The Top 15 Domestic Spas
This year's World's Best Awards survey was open for voting January 11 through May 10, 2021, as destinations around the world were lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules have always allowed readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope that this year's honorees will inspire your own travels as you get back out into the world.
Who couldn't use some relaxation right now? Spa vacations offer a chance to disconnect from the everyday and to embrace a slower pace and get a little pampering — although, some spas certainly specialize in athletic pursuits, if you want to challenge your body. The good news is that you don't have to travel far: there are dozens of world-class spas right here in the U.S., and many have been named best spas by Travel + Leisure readers.
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.
Many of our readers' favorite domestic spas are located in the West and Southwest, with three in Arizona, and two in California, New Mexico, and Texas each. Hilton Head Health in South Carolina (No. 7), Westglow Resort & Spa (No. 14) in North Carolina, and Carillon Miami Wellness Resort (No. 12) earned high marks for all-around stellar service and amenities. One reader remarked that the Carillon team still "knocked it out of the park," even with COVID-19 safety protocols in place: "Best spa experience with new experiences that are contactless, too, which is great for these challenging times."
In the Northeast, the Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania, captured readers' hearts for its excellent bedding and impressive list of activities, including hikes, aerobics, meditation, and yoga. This year's No. 8 also earned praise for its instructors' patience and careful attention: "They are absolutely experts in their various disciplines, and they all will listen to you and modify to help you along." One guest reported staying there 15 times.
Just an hour from Santa Fe, No. 7 Ojo Caliente — one of the oldest mineral-spring resorts in the U.S. — was described as "a diamond tucked away in the New Mexico landscape." What keeps guests returning year after year? It's a combination of the numerous soaking pools, the serene beauty of the desert setting, the casual-chic wine bar and restaurant, and the feeling of being away from it all. "Some things you cannot describe and simply have to experience to understand," proclaimed one visitor. "Ojo Caliente is the one place I can say this about."
But of all the wellness properties in the United States, Shou Sugi Ban House took the top spot this year. Read on for more about what makes it special — and for the full list of the best spas in the United States.
1. Shou Sugi Ban House, Water Mill, New York
Known for its delicious culinary program, this 13-room Japanese-inspired retreat opened in the Hamptons in May 2019 and has been on readers' radars ever since. Shou Sugi earned top marks for being both intimate and, as one voter summarized, a "completely immersive experience." The spa has infrared and dry saunas, a steam room, an ice fountain, and plunge pools. Along with dozens of bodywork treatments, activities include yoga classes; sound therapy and energy healing with crystals and tuning forks; hypnotherapy; and intuitive painting.
More information: shousugibanhouse.com
2. Cal-a-Vie, Vista, California
More information: cal-a-vie.com
3. The Ranch Malibu, California
More information: theranchmalibu.com
4. Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, Carefree, Arizona
More information: civanacarefree.com
5. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
6. Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
More information: hhhealth.com
7. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
More information: ojosparesorts.com/ojo-caliente
8. Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
9. Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii
More information: fourseasons.com/sensei
10. Miraval Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
More information: miravalresorts.com
11. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
More information: carillonhotel.com
12. Miraval Austin, Texas
More information: miravalaustin.com
13. Ojo Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: ojosparesorts.com/ojo-santa-fe
14. Westglow Resort & Spa, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
More information: westglowresortandspa.com
15. Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona
More information: canyonranch.com
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2021.