The Top 10 most relaxing resort spas in the U.S.
L'Auberge de Sedona, AZ
Many believe that Sedona, AZ, has a particularly healing energy, and in recent decades it has become a big draw for alternative medicinal professionals and wellness-seekers. Boasting views of the dramatic red mountains, this intimate, 87-room hotel is spread out over 11 acres on the banks of Oak Creek, where the slightly-cooler temperatures allow for lots of outdoor spaces, including creekside dining, an alfresco wine bar, and outdoor showers in many of the cottages. The spa also offers plenty of nature-backed experiences, from sunrise yoga classes to massages performed in open-air cabanas to the soundtrack of the bubbling creek. The signature, 90-minute Sedona Dreams treatment starts with a body scrub—scented with your choice of uplifting ginger-lime or restorative almond-orange—followed by a scalp ritual and body massage with coconut and argan oils that leaves the mind cleared and muscles relaxed.
The Allison Inn, OR
While Portland has earned a reputation as a culinary and cocktails hotspot, the nearby Willamette Valley is making its name as a producer of award-winning wines. Drawing from this focus, and the Pacific Northwest's general dedication to enjoying and preserving nature, The Allison Inn & Spa is a sustainably-minded, 85-room resort spread out over 35 lush acres. With views of the peaceful Willamette Valley, the 12-room spa has an indoor pool; relaxation terraces, gardens and lounges; and a dedicated spa cuisine menu—and wine list—from the hotel's award-winning, farm-to-table Jory restaurant. Many of the services incorporate Northwestern ingredients like apples, berries, rosehip, and—of course—pinot grapes. The signature Divine Wine Facial includes cleansing with nourishing honey, a wine-infused mask, and the application of an antioxidant serum and grape-infused moisturizer—all topped off with a virgin mimosa.
The Cloister at Sea Island, GA
Sea Island, located halfway between Jacksonville, FL, and Savannah, GA, is an ideal spot for R&R. Its 65,000 square-foot wellness haven, located near the Cloister Hotel, offers both active options—an indoor pool, squash courts, and daily fitness classes—and a quiet spa with treatment rooms ringing an indoor garden and koi ponds. After the attentive locker room ladies shower you with Southern charm and homemade granola bars, enjoy the 90-minute Sea Creations Facial, in which you'll be wrapped in cushy socks and blankets and pampered with a seashell massage. Afterward, relax in the therapeutic water circuit with thermal pools and waterfalls, or explore the outdoor meditation walk.
JW Marriott Hill Country San Antonio Resort & Spa, TX
At the entrance to Texas's lush vineyard- and lavender field-filled Hill Country sits the largest resort spa in the Lone Star state. The Lantana Spa draws inspiration from the traditional healing remedies of the indigenous Curanderos culture, and makes use of local ingredients like lavender and sarsaparilla. For a splurge, the 105-minute Spirit of the Curanderos Energy Spa Journey includes an herbal inhalation, mineral salt-and-herbal body scrub, massage with wild-crafted lavender and warm stones, nourishing body wrap, and lavender oil scalp treatment. Top it off with a tasting of house-infused tequilas back at the bar.
The Peninsula, NY
Lots of city hotels claim their spas are an "urban oasis," but The Peninsula, where the calming wellness and fitness facilities are spread out over two floors and include a glass-enclosed rooftop pool and spacious sundeck, makes for a real retreat. Guests who book two or more hours of treatments can make use of all the facilities, including the pool and fitness and yoga classes, while those opting for shorter services can still enjoy the "heat experience" area—with an aromatherapy steam room, a sauna, "experience showers," an ice fountain, a tea lounge serving organic brews, and legendary relaxation rooms. The spa menu boasts both Asian and Western influences, with everything from Thai and Ayurvedic services—like herbal compress massages and hot-oil body therapies—to results-oriented anti-aging facials. After a post-service nap in the lounge, head up to the sundeck for a drink, a snack, and unbeatable city views.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, AZ
With two golf courses; five restaurants; 65 Sonoran Desert acres; and numerous fire pits, lagoons, and fountains, this iconic resort does things big. New is Well & Being at Willow Stream Spa, a whole-body concept that takes Fairmont's spa offerings to the next level. The beautiful amenities—like a rooftop pool for spa guests only, a courtyard with waterfall pools, and a food-and-fitness-focused atrium—alone are stress-relieving. You can choose à la carte treatments like desert salt scrubs, Sedona clay masks, massages, and hydrating facials, or dig deeper with individual health, fitness, and nutrition consults, or a session in traditional Chinese medicine. We particularly love the Zeno Sleep Manager, a gadget that you borrow overnight to help track your sleep patterns, then return for results and take-home tips—or a follow-up with a sleep coach.
The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, WY
Take the traditions and soul of a working cattle ranch, add the service and amenities of a five-star hotel, throw in panoramic views of Wyoming's North Platte River Valley, and you've got this unique and unforgettable property. At the all-inclusive Lodge, guests stay in a variety of upgraded accommodations—including log cabins—drink and dine, and have access to a massive on-site equestrian center and activities from fly-fishing to bocce ball. This is truly a place to disconnect—even more so thanks to the Trailhead Spa, which highlights the indigenous ingredients and healing techniques of the American West. Choose treatments that supplement your days out on the range—like a post-horseback ride Wyoming River Stone Massage, skin-calming Paintbrush Facial, or End of the Trail hydrating body scrub with juniper and sage oils—or really embrace the setting with a service in a private teepee, which includes massage and a traditional Native American sage-smudging cleansing ritual. Don't miss a morning yoga session on the Falcon Peak Overlook, a large deck with breathtaking views of the whole ranch.
The Setai Miami, FL
Forget what you think about South Beach—despite its location, The Setai is way more serene than scene-y. Understated, Asian-inspired decor, quiet, courtyard-facing rooms, and a sophisticated bar and restaurant help make this a true retreat after a day and night out on the town. In the heart of the complex sits the intimate spa, which recently enjoyed a menu overhaul. There are no big communal areas here; instead, each spa suite has a private bathroom and shower, and dreamy water views. Facials aren't usually our top pick for relaxing treatments, but the Ila Rainforest Rejuvenation Facial—it includes warm herbal compresses, an Amazonian mud mask, and lots of lymphatic drainage massage to help firm and tone skin—left us half-conscious. Keep up the mellow vibe post-treatment with a snooze on one of the oversize poolside daybeds.
Rancho Valencia, CA
This recently-refreshed resort just north of San Diego puts guests up in bungalows, many with outdoor fireplaces and all with terraces, free minibars, and thoughtful touches like bottles of fresh-squeezed OJ delivered with the morning paper. The grounds include a noted tennis center, olive tree groves, two excellent restaurants, and a popular cocktails-and-tequila bar with live music. But we'd visit the Rancho Valencia just for the spa. After donning an oversize robe, guests can take in a sauna or steam, relax around the adults-only pool, or snack on tea and cookies in an open-air fireplace lounge. Treatment rooms have private outdoor spaces that get incorporated into services like the Sixth Sense, a 90-minute therapy that begins with a soak in an herb-infused alfresco tub, followed by a moisturizing paraffin hand and foot treatment, and a full-body massage with warm herbal oils. You'll be floating all the way back to your bungalow.
Ocean House, RI
Standing guard on the bluffs of Watch Hill, overlooking the Atlantic and a private white sand beach, this Victorian-style mansion has been catering to discerning diners and overnight guests since 1868. Following a $140 million renovation completed in 2010, the Ocean House now welcomes visitors with 64 plush rooms, five revived farm-to-table restaurants, and fun touches like a croquet lawn. The seven-room spa has a product-stocked locker room and Kashwere blankets in the ocean-view relaxation lounge, along with a full roster of seasonally-changing treatments separated by influence. From the Harvest uses of-the-moment ingredients—like lavender in spring or honey from a local apiary—to target the skin's changing needs, while From the Ocean features rejuvenating marine extracts, sea mud, spring waters, and rhythmic massage techniques that mimic waves. There are also excellent fitness classes and gym facilities—including a cool "virtual trainer" system and an on-staff Food Forager who leads daily Farm + Vine classes and chats with guests about farm-fresh eating. On top of all that, a yummy complimentary afternoon snacks are served daily.