After months and months of strain, stress and shelter-in-place, it’s time to bump self-care to the top of the to-do list. Whether you’re ready to travel across the globe or prefer to simply bike across town, there’s a luxe destination spa that’s ready to help you recharge. Check out the following options—then check in for maximum relaxation
SEA AND BE SERENE
Just keep swimming is fine if you’re a fish. But if you’re a human, and you find yourself in a breathtakingly beautiful place like the Maldives, then you’re going to want to stop, take a breath, and bask in the beauty of the ocean all around you. There’s no better place to do that than at Huvafen Fushi, the Maldives resort that’s home to the world’s first underwater spa. The Underwater Dream massage takes place here—26 feet below sea level—in a window-lined room that lets you watch ocean life going on all around you as you unwind. If an overwater bungalow is more your style, fear not—you can have one of the spa’s signature massages there as well. Or, to join the fish at play, opt for a Dhimaalis treatment, which is inspired by and named after traditional Maldivian medicine. It takes place in a four-poster cabana-style “sala” on the shore, giving you a chance to wash off the herbal exfoliating scrub in the sea before having a massage, all designed to increase circulation and unblock energy. Plus, with facials, nail treatments, and eight different massages on offer, there are lots of ways to dive right into a relaxing vacation.
Situated at the base of Mount Taygetus on Greece’s Peloponnesian peninsula, Euphoria Retreat makes the most of its inspiring location, less than a mile from the ruins of the Byzantine city of Mystra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The resort’s architecture echoes the stone arches of the site’s churches and castle; there are hiking paths in the forest around the resort; and cypress trees surround the outdoor pool—which you can reach by swimming in from the spherical indoor pool, a process meant to symbolize rebirth. Treatments draw on ancient Greek and ancient Chinese medicine: you can choose a Byzantine Hammam ritual— a body scrub and massage in a marble steam room—or a Five Element balancing massage that corrects physical and emotional imbalances. For a more intense transformation, sign up for a multiday session, from weight loss and nutritional programs to yoga retreats to Odysseus’s journey—a five-day adventure that uses the legend of the Odyssey to ignite change in your own life.
Set on an 18,000-square-foot nature reserve alongside the turquoise Caribbean sea, the Amanyara in Turks and Caicos is such a gorgeous place, it’s bound to change your perspective and reset your mood no matter how long you stay. But book three nights or more and you can also sign up for a Wellness Immersion focusing on mindfulness and stress management, detox and cleansing, or weight management and transformation. Each program is a bespoke mix of spa treatments, exercise and nutrition, devised especially for you by a team of experts. And don’t worry about what the rest of the family will be doing while you’re recharging and revitalizing. Scuba diving in North West Point Marine National Park, lazing on the white sand beach, or exploring the Nature Discovery Center are just a few of the options for whiling away a long weekend. And if you can’t make time for three whole days of self-care, book the one-day introduction to wellness, or even just a 90-minute nourishing massage ritual.
TOP OF THE CLASS
The Lodge at Woodloch, in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, offers more than 35 classes a day. But instead of reading, writing and arithmetic, this resort spa teaches relaxation, reconnection and revelations— with lessons on everything from archery to cooking to yoga. While there, you can deepen your connection with yourself by booking a wellness reboot to kickstart your goals under the guidance of an energy healer and holistic nutritionist; or choose a healing retreat, which combines guided meditation with nutritional counseling. Those looking for a little romance can opt for a couples treatment or a “couple’s float” session in the float therapy cabin, drinks by the fireplace and watching the sun set on the property’s lake. Nature abounds too: The Lodge has more than six miles of hiking trails in addition to Little Lake Teedyuskung, their private lake and cranberry bog where you can kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or spot birds and turtles. Indoors, you can relax in the Aqua Garden, the pool sanctuary complete with hydromassage “WaterWall.”
Whether the surrounding mountainsides are covered in blooming wildflowers, brilliant fall foliage, or pristine snow, the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, VT, is a stunning place to relax. And while hiking, golfing, and skiing are all tempting—and all available on site—you can enjoy the splendors of the season without ever leaving the spa. The 10,000-square-foot, award-winning, LEED-certified facility is built around a “four-seasons courtyard,” with an outdoor fire, hot tub, sauna, and a lilac “meditation tree,” all of which are meant to help you drink in the beauty of the surroundings. Inside, there’s a boutique and 10 private rooms where you can indulge in Vermont-inspired services such as the Maple Forest body treatment, or beauty pick-me ups including the EmerginC signature facial. Or, book the couple’s massage suite, which comes with a custom-made Japanese soaking tub and wood-burning fireplace.
Each journey at the Spa at Amangiri in Canyon Point, UT, begins with a foot ritual and a sage-smudging ceremony, as Navajo belief holds that smoke clears out negative energies. With this custom complete, you’re ready for a treatment inspired by the shamanistic traditions of the Native American communities in the region. Maybe you’ll choose the Desert Calm body wrap, which uses Red Sedona Clay to draw out toxins. Or the Desert Dream, where you enjoy pre-massage reflexology in a flotation tank. Throughout the spa, the surroundings are as restorative as the treatment. You can book a yoga session on rocks overlooking Navajo national park, or sit in a step pool surrounded by desert views, meditating on how beautiful the world can be. Whatever you choose is sure to be blissful: Each treatment is meant to cultivate hózhó, the Navajo ideal of being at peace with yourself and in harmony with the world.
As early as 1868, vacationers have made their way to Watch Hill, RI, to enjoy the beaches and the bluffs of the New England seaside at the Ocean House. The resort reopened in 2010 with a new structure replicating the original exterior. Today, this much-loved beach hotel recreates the romance of its storied past. Even the resort’s spa celebrates the beauty of the coastline with a treatment menu divided into options “From the Ocean”—think Marine Collagen wraps and Sea Stone massages— and “From the Harvest”, where a warm sugar-cardamom vanilla scrub is part of the hydrating Harvest Experience, and the Nature Radiance facial contains local honey along with lavender, rose, and calendula. In between treatments, relax in the herbal steam room, splash in the Atlantic (or charter one of the property’s yachts and get out on the waves); sun yourself on their private beach; or work up an appetite on the croquet lawn, shuffle board court, or putting green. There’s plenty to do at the historic Ocean House, including indulging in one of their signature spa treatments.
FARM- TO -TOTAL RELAXATION
Prepare to plot your move to a farm in the countryside after a few days at Winvian Farm, 113 acres of woodlands and meadows, gourmet food from the resort’s AAA five-star restaurant, and a 5,000-square-foot spa in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. The centerpiece of the spa features a window-lined Meditation Lounge overlooking a reflecting pool, where guests can unwind before or after a yoga class or a hot stone massage or a swim in the 40-foot outdoor pool. Winvian’s spa offers virtually every treatment you can imagine—from ashiatsu massage (where the therapist supports themselves on parallel bars in the ceiling while walking barefoot on your back) to biologique recherche custom facials. The 1700s farmhouse is the gathering spot on the property, but there are also 18 standalone luxury cottages with themes such as treehouse, a library or a stable, each with steam showers and jacuzzi tubs.
Yes, you can rock climb at Mohonk Mountain House—people have been scrambling around the impressive rock formations at this Hudson Valley, NY, retreat since the resort opened in 1869. But you can also just enjoy the spectacular clifftop setting from the spa’s outdoor heated mineral pool, which is open year-round, and filled with Dead Sea salts. Or take in the surroundings from the deck chairs at the spa’s verandas and solarium. Even the 60-foot indoor pool is surrounded by windows looking out into the trees—and has music piped in underwater for maximum relaxation. Making the most of the great outdoors isn’t limited to taking in the views, either: spa treatments incorporate botanicals with organic products from Eminence, Aveda, and Naturopathica. And if you can tear yourself away from the spa, you can get even closer to nature, by hiking 85 miles of trails or kayaking, swimming or rowing around Lake Mohonk.
All four Canyon Ranch locations are fabulous wellness retreats. But if you found yourself watching Downton Abbey and thinking, “the one thing that would make that mansion better is a spa!” then the outpost in Lenox, MA, is the one to book. Set in the restored 1897 Bellefontaine mansion, which dates back to the Berkshires’ heyday as the vacation spot of New England luminaries like Edith Wharton and Norman Rockwell, Canyon Ranch Lenox has grand architecture, sweeping views, and delicious cuisine definitely worthy of Lady Mary. But it’s also a place where you can hike nature trails, duck into a Pilates class, snowshoe, zipline, or spend entire days at the spa, whether your idea of a revitalizing treatment is a massage to rebalance your chakras, or an oxygen facial to leave your skin glowing. The all-inclusive retreat also offers group (or individual!) “pathway programs” focused on everything from weight loss to re-finding joy after difficult experiences.