Seeking a relaxing escape? We’ve partnered with travel expert (and spa lover) Ava Roxanne Stritt from the blog Spa Travel Gal to get a peek into some of the nation’s most luxurious spas.
When I travel, very rarely do I not visit a spa. How do you pick your hotel when you travel? I don’t think I need to give you more than one guess to know how I choose where I will lay my head for the night. There will definitely be a luxury spa somewhere nearby in the hotel. Here are my top 10 luxury hotel spas in the U.S. – experienced by Spa Travel Gal!
The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician, Phoenix, AZ
Just a quick stroll from Camelback Mountain, The Centre for Well-Being at The Phoenician is an enormous spa with 24 spa treatment rooms, lounges, a lush Water Bar where you can also order lunch, a Zen yoga studio and Meditation Atrium that entices spa goers to stay for hours. This spa not only has an impressive highly trained and hospitality-focused staff, it also has one of the best spa boutiques. This is an incredible location I want to return to soon! Don’t forget to add to your wellness vacation by adding a hike up Camelback Mountain. If you are staying at the Canyon Suites (luxury suites onsite), they will loan you a backpack and drop you off at the start of the trails. End the day at the Canyon Suites in the Sunset Spa – a private hot tub where one can soak and watch the sunset with a glass of bubbly!
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Lodge Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA
A lakeside resort strewn with adirondack chairs and hammocks sets the stage for a slow southern spa break from your daily routine. When I was living closer by in Georgia, this was my weekend and summer getaway. The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation creates seasonal custom spa treatments, thus there is always something new to experience here and a reason to return.
The Spa at The Four Seasons Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
Located in the heart of Atlanta, this spa is extremely easy to access from all of the city’s hot spots. The therapists here are extremely unique due to their level of training and custom care you receive. Make sure to visit the pool during your spa day – one of the most photo worthy locations in town – a Roman-inspired saline pool. Boy I miss this old haunt of mine! By utilizing their massage therapist, I was able to forgo all of my visits to docs and physical therapists. As you can see, this is a place you’ll want to hang out at for a while, so you’ll probably get a little hungry. Luckily, you can enjoy lunch served by the pool at the Four Seasons Spa in Atlanta or head upstairs to my fave chef’s lounge Park 75. Lovely light bites can be devoured here within a luxurious lounge decor created by Chef Robert Gerstenecker.
The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, GA
Each treatment kicks off with a ceremonial washing of the feet with the ringing of Tibetan bells. The accurate Asian essence here also has a touch of southern charm that the South is famous for. The Mandarin Oriental Spa and fitness facility is spacious and includes two floors, including steam rooms, saunas, a lap pool, a vitality pool, a private yoga room, a spa boutique and a romantic couple’s suite with an enormous marble bathtub.
The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
One does not need to forget their love of Mother Earth during a luxury spa day. The Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte Spa & Wellness Center is an LEED eco-friendly facility. This luxury spa will knock out your stress and refresh you with their Vitality Lounges including a eucalyptus steam room, a dry sauna and experience showers. Also not to be missed is the zen-inducing Aqua Lounge, which includes a pool, whirlpool and refreshments. I can’t wait to spend more time relaxing in the Aqua Lounge and enjoying the lovely view of Charlotte through floor-to-ceiling large windows. It is a lovely place to relax, reflect and refresh during any trip to Charlotte.
The Four Seasons Spa at the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe, NM
The Four Seasons Rancho Encantado Spa lies near a high mountain desert landscape, which becomes the perfect backdrop for relaxation. The rooms here should not be called rooms, since all of their accommodations are huge suites. So, if you can talk yourself into leaving your suite, the spa will leave you speechless as you fall into zen-mode. This spa also utilizes indigenous ingredients: honey, Adobe clay, blue corn and more. Spa treatment rooms have large glass walls for a unique indoor/outdoor feel that is also deeply inspired by the desert landscapes, while still giving you an extremely private experience. Also, the staff can set up mountains hikes – just another reason to head back to the spa afterwards!
The Spa at Loretto, Loretto Inn & Spa, Santa Fe, NM
The Spa at Loretto is part of the Destination Hotels group, which has recently caught my eye. They try to make sure every guest gets a refreshing experience, and that it’s done in Sante Fe style. Many of their spa treatments utilize indigenous plants of New Mexico. Each and every spa treatment starts with the ceremonial Santa Fe tradition of sage burning in your honor. My favorite touch that shows their concern for their guests is a private elevator. The private spa elevator allows spa patrons to directly access the interior of the spa directly from their hotel floor. This rare spa includes only private suites that are so elegantly appointed. During my spa treatment, I was transformed into a dreamlike state from a soak in the Antique Kohler clawfoot tub. I wanted to take the tub home! It also inspired me to send a handwritten thank you note to the Kohler Company after relaxing in such a magnificent spa suite accessory.
The Spa at La Posada de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM
The Spa at the La Posada de Santa Fe is located at a resort that has a long history of family hospitality. This spa also utilizes ceremonial sage burning and other local indigenous ingredients in many of the spa treatments offered there – but it utilizes local chocolates best with a spa treatment. This chocolate is infused with chili, which is deemed to revitalize tired bodies. I enjoyed their Santa Fe Chocolate Chili Pedicure. Next time I want to try the Santa Fe Chocolate Chili Wrap to get the same exhilarating feeling all over my body. These couture chocolates include a custom red Chimayo pepper to entice warmth. Also, the chocolate yields an antioxidant power, which is always welcomed by me. This pedicure is accompanied by champagne and luxury chili-shaped chocolates – a very multi-sensual experience that must be tried by all.
The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place, Charleston, SC
The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place lies in the heart of Charleston. Wellness is taken seriously here – as they take part in a program to aid in the wellness of the entire town – especially the children with their “I Will Reflect” program. The program also includes a bracelet alerting you to the sun’s dangerous rays. For a hotel spa, their community involvement is unprecedented in the U.S. A spa with a heart this big, along with spa treatments like the four hand – focused on head, shoulders, knees and toes — has become an important part of the historic Charleston region. A retractable pool roof helps get this spa on my list. A rooftop pool always reminds me of Paris!
Mokara Spa at Omni Nashville, Nashville, TN
After a visit to the Nashville must-sees like Studio B, it will be time to kick off your boots and relax at the Mokara Spa at the Omni Nashville. The spa utilizes one of my favorite luxury skincare line – Babor from Germany. A huge, soft relaxation lounge is filled with personal Asian-inspired teapots of organic tea, enticing you to linger all afternoon. Since I was there during a state of emergency snow storm, there was no worry about how long I relaxed. The troubles of the world remained outside, while I gained back my energy to kick up my heels some more and experience Nashville like a country music star. My treatment, the “Grand Ol’ Opulence Facial” made me feel like I was a star from the set of the ABC’s Nashville!
Where do I want to go in the coming year to experience luxury hotel spas in America? Well, there are many places that make me drool with spa envy. After an evening of watching ABC’s Scandal, Washington DC looks intriguing … I trust my gut just like Olivia Pope!
Ava Roxanne Stritt is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads visit travelocitygnomads.com.
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