wanted is available at this award winning winery resort. The lodgings are all separate villas nestled in the vineyards. It is easy to drive to each villa, park the car and forget about it for the duration of the stay. The villas are 500 square feet of comfort and luxury with complimentary wine bottle and fireplace, plus beautiful soaking tubs and separate showers.
The Grapeseed Spa is within a short walk from each villa, and features a wide range of spa services including massage, facials, manicures and pedicures, a sauna and hot tub and outdoor heated swimming pool. When staying the day at the spa, ordering lunch to be delivered poolside or anywhere else guests may be relaxing, is easy. In the evening, the award winning Vineyard Rose restaurant is just a few steps from each villa.
Wine tastings are held each day in the wine cellar, and entertainment of all kinds is available.
Spa packages range from $250 to $450 depending on services. Villa packages such as the Hot Air Balloon and Dinner Package start at $539.
4. Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts
In the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts, Canyon Ranch provides luxury and wellness services. The spa has a team of physicians and registered nurses with expertise in exercise physiology, nutrition, integrative medicine and spirituality. The world-renowned health resort provides the best of New England amenities in a room or suite designed to be a haven for relaxation. The resort is housed in a gracious 1897 Beaux-Arts mansion boasting beautiful décor such as wood paneled walls, luxurious seating, crystal lamps and chandeliers, and views of the verdant countryside through large glass windows.
Healthful, abundant dining can be enjoyed al fresco on the terrace underneath vine draped columns. This is a traditional health resort with a wide array of spa services, fitness classes and activities each day. Seasonal hikes, biking, cross country skiing canoeing and kayaking are all possible. The rates include allowances toward the resort services which may be chosen from more than 225 different spa, integrative wellness and sports activities.
Canyon Ranch is an all-inclusive health resort. It is also no-tipping. Luxury Suite Room start at $1,510 range up to $3,630 for 3 to 7 nights per person, depending on the season.
5. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, California
This spa has been a haven for the rich and worn for years. It is a classic resort with a Spanish style spa, a sauna, and a Moroccan tiled Mind and Body Center where a lap pool and weight room are available. There is a gym with plenty of equipment and a Chumash Indian sweat lodge where lemongrass is used to infuse steam for inhaling while relaxing in a coating of healing herbs and mud. This treatment is called The Kuyam and is $50. One favorite spa treatment is called Petals, and features a powdered rose rub down followed by a rose gel shower and a rose oil massage for $80. This spa is located about an hour and a half north of Los Angeles.
Doubles are from $210 per day, and day spa packages range from $130 to $300. It is considered one of the best spas in America.