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At many hotels, the lavish spas are the main attraction, offering a blissful addition to a beach break, city getaway or even a family vacation. Many established spas offer rare treatments for guests to try such as a zero-gravity massage, hot springs therapy, spiritual wellness, or medical spa procedures, as well as fitness or meditation classes. Each spa hotel has a different atmosphere: some are historic icons, others are intimate boutique properties and many are sprawling resorts with a full roster of amenities. Here are the 10 best spa hotels in the United States and Central America for soothing wellness experience.
Best on the Beach: Como Shambhala Urban (Miami)
The Balinese company, COMO Shambhala, has established itself in the spa empire and the Como Shambhala Urban Escape in Miami Beach continues the legend. Located in the heart of South Beach’s sizzling nightlife, the 74-room hotel offers a beachfront location, rooftop hydrotherapy pool and fabulous spa. Accommodations utilize the style of the Art Deco era with pastel shades and geometric designs, yet infuses a playful beach vibe. The spa has four treatment rooms, a steam room, and Asian-influenced therapies created by COMO Shambhala. Guests can dine on organic, Florida dishes at the Traymore restaurant or enjoy poolside dining and an adult beverage without leaving the lounge chair.
Best for Families: Ritz Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes
If parents are in need of rest and relaxation, the 582-room, Ritz Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes has a premium spa and a top-notch location less than 15 minutes from theme parks. Children can enjoy the obstacle courses, karaoke, volleyball and lazy river, while parents can relax in the 40,000-square-foot spa. It features 40 treatment rooms, a lap pool, spa café and salon. Herbs and honey used in treatments are cultivated on the property, and in addition to options such as a Thai Massage, Lomi Lomi, and Ashiatsu, the “Grand Hammock Experience” is the signature treatment: a zero-gravity massage performed in a gently swaying hammock. Guests can also relax in a poolside cabana, dine in one of 11 restaurants, go on an eco tour or take in a round golf.
Best Eco Lodge: Nayara Hotel Spa and Gardens (Costa Rica)
If you’re a traveler who likes to keep your carbon footprint small while appreciating luxury and natural surroundings, the 50-room Nayara Hotel Spa in La Fortuna, Costa Rica is a great choice. With an emphasis on sustainability and conservation, the hotel has successfully created a top-notch spa getaway in the heart of the rainforest. Retreat to the outdoor spa bungalow, which offers massage treatments that incorporate volcanic mud, chocolate clay, coffee beans or hot stones. After a soothing spa treatment, guests can dine in one of four restaurants or relax by the pool bar. With a minimum of 856 square feet, rooms are massive and have wood floors, as well as a wrap-around balcony with a Jacuzzi tub and swinging hammocks. The Arenal volcano towers nearby, and zip lining, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and ATV Tours are popular activities.
Best Treatments: Canyon Ranch (Massachusetts)
The world-famous, Canyon Ranch brand is highly respected for its fabulous spa products and treatments, and the location in the Berkshires gives East Coasters a chance to see what all the fuss was about. Housed in the beautiful Bellefontaine Mansion, in Lenox, Massachusetts, the expansive spa menu includes Ayurvedic treatments from India, Ashiatsu massages (the therapist uses their feet), warming body wraps, lymphatic treatments and signature Canyon Ranch hot stone therapy. But’s that’s not all: there’s also life management and nutrition guides, a salon, spiritual wellness experiences and plenty of outdoor activities. Guests can take on a ropes course, go biking, hiking and canoeing before relaxing in a comfortable feather bed with a pillow menu and soothing sound machine.
Best Design: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa (California)
Set on 220 acres in beautiful Southern California, the 303-room, Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is a gorgeous resort. The award-winning, 31,000-foot spa features Spanish Mediterranean architecture with colorful mosaic-tiled treatment rooms and a variety of unique therapies that utilize fresh ingredients from the garden. Kuyam is the signature treatment, which involves a zero-gravity pedicure chair and a variety of clay masks. The spa also has a fitness center, lap pool, spa café, full moon yoga and aquatics classes. The modern rooms have perks such as honor bars, bamboo towels, fireplaces and private balconies, while spa penthouses, located above the spa, add even more luxurious amenities.
Best for Romance: The Cloister at Sea Island (Georgia)
Southern grandiose is on display at the Cloister at Sea Island, a five-star jewel in Sea Island, Georgia, set along the Atlantic Coast. The hotel is perfect for a romantic retreat, thanks to its beautifully manicured grounds and stunning, spacious rooms with wood-beamed ceilings, poster beds and vintage furnishings. The spa has a eucalyptus-infused steam room, dry sauna, mineral pool bath and water atrium featuring a hydrotherapy pool and cascading waterfall. Set the mood with the “two to tango” couples’ massage, followed by dinner at an Italian eatery with a river view.
Best City Break: Kimpton Lorien Hotel Spa (Virginia)
Located just outside of Washington D.C., the Kimpton Lorien Hotel Spa is a welcome retreat for city dwellers. It offers premium amenities and an expansive spa menu that includes treatments such as a rose quartz stone massage, a decadent caviar facial and a six-step Hammam body ritual (plus the standard body wraps and scrubs, cellulite reduction, waxing and make up services). The 107 guest rooms have a West Coast style, rainfall shower heads and claw-foot soaking tubs (in some rooms). The Brabo restaurant serves Belgian and French cuisine for dinner and Sunday brunch. TripAdvisor members also appreciated the tasting room and free glasses of wine during social hour.
Best Winter Spa: The Springs Resort and Spa (Colorado)
Located in Southern Colorado surrounded by geothermal activity, the Springs Resort and Spa is ideal for those seeking a warm winter reprieve and holds the record for the world’s deepest hot spring. Visitors can combine the healing properties of the Great Pagosa Hot Springs with a blissful massage treatment, body glow, or an “Aqua Zen Therapy” that takes place in one of the resort’s 23 hot springs. The entire 79-room resort is heated using geothermal energy, and the eco-friendly rooms and suites feature stylish, modern décor. A snack shop and hotel bar are on property, or there are several restaurants less than a half a mile from the hotel.
Best Splurge: Mandarin Oriental New York
With a smack-in-the-center-of-it-all location in Columbus Circle, just steps from New York’s Central Park, the 244-room, Mandarin Oriental towers above the city. And if you're looking to splurge, this is the place to do it. The opulent spa features a tea lounge, spa cuisine, a Thai yoga suite with teak wood and a steam room lined with amethyst crystal. The hotel also feature luxurious spa suites, a 650-square foot space with a fireplace, deep soaking tubs, dual massage tables for rub downs in the comfort of your room. The Mandarin Oriental Signature spa treatment uses custom-blended oils and methods from traditional Chinese medicine. The hotel has three elegant bars and restaurants with stunning views, and a full breakfast is included with the stay. The Mandarin is one of the priciest hotels in the city, but its spa is a favorite among TripAdvisor members.
Best Historic: The Greenbrier (West Virginia)
Often referred to as “America’s Resort,” The Greenbrier has been welcoming guests ̶ including 26 American Presidents ̶ since 1778, and maintains the grandeur that first brought them to the 710-room resort. Set on a sprawling 11,000-acre property in West Virginia, the resort has golf, a casino, bunker tours, bowling and a soothing mineral spa. The award-winning spa has hydrotherapy, sweet tea massages that include a soak in the sulfur springs, Swedish massages, aromatherapy and more. There’s also a medical spa menu for microdermabrasion, laser treatments and body sculpting. Accommodations are cheerfully decorated, with elegant floral décor, antique furniture, marble baths and plush robes and slippers. When hunger strikes, there are six restaurants and cafes that cook up farm-to-table cuisine.