The Top 10 Destination Spas in the U.S.
When you’re in need of a true mind-body recharge, the best fix is to get off the grid and hit the reset button through a dedicated wellness-centered getaway. For travelers seeking this type of retreat, the good news is that you don’t have to wander far: some of the world’s best destination spas happen to be located right here in the United States.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. In the destination spas category, readers rated properties on their accommodations and facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value.
Related: The World's Best Awards 2019
For years, the Western U.S. ruled as the country’s premier wellness region. But in the past few years, we’ve seen the trend migrate east, with new destination spas opening in locations like New York’s Long Island (Shou Sugi Ban House) and North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains (the Art of Living Retreat Center). Still, destination spas in the West and Southwest continue to dominate in our annual World’s Best Survey. This year, seven out of the top-ranking properties — including our winner — can be found in Arizona, New Mexico, or California.
We partly chalk it up to the awe-inspiring landscapes found in these locales — from the windswept coastal scenery at the Ranch Malibu (No. 6) to the sunbaked swaths of desert at Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa (No. 4) and the densely wooded grounds at Ten Thousand Waves (No. 8), in New Mexico.
Of course, beautiful scenery abounds in other parts of the country — like Lake Austin, where our No. 7 winner, Lake Austin Spa Resort, is located. The all-inclusive destination spa is located just 30 minutes from downtown Austin, but it feels worlds away, thanks to its serene perch on 19 waterfront acres. “The setting is so conducive to relaxation,” one reader wrote. “The grounds are so welcoming and inspiring, with the lake views and the use of native plants.” In addition to communing with nature, guests can opt for a treatment at the LakeHouse Spa or break a sweat by signing up for one of dozens of different exercise classes — kickboxing, weight training, barre, you name it. “The activities and fitness classes are top-notch,” raved one respondent.
Offerings at the Lodge at Woodloch — an adults-only retreat in the Poconos — are just as impressive. Guests at this year’s No. 9 spa have their pick of activities, ranging from forest bathing and bird-watching to watercolor painting and tenkara (Japanese fly-fishing). Its spa offers treatments that are both beautifying (LED facials) and soul-soothing (chakra-balancing massages). But the biggest selling point at the popular Pennsylvania retreat is the service. “They key ingredient to the Lodge at Woodloch,” one reader wrote, “is the warmth and genuine hospitality of the staff.”
Read on to find out which property earned our No. 1 spot.
10. Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts
More information: canyonranch.com/lenox
9. The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
More information: thelodgeatwoodloch.com
8. Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: tenthousandwaves.com
7. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Texas
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.13
More information: lakeaustin.com
6. The Ranch Malibu, California
More information: theranchmalibu.com
5. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
More information: ojospa.com
4. Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona
More information: miravalresorts.com
3. Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: sunrisesprings.ojospa.com
2. Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California
More information: cal-a-vie.com
1. Mii Amo, Sedona, Arizona
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 94.57
More information: miiamo.com
Mii Amo boasts an enviable address at the foot of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon on a purported vortex, a location where the earth’s energy is said to be at its most concentrated. The 16-room property celebrates the majesty of its red-rock surroundings through healing New Agey therapies like aura readings and energy clearings, as well as classics on topics such as vortex energy and medicinal plants. “The world would be a better place if everyone embarked on a Mii Amo journey,” one guest remarked. Readers also raved about the cuisine, which focuses on organic ingredients and can be tailored to individual dietary needs. “The restaurant staff was happy to alter my dishes so that I could enjoy my meals while sticking to my diet,” one reader wrote.
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.