When it comes to overnight spas, Tennessee has a wide range of experiences and price points. Tennessee Fitness Spa is a highly popular budget weight loss spa now in its 25th year. At the other end of the price spectrum is Blackberry Farm, a luxury farmhouse inn and spa, for those with serious money. Downtown Chattanooga has an elegant hotel spa.
Family-friendly Pigeon Forge is near both Dollywood and the Smoky Mountains. It has a surprisingly affordable resort spa with log cabins for rent, and a family-friendly resort near Dollywood. In other words, Tennessee has something for everyone. These Tennessee spas are attached to overnight facilities, though some of them also serve as day spas for a local clientele.
Most people come to this budget spa for a week, with weight loss and exercise in mind. Set about 95 miles southwest of Nashville in Waynesboro, Tennessee Fitness Spa started as a fishing camp in the 1930s and is the site of the only double-span Natural Bridge in the world. Expect clean motel-like rooms in a multi-story chalet.
Everyone gets a fitness assessment, and the highlight is a morning hike through the woods that range from 2 to 10 miles, depending on your ability. There are plenty of classes all day, an educational workshop in the evening, and a limited calorie menu designed to help you lose weight.
You can do as little or as much as you like. Massages and other spa treatments are extra. The cheapest way to stay is in a room with four (women only). The spa is closed December to March. Tel. 800-235-8365.
Considered one of the finest small luxury inns in the country, Blackberry Farm is set on 4,200 acres near the Great Smoky Mountains, about 25 minutes from Knoxville. This picture-perfect Southern fantasy has 51 rooms spread throughout the main house, three guesthouses, and 20 cottages.
There's an emphasis on fine dining, using the harvest from its own gardens, and the activities are downright upper crust - riding, fly-fishing, even fox-hunting -- and you need serious money for the package that includes food. Most of the activities, including cycling, yoga, and kayaking, are extra.
The Wellhouse includes hydrotherapy in a state-of-the-art wet treatment room with a seven-headed Vichy Shower, heated tile floor, and Scots hose for luxurious water treatments. Both the spa and restaurant are for guests only. Tel. 865-380-2260.
The Chattanoogan Hotel is a great place to stay if you want to walk to the city’s museums, art galleries, shopping, restaurants, and attractions like the Tennessee Aquarium. You might expect a historic hotel, but it's modern and large, with plenty of space for business groups.
What else is there to do? Climb aboard the Southern Belle Riverboat for a cruise along the Tennessee River and check out the historic Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world, overlooking the river.
The hotel’s 9,000 square foot spa includes services like the Rock City Stone Massage and Ruby Falls Mineral Wrap. The Chattanoogan 1201 South Broad Street Chattanooga, Tenn. Tel 423-756-3400.
Set in Sevierville, Tennessee, near the great hiking and fishing of the Smoky Mountains, Oak Haven is a charming collection of themed log cabins, ranging from cozy one bedrooms that can sleep four to monster seven-bedroom cabins that can sleep 20. (Family reunion, anyone?) They all have a private hot tub, stone fireplace, large kitchen, and private screened porch, and are affordable.
What's to do? Oak Haven is close to golfing, outlet shopping, fishing and boating, and fine dining and the family attractions of Dollywood, The Titanic Museum, and Wonderworks in nearby Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The spa is affordable, and locals can buy a membership for $49 a month that includes treatments. Tel. 800-368-6615.
This is another place to stay in the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area, with a completely different feel. The RiverStone Resort looks like a big hotel, but the rooms are condos that range from one to four bedrooms (including a few that allow pets) and include a large whirlpool tub. Oh yes, and Dollywood and the Smokies are right at your doorstep.
The spa has a few things you don't usually see in resort spas including LED light therapy and microdermabrasion. The indoor/outdoor pool complex is set in a two-story glassed atrium and includes a meandering lazy river. Tel. 866-908-0990.