Top 10 Best Places to De-stress
Hotel picks for the ultimate relaxing getaway
Why do you visit a spa? If you're like most women, you're looking for an escape from the daily grind. Maybe you need a little help jump–starting a healthier lifestyle too, but your real motivation is to get away from it all and focus on you. To help you create a completely individualized experience, the newest crop of spas is adding customized features and rituals tailored to your needs, concerns, and preferences. (Hate New Age music? Cue up Fergie.) From desert decadence to beachside luxury, these 10 new spas will prepare you to face the world again.
Chill Out In the City
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
Ever wonder what the lady–who–lunches lifestyle would be like? Now you can act the part with a stay at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. The hotel towers over the upscale Buckhead neighborhood, and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta is a luxurious retreat spread over two floors. Prior to any treatment (of which there are endless options), you can experience the spa's heat and water facilities to soothe muscles and prepare for whatever zen-like therapy you're about to have. Afterward, take a dip in the 60-foot lap pool.
Details: Treatments start at $100, rooms at $369; mandarinoriental.com/atlanta
Find Serenity In the Desert
The Spa at Encantado
Santa Fe, New Mexico
There's something magical about the Southwest, and many spas have tried to capitalize on that feeling. The Spa at Encantado, located just seven miles from Santa Fe Plaza in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, gets it right. There are 65 adobe-style casitas, each equipped with heated bathroom floors and private terraces to fulfill your nesting tendencies, but there's also a communal fire pit, an outdoor sculpture garden, and an art gallery to encourage you to go outside and meet your fellow guests. After a day of hiking, biking, or horseback riding in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, cool your heels with a chili pepper foot–warmer treatment before you indulge in the Ojo Caliente Purification Ritual. You'll start with an exfoliation (the aesthetician uses a loofah–like cloth made with cactus fibers), follow that with a dip in the heated pool and a few minutes inhaling eucalyptus in the steam room, then finish with a fresh rainwater rinse and warm–blanket wrap.
Details: Treatments start at $150, rooms at $475; encantadoresort.com.
Enjoy Glitz at the Beach
The Ritz–Carlton St. Thomas Spa
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
This resort offers the high–end luxury you expect from the Ritz, but the white–sand beaches surrounding it tone down the posh factor and give the place a laid–back vibe. When you arrive, pour yourself into a hammock, take a windsurfing lesson, or set off for a chartered sunset sail on a 53–foot catamaran. Cap your day with a moonlit massage in a beachside cabana. In keeping with the surroundings and "ritz–y" reputation, the spa features three facials and one body treatment that incorporate Prada Beauty products.
Details: Treatments start at $85, rooms at $269; ritzcarlton.com.
Get Back to Nature
The Umstead Hotel and Spa
Cary, North Carolina
Situated next to a 5,600–acre state park where you can hike, run, bike, and canoe, the Umstead considers nature the best stress reliever. You even get an outdoorsy feel inside the spa, thanks to the earth tones, a meditation garden, and glass walls that keep the area drenched in light. Spa–goers choose from nature–infused treatments like the Red Flower Hammam Tibetan Ritual, a steam and massage that use citrus, cedarwood, and clay.
Details: Treatments start at $105, rooms at $295; theumstead.com.
Breathe Easy in the Mountains
The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Earn your spa treatment by taking the resort's new gondola up the mountain for a few hours of hiking or biking on some of the 148 ski runs. At the bottom, reward yourself with a soak in a hot tub on the banks of the Eagle River. Then head to the 15,000–square–foot Spa Anjali for the Himalayan Journey to Serenity: Aestheticians apply an aromatic scrub of almond meal, date seeds, neem (which has antiseptic properties), and essential minerals, then follow it with a pressurepoint stimulation called Marmassage.
Details: Treatments start at $75, rooms at $250; westinriverfront.com.
Climb, Hike, and Spa
Spa at Montelucia
Paradise Valley, Arizona
From picture–perfect views to guided hikes, rock climbing, and rappelling, Camelback Mountain–one of the most famous landmarks in Phoenix–is always looming large at this Spanishstyle hotel and spa. A 90–minute hike on a steep trail (many people run it) will put you on top, and by the time you get down, you'll be ready to park yourself in the 31,000–square–foot spa. Try Hammam–Style Therapy, an ancient Turkish bathhouse custom that includes having your back scrubbed, soaking in a whirlpool, sitting under a cold waterfall, and then lying on a heated platform.
Details: Treatments start at $215, rooms at $225; montelucia.com.
Take a Break from Your Routine
MySpa at the Fairmont Hotel
A city spa typically caters to more locals and business travelers than a destination spa does, and the creators of MySpa have tried to offer services targeted to that pop–in, pop–out market. Need some relaxation between meetings? The 60–minute Power Treatment features a half–hour massage followed by a facial and manicure performed simultaneously. The hotel's location couldn't be more convenient either: It's steps from the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan.
Details: Treatments start at $135, rooms at $249; fairmont.com/chicago.
Stay Sin-Free In Sin City
The Spa at Trump International
While the latest Trump property doesn't have a casino or an entertainment venue, you'll be treated like a high roller regardless. The 24–karat gold and glass tower comes with all the luxury you can dream of, including TVs built into the bathroom mirrors and a 24–hour Trump concierge who can arrange everything from laundry service to helping you find just the right outfit for a big night out. As soon as you check into the 10,000–squarefoot spa, you'll pick one of five personal intentions: calm, balance, purify, heal, or revitalize. Your choice will determine everything from the essential oils and aromas used during your treatments to the flavor of tea you're served and the music you listen to on your spa iPod.
Details: Treatments start at $40, rooms at $349; trumplv.com.
Relax Palm Beach-Style
SiSpa at the Resort at
Singer Island, Florida This beachfront property, a Luxury Collection Resort on Florida's Gold Coast, incorporates the ocean everywhere you look, from the water walls in the spa entrance to the treatment suites named after the world's seas. The theme makes it easy to float away midsession, whether you're getting the Bohai Ancient Tibetan Treat (a combo of aromatherapy, rhythmic breathing, and chanting) or the Caribbean Wake– Up Call, which includes exfoliation with fresh citrus fruit and crushed olive stones as well as massage using grapefruit, juniper, and rosemary. Once you're sufficiently invigorated, try one of the resort's regular beachside yoga classes or power walks, or spend the day kayaking through the mangroves (the hotel can arrange excursions).
Details: Treatments start at $85, rooms at $199; luxurycollection.com/singerisland.