Growing up, my vacations were always jam packed. Wake up by sunrise, in bed after sundown, and fitting everything possible in between: Museums, monuments, sights, parks, restaurants. Everything. This fervent sightseeing is great for places like London, New York, Paris or Miami, but having been conditioned to maximize vacations by doing literally everything possible there is to do, the notion of a vacation where I do nothing but relax and unwind felt, um, foreign. Enter the spa retreat. In our increasingly fast-paced lives, getting the opportunity to detach and focus on wellness only becomes more and more elusive, so it’s worth imagining a vacation where you just sit there, and don’t do anything. And, instead, have stuff done to you. For some, a spa retreat might require a little adjustment in thinking the first time around, but once you get comfortable with the idea of relaxing, you’ll quickly realize what all the fuss is about. Keep reading for 5 wonderfully relaxing spa getaways where no one can bother you!
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Mii Amo: AZ
The Arizona desert has become a treasured spa haven, and Sedona is its unofficial capital. While there are many rejuvenating options to choose from, nowhere are luxurious spa services more readily available than the Mii Amo resort, located in the dead-center of beautiful Tonto National Forest. Set amid the gorgeous red cliffs of Boynton Canyon, the Mii Amo resort offers luxury accommodations, haute cuisine and spa services that have been rated #1 by publications such as Travel + Leisure. And, while the Mii Amo spa cites traditional Native American healing methods as inspiration, the spa offers an impressively wide range of services spanning Swedish, Thai, Shiatsu and Watsu methods!
Mohonk Mountain House: NY
Ask anyone living in New York City, and they’ll immediately tell you exactly how important it is to find oases away from Big Apple craziness. Well, the Mohonk Mountain House is one such oasis, lying just 90 miles north of New York. The property is dominated by a literal Victorian Castle set among the incredible 40,000 acres of forests, cliffs and rivers, that make New York’s Hudson Valley so picturesque. When you aren’t enjoying the farm-to-table cuisine, 85 miles of hiking trails or swimming in the lake, you should head to the Mohonk Mountain House spa. Featuring complimentary yoga classes and access to the eucalyptus steam room, the Mohonk Mountain House also features an à la carte spa menu specifically designed to address the stresses of daily life—and couldn’t we all use that!
The Well Spa at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort: CA
Lying in the shadow of the Santa Rosa Mountains, the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort immediately evokes an emphasis on activity, relaxation and an all-around enjoyable lifestyle that you would expect from one of California’s premier resorts. Aside from luxurious rooms and suites that feature a tasteful combination of indoor and outdoor space, the Miramonte also features two award-winning restaurants (that source local produce from nearby Coachella Valley), three outdoor pools, and, in what will be familiar to even casual sports fans, world-class golf. The Well Spa at Miramonte features an impressively broad spa menu offering a wide range of treatment options. What I love most about The Well, however, is its emphasis on the surrounding natural beauty of Palm Springs. With three spacious outdoor relaxation and treatment areas, it’s impossible to be anything but mesmerized by the gorgeous California desert throughout your entire treatment.
AIRE Ancient Baths: NYC
As important as it is to find oases away from the city, it’s an incredibly rare feeling to find such an oasis within the city. But that’s exactly what AIRE Ancient Baths New York, located in the heart of Tribeca, offers (Chicago boasts a second U.S. location). While the centerpiece offerings are the thermal baths designed in the traditions of the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Ottomans, the AIRE spa menu also provides massages featuring everything from olives to Himalayan sea salt. As a fun little bonus, AIRE Ancient Baths New York is housed in a restored textile factory—simply being in such an incredible space that combines ancient healing methods with the industrial roots of New York is nothing short of awesome.
Auberge du Soleil: CA
While I have little idea what “Auberge du Soleil” actually means, I certainly can tell you more about what it feels like. In a word, amazing. Conceived by renowned French restaurateur Claude Rouas, Auberge du Soleil was born in 1981 out of a desire to introduce fine French dining to gorgeous Napa, California. Today, that restaurant still stands and is now surrounded by a 50-room Inn nestled among 33 acres of olive and oak trees and—obviously—plenty of wine. Located amid gorgeous fountains and French doors, lies the Spa at Auberge du Soleil, a quaint but beautiful location that offers comprehensive treatment options as well as access to custom-designed cold, warm and hot springs!
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