By Siobhan Reid
July 08, 2020
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Credit: Trina Roberts/Richard Chang/Courtesy of The Pearl Laguna

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

Spa getaways promise a special kind of mind-body tune-up — a chance to dedicate time to unwinding, reenergizing, and communing with nature. And thanks to the proliferation of retreats in the United States, which increasingly offer customizable well-being programs tailored to guests’ individual needs, travelers don’t have to travel far to take advantage.

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.

Several iconic wellness destinations, including Southern California’s Golden Door (No. 12) and the Ranch Malibu (No. 6), made it onto this year’s list. But there were plenty of newcomers, too, such as Civana Wellness Resort & Spa (No. 3). Set in the aptly named town of Carefree, Arizona, the year-old property is shaking things up with its affordable price point (rooms start at just $192 a night) and its mission to make holistic wellness experiences available to a larger number of travelers. “Great value for a girls’ getaway weekend,” wrote one respondent, who praised the fact that all classes, programs, and lectures — like group meditation, sound baths, and body-weight training — were included in the daily fee. “Serene, enchanting, and centering,” a second commented.

Another fairly recent debut on the list is Miraval Austin (No. 13), a 220-acre wellness haven that opened in Texas early last year. An offshoot of the brand’s flagship in Tucson, Arizona, which placed No. 9 on this year’s list, the Hill Country retreat similarly espouses an integrated approach to wellness: there are healing spa treatments (ayurvedic massages and depuffing facials), heart-pumping activities including stand-up paddleboarding on the waters of Lake Travis, and healthy meals that source ingredients from the hotel’s on-site farm. As one guest put it, “Miraval Austin is a special sanctuary for those seeking a deeper connection with themselves.”

This year’s runner-up, Ojo Santa Fe (formerly Sunrise Springs Resort and Spa) in New Mexico, is another popular option for travelers looking for a more spiritual getaway. The 52-room retreat offers healing one-on-one sessions with astrologers, hypnotherapists, crystal healers, and Aztec ceremonial leaders, in addition to medical doctors and family therapists. In their off-hours, guests can soak in the natural hot springs that encircle the property or wander the 70 acres of manicured gardens and walking trails.

But of all the wellness properties in the United States, none stood out to T+L readers more than the Pearl Laguna, a tranquil yoga-centric oasis in a California beach community. Read on for more about what makes it special — and for the full list of the best spas in the United States.

1. The Pearl Laguna, Laguna Beach, California

Credit: Trina Roberts/Richard Chang/Courtesy of The Pearl Laguna

Score:  96.95

More information: thepearllaguna.com

For years, this boutique retreat in Laguna Canyon, California, has been an insider’s secret — a place where tastemakers like designer Lola Rykiel go to reset. But now, more than a decade after opening, the property and its ultra-challenging boot camp are getting their moment in the limelight. Offering stays of a week or longer, the intense retreat is known to deliver results. Luckily, the rigors of the program (think 11-mile hikes, a strict vegetarian menu) are tempered by relaxation-centered activities like daily massages, nutritional guidance, and walks on Laguna Beach, a few minutes away. “I’ve been to the Pearl Laguna four times and would go more if my schedule allowed,” one traveler gushed. “Each time I visit, I come away with a renewed sense of health and well-being that follows me into my everyday life.”

2. Ojo Santa Fe, New Mexico

Credit: Courtesy of Ojo Santa Fe (formerly Sunrise Springs Spa Resort)

Score: 93.77

More information: sunrisesprings.ojospa.com

3. Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, Carefree, Arizona

Credit: Courtesy of CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa

Score: 93.67

More information: civanacarefree.com

4. Mii Amo, Sedona, Arizona

Credit: Courtesy of Mii amo, a destination spa

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 93.65

More information: miiamo.com

5. Westglow Resort & Spa, Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Credit: Courtesy of Westglow Spa

Score: 93.10

More information: westglowresortandspa.com

6.  The Ranch Malibu, California

Credit: Courtesy The Ranch Malibu

Score: 92.67

More information: theranchmalibu.com

7. Cal-a-Vie, Vista, California

Credit: Courtesy of Cal-a-Vie

Score: 92.42

More information: cal-a-vie.com

8. The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania

Credit: Courtesy of The Lodge at Woodloch

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.14

More information: thelodgeatwoodloch.com

9. Miraval Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Credit: Courtesy of Miraval Arizona/Hyatt Hotels

Score: 92.00

More information: miravalarizona.com

10. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

Credit: Courtesy of Ojo Spa Resorts

Score: 91.40

More information: ojocaliente.ojospa.com

11. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas

Credit: Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.20

More information: lakeaustin.com

12. Golden Door, San Marcos, California

Credit: Rhiannon Taylor/Courtesy of Golden Door

Score: 87.75

More information: goldendoor.com

13. Miraval Austin, Texas

Credit: Courtesy of Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Score: 87.40

More information: miravalaustin.com

14. Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Credit: Laurie Allegretti /Courtesy of Ten Thousand Waves

Score: 87.32

More information: tenthousandwaves.com

15. Canyon Ranch Tucson, Arizona

Credit: Courtesy of Canyon Ranch Tucson

Score: 86.67

More information: canyonranch.com

See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2020.