By Kristin Harmel
December 29, 2014
Best Hotel Spas in Orlando
Credit: Kent Phillips

Confession time: When I finish the last draft of each of my books and send them off to my editor, I almost always celebrate by treating myself to a spa day. Sure, it might be considered an extravagance, but it takes me several months to craft a novel, and another arduous month or two to revise, so I’m somehow able to justify the expense. In any case, I firmly believe that I live in the best city in the world for luxurious spa options. Some of the most successful spas in the country have outposts here, and creating divine oases for guests is just one way in which the elite hotels in Orlando are able to compete with each other. So if you are long overdue for a massage, facial or mani-pedi, consider yourself very lucky: you’ve come to the right place indeed. Here’s where to luxuriate and relax in style.

Mandara Spa at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

This Universal-area luxury spa offers 14 treatment rooms in a 13,000-square-foot space, which also boasts a fitness center and separate men’s and women’s saunas. Try the Four Hand Massage or the Balinese Body Polish, which includes a 25-minute back massage. Mandara also has an outpost at the Walt Disney World Dolphin.

Mokara Spa at Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate

This spa is nestled away from the hubbub of Orlando on a 15-arcre resort property that features two 18-hole championship golf courses and a lighted 9-hole course. Wind down from your golf round with a Sugar Glow body treatment, a Rejuvenating Vitamin C facial or the spa’s signature Mokara Massage.

Waldorf Astoria Spa

Is it any wonder that one of Orlando’s most upscale resorts would also house one of the area’s best spas? Choose from an array of signature facials, or try the absurdly luxurious Diamond Body treatment. If you’re staying at the Waldorf Astoria, your resort fee covers access to the spa’s tea lounge, rainfall showers, Jacuzzi and eucalyptus steam room, even if you don’t book a treatment.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Orlando, Grande Lake

This luxury spa’s unique offerings include the zero-gravity Grande Eco Garden Hammock massage – performed while you rock in a hammock in a private garden – and treatments derived from herbs and honey produced on resort property. With more than 40 treatment rooms, a private heated lap pool and a café, this spa is a perfect place to come with friends; I’ve celebrated several birthdays here!

Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Just like the resort it’s housed in, the spa is meant to evoke the feel of a turn-of-the-20th-century escape. Victorian garden theming gives way to an experience so soothing that my sister and I chose to relax here the day before my wedding! Enjoy the Signature Age Defying Lavender Facial or the Signature Massage and Body Wrap. There’s also a Senses spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort.