North Carolina has some of the countries finest historic mountain spas, including Grove Park in Resort and Spa in Asheville and Westglow Resort and Spa in Blowing Rock. The state is home to the world's largest golf resort, Pinehurst, which is family-friendly that kids can get spa treatments. SkyTerra, The Duke Center for Living and The Structure House all focus on weight loss and health. The Inn on Biltmore Estate evokes Vanderbilt-style luxury, while The Chetola Resort is an affordable mountain retreat. Here are the finest spas in North Carolina to help you find the right one for you.
This is a beautiful, intimate new weight-loss spa in the woods about an hour from Asheville. Your fellow guests range from people who want to lose ten pounds to those who need to shed 100+ pounds and make major lifestyle changes. It's a very special place, where the staff is extremely talented, knowledgeable, available and motivated to help.
You start with an InBody body composition analysis that tells you how many pounds of both muscle and fat you currently have, as well as a detailed movement screening to guide your exercise program. The days revolve around activities that reinforce lectures on the SkyTerra philosophy: exercising efficiently for weight loss and health; breathing as the perfect stress management tool; eating the right kind of food that leaves you satisfied as you lose weight; the importance of community with other guests; and tending to essentials like sleep, positive thinking and self-care. The program is truly outstanding.
Stay either a room in one of several beautiful mountain lodges or a small cabin near the Culinary Center, where you enjoy delicious, healthy meals and get to know your fellow guests. There are even fun extras, like a trip to Asheville's famous French Broad chocolatier and even a local brewpub. It's about losing weight while you're living in the real world.
Pinehurst is another North Carolina classic a Spanish Colonial style resort first created in 1895 as a winter retreat. Set in the rolling sandhills, it's the largest golf resort in the world, with eight championship courses along with 24 tennis courts, a Kids Club, and top-notch dining. The elegant white 31,000 square-foot spa and salon is family-friendly, with treatments for kids and teens 6-17 as long as a parent is present. A co-ed three-lane lap pool at the spa's center has a cascade whirlpool. Men and women's changing areas offer whirlpools, sauna and steam room. It's in the historic village of Pinehurst, a 19th century charmer. 70 miles southwest of Raleigh. Tel. 800-487-4653 or 910-235-8507.
The heart of this well-loved historic Asheville resort was built in 1913 of granite stones, an Arts & Crafts masterpiece with original Roycroft antiques and lighting fixtures. Though vastly expanded, Grove Park Inn still offers panoramic views of the Blue Mountains. The 43,000 square feet spa was built underground, directly in front of the historic inn, with skylights to let in natural light. Its star attraction is a cave-like subterranean co-ed mineral pool area, with underground music, waterfall pools, contrast pools (hot and cold), a lap pool, a sauna, and a eucalyptus-infused steam room. It also has separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges. Tel. 828-252-2711.
This Greek Revival mansion was built in 1916 as a summer home in the Blue Mountains, gets its name from the extraordinary sunsets enjoyed from the main verandah. With just seven guest rooms and three Cedar Lodge suites, Westglow provides an intimate health and wellness experience. While you can now stay overnight or even use it as a day spa, the best way to experience Westglow is a longer stay. The Life Enrichment Center offers weight-management programs, nutrition and dietary counseling, yoga, aerobics studio, along with spa and salon services. While it has many features of a destination spa, it does serve alcohol. Enjoy guided hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and caving (extra!) 85 miles northeast of Asheville. Tel 828-295-4463.
Dating to 1878, this luxury inn is set in the mountaintop town of Highlands in the southwestern corner of the state. At an elevation of 4,000 feet, Highlands' charming Main Street swells with visitors in summer, and Old Edwards Inn offers 61 individually designed rooms, suites, and cottages with rainfall showers and heated tile bathroom floors and Old World Charm. Decorated with Oriental rugs, the 25,000 square feet spa has six spa suites, three outdoor treatment rooms, and fireplaces. The Spa Cafe makes use of produce from the inn's vegetable and herb garden, with juices, salads and raw foods. 85 miles southwest of Asheville, NC. Tel. 828 526 8008.
Set on the edge of the William B. Umstead State Park in Cary, NC, a suburb of Raleigh, The Umstead is a sophisticated urban hotel on its own 12-acre retreat. Perfect for small business meetings and weddings, the six-story hotel has 150 over-sized rooms with deep soaking tubs and balconies overlooking a three-acre lake. The Umstead Day Spa carries through the hotel's theme of "art and nature" with an outdoor meditation courtyard and treatment rooms with balconies. The spa has a commitment to organic treatments, like the Babassu sugar scrub. Enjoy eucalyptus steam room, sauna, and whirlpool. Tel. 866-877-4141 or 919.447.4000.
Fearrington Village (pronounced FAIR-ring-ton) is an upscale planned community set on an historic farm near Chapel Hill. Its heart is The Fearrington House Inn, a 32-room luxury inn with uniquely designed rooms furnished with antiques, original artwork, and rich floral fabrics. Breakfast is included at this Relais & Chateau property. Don't miss afternoon tea, and stroll nearby shops selling handcrafted items. The Spa at Fearrington has a clean, elegant upscale feel and uses the Elemis line. Visit as a day guest and dine at The Fearrington Granary Restaurant, or order in a chopped salad from The Belted Goat. Tel. 919-542-2121 (inn) 919-545-5723 (spa).
The Biltmore is a colossal Vanderbilt estate completed in 1895 and a major tourist attraction in Asheville. You can stay on the 8,000-acre estate at a large inn, with lovely woodland views from all its 201 guest rooms and nine suites. With lavish red brocade curtains, crystal chandeliers and lamp-shade wall sconces, the spa evokes the splendor of America's Robber Baron age, when a handful of titans held almost all the country's wealth. Book a Rose Petal Facial and imagine you were one of the lucky few. Tel. 800-411-3812, 828-225-1600 or 828-225-6772 (spa).
Located in the heart of Uptown Charlotte near restaurants and shopping, this 18-story, "green" luxury urban hotel has 146 rooms and a two-level Penthouse Spa and Wellness Center. The 13,000 square foot spa has just four treatment rooms (including a couple's room), but luxury amenities such as separate ladies’ and gentlemen’s Vitality Lounges with steam, sauna and experience showers, an Aqua Lounge with whirlpool and swimming pool, movement studio, Kinesis One cycle studio and a Fitness Center with private televisions on cardio equipment. Hop on one of its complimentary Trek bikes (complete with lock) and explore Charlotte. Tel. 704-547-2244.
Set on a barrier island between the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Currituck Sound, The Sanderling is the Outer Banks only resort. The classic beach resort on 13 acres has 88 guestrooms and suites, decorated with framed vintage Hermes scarves, and Each room is individually The Sanderling, indoor and outdoor tennis, indoor pool and a fitness club. The 6,000 square foot spa has nine treatment rooms and incorporates water treatments such as a Hydrotub, Scotch Hose, and Vichy shower. Enjoy a spa lunch in the solarium, or an outdoor massage in the gazebo. The spa also offers various yoga classes (extra) and a full-service salon. It's open to guests and the public. Tel.877-650-4812 252261-4111, or 252-261-7744 (spa).
This 87-acre resort and spa in the Blue Ridge Mountains has affordable lodging at three levels: Chetola Resort, Chetola Condominiums, and Bob Timberlake Inn, a seven-room bed and breakfast named for the home furnishings designer whose work is found throughout the resort and spa. The resort and spa is within walking distance the of Blowing Rock and also near a 3,600-acre National Park. The Spa at Chetola Resort is small, with five treatment rooms. Adjoining the spa is a heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, Sauna and Fitness Room. Regular fitness classes include yoga, boot camp, yoga hike, aqua dance. Tel. 800-243-8652 or 828-295-5531.
This residential weight-loss program for adults treats both obesity and binge eating/emotional overeating. Located on a 12-acre campus in Durham, Structure House follows a highly structured schedule with meals, lectures, exercise, and time for relaxation and spa treatments. Programs include Diabetes Management, Post-Bariatric Surgery, and Pain Coping Skills Training. Staff includes a physician, endocrinologist, nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, nutritionists, and exercise specialists. Guests might be 20 pounds overweight or obese. Structure House's core four-week program is recommended for new participants, but one, two and three-week programs are also available. Tel. 800-553-0052.