Start the New Year With a Trip to One of These Destination Spas
Now that the holidays have ended, it’s time to start thinking about cleansing all those glasses of wine, mashed potatoes, and slices of pie away. And where better to start than at a spa—or even better, a full-on wellness resort? After all, we’re living in the age of cryotherapy, infared sauanas, and sensory deprivation tanks, when there are more options available than ever to begin your New Year in a way that is totally customizable.
To help get you started, we’ve put together a list of the best spas, resorts, and treatments to help start 2017 off right. From hiking retreats in Vermont to medical centers in Germany, there’s something on this list for everyone.
The Spa at Chablé Resort, Mexico
Early in 2016, Chablé Resort opened in Yucatan, Mexico. The lush spa, which blends holistic, Mayan traditions and modern techniques, is the main attraction here—it’s built around cenote, which are natural wells, or swimming holes. Just a quick Google Image search of the resort will almost assuredly have you adding this property to the very top of your bucket list, or even booking a stay right then and there.
Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany
In the mountains of Bavaria, overlooking the Tegernesee Lake, you’ll find Lanserhof Tegernesee, a wellness resort that refers to itself as a “modern health center.” They use the LANS Med Concept, which is basically an all-encompassing health plan that guests create with their on-site physician to suit their own personal health needs (anti-aging, weight loss, better eating habits, quitting smoking—you get the picture). If spa retreats are “too 2016” for you, head here to take detoxing to a whole new level.
New Life Hiking Spa, Vermont
This hiking-focused wellness spa claimed the title of Number One Destination Spa in our 2016 World’s Best Awards. The general consensus—according to our readers, who vote each year—is that, East Coaster or not, this place is worth a visit. At New Life, you’ll want to hike, thanks to the beautiful backdrop of the state’s Green Mountains. Mornings and afternoons can also be spent having massages, doing yoga, or participating in healthy cooking workshops. It’s worth noting that New Life offers a Weight Loss Retreat as well, which focuses on motivation through exercising in natural environments (a.k.a., not your dreary, clinical gym) and eating wholesome, local foods rather than dieting.
Santani Wellness Resort and Spa, Sri Lanka
Situated within the Sri Lankan jungle, this wellness resort offers a tri-level spa—the first ever, in the country, to use hydrotherapy facilities. Do yourself a favor and visit Santani for a longer-than-average stay so you can fully experience their comprehensive approach to health and relaxation.
Mii Amo, A Destination Spa, Arizona
The gorgeous, red rock backdrop of Mii Amo could easily be mistaken for Mars; alas, it’s actually in Sedona, which may be less exotic, but no less mesmerizing. Here, you can customize your visit based on length and what you want to gain out of your stay, whether it’s a fresh beginning, spiritual exploration, or healthy body. The rooms and suites are distinctly Southwestern and meticulous; many have fireplaces, whirlpools, outdoor showers, and patios. While this is a great place for couples, friends, and groups, it’s an even better destination for solo travelers looking to clear their mind.
Canyon Ranch Kaplankaya, Turkey
Canyon Ranch chose Bodrum, Turkey, as the location for their first international property which may not have been as surprising as a choice were it not 2017 (it opened less than a year ago). But this is perhaps exactly what both the country and its tourists needed: a reminder that venturing outside of one’s comfort zone is part of what makes travel so thrilling, intriguing, and most importantly—stimulating. But upon checking in at Canyon Ranch Kaplankaya, all thoughts of personal and political turmoil seemingly melt away. The gorgeous property sits on the Turkish Riviera and offers a variety of wellness packages (including a Smoking Cessation Package) and world-class spa, but our favorite amenity has to be the service allowance, which is included in every guests stay to apply towards the programs and activities of their choice.
Susanne Kaufmann Spa at the Hotel Post Bezau, Austria
If you’re not familiar with Susanne Kaufmann’s natural, luxury line of skincare products, you should be—they’re fabulous (we’re particularly big fans of her bath formulas). The line is made with ingredients associated with Alpine habitats, like the Bregenzerwald Forest, where she makes her products. This is also the location of the Hotel Post Bezau, which is home to the Susanne Kaufmann Spa is and where only the foremost medical estheticians and skincare specialists are hired. And, as you can imagine, the outdoor activities—whether it’s spring or fall—are endless. We recommend making a trip during winter, however, when the Alps are the most magical.
HigherDOSE, New York City
Founded by two female entrepreneurs, HigherDOSE is the perfect quick fix for New Yorkers eager to detox (and, who don’t mind a bit of sweat). Their various locations focus on infrared therapy through the use of saunas and body wraps. The technology benefits both the way you look and feel; infrared stimulates the circulatory system, purges the skin of toxins, and seriously helps with joint pain (the latter of which is a great aid for those who suffer from arthritis or Lyme Disease).
For those traveling to Japan, a visit to Amanemu is a must. The standout feature of this completely tranquil, modern-Eastern oasis is its onsens (Japanese hot spring baths) that are in each of the resort’s 24 suites and villas; there are two onsen pavilions in the spa, which boasts stunning panoramic views, as well. Located in Ise Shima National Park, you can hike UNESCO World Heritage trails, feast on local seafood, and soak in mineral rich waters whilst there.
The Well, Norway
The Well is a brand new, multi-level monster bathhouse nestled in the forests outside Oslo; it now holds the title as the Nordic region’s largest spa. The Well offers a wide array of treatments influenced by Eastern and Western cultures, from Turkish hammams to Roman-style baths and Japanese onsens (there are traditional Nordic therapies to be experienced, too). So go, now, before the word gets out, and immerse yourself in what’s sure to be one of Scandinavia’s next hottest destinations.
Miraval Resort & Spa, Arizona
You can never wrong with a trip to Miraval, Arizona’s long renowned resort and spa. Situated in Tucson’s Santa Cataline Mountains, Miraval’s got options for just about every type of guest. There’s horseback riding, fine arts classes, cooking workshops, zip lining, outdoor activities (did anyone say zip lining?) and even bee keeping. And its award-winning Life in Balance Spa ain’t bad, neither, with offerings as vast as Shamanic healing ceremonies and outdoor, nighttime massages.
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreats & Health Spa, Canada
For lovers of both fitness and nature, Mountain Trek offers retreats set amongst the beautiful lakes and mountains of British Columbia. Their all-inclusive packages, which include healthy meals, classes (like Yoga and spinning), and massages, can be booked on a weekly basis. For families or groups of friend looking to detox—both physically and digitally—Mountain Trek hosts groups of up to 16 people. Past visitors have reported genuine changes after leaving the resort, such as weight loss and better sleeping and eating habits.
Aire Ancient Baths, New York
One of New Yorkers’ favorite places to unwind at is at Aire Ancient Baths, a luxury bathhouse and spa in SoHo. This year, Aire is taking things to a whole new level with their Red Wine Experience, which includes the usual 90 minutes of thermal bath time—but what comes before that is truly heavenly. The ritual starts with a half-hour soak (with a simultaneous scalp and facial massage) in a private tub filled with a concentrate of tempranillo grapes; watch as they pour the leftover red wine you’re served into the bath. Next, you’re led into an adjoining room for an hour massage, where masseuses use nourishing grape seed oil. After, enjoy your hour-and-a-half as you wish, whether that means floating in the “dead sea bath,” relaxing in the eucalyptus-infused steam room, or sipping tea on slabs of heated marble.
Tabacon Grand Resort Thermal Spa, Costa Rica
Located in the Arenal Volcanic Region, this breathtaking property is well known for being home to Costa Rica’s largest network of natural thermal springs; non-guests can acquire day passes to experience them, but the resort, which is situated within a lush rainforest, is spectacular and most certainly worth a stay. In addition to the spa and thermal waters, there are the Shangri-La Gardens, an adults only, open-air rainforest lounge, where there are cocktail serving butlers standing guard. The hotel is also committed to environmental sustainability, as if we needed another reason to encourage guests to visit.
Westglow Resort & Spa, North Carolina
Situated in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, this charming resort, which is housed in a historic Greek Revival mansion, combines old school American charm and modern luxury. A Relais & Chateaux property, you can customize your health plan, combining the fitness classes and spa treatments that meet your individual needs. And the options seem endless: there are health food grocery store tours, Vichy rain treatments, and massages of all forms. This is a perfect destination for a girl’s getaway or solo retreat.
Maya Tulum Resort, Mexico
This beachfront property is Tulum’s original yoga retreat. A secluded paradise set on the Riviera Maya, the resort takes pride in honoring ancient Mayan culture, particularly their healing techniques and therapeutic treatments. Instead of rooms, guests stay in light and airy thatched-roof cabanas (no two are alike), all in close proximity to the beach. It’s also a perfect destination for those with an adventurous or nature loving side; experiences include snorkeling, watching turtles hatch their eggs, and the exploration of Mayan ruins. And, of course, yoga classes, which are also open to non-guests as well.
Body Holiday Resort, St. Lucia
On the Caribbean island of St. Lucia lies the all-inclusive BodyHoliday Resort, which specializes in wellbeing. The complete experience at BodyHoliday revolves around wellness and pampering; daily, complimentary spa treatments are part of each guest’s stay (spa activities can be scheduled in advance, if one wishes). The resort also has its own program—BodyScience. Certified MDs consult with each client before, during, and after the program, which, according to its website, “uses non-invasive, state-of-the-art technology and Ayurvedic principles to analyze a range of physiological and biochemical information from each guest, which make it possible for our doctors to assess a variety of factors–including nutrient, hormone and stress levels, heart health and circulation–to establish the best course to better living.” In shorter words? You’ll be well taken care of, and just not while you’re on-site. The resort offers quite the plethora of activities, too, from cricket to scuba diving, and wakeboarding and sailing.
The Ranch Malibu, California
By this day and age, The Ranch is quite well known for its celebrity guests. Hollywood A-listers have been coming to The Ranch Malibu, (and now, The Ranch 4.0 at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village) for years to detox, de-stress, and shape up for (or, unwind from) demanding roles. But you don’t have to be famous to visit, of course—the locations just happen to be in close proximity to La La Land. The Ranch offers various programs, all of which are highly physical and results-driven. If you’re looking for a few days off to shed a few pounds, gain some mental clarity, or just escape the daily stresses of life, head for a shorter stay at The Ranch 4.0 (this location also offers daily “Integrative Lifestyle Physicals” that end with a deep tissue massage). For those who are interested in longer-term stays, there’s the signature 7-day program, or The Ranch 10.0 (which, you guessed it, consists of 10 days). Both incorporate a specialty diet and medical testing, alongside daily hikes, massages, fitness classes, and naps. To top it all off, The Ranch offers a daily meal plan program, which is delivered to the front doors of customers who live nearby.