Let’s be real. It’s been so long since our last spa day that we’ve now accumulated enough days for an indulgent spa escape. Right?
Sure, we may have broken down and sneaked in a mani/pedi or two during quarantine. Perhaps even a massage. But they were quick treatments, and we were concerned for our health and the health of those around us the entire time – spa experiences don’t exactly allow for the practice of social distancing.
With more of us becoming fully vaccinated and increasing signs that resuming “normal” activities is safe, we’re thinking it’s time to cash in our banked spa days. After all, we could all use some refreshing rejuvenation after over a year in lockdown!
Below we’ve shared the world’s best spa destinations open to Americans right now. You’ll find everything organized based on the destination’s setting (alpine or jungle, for example) with options both nearby and far, far away. It’s almost summer, so let’s kick off our list with luxe spa escapes by the beach.
Destination = Beach Bliss
Nearby: Without leaving the Southeast, you can find yourself at a Forbes Five-Star spa housed within a luxe beach resort, The Cloister – all it takes is a 5-hour drive. Once you’re there, be sure to relax in the spa’s water atrium for soothing waterfall sounds with a side of hydrotherapy. If you’re up for something a little further away, both Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa & Aqualina Resort are wonderful options in the sunshine state. (Psst: US News just named Acqualina the #1 Best Resort in the Continental US!)
Not Too Far: Immerse yourself in all things spa at Rosewood Mayakoba in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Treat yourself to one of their Wellness Suites where you’ll enjoy a heated plunge pool, meditation garden, and reflexology fountain along with other relaxing amenities like a circadian light lamp and aromatherapy capsules. If you can pull yourself away from your room, the resort’s own Spa Sense has fantastic treatments including some that pay homage to the herbal medicine rituals of the Mayans.
Far, Far Away: Ok, Hawaii is part of the US but it takes a long time for us East Coasters to reach this tropical paradise. At Montage Kapalua Bay, located on Maui’s coast, you’ll relax in an indoor plantation style spa suite while you enjoy treatments that feature local ingredients harvested in the West Maui mountains.
Destination = Historic Haven
Nearby: Without leaving the state, you can travel back in time with a visit to Asheville’s Grove Park Inn. Though the main hotel was constructed in 1913, the spa we know today was created much later and is an expansive 43,000-square-foot subterranean retreat complete with pools, saunas, steam rooms, and mountain views. (Note: The men’s and women’s waterfall whirlpools are closed for renovations through early May 2021.)
Not Too Far: If you or someone you love is a fan of the 7-season drama, Gilmore Girls, then this spa destination option was made for you: The Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington, Connecticut which served as the inspiration for Lorelai’s Dragonfly Inn. If this retreat peaks your interest, try to visit after December of 2021 – if you can wait that long! Why? Well, THE WELL at Mayflower Inn will open this winter and it’ll feature a pool house with hammam and Biophilic Thermal Pool, among other things.
Far, Far Away: Dhara Dhevi in Thailand was built to resemble an ancient Lanna kingdom or Burmese temple complex and their spa is top notch. The spa itself takes up almost 34,000-square-feet and houses 25 treatment rooms with features like heated marble tables from Turkish hammams, Vichy showers, and steam showers.
Destination = Desert Dreams
Not Too Far: Of course as we’ve mentioned before, we love Mii Amo at Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona in addition to Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah. We’d add Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona to that list too for their Life in Balance Spa. For the ultimate experience while you’re there, book a multi-hour ritual in one of their exclusive Spa Suites – you’ll have access to your very own indoor lounge and treatment room for the duration of your treatments.
Far, Far Away: Stacking up your Marriott Bonvoy points? That’s great because you can put them to good use here: Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa 45-minutes outside of Dubai. Though located within the desert, you’ll have access to your very own private infinity plunge pool where you can relax after a camel trek through the dunes before heading to your treatment at the Timeless Spa.
Destination = Mountain Marvels
Nearby: In less than a 2-hour drive from Charlotte, you can find yourself at Westglow Resort & Spa nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains of Blowing Rock, NC. To maximize your spa retreat, opt for one of their full day spa packages and you’ll receive a gourmet spa launch served poolside.
Not Too Far: Given most of Europe is still closed, Amangani in Jackson Hole, WY might be as close as we can get right now to feeling like we’re on a luxe spa getaway in the Alps. If you’d like accommodations that are a little more reminiscent of the old American West, head over to Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, CO. There, Colorado’s only Geyser bubbles up every 45-minutes, and you can enjoy soaks in their healing mineral springs before your treatments at the spa.
Destination = Lakeside Luxury
Nearby: Once again, we find evidence that the Queen City is a great place to live – we have two lakeside luxury spa retreats right within our reach. Well, within our car’s reach. The Greystone Inn in Lake Toxaway, NC has a lovely spa at water’s edge, and The Ritz-Carlton on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, GA boasts a 30,000-square-foot spa retreat.
Not Too Far: Just 20-miles from downtown Austin, TX, you’ll find Lake Austin Spa Resort – a world-class destination spa on 19 acres of lakeside luxury. Condé Nast Traveler ranked The LakeHouse Spa at Lake Austin Spa Resort the #1 Destination Spa Resort in North America. Pamper yourself with a full-day spa package and choose from over 100 spa treatments that will leave you balanced and refreshed. For something inspired by local ingredients, try the Tour of Texas treatment – you’ll start with a prickly pear scrub, move on to an agave nectar wrap, and end with striking Texas oil (aka a full body massage with a blend of essential oils).
Destination = Rainforest Relaxation
Nearby: We know. When we say the word “rainforest,” Highlands, NC is one of the last places that comes to your mind. As crazy as it may sound, with over 80-inches of rainfall every year, Highlands is a temperate rainforest. So to experience the relaxation of a rainforest at a spa nearby, head to Old Edward’s Inn & Spa. Be sure to give yourself enough time to relax in the fireside lounge and enjoy lunch at the Spa Café – if it happens to be raining while you’re there, both the lounge and the Spa Café will make you feel the reality of the temperate rainforest.
Not Too Far: For a getaway somewhere that’s more like the rainforests we typically think of, head to Costa Rica. There are so many incredible resorts there and two of the best for a spa trip are: The Retreat and Nayara Tented Camp. If you really want the ultimate rainforest vibe, book a stay at Nayara located in Arenal Volcano National Park. All spa services take place in open-air treatment pavilions tucked into pockets of the rainforest. What does that mean? Expect nature’s soundtrack as you’re pampered with local ingredients like volcanic mud, organic coffee, and chocolate.
Destination = European Escape
Yes, ladies. You can once again soak up the sun and watch it set over the Aegean Sea towards the caldera from the comfort of a Santorinian gem – Greece reopens effective May 19, 2021! Here are our top Grecian spa picks: Andronis Concept in Santorini, Katikies Kirini in Santorini, and Euphoria Retreat in Mystras.
Ireland is also fair game as long as you test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival. If you opt to venture across the pond, head to Monart Destination Spa – it’s won all kinds of awards and is currently ranked in the top 1% of all hotels in the world by Tripadvisor. If you’re looking for a spa getaway that’ll make you feel like you’re royalty, try Lough Eske Castle in Donegal or Ashford Castle in Galway.
Pack your bags and have the spa escape you’ve been waiting for.
If you’d like to remove the stress of trip planning, we’re here to help. Drop us a note at [email protected] – we’ll help you travel more and better than ever. All you have to do is tell us about your preferences and prepare for the trip of a lifetime, curated completely for you.