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Luxury Spas in The US: Sometimes If You Have to Ask, You Can't Afford it

Updated on March 28, 2011
Serenity at a beautful spa cames easily.
Serenity at a beautful spa cames easily.

The Destination Spa Experience

Ah, a destination spa! What could be more relaxing? Getting away from it all for a few days... beautiful surroundings, massages, soaking in the sauna or pool, exercise and wellness classes (but only if you want--no pressure). You'll find some spas to be all-inclusive; requently meals are part of the price, as are most activities, and some spas give you an "allowance" to spend on spa treatments while you're there, depending on the length of your stay and their policies. It's easy to just unwind and forget all about the real world.

Some of the most wonderful and award-winning ones are Canyon Ranch (the Arizona location in particular), Ten Thousand Waves, Lake Austin Spa, The Emerson, The Mayflower Inn and Spa, and The Deerfield Spa, just to name a few.

Canyon Ranch set the standard for destination spas. With three locations and living communities, it has a wide variety of choices. The Tuscon, Arizona location is breath-taking and inspiring, The Lenox, Massachusetts spa, set in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains is homey and elegant, and the Miami, Florida Hotel and Spa is modern and beach-front. All three have condos that you can live in permanently. The Canyon Ranch resorts have a philosophy of well-being, and they emphasize that your spa experience there can extend after you leave to continue a healthy lifestyle. The staff glows with exuberance and healthiness, and you'll find it rubbing off on you almost immediately. Delicious healthful meals and many classes are gratis, and the length of your stay determines how many other services are included. and the treatments are top-notch as is everything else there. It's pricey, but they always have deals and specials, and what you take away from the experience is inspiring. Many make a journey here at least once a year as a annual "tune-up" for their health and well-being.

A Japanese-inspired spa, Ten Thousand Waves is just a short drive but seeminlgly miles away from downtown Santa Fe. They have a variety of rooms with various amenities, priced accordingly. The most unique is the Silver Moon, a modern, stylish Airstream trailer that is quite reasonable, and every inch of space is cleverly utilized. No restaurant is on the premises, which can make dining inconvenient, but a few rooms have kitchens and there's the fabulous cuisine of Santa Fe not far way. The vibe here is romantic, calm, with a Japanese philosophy, There is a myriad of treatments, and couples' massages are a treat. And the Zen-like surroundings at night with the big open sky of New Mexico are magical. Their spa packages are a good way to economize and a selection from the menu of hot baths is not to be missed.

The highly-lauded Lake Austin Spa is all inclusive, with an "allowance" for treatments according to how many days you spend there. They have a wealth of free classes, a stunning setting, and a great staff. Health consultations are available and very beneficial. Prices start $1910 for a three day visit in a private room, and rates go up from there. Check their website because they offer discounts frequently, or you can sign up for their email offers. The rooms are beautiful, and the treatments are just wonderful. You can relax in the sauna, steam room, or one of three pools after a massage that will have you floating on air. The activity level is up to you; you can relax in a hammock or go to the many amazing exercise classes they have as well as lectures, cooking classes and workshops.

The Emerson is in Mt.Tremper NY, nestled in the Hudson Valley, and has two different but lovely types of lodging. The more rustic Lodge is the quaint but nicely-appointed portion, while the Inn is an elegant and more modern part of the spa including sumptuous suites. The Inn is attached to the treatment area, the restaurant, and the charming shop, which makes the Inn more convenient. Food is not included but the two in-house restaurant and coffee shop serve delicious food. Treatments are reasonably priced and their spa employees are professional and thorough. Classes are mostly limited in the winter months, with more offerings when it's warmer.

The Mayflower Inn and Spa is an idyllic but wildly luxurious destination spa located in Washington CT, with lush gardens and nature preserves around it. Accommodations are world-class, and varied to suit you individual taste. A concierge will help tailor your stay to your liking, and there is much to choose from, in terms of both classes and treatments. The food and wine are excellent, although not included in the price of your stay. Special offers usually include deals like a midweek stay in a single room for $750, and includes a continental breakfast and a massage.

The Deerfield Spa, in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania is another all-inclusive resort, considered to be a bargain, It's a little more casual and down to earth, although still offering great treatments, classes, and cuisine. Classes are varied and are usually scheduled from 7AM to 9PM, so there's lots to do. The staff is attentive and friendly and the homey atmosphere puts you immediately at ease. Rates range from $520 to $640 for a 2 night single room and if you stay longer there are freebie treatments.

These are just a handful of the spas where relaxing, pampering and wellness will recharge your batteries. Depending on your budget, you can go all-out and over-the-top or choose a memorable retreat that's a more affordable option. Either way, you'll find it's worth every penny.

Where Would You Go?

If money didn't matter and you could go to any spa in there world fro a week, where would you go?

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