Live in New York City? Looking for a weekend spa getaway? New York spas provide a rich range of experiences, including hiking, boating and skiing at historic properties and luxurious inns within just a few hours of the city. (There's even a small juice fasting spa with colonics.) If you're willing to go a few hours further, there are even more choices, including a French-style inn in the Finger Lakes and a casino spa with big marquee entertainers. Don't want to travel? The luxury hotel spas of New York City are so numerous they deserve their own list.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, New York
Mohonk Mountain House is a historical treasure that dates back to 1869 when a modest inn was built on the small mountain-top Lake Mohonk. Today the grand, sprawling 266-room Victorian hotel is still surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, with 85 miles of hiking trails at its door, less than two hours from New York City. Rooms are small but 124 have wood-burning fireplaces. Enjoy tennis, golf, lake swimming, boating, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and children's programs. Meals in a splendid dining room and exercise classes are included in the rates. The 30,000 square-foot spa is Victorian style, with 16 treatment rooms, a couples room with fireplace, and a co-ed solarium. Tel. 845-255-1000.
Set on the Esopus Creek in the northern Catskills, The Emerson is an elegant, family-friendly inn -- you can even bring your dog. The recently redone spa offers traditional massage therapies and facials along with and fitness studio. There's fine dining, excellent shopping, and the world's largest kaleidoscope. Don't expect traditional resort amenities like golf. Tel 877-688-2828 or 845.688.2828.
The Buttermilk Falls Inn & Spa is a charming bed and breakfast on 70-acres in prime orchard country in the Hudson Valley, with a total of 19 rooms and guesthouses. Located near New Paltz on the western side of the Hudson River, it's Just a few hours from NYC, it makes a great getaway. Henry's restaurant features food from its organic garden and beehives. The modern-looking spa is interesting, utilizing solar and geothermal energy to heat its sauna, steam room, and mineral pool. Tel. 877-746-6772 or 845-795-1310 (reservations) 845-795-4050 (spa).
This is a small 15-room spa in the Catskills that has developed a following for its customized weight-loss, detox, juice-fast and raw food programs, ranging from three days to a month. Not far from Emerson geographically, it's more modest in style–don't expect a luxurious atmosphere. But it has healthy food, yoga classes, hiking and a modest but well-outfitted spa with six treatment rooms (including a wet room with Vichy shower, Scotch hose, and hydrotherapy tub.) It also has a sauna, hot tub, steam room, 60-foot indoor pool, and full gym. Tel 845-688-2460.
With a fabulous beachfront location way out on Long Island, Gurney's is a Montauk institution. It's also the closest thing America has to a thalassotherapy spa. Gurney's uses real seawater in a modern hydrotherapy tub (most spas just add powdered algae to tap water) and it has an indoor seawater pool with as little chlorine as possible. Gurney's can also help you design a customized thalassotherapy program to help with detoxification and weight loss. Gurney's public spaces 1950s-era and the spa is dated, but the setting is five-star and rooms have been nicely redone in contemporary beach style. They all face the ocean, with private decks for sunning yourself. It has 109 rooms and five cottages. Tel. 631-668-1717
One of the great 19th-century resort towns because of its mineral waters, Saratoga Springs is still a vibrant historic town with great restaurants and shopping. Summer is peak season because of thoroughbred racing and performances by the New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Georgian Revival style Gideon Putnam Resort is in the Saratoga Spa State Park, with 22 suites and 120 guest-rooms. It's right next to the Roosevelt Baths & Spa, a truly historic spa that offers heated mineral water bathing. The naturally effervescent water is mixed with tap water, but you can ask for one that is unmixed, and the massages are excellent. Tel. 866-890-1171 or 518-584-3000 (hotel). 800-452-7275 or 518-226-4790 (spa).
This white clapboard classic dates to 1883, when an inn was first built on a private 70-acre island on Lake George, a historic vacation destination at the southern Adirondacks. A seasonal, family-friendly resort with a championship golf course, The Sagamore has splendid views of the mountains and a modest spa and salon with a full range of treatments. Enjoy indoor and outdoor pools, a private beach, jogger's trails, with nearby hiking, biking, white water rafting, and horseback riding. The historic hotel has 137 rooms and suites, while the lodges have another 224 rooms. 60 miles north of Albany. Closed Dec. - April. Tel. 866-385-6221 or 518-644-9400. 518-743-6081 (spa).
Set in the heart of the Adirondacks, the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa is Lake Placid's finest hotel. The clubby 128-room white clapboard and green-shuttered resort has a private beachfront on its seven acres overlooking Mirror Lake on one side and mountain peaks on the other. It's a year-round destination, with swimming, complimentary canoes and kayaks, hiking, and winter sports that include dogsled rides on the frozen lake. The plush spa is done up in marble and mahogany, with fireplace, whirlpools, and steam rooms. 110 miles south of Montreal, Canada, NY, NC. Tel. 518-523-2544 (reservations) or 518-302-3010. (spa)
Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York
Whiteface Lodge has a Great Camp feeling that has proven to be popular with weddings, groups, and families. The accommodations range from junior suites to one, two and three-bedroom suites, all 94 equipped with kitchens, dining room tables, washer-dryers, bathrooms with jet-tubs and outdoor porches. But a couple looking for a romantic getaway or group of spa-loving girls can seek refuge in the 8,000 square-foot Adirondack-style spa on the lower floors of the resort. In summer, take a yoga class on the shores of Lake Placid or hike the many nearby trails. In winter, snowshoe or hit the slopes.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa is a charming 34-room inn on the northern tip of Lake Skaneateles in New York's fabled Finger Lakes. Designed to resemble Monet's garden, the inn has warm, yellow buildings and a pond and green bridge at its center. Expect some berets and cafe music, but it's a lovely place from which to explore the historic town and nearby wineries. Make day trips to Seneca Falls (home to feminism) and charming Aurora. Designed by Sylvia Sepielli, the spa is just gorgeous, with fireplaces in most of the 18 treatment rooms. And my therapist was top-notch. It also has lots of exercise classes and a great steakhouse and wine list. 20 miles west of Syracuse. Tel.877-647-232&315-685-1927.
The Oneida tribe owns this major casino resort on 1,200 acres in upstate New York's scenic Mohawk Valley, called the Leatherstocking region in James Fenimore Cooper's 1826 novel, Last of the Mohicans. Skana, the spa, is the Oneida word for "peace." The resort has a full range of accommodations, ranging from an RV park (mid-Apr to Oct.) on up. Skana is located in the most upscale choice, the 95 room all-suite Lodge at Turning Stone Resort. The 33,000 square-foot spa and salon is a tribute to Oneida architecture and has 12-treatment rooms. The more affordable Ahsi Day Spa is in the 19-floor Tower Building, along with The Fitness Club and casino. Reservations or spas, 800-711-7711 or 315-361-7711. 35 miles east of Syracuse.