In February, when the holidays are through but winter still drags on, you're bound to start daydreaming about a vacation. You need someplace to unwind and break out of your routine so that you can return refreshed. Here's the first bit of relief: Travel + Leisure has done the work to uncover five resorts that know just how to pamper their guests.
When a luxury hotel joins forces with a state-of-the-art medical facility (the California Health & Longevity Institute), the result is a whole new level of spa service based on hard science. Here, you can get a physical that incorporates cancer and cholesterol screenings, a cardiac risk analysis, and a test that examines your DNA's damage and repair mechanisms. Traditional treatments—Swedish and shiatsu massage—are an alternative for those simply looking to relax. There's an indoor family-friendly pool with a pool-length skylight, while mahogany furniture and Pierre Deux fabrics give the guest rooms a warm, soothing ambiance.
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Rates: Weekend rates from $210/night.
Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, AZ
This upscale, 60,000-acre desert rude ranch is near Tucson, yet it feels like a true escape from big-city life. The surrounding Sonoran Desert landscape is strewn with saguaro and prickly pear cacti, and horseback riding reigns supreme. Guests have the choice of three 90-minute rides daily through the countryside, a six-hour all-day ride, or the combination of rides and a group arena lesson to hone techniques (sunset rides and private lessons cost extra).
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Rates: Bed and breakfast package available through April 30 for $225/couple includes: lodging with breakfast daily; variety of resort activities; Kids program, horseback riding, and mountain biking are available for an additional charge.
Ocean House, Watch Hill, RI
Get away from the crowds by visiting this beach destination in the off-season, when skies are moody and the white sands practically deserted. Built in 1868 and redone to the tune of $146 million, this Victorian-style property is as grand as ever. Croquet lawns and putting greens add to the eclectic, old-world charm. The 49 light-filled guest rooms and 22 private villas have modern bathrooms with oversize soaking tubs, and the wraparound patio is ideal for curling up with a glass of wine, On the ground floor there's the farm-to-table Seasons restaurant, and the hotel's official Food Forager Jan Faust Dane offers cooking classes 3x a week throughout the winter.
Rates: From $260/night in winter months (more than half off its high season rates).
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Westglow Resort & Spa, Blowing Rock, NC
Set among the sleepy Blue Ridge Mountains, with 360-degree views that include the scenic parkway, this resort was named one of the World's Best Destination Spas by Travel + Leisure readers. There's an extensive lineup of fitness and wellness classes, such as "creating balance in your life" and "burnout prevention and healing," and even a dedicated Life Enrichment Center. Its range of amenities includes an indoor swimming pool, whirlpools, a steam room, saunas, a cardiovascular center, weight room, tennis court, and fitness center. Guests are bound to leave with a healthy glow.
Rates: Bed and breakfast rates start at $225/night mid-week through April and include breakfast, daily guided hikes, fitness classes, and use of the spa.
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Red Mountain Resort, Ivins, Utah
Ringed by a trio of natural attractions—Snow, Zion, and Bryce canyons—the Red Mountain Spa devotes as much attention to fitness as to pampering. A sample day can be spent hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Reward yourself for all that effort back at the holistic spa, whose locally-inspired treatments include a Canyon Sage Warm Stone Massage that uses energy-rich indigenous rocks. The 82 rooms and villas were renovated in 2006 with a tasteful Southwestern design that blends in seamlessly with the red rocks and lava fields right outside the door.
Rates: The Essential Retreat Package is $175 per person/per night and available through February 29. Package includes: three healthy delicious meals daily, daily guided morning hikes, unlimited fitness classes, healthy life classes & events, personal discovery activities, Eat Well, Feel Well cooking demonstrations, and more.