Emerge Day Spa
Though only open for a short time, Newbury Street’s Emerge spa has already established itself as the go-to place for relaxation. Think flat-screen TV’s in the Men’s Club, a fireside lounge and a roof deck, and treatments like the Thalasso Kur: a body wrap, mineral bath, and massage. 275 Newbury St.; 617/437-0006; emergespasalon.com; $215.
Mayflower Inn & Spa
During the Thermal Sanctuary Experience, a modern-day hammam ritual, spagoers detox with a selection of scrubs and oils in a marble-clad steam room. Afterward, settle into a settee in the lounge, a welcoming space complete with a roaring fire and gorgeous views of the Connecticut countryside. 118 Woodbury Rd.; 860/868-9466; mayflowerinn.com; $90.
New York City
Cornelia Day Resort
This 22,000-square-foot self-proclaimed "day resort" on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue is stocked with decadent touches, like cashmere throws and butlers serving champagne in the relaxation room; a mini-boutique displays designer bags and accessories alongside skin-care products. But it’s the Signature Facial that is truly deluxe. Instead of one aesthetician, clients get two—the first tends to your face, while the second gives you a massage. 663 Fifth Ave.; 212/871-3050; cornelia.com; $195.
Overlooking the ocean, this is the United States’ first stand-alone outpost from Espa. Look for an authentic experience in a resolutely modern environment. Services like the Vata Comforter— a scrub, massage, and wrap using muds, oils, and spices—draw on a range of Asian traditions (ayurveda, in this case). 17875 Collins Ave.; 305/918-6844; acqualina.com; $295.
Belladonna Day Spa
When it reopened directly following Katrina, Belladonna served as a community gathering place. It’s still a welcoming haunt, thanks to its worldly boutique and indulgent treatments such as the Thai Foot Ritual, an upgraded pedicure that includes traditional Thai stretches. 2900 Magazine St.; 504/891-4393; belladonnadayspa.com; $95.
It is Texas-chic at Austin’s top spa: mismatched wing chairs in the lounge; massage tables covered with gingham throws. To feel especially pampered, book the Texas Starry Night, done after dark in one of the outdoor treatment areas. The combined effect of the lavender-oil massage, twinkling stars, and air tinged with the scent of Texas wildflowers will lull any insomniac to sleep. 1705 S. Quinlan Rd.; 512/372-7300; lakeaustin.com; $140.
Boulders Resort & Golden Door
A compound of adobe buildings that seems to spring from the desert landscape, the Golden Door goes out of its way to put guests at ease. Case in point: Needle & the Stone, a blend of acupuncture and hot-stone massage, conducted by a therapist certified in both arts. 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr.; 480/488-9009; goldendoorspas.com; $200.