The Top 10 Domestic Destination Spas in 2017
Some of the world’s best destination spas are located right here in the United States, and they run the gamut from an adults-only escape on the shores of Lake Austin, in Texas, to an intensive detox retreat in Malibu (ready for that wake-up call at 6 a.m.?)
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 domestic destination spas category, readers rated properties on their accommodations and facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value.
This year, our readers anointed Westglow Resort & Spa, a Relais & Châteaux property in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, as the best destination spa in the country. Westglow offers a wide selection of classes in its Life Enrichment center overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains: mat Pilates, hiking, aquacise, barre blast, yoga, and more. Life coaches are on hand for individual sessions, and couples can even come on a three-night “recharge” package. “This is the only spa I will go to repeatedly,” said one reader. “After traveling the world, I found this gem in my own backyard and I love everything about it!”
One thing these spas all emphasize: experiencing the outdoors. New Life Hiking Spa, an affordable, rustic retreat in the Vermont countryside, offers guided hikes in the summer season; advanced levels climb some of the state’s highest mountains. Mii Amo has beautiful surroundings of a different kind: the stunning red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. In addition to aura-soma color readings and energy clearings, guests can try a 90-minute, Native American-inspired New Moon ritual and massage in an outdoor wickiup.
Healthy cuisine is also a priority (though some do allow you to have the occasional sip of wine). At The Ranch, in Malibu, guests forgo coffee and meat to follow an organic, mostly plant-based diet (but yes, there are gluten-free pizzas.) “The food is flavorful, creative, and absolutely fantastic even if you don’t like ‘healthy’ food,” said one reader. Fellow guests at The Ranch also made a big impression: “The real benefit is the people you will meet from all over the world while hiking, and the bonds you will make.”
10. The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
9. Canyon Ranch in Lenox Spa Resort, Lenox, Massachusetts
8. Mii Amo Spa, Sedona, Arizona
7. The Ranch, Malibu, California
6. Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, California
5. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
4. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
3. Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2. New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, Vermont
1. Westglow Resort & Spa, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
For many of our readers, retreating to a sublime mountain setting is enough to hit the reset button. Which is why this property, which consists of a Greek Revival mansion, two luxury homes, and a rustic lodge with suites, won for the best Domestic Destination Spa. “Westglow feels as if you are on top of the world,” said one reader. “The views are breathtaking, the class instructors are excellent, and the therapists are some of the best in the world.” The food at Rowland’s, the restaurant, which serves both an “indulgent” and a “spa” menu (think grilled Tasmanian salmon or bucatini with garden vegetables), was the icing on the cake, others noted.