ATL

Spas

Lifestyle / Spas
Sep 1, 2019

Seabourn Cruise Line’s Spa and Wellness Program

I WAS DEPARTING ON A mother-daughter cruise to the Caribbean on board Seabourn Odyssey just as the results of our annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards were revealed internally. As I scrolled through the findings, two categories in particular stuck out to me: Best Cruise Line Dining and Best Cruise Line Spas. The winner? Seabourn Cruise Line. My appetite for a luxurious cruise and the chance for one-on-one time with my mom had already been whetted; it certainly was more so, now.

July 2019
Jul 1, 2019

Terra Nostra Garden Hotel

AT THE CREST OF THE ROAD we see what we are getting ourselves into: an active volcanic caldera.

June 2019
Jun 1, 2019

Rancho La Puerta Wellness Resort

AT RANCHO LA PUERTA, wellness opportunities incorporate a multitude of mind, body and spirit modalities that refresh, renew and reenergize. I am convinced The Ranch, as it is affectionately called, offers another singular element that contributes to its reputation as one of the world’s best destination wellness resorts. That component is the natural beauty of the 4,000-acre nature preserve which encompasses a landscaped, artistically enhanced, 150-acre parcel on which most ranch activities take place.

May 2019
May 1, 2019

Mokara Spa Debuts at Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

STARING FACE DOWN at a white chrysanthemum, a flower Confucius once suggested be used as an object of meditation, my mind began to reset after a stressful few weeks.

April 2019
Apr 1, 2019

Aspira Spa, The Osthoff Resort

I NEVER CONSIDERED WISCONSIN a top spa destination, and that’s certainly not why I visited the small resort town of Elkhart Lake, just below the peninsula between Green Bay and the rest of Lake Michigan, but an afternoon at Aspira Spa challenged me — and not just about this one blip of ignorance.

March 2019
Mar 1, 2019

The Spa at Ko‘a Kea in Hawai‘i

THE TUCKED-AWAY LOCATION of the Koʻa Kea Hotel & Resort on the island of Kauaʻi proves a most appealing feature to couples seeking a quiet, romantic Hawaiʻian interlude. It also presented a bit of a challenge to my husband and me as we sought the entrance to its drive off the lushly landscaped boulevard which parallels Poʻipū Beach on the island’s sunny south shore. Armed with precise directions and using our vehicle’s navigation feature, we still managed to drive right past before reversing our course and spotting an inconspicuous sign tucked among the foliage. The grounds and buildings of two large resorts flanked the winding road which ended at the circular drive in front of Koʻa Kea’s main building.

February 2019
Feb 1, 2019

Hotel Balneario Las Arenas Spa

IT WAS MY BOYFRIEND SCOTT’S first time getting a massage, so he was a bit apprehensive, to say the least. Unsure of what to expect or how the whole process worked, it was normal for him to have some nervousness associated with our upcoming experience. It briefly brought me back to my first massage, now more than a decade ago, and I remember butterflies in my stomach about the entire process. Those quickly dissipated as the soothing massage strokes began, and I felt the same would prove true for Scott.

January 2019
Jan 1, 2019

LivNordic Spa & Wellness

A FINE LAYER OF SALT GLAZES MY LIPS and I close my eyes, listening to a rush of hot mineral-rich water as it streams into the space beside me. I’m mostly submerged in a large thermal pool, positioned to take advantage of the underwater jets doing an exceptional job melting the knotted muscles behind my shoulders. Spanning the entire length of the wide stone wall at the far end of the pool facing me, a beautiful inset gas fireplace feeds warmth into the space, while firelight flickers against the glass and across the water’s surface.

December 2018
Dec 1, 2018

Zaitania Spa at Grand Hyatt Bogotá

IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE IN FIRSTS during my recent trip to Bogotá, Colombia: First trip to Colombia, first time in South America, first stay at a Grand Hyatt hotel and first Swedish massage. Not to mention, all at the largest spa facility in Colombia, South America and the Caribbean — the Zaitania Spa in the Grand Hyatt Bogotá.

October 2018
Oct 1, 2018

SeaHill Spa at The Cavalier in Virginia Beach

LYING ON A TABLE WITH WARM QUARTZ “sand” conforming to and cushioning my body rather than a traditional massage table, I felt the stresses of the world leaving my body with every stroke of the masseuse’s hands. The state of complete relaxation to which I was succumbing was preceded by a gentle, full-body dry brushing and quiet time in a deep-soaking Halo Tub. Had I found heaven, or was this merely bliss?

September 2018
Sep 1, 2018

Spa by JW, Marco Island, Florida

ON THE SOUTHWEST COAST of Florida, the calm, warm Gulf of Mexico waters caress the white sugar-sand beaches that meander along the coastline. The mellow sun shines down while a gentle breeze blows. In this tranquil setting you find the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort and its luxurious Spa by JW, the luxury brand’s first beachfront location in the continental United States.

August 2018
Aug 1, 2018

The Spa at The Santa Maria Hotel

MY EXPERIENCE IN PANAMA came full circle as I lay on the massage table at The Spa at The Santa Maria in Panama City. As I snuggled into the plush bed and prepared for my 90-minute Cacao & Coffee Santa Maria treatment, I reflected on the fact that, just a day before, I’d spent my afternoon tasting both chocolate and coffee. Now I prepared to experience their therapeutic benefits in a decidedly different way.

July 2018
Jul 1, 2018

Tswalu Kalahari Reserve Spa

THE RELAXATION STARTS NOW, in Johannesburg International Airport. Not many people can say that. The lines for security and boarding, the hubbub in and around the duty-free shops and the customer announcements — all seem distant. And they are. The main passenger terminals are out of sight on the other side of the airfield. Here we are in the exclusive Fireblade VIP Terminal, snacking and sipping Nederburg Sauvignon Blanc while our private plane awaits.

June 2018
Jun 1, 2018

Round Hill Hotel and Villas Spa

BEFORE MY TRIP TO MONTEGO BAY, essentially all I knew about Jamaica was my parents had a lovely time there on their honeymoon, more than 30 years ago. Eager to get out of the 40-degree weather and into island vibes, selling me on three full days at a 5-star Jamaican resort couldn’t have been easier. Going through customs in my long pants, sweater and Philadelphia-spring clothes in the dead heat of the West Indies sun was just the shock my body needed to usher me into relaxation mode.

May 2018
May 1, 2018

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Chicago

IT WAS JANUARY IN CHICAGO. Needless to say, it was frigid, especially on Michigan Avenue, close to Lake Michigan, with the winds off the lake absolutely chilling. The thought of my late-afternoon spa visit at The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago warmed my soul as I ran between various areas of downtown Chicago for business meetings.

April 2018
Apr 1, 2018

Four Seasons Hualālai Spa

I WAS STILL GETTING RE-ACCUSTOMED TO WALKING on solid ground as I took my first step into the refreshingly cool waters of the Waiea (“Water of Life”) stream running through the open-air gardens at the Hualālai Spa, the multitextured pebbles massaging my feet with each step.

March 2018
Mar 1, 2018

The Spa at Sandpearl Resort

THE SIGNATURE PERFECT MASSAGE — that name really does say it all. It epitomizes most spa experiences, but it also perfectly sums up my experience at The Spa at Sandpearl Resort, where I had the so-named 80-minute massage.

February 2018
Feb 1, 2018

Grand Velas Riviera Maya Spa

THE GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA nestles in a mangrove jungle that spans most of the 206-acre property. On our way to the Ambassador Section, we rode past the Zen Grand Section with its family-friendly suites in the heart of the Yucatán jungle. A mile down the road, we came upon the two beachfront sections: Grand Class Adults Only and the Ambassador Family Friendly.

January 2018
Jan 1, 2018

Finisterra Spa, Martinhal Beach Family Resort Hotel

PORTUGAL’S ALGARVE COAST averages 300 sun-filled days a year. I’d been there for six of them, and my skin showed every one. I’m not sure which was worse — dehydration from the sun or the layers of SPF-30 I’d slathered on every day. It was time to head to Martinhal’s Finisterra Spa for some serious repair work.

December 2017
Dec 1, 2017

Sanctuary Chief’s Camp Botswana

“JUST ONE MORE PHOTO of the leopard, and then I really have to go,” I remember saying to the driver of the 4X4 Land Cruiser as I snapped a shot of a female leopardess lounging just feet above my head on the branch of a strong acacia tree. “I have a massage and a facial in an hour back at the camp.”

November 2017
Nov 1, 2017

The Marmara Park Avenue

THE MARMARA GROUP, a well-known Turkish luxury hotel chain, brings a taste of Turkish hospitality and culture to the Big Apple, operating an authentic Turkish hammam at its Marmara Park Avenue hotel, conveniently located at Park Avenue and 32nd Street. When you are enveloped in the solitude of the traditional bath, you feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city streets above.

October 2017
Oct 1, 2017

Naupaka Spa & Wellness Centre, Hawai’i

THE HAWAI’IAN WORD “ALOHA” has several widely known meanings, including hello and goodbye, and love and affection. Even deeper, however, the literal meaning is “the presence of breath,” or “the breath of life.” According to Hawai’ian traditions as mentioned at to-Hawaii.com, “aloha is a way of living and treating each other with love and respect. Its deep meaning starts by teaching ourselves to love our own beings first and, afterwards, to spread the love to others.”

September 2017
Sep 1, 2017

The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba Spa

“ONE HAPPY ISLAND,” Aruba’s slogan, truly permeates throughout the entire island. Arubans are friendly, welcoming and, well, happy.

August 2017
Aug 1, 2017

The Peninsula Chicago Spa

A SPA VISIT TOUTS MANY health benefits for the patron — including stress relief, elimination of physical symptoms, a relaxed mind — so it only makes sense those same attributes, and others, can be extremely beneficial when carried over into the workplace. According to a 2016 Forbes.com article, findings from years of research show treatments can help spark creativity, boost the immune system, increase productivity and improve sleep habits. Armed with this important data, GT associate publisher Carly Allen and I decided to book afternoon spa treatments at The Peninsula Chicago on a recent business trip to the Windy City. It’s work, after all.

Editorial
Jul 1, 2017

SoSPA, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

THE GLOBAL TRAVELER TEAM often finds itself in Los Angeles, as the city hosts two of our awards events annually, but only recently did Katie Skrzek, digital director, and I start to take better advantage of our visits. In December we escaped on a girls’ weekend pre-event, and in May, while we celebrated our 2017 Leisure Lifestyle Awards at the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, we extended our stay by one day to partake in some of the city’s activities we’d been remiss in visiting prior. Of course, that included a morning visit to SoSPA.

June 2017
Jun 1, 2017

Naum Spa, Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya

IN DECEMBER HYATT HOTELS debuted a hidden paradise nestled in the ecologically diverse Mayakoba resort area in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Andaz Mayakoba Resort, a premium, oceanfront property, boasts the perfect combination of contemporary design and authentic local Mayan culture.

Lifestyle / Spas
May 1, 2017

The Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito

INTERNATIONAL HEADLINES have rarely been kind to Honduras. There’s simply no getting around it. What people forget is that news is news because it’s surprising or unexpected. We may see certain headlines repeatedly, but these snapshots rarely reflect everyday life, and they certainly have little do with a place like Pico Bonito National Park in northern Honduras, where The Lodge & Spa at Pico Bonito has operated since 2000.

April 2017
Apr 1, 2017

Terranea Resort Spa

GLOBAL TRAVELER’S VICE PRESIDENT and digital director, Katie Skrzek, and I spent the quintessential girls’ weekend at Terranea Resort, located in Los Angeles County but feeling worlds away from the L.A. bustle and the rest of the world. We arrived for a bit of a breather before heading to Beverly Hills for GT’s annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards celebration, and the few days spent in ultimate relaxation helped us recharge before the busy event itinerary.

March 2017
Mar 1, 2017

Charleston’s Amethyst Spa

THE OLD ADAGE GOES, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Perhaps it’s time we rethink the popular saying. The 21st-century spin: “Amethysts are a girl’s best friend.” I learned this firsthand while on a long weekend getaway to Charleston, S.C., with my own best friend, Jill, when we visited The Amethyst Spa & Nail Bar at the über-chic boutique hotel, The Restoration.

February 2017
Feb 1, 2017

Spa Montage Beverly Hills

WHILE I AM NEVER one to turn down an opportunity to visit a spa, there are certain times in our lives when our bodies crave a moment of relaxation and Zen. Despite having visited a spa just a couple of weeks prior, I found myself in just that predicament during a late October visit to Los Angeles.

January 2017
Jan 1, 2017

ShuiQi Spa at Atlantis, The Palm

IT FELT LIKE WE were living in a buddy comedy movie script. Amidst weeks of planning a trip that would span five cities, four countries and three continents in seven days, Banu Yilmaz and I were determined to find some time while in Dubai to unwind a bit; and we’d planned massages at the ShuiQi Spa at Atlantis, The Palm — three separate times.

December 2016
Dec 1, 2016

Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow’s Quantum Spa

It wasn’t even cold in Moscow when I made my way back to the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow that night, the temperature only lazily falling below 70 degrees Fahrenheit as the setting sun disappeared into the crimson skyline of cathedrals and the Kremlin.

November 2016
Nov 1, 2016

Hotel Julien Spa, Antwerp

I must admit, when an afternoon of free time in Antwerp presented itself, my mind wandered to the possibility of a spa experience. It was my second day in the city, fourth in Belgium; and I’d already spent a fair amount of time on walking tours, in museums and exploring (and indulging!) much of what Belgium offers. I couldn’t resist a bit of time unwinding in one of my favorite ways — at a spa.

September 2016
Sep 1, 2016

Waldorf Astoria Chicago Spa & Health Club

There’s nothing better to motivate a weary business traveler through a day of meetings than the promise of a late-afternoon massage. Thankfully, those were the circumstances facing me one Chicago day in May. After an early-morning flight and a full day of meetings, I found myself gleefully checking into Waldorf Astoria Spa & Health Club at Waldorf Astoria Chicago.

2016
Jul 1, 2016

The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club

The bright sunshine and gently waving palm trees lining the streets of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., easily deceive guests into believing it really is the perfect summer’s day. During my visit, though, the high temperatures on a chilly, northern Florida winter afternoon barely crept out of the 40s. However, as I stepped into The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, the lobby transported me to a light, airy and altogether pleasant atmosphere that made me instantly forget my complaints about the weather. Crossing the spacious lobby and passing the small shop to the right, I made my way into the spa’s inner sanctum, perfectly separated from the lobby in such a way that tells guests it’s time to leave the outside world behind. I happily obliged. The large central space I found myself in housed the spa’s café, a waiting area scattered with small groupings of comfortable chairs and sofas, and a large fountain that immediately drew my eye. With a bit of time before my appointment, I indulged in a quick lunch with my traveling companions, and we seated ourselves at a café table for five. A friendly and eager server rushed over to offer mimosas. I gladly accepted, seeing no good reason to ever turn down a mimosa. The lunch menu offered a variety of healthy and tasty options. We were all a bit conflicted on what to order as there were so many tempting offerings, but our server convinced us to try a few of her favorites. I chose the grilled flat bread with chicken and was not disappointed in the slightest. Cooked just to crunchy perfection, the chicken married nicely with the mozzarella, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes and balsamic reduction. After lunch, I changed into my fluffy white robe in the locker room. Further exploration revealed spacious and private stalls for showering and a separate and smaller ladies-only waiting area outfitted with limited seating and magazines. I opted to wait in the larger space, where I enjoyed some leisurely small talk with a few other guests. I noticed that, since my arrival, the spa was becoming a bit busier and the waiting and dining spaces were quickly filling. Before I could people-watch too much, my therapist fetched me and led the way to a treatment room situated down a few dimly lit hallways.

2016
Jun 1, 2016

Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, Tuscany

What could be better than a few days spent food and wine tasting in Northern Tuscany? I passed several days sipping delicious wines, sampling tasty food and savoring serene spa moments in Tuscany — all while escaping the mid-February doldrums in Philadelphia. My base for exploration was the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa, nestled on an expansive estate overlooking the mountainous Serchio Valley. From here I easily explored the Italian cities and towns of Castelnuovo di Garfagna, Barga, Pisa and Lucca, discovering lesser-known parts of Tuscany. In addition to the spa, Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa boasts more than 18,000 square feet of meeting and event space as well as updated guestrooms and suites, two pools, on-site dining options and a spacious fitness center — making it the perfect Italian treat for couples, families or large groups. During my off-season visit, there were two large groups also staying for company meetings and incentives. Further appealing to guests is the location, offering the opportunity to easily explore the region or to stay at the resort and partake of unique offerings. The property assisted in arranging a number of my sightseeing activities, including a daytrip to Pisa for a glimpse at its iconic Leaning Tower and a visit to nearby Podere Concori Winery for an exclusive tasting of its local, biodynamic wines. The resort’s culinary experience with the chef offers a great diversion for groups of any size. I set out with both the executive chef and pastry chef on a foggy Saturday morning to peruse Barga’s local markets for fresh, vibrant ingredients before heading back to the property to prepare my own lunch from scratch — of course, with the assistance and guidance of the professionals. Travelers can curate the menus to their liking; I opted for eggplant Parmesan, spinach ravioli, fried zucchini blossoms and a fresh fruit tart. But I was also there to kick back in the spa, and relax I did with a treatment at both the beginning and end of my five-day visit. The spa’s smaller size lends an air of exclusivity to the experience; it feels as if it’s all your own. Treatments, which include facials, massages, scrubs, wraps and hair removal, use authentic and indigenous ingredients from the Serchio Valley such as lavender, rosemary, chamomile, mint, olive oil, chestnut honey and grapes.

2016
May 1, 2016

The Spa At Blue Waters Resort, Antigua

I was thrilled to escape the cold winter weather at home in the Northeast with a quick getaway to Antigua. I especially looked forward to a relaxing spa treatment during my stay at Blue Waters Resort.

2016
Apr 1, 2016

Spa At The LINQ, Las Vegas

It was week two of a two-week jaunt around the world. I started in New York, visited İstanbul and Cappadocia, traveled to and overnighted in Los Angeles, and was now in Las Vegas, readying for three days of a travel trade show. My Monday arrival with my Los Angeles-based colleague, Rafie Iannello, coincided with her birthday — and what better way to pamper the birthday girl and relax my jet-lagged mind and body than with an afternoon at the spa? In a city like Las Vegas, which offers top-notch health and wellness outlets, there’s no shortage of options, but we had our sights set on Spa at The LINQ.

2016
Mar 8, 2016

’āwili Spa And Salon, Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort

Arrayed before me on the beautiful dark wood table sit rows of glass bottles and jars, gleaming softly in the overhead lights. On the walls surrounding the table, where I sit perched on a stool in my soft white spa robe, ranks of wooden drawers climb floor to ceiling.

2016
Feb 4, 2016

Hotel Villa Honegg Spa, Switzerland

I have to confess to a fleeting Heidi moment while contemplating the sloping lawn that edges the side of Mount Bürgenstock and the deep waters of Lake Lucerne. Above me, the Hotel Villa Honegg sits etched against the late-morning sky, while just below, a herd of peaceful-looking dairy cows nibble their way across the sweet green expanse. Each movement of their heads causes the bells around their necks to tinkle and clink in a concert that resonates gently within the prevailing tranquility.

2015
Jan 1, 2016

ESPA At Vdara, Las Vegas

I hadn’t been to Las Vegas in years, before the construction of Vdara Hotel & Spa, located on the Strip between ARIA Resort & Casino and Bellagio. Vdara brings a different vibe to the Strip, offering an all-suite, non-gaming, smoke-free and eco-friendly retreat. It was only fitting, then, that here I would find some rest and relaxation on a whirlwind, three-day jaunt to the city for a conference.

2015
Dec 3, 2015

Santuario LeDomaine Wellness & Spa, Spain

I am wine tasting in the Ribera del Duero, one of Spain’s most accomplished wine regions. Though vineyards surround me, I’m not sitting in a bodega. In fact, wrapped in a bathrobe, I tipple at Santuario, a subterranean spa at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, a Relais & Châteaux hotel set in a restored 12th-century monastery.

2015
Nov 4, 2015

Cornelia Spa At The Surrey, New York City

I was in New York City for the weekend, spending time with friends at a bachelorette party. A spa treatment provided the perfect way to start my day following a busy night out celebrating the bride-to-be. The Cornelia Spa at The Surrey hotel offers a tranquil escape in New York City’s Upper East Side.

2015 / September 2015
Oct 1, 2015

South Beach Spa, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach

Truth be told, we needed some time to unwind. Traveling to Miami for three full days of meetings, my associate Olivia Falcione and I were desperate for 60 uninterrupted minutes of spa time on our third day in the southern Florida city.

2015 / August 2015
Sep 1, 2015

Shine Spa, Sheraton Macao Hotel, Macau

I traveled a total of 18 hours from Seattle to Macau, with most of those hours spent contorting my body in a struggle to find a comfortable position in my airplane seat. It was midday by the time I arrived at the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central and, mercifully, one of the first things on my to-do list involved a rejuvenating visit to the hotel’s Shine Spa.

2015
Aug 1, 2015

Ixora Spa By L’Occitane, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina, British Virgin Islands

What it lacks in stature, Ixora Spa at Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina makes up for in ambience. Located in a villa high on a south-facing bluff offering a breathtaking view of the Caribbean Sea, Ixora Spa is a secluded oasis on a small island already far removed from the traffic (no cars), commerce (the resort and its chandlery are the only businesses) and the frenzy of neighboring, more populated islands.

2015 / June 2015
Jul 1, 2015

Nalu Kinetic Spa, Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaii

One of the wonders of the world, winter tides that surge into shore generating waves almost five stories high, have made Oahu’s fabled North Shore a global mecca for surfers who migrate from all over the world to challenge the sea. Situated on that coast, with ocean views from every room, the locale’s principal resort, Turtle Bay, capitalizes on its unique location. Fashioning its health facilities to embrace the waterside sense of a place “where the ocean’s energy gently pushes you to a new place of vitality,” its Nalu (waves and ocean) Kinetic (energizing) Spa resides in a fitness wing of the destination resort where the sea views are gorgeous and the sound of crashing waves is constant.

2015 / May 2015
Jun 1, 2015

Remède Spa, The St. Regis San Francisco

My friend Megan and I were 30,000 feet in the air somewhere over middle America, on our way to a girls’ getaway in San Francisco and Napa, when we looked at one another, both thinking the same thought. As girlfriends are wont to do, we read each other’s minds and said, “We should get spa treatments while we are away.”

2015 / April 2015
May 2, 2015

Phulay Bay Spa, Krabi, Thailand

Wherever I travel, I try to visit a spa both to unwind and to gather insight into the region’s culture, whether it’s a Turkish bathhouse in İstanbul, a hot springs resort in Japan or a wellness retreat in Costa Rica. And so, on a recent trip to Thailand, I headed to the Phulay Bay Spa, part of a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in the southern town of Krabi, where I set down my anchor for several days.

2015 / March 2015
Apr 1, 2015

InterContinental Mar Menor Golf, Resort & Spa, Murcia, Spain

The Region of Murcia sits in the southeast of Spain, guaranteeing Mediterranean-esque temperatures year-round, with more than 300 days of sun per year. My journeys through Murcia took me from the futuristic landscape of Lorca and the picturesque port city of Cartagena to the hustle of the capital city of Murcia, with a visit to tranquil Mar Menor in between.

2015 / February 2015
Mar 1, 2015

Italy’s Adler Thermae Hotel & Spa

Through the steamy mist rising from the surface of the wide pool, the outline of an ancient castle shifts in and out of focus. My mind acknowledges the structure is probably attached quite firmly to a nearby hill, but the vapor plays tricks with my vision, leaving me with the impression that the castle is suspended, floating — likely to disappear if I look away. Swimming past a Stonehenge-like collection of rocks in the center of the water, I reach the pool’s edge and fix the distant, crumbling towers firmly in my sightlines.

2014 / December 2014
Jan 1, 2015

Plymouth, Mass., Mirbeau Inn & Spa

Close your eyes as your car turns onto the narrow road leading to Mirbeau Inn & Spa (assuming you’re not driving, of course) and open them just as you feel the crunch of gravel under your tires as your car pulls into the cobbled driveway. You’re minutes from the highway in Plymouth, Mass., but you’ll swear you’ve just arrived at a French country estate.

2014 / November 2014
Nov 30, 2014

Chicago, The Langham, Chicago, Chuan Spa

As I navigated my way through the pre-9 a.m. hustle and bustle of a Chicago weekday, my imminent relaxation was far from my mind. It seemed impossible after waltzing through the morning rush hour of the city, but I relaxed almost immediately upon crossing Chuan Spa’s signature Moon Gate entrance on The Langham, Chicago’s fourth floor.

2014 / October 2014
Oct 31, 2014

Kohler, Wis., Kohler Waters Spa At The American Club

My husband and I have an agreement that if one of us travels for work, each will do his or her best to accompany the other. His recent conference in Chicago while our children were out of school provided an ideal scenario for tacking on a family visit to The American Club in Kohler, Wisc., where the tagline is “Escape to where village charm meets old-world elegance.”

2014 / September 2014
Oct 1, 2014

Tucson, Ariz., The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa

It took me too long to realize one of the most important components of a relaxing spa experience is to arrive early, leaving plenty of time to unwind and de-stress in the lounge prior to your scheduled treatment.

2014 / August 2014
Sep 1, 2014

Seoul, Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul

Between the traffic horns and the pedestrians rushing along Seoul’s sidewalks at a blistering pace, it can be easy to forget that Korea is known as the “Land of the Morning Calm.” But as I ascended Mount Namsan to the Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul, I was reminded that Korea is just as much a country of holy mountains as concrete cityscapes.

2014 / July 2014
Aug 1, 2014

Glasgow, The Spa At Blythswood Square

We were nearing the end of our two weeks in Scotland, which included stays at grand old manor houses, a week on board the Hebridean Princess in the Western Isles, and Michelin-starred dining in Edinburgh. About the only Scottish luxury we had not indulged in was a spa. Our hotel in Glasgow, Blythswood Square, seemed the right place to fill in that blank.

2014 / June 2014
May 27, 2014

London, Corinthia Hotel London, ESPA Life at Corinthia London

Guests and visitors of the 5-star Corinthia Hotel London — housed within a Victorian building dating from 1885 (once used by the war department and Winston Churchill) on the edge of the River Thames — discover a haven of tranquility tucked away from the buzz and bustle of the city at ESPA Life. Spread across four floors underneath the hotel, the spa is outfitted in a thoroughly modern style with black and white décor, curved walls, mood lighting and chic crystal chandeliers. Guests can enjoy the ultimate indulgent experience and pursue some truly valuable health options.

2014 / May 2014
Apr 23, 2014

Colombia, Punta Faro Resort Spa

A fantastically exuberant festival, a walled city steeped in history and a tropical island paradise miles from the mainland — talk about an eclectic itinerary. I was off to Colombia, a country known for its vitality, history and beauty, and I was ready to experience all three.

2014 / April 2014
Mar 20, 2014

Avon, Colo., Beaver Creek Resort

There’s something quite peaceful about gazing from your hotel window at thick, powdery snow, watching skiers and snowboarders elegantly glide down the slopes, perfectly crisscrossing the mountain. While this has been one heck of a winter season for those of us in the northeastern United States, I found peace and tranquility early this winter at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colo. The sprawling resort near Vail is truly a winter wonderland.

2014 / March 2014
Feb 28, 2014

Orlando, Fla., The Ritz-Carlton Spa Orlando, Grande Lakes

My toes ached only slightly as my feet rested in a footbath infused with freshly picked mint and rosemary. The memory and lingering effects of two strollers belonging to families decked out in Disney gear running them over two days prior at Orlando International Airport faded as I sipped on herbal tea and basked in the sunshine on the intimate rooftop of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.

2014 / February 2014
Jan 28, 2014

Santa Barbara, Calif., The Spa At El Encanto

I’ve never been a fan of couple’s massage. The side-by-side treatment often touted as a blissfully romantic spa escape always left me feeling a bit meh.

2014 / January 2014
Dec 18, 2013

Girona, Spain, Hotel Peralada Wine Spa & Golf

The Greek god Dionysus dances across my line of vision, his stained-glass feet partially obscured by mounds of grapes. I’m not wearing my contact lenses, so the effect is a bit dreamy and nicely blurred around the edges. In a horizontal state of what can only be described as spectacular contentment, it’s not much of a leap to imagine Dionysus slipping around the pillared corner of the spa’s relaxation area to join me for a glass of sparkling cava. There’s a half-full glass already positioned close at hand, standing guard over a small bowl of grapes. The spa attendants appear to be fully aware that forcing me to reach too far might spoil the mood.

2013 / December 2013
Nov 18, 2013

Tasmania, Australia, Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, Waldheim Alpine Spa

Few places are as breathtaking as the remote island of Tasmania — Australia’s southernmost state. And owing to Tasmania’s geographic isolation, unique species are found here that exist nowhere else in the world, notorious animals like the Tasmanian devil. Even the geology and flora hark back to a time when Tasmania was part of the super-continent called Gondwana, formed by the present-day land masses of Antarctica, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Arabia, Madagascar and India.

2013 / November 2013
Nov 1, 2013

Colorado Springs, The Spa at The Broadmoor

It’s not a necessity to step within the walls of The Broadmoor’s spa to achieve true relaxation. A visitor need only step onto the tranquil grounds of the Colorado Springs, Colo., resort to find respite and a sense of serenity. That’s not to say a visit to the on-site The Spa at The Broadmoor doesn’t help!

2013 / October 2013
Oct 1, 2013

Puerto Rico, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Remède Spa

The morning dawned dark and ominous. Our first day in paradise did not look promising. My sister, Nancy, niece, Meaghan, and I had arrived at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort the previous afternoon, looking forward to a girls’ getaway punctuated by morning walks on the beach, languid days soaking in the sun, cool drinks on warm evenings and giggles, lots of giggles.

2013 / September 2013
Sep 1, 2013

Thailand, Sampran Riverside, The Arusaya Thai Wellness Spa

Nothing works the kinks out after a 17-plus-hour flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok like a famous Thai massage. Sadly, I arrived in Bangkok too late to do anything more than check into the hotel and fall into bed, so my restorative massage would have to wait.

2013 / August 2013
Aug 1, 2013

Sri Lanka, Amangalla

It’s a question I’ve been asked for as long as I’ve been a travel writer. I finally have an answer.

2013 / July 2013
Jul 1, 2013

Newberg, Ore., The Allison Inn & Spa

It was the peaceful aura that first soothed me. And then there were Audra’s calming hands as she began The Allison’s signature spa treatment, the Grape Seed Body Wrap. She followed a dry brushing with a scrub of grape seed, grape seed oil, lavender and sugar. Adding organic milk powder, lavender buds, essential oil, honey and wine to the blend, she next painted me with it before wrapping me in seven layers of hot towels, a thermal blanket and a top layer of plastic. The table I lay on was heated. The lights were low. Cool stones were placed on my face, and for 20 minutes, I floated into another space while Audra massaged my neck and my feet.

2013 / July 2013
Jul 1, 2013

Top Destination Spas

What’s the difference between a tune-up and an overhaul? A touch-up and a makeover? A refresh and a renovation?

2013 / June 2013
Jun 1, 2013

Phoenix, The Arizona Biltmore, Arizona Biltmore Spa

Dream•catch•er n. 1. A circular framed net decorated with feathers and beads, believed to catch good dreams.

2013 / June 2013
Jun 1, 2013

Best Of GT: Spas

I’ve seen dead people, bathed with naked women and sobbed with intuitive healers — all in the name of research. Since the debut of our Spas column, I’ve made a point of pushing the boundaries to explore therapies beyond traditional massage or salon services. And I’ve encouraged other writers to do the same. The result is a library of spa articles that are often funny, sometimes poignant and always informative.

2013 / May 2013
May 1, 2013

Macau, The Spa At Mandarin Oriental, Macau

I knew I was in a city where everything is bigger when I learned my hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, Macau, with its 213 rooms, is considered “boutique.” The truth is, in Macau, that is small. Most of the properties on the island are home to thousands of rooms, and the majority are at full occupancy. With the dizzying array of sights to see, people to watch and delicious cuisine to discover, I knew my “boutique” hotel would be a sanctuary.

2013 / April 2013
Apr 1, 2013

Tucson, Ariz., Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

I was surprisingly at ease given the circumstances: laid out on a massage table in a guestroom-turned-spiritual-center while a seemingly sane person jumped, whooped, hollered and waved feathers over my prone body.

2013 / February 2013
Feb 1, 2013

Queenstown, New Zealand, Hilton, eforea Spa

After the 15-hour flight to Queenstown, New Zealand, I was groggy with jet lag, and the spa treatment Hilton proposed sounded enticing — but unnerving: The technician was planning to use electricity on my face. At first I balked but eventually relented. And thank heaven my defenses were down, for despite my dire forebodings, the Signature Correcting Facial turned out to be transforming.

2013 / January 2013
Jan 1, 2013

Napa, Calif., The Meritage Resort, Spa Terra

Approaching The Meritage Resort and Spa for a crush-season getaway in the Napa Valley, we were a bit taken aback. While vineyards still laden with grapes lined the roadways taking us north from the San Francisco Bay toward Napa, as we neared our destination we entered a large office park complex … neat, modern, with wide boulevards lined with trees … but an office park, nonetheless. Pulling under the two-story entrance portico of the main building, a stone and stucco, Tuscan-inspired façade, our considerations of the mundane world outside retreated in the face of the warm welcome offered by the valet and the front desk staff.

2012 / December 2012
Dec 1, 2012

Amman, Jordan, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, ZARA Spa

It was dark and rainy when I arrived at the Mövenpick Resort, perched on the edge of the Dead Sea in Jordan, so there was no hope of seeing the famous sea until morning. When I woke it was still raining, but miraculously the skies cleared for about a half-hour, enough time to throw on my bathing suit and get down to the sea for an early-morning float.

2012 / November 2012
Nov 1, 2012

Bermuda, Fairmont Southampton, Willow Stream Spa

I love my birthday. Always have. So it comes as no surprise to friends and family — the people who love me enough to grin and bear it when I begin the annual countdown about 90 days out — that I always have a plan for “my” day.

2012 / September 2012
Sep 1, 2012

New York City, Spa Merge

Nearly a month after becoming roommates with Kate, I earned brownie points when I invited her to accompany me to New York City on a beautiful June afternoon for a visit to Spa Merge, a day spa epitomizing the phrase “urban sanctuary.”

2012 / August 2012
Aug 1, 2012

Bretton Woods, N.H., Omni Mount Washington Resort And Spa

They’re so cute when they’re asleep. Their angelic faces peaceful and serene. A toddler? A kitten? Maybe a puppy?

2012 / July 2012
Jul 1, 2012

Mombasa, Kenya, Severin Safari Camp, Kenbali Spa

I’m not sure who is more nervous: the Grant’s gazelle or me.

2012 / June 2012
Jun 1, 2012

West Yorkshire, England, Eastthorpe Hall

Eastthorpe Hall left me pleasantly surprised. Instead of a towering, ornate facility, there was a well-groomed brick house seamlessly blending into the English countryside. It didn’t strike me as a location for unmatched luxury; rather, it evoked the feelings of peace and serenity you can only find at home. Opening the heavy wooden door and entering the spa, I was happy to see the inside of the house was no less charming than the outside.

2012 / May 2012
May 1, 2012

Gozo, Malta, Kempinski Hotel, The Quintessence Spa

As we stand together on the ferry deck, two things lie ahead of us. Most immediately, the island of Gozo, romantically bathed in a shifting pattern of sunlight and cloud shadow. And, on the metaphorical horizon, our wedding. This is our last trip as an unmarried couple.

2012 / April 2012
Apr 1, 2012

Beverly Hills, Calif., The Peninsula Beverly Hills

While I sincerely doubt this statement will elicit much sympathy, I must say it: It is often difficult to truly relax during treatments when I am covering a spa for an upcoming article. I’m constantly writing and rewriting the article in my head as the treatment is happening. I know — I do not feel bad for me, either. This sentiment was running through my head as my spa technician at The Peninsula Beverly Hills wrapped my body in Mylar. I thought, “What is the perfect way to detail what it feels like to crinkle like a happy birthday balloon?”

2012 / February 2012
Feb 1, 2012

Cape Elizabeth, Inn By The Sea, Spa At Inn By The Sea

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals when it was checked by a ferocious gust of wind sweeping over the beach (for it was early winter in coastal Maine) and pounding my car as I navigated winding roads seeking a refuge from the tempest.

2012 / January 2012
Jan 1, 2012

Yorkshire, De Vere Oulton Hall, The Spa At The Oulton Club

I settled into a cab, jet-lagged and fuzzy after an overnight flight from Boston followed by a connection to Manchester and a short train ride to Leeds.

2011 / December 2011
Dec 1, 2011

Zürich, Switzerland, Lady’s First Design Hotel

From the private rooftop spa terrace of Lady’s First Design Hotel, Zürich fades into a horizon of mountain peaks, floating steeples and lit, glimmering clock towers. It’s after 10 p.m., and the fresh evening air is a welcome wrap, brushing the surface of my skin, still flushed from my sojourn in the spa’s aromatic steam bath. The graceful 19th-century house below me was renovated and modernized by Pia Schmid, a Swiss architect with a gift for manifesting her philosophy of construction and composition as a form of communication. Schmid’s design integrates the building’s traditional, historical elements — such as the beautifully restored parquet floors — with progressive concepts of generous natural light, bold colors and an amalgamation of surfaces and textures. Each of the 28 guestrooms features a Swissflex bed, electric kettle, complimentary WiFi and windows that can be thrown wide to allow a flow of fresh, lake-sweetened air.

2011 / November 2011
Nov 1, 2011

Boston, Mass., Fairmont Battery Wharf, Exhale Spa

I was poked and prodded, pushed and pulled. And I felt mahhvelous. I had arrived at Exhale Battery Wharf in Boston about four hours earlier feeling fatigued, frazzled and flustered. Running late for a 10 a.m. appointment, I dropped my car with the valet and dashed to the check-in desk, fumbling with my bags and dropping things along the way. Breathless, I spun through the spa entrance, headed straight for the front desk and declared, “I’m late.”

2011 / June 2011
Jun 1, 2011

Florence, Hotel Il Salviatino

I was seduced by Tuscany many years ago. Since then, that first blush of love-struck marvel has deepened and matured to focus on several places in particular — and Florence is high on the list. Situated on the edge of Florence is the village of Fiesole with its Roman theater and crumbling, Etruscan-era walls. Il Salviatino, the recently opened grand villa-turned-luxury hotel, had its beginnings here as a humble, 14th-century farmhouse surrounded by rambling olive groves and hills covered in grapevines.

2011 / April 2011
Apr 1, 2011

Marina Square, Singapore, Pan Pacific Singapore, St. Gregory Spa

After a jam-packed few days in Singapore, a soothing spa treatment was exactly what I needed on a free Friday afternoon. Even the light drizzle couldn’t dampen my spirits as I made my way to the St. Gregory Spa at Pan Pacific Singapore for the aptly titled Lady’s Jetsetter Ritual.

2011 / March 2011
Mar 1, 2011

Boston, Mass., The Langham Boston, Chuan Body + Soul

Raindrops the size of egg yolks pummeled the roof of my car as I drove the 15 miles from my suburban home to The Langham Boston. It was late August, but the soaking rain and unseasonable chill in the air made it seem more like early March.

2011 / February 2011
Feb 1, 2011

Ixtapa, Mexico, Capella-Ixtapa Resort & Spa

If you’re looking for a broad, white-sand beach and a myriad of kid-friendly activities, then Ixtapa’s newest luxury property is not for you. Capella-Ixtapa, in Mexico’s state of Guerrero, doesn’t have a miniature golf course, a water park, special kids’ programs or a cartoon character-themed snack bar. What it does have is an atmosphere of quiet elegance, a dramatic setting and superb service. This is a place for grown-ups to chill out and be pampered in tranquil surroundings with breathtaking views.

2011 / January 2011
Jan 1, 2011

Kerry, Ireland, Park Hotel Kenmare, SÁMAS Spa

As we turn off the main road in the village of Kenmare onto a drive leading gently uphill between rows of stately trees, Park Hotel Kenmare slowly reveals itself — a tranquil stone manor house covered with climbing vines and leaves just beginning to turn golden and rusty in the crisp fall air. The sense of genteel graciousness builds in the entrance lobby, where cheerful members of the staff greet me and my husband, James.

Editorial
Nov 1, 2010

Stowe, Vt., Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

Chuck Baraw got it right. The CEO and owner of Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa toured far and wide before blending a spa into the landscape of the iconic Vermont resort. The result is an unexpectedly world-class spa experience in the sleepy mountain village of Stowe.

2010 / October 2010
Oct 1, 2010

Auckland, New Zealand, The Langham Auckland, Chuan Spa

I venture down the deeply carpeted corridor, following a few discreet signs which direct me to my goal. After nearly 24 hours of travel, including a long, overnight trans-Pacific flight, I eagerly anticipate relief for my tense and aching muscles at The Langham, Auckland’s Chuan Spa.

2010 / September 2010
Sep 1, 2010

Hua Hin, Thailand, Hyatt Regency Hua Hin, The Barai

Visually stunning and completely serene — seldom have I encountered a more appealing space than the Hyatt Regency’s Barai spa in Hua Hin, Thailand.

2010 / August 2010
Aug 1, 2010

Scottsdale, Ariz., InterContinental Montelucia Resort, Joya Spa

If you think you have to fly to Casablanca to enjoy an authentic Moroccan hammam, think again. Since Moroccan hammams are located in the exotic Sahara, it’s only fitting that there’s a U.S. version also located in a desert, but this time it’s the Sonoran in Arizona.

2010
Jul 14, 2010

Stowe, Vt., Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

Chuck Baraw got it right. The CEO and owner of Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa toured far and wide before blending a spa into the landscape of the iconic Vermont resort. The result is an unexpectedly world-class spa experience in the sleepy mountain village of Stowe.

2010 / July 2010
Jul 1, 2010

Chiang Mai, Thailand, RarinJinda Wellness Spa Resort

For the first couple of minutes, I remain a skeptic, simply watching colors change on a small computer screen. The doctor’s questions seem more like a fortuneteller’s.

2010 / June 2010
Jun 1, 2010

Quintana Roo, Mexico, Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Spa

I was already well on my way to a state of relaxed bliss even before I sauntered casually through the doors of the Banyan Tree Spa. It was only day two of my stay at the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, but the beachfront resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya was definitely working its magic.

2010 / May 2010
May 1, 2010

Waikoloa, Hawaii, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Kohala Spa

Crashing waves lulled me into a state of semi-consciousness. The salubrious strokes of the ancient Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage transported me to a realm of utter calm. It was utopia. Days earlier, I stumbled onto Hawaii’s Big Island, barely coherent after almost 48 hours with no sleep and facing a packed itinerary comprised of sporting activities typical to the Big Island — snorkeling, hiking the volcano park and ziplining. However, from my seaside cabana on a precipice overlooking the Pacific, my exhaustion melted away.

2010 / April 2010
Apr 1, 2010

Chicago, Ill., The Peninsula, The Peninsula Spa

“Sparkly.” That was my answer to the spa therapist’s question, “How do you want to feel at the end of this treatment?”

2010 / March 2010
Mar 1, 2010

Vail, Colo., The Arrabelle At Vail Square, RockResorts Spa

Never one to refuse a glass of fine wine and as someone who has first-hand knowledge of the soothing properties inherent in a mug of hot, mulled wine on a cold winter’s day, I was intrigued by Vin Chaud. Billed as a Body Indulgence on the spa menu at RockResorts Spa at The Arrabelle in Vail, Colo., Vin Chaud is a 105-minute treatment involving a complex dance of wine-based therapies.

2010 / Feburary 2010
Feb 1, 2010

Los Cabos, Mexico, Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Resort Spa Resort, Somma Wine Spa

While I admit to enjoying a glass of chilled Chardonnay occasionally, I never expected to be massaged with it. But at the Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf and Spa Resort, that’s just about what happened.

2010 / January 2010
Jan 1, 2010

National Harbor, Md., Gaylord National Hotel And Convention Center, Relâche Spa

Lying face down on a comfy massage bed, eyes closed, zoning out to a New Age tape mix as the therapist expertly worked a knot in my upper back — no doubt caused from hours at my laptop — I suddenly thought, “Why here?”

2009 / December 2009
Dec 1, 2009

San Diego, Calif., W San Diego, Away Spa

“Whatever/whenever” — the service-minded mantra of W Hotels is translated in every aspect of the W San Diego. It was never more evident to me than during an afternoon at the hotel’s Away Spa. As I looked ahead to a red-eye flight back to the East Coast, I melted away the stresses from three busy days at a convention while basking in the attentive glow of the spa staff.

2009 / November 2009
Nov 1, 2009

Traben-Trarbach, Germany, Parkschlösschen Bad Wildstein, Ayurvedic

Anyone who’s done their spa homework is likely familiar with the tradition of the Kur — or taking the waters — so well known in Germany. Lately, a surge of interest in Ayurveda, India’s centuries-old approach to well-being, is gaining hold in German resorts and long-established spa towns, with exotically named treatments popping up on spa menus from Baden-Baden to Berlin.

2009 / October 2009
Oct 1, 2009

The Gambia, West Africa, Coco Ocean Resort And Spa

After a 30-minute drive from the airport, we arrive at what looks like the gate to a North African fort. It opens, and the future of Gambian tourism is revealed. My eyes widen, my breath is taken. I had heard that the country’s tourist industry is in the midst of a dramatic transformation. Here is the evidence.

2009 / August 2009
Aug 1, 2009

Dubai, Hotel Level Terminal 3, Emirates Timeless Spa

My alarm clock rang far too early in the morning. I couldn’t believe it was already time to leave Dubai. I was traveling through the United Arab Emirates on business and loving every experience. However, my body was fighting a fever and I was experiencing allaround soreness, the result of long meetings, late evenings and too much time spent on my feet — in fashionable but painful high heels.

2009 / July 2009
Jul 1, 2009

Beverly Hills, Calif., Montage Beverly Hills, Spa Montage

Beverly Hills is known to have the best of the best, from hotels to dining to celebrities of the silver screen. I was looking forward to being a part of this posh elite, if only for a few hours during my time at Spa Montage. Nestled in the stunning Montage Beverly Hills — a beautiful hideaway where the décor is decidely Old World Spain — Spa Montage offers an oasis of calm for anyone looking to escape the stress of a hectic day.

2009 / June 2009
Jun 1, 2009

Hawley, Pa., The Lodge At Woodloch

Growing up in the Poconos, I never understood why tourists flocked to the area. I just didn’t get it. I lived in my parents’ house surrounded by mountains and looming trees, with deer and wild turkeys grazing in the backyard and the occasional black bear strolling through the region. As a kid, I did not see this landscape as tranquil or relaxing; all I knew was that the nearest McDonald’s was 30 minutes away, and there was never anything to do unless you hopped in your car and drove for an hour.

2009
May 1, 2009

Los Angeles, Calif., Crystal Cruises

From the private deck of my penthouse on the sumptuous, 6-star Crystal Symphony, I gaze out over the surface of the ocean. We’re west of Cuba, sailing toward the Panama Canal en route from Miami to Los Angeles; and I’ve become completely fascinated by how the water seems, impossibly, to be blue, gray and green all at the same time.

2009 / April 2009
Apr 1, 2009

Surat Thani, Thailand, Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui Spa

For starters, it was the first time I’d ever had a spa treatment in a tree house. Okay, so it wasn’t literally a tree house, but it sure seemed like one, since to get to my treatment room I had to climb up an outside wooden staircase surrounded by flowering plants and towering coconut palms. It was also the first time I had a spa treatment centered around the phases of the moon.

2009 / March 2009
Mar 1, 2009

Melaka, Malaysia, Majestic Malacca, Spa Village Malacca

Imagine stepping back in time to indulge in the beauty secrets of one of the most intriguing cultures of Malaysia’s history. I did just that at Spa Village Malacca, the world’s only spa to base its therapies on the healing heritage of the Peranakan, a unique combination of Chinese and Malay influences.

2008 / September 2008
Dec 1, 2008

Tabernash, Colo., Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Ranch Creek Spa

For me it was a rocky mountain high in more ways than one. I’d climbed from sea level to a lofty 5,000-plus-foot altitude in the short amount of time it takes to fly from Los Angeles to Denver, and even hiking up the steps to the Devil’s Thumb Ranch lobby was an aerobic experience.

2008 / June 2008
Oct 3, 2008

Las Vegas, Nev., Bellagio Las Vegas, Spa Bellagio

“Quack, quack, waddle, waddle.” The words to the children’s rhyme about ducks and rainy days played through my mind as we followed the leader along a winding route to the inner sanctum at Spa Bellagio. Dressed in a robe and spa slippers, I was one of about a dozen patrons scheduled for a 1 p.m. treatment.

2008 / November 2008
Sep 27, 2008

Kerala, India, Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort

The furthest thing from my mind when I came to the South India province of Kerala to photograph a local festival was a traditional Indian Ayurvedic spa. Yet somehow the solitude and quiet of a holistic healing center in the country seemed the perfect respite from the frenetic action of a town in festival mode.

2008 / September 2008
Sep 1, 2008

Miami, Fla., Conrad Miami, Spa Chakra

Before I even get to the spa, I must explain that this particular experience was the cornerstone of a girls’ getaway weekend done right. My husband and I don’t have children of our own, but we’re blessed with a niece and nephew my sister and her husband have generously shared with us. Or maybe they just realized the value of having a set of quasi-parents in the wings to watch, drive and otherwise entertain their kids. Either way, we made out. We get all the fun of parenting without any of the responsibilities. We’re cheaters, for sure. And I love it.

2008 / July 2008
Jul 1, 2008

Ivins, Utah, Red Mountain Spa

The scenery of the aptly named Red Mountain Spa in scenic St. George, Utah, really grabs you. The stunning red-rock canyons and mountains of the Mojave Desert provide breathtaking views through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the spa’s relaxation room, as well as plenty of outdoor challenges for the athletically inclined. John Ibach, Red Mountain’s outdoor manager, says he loves to watch the reaction of new arrivals who often stand with their jaws open as they take in the view of red mountains reaching into blue sky.

2008 / May 2008
May 1, 2008

London, England, Radisson Edwardian Hotel, East River Spa

Good spas trigger the senses and then gently lull them to a place of bliss. Visual, auditory and olfactory cues exist to transport you to someplace beyond the normal realm (often to a vaguely pan-Asian atmosphere regardless of your actual geographic location). But I’m a native New Yorker, so the first cue to the spa at the Radisson Edwardian New Providence Wharf — its name, East River Spa — made me think of Brooklyn. Or Roosevelt Island, maybe.

2008 / January 2008
Jan 1, 2008

Southern Calif., Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey

How much more “Southern California” can you get than a relaxed, elegant spa fronted by a king-size pool filled with sparkling turquoise water rimmed by swaying palm trees, the Pacific Ocean just feet away? The weather was perfect, sunny with balmy breezes, and I was off for an indulgent morning.

2007 / December 2007
Dec 1, 2007

Kerala, India, Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Divya Ayurveda Wellness Spa

As the birthplace of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian spa tradition, India’s Kerala region is known to spa-goers across the globe as a haven for tranquility and relaxation. So when I arrived at the Divya Ayurveda Wellness Spa at the Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach, Kerala, I knew I was in for a treat.

2007 / May 2007
May 1, 2007

Madeira, Portugal, Reid’s Palace

Lying on your stomach, experienced hands working your back, birds flying overhead and sea breezes keeping you cool, you look over at your spouse, or partner or friend and smile a relaxed smile. Surely, you will be rewarded in kind.

2007 / April 2007
Apr 1, 2007

Budapest, Hungary, Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal, Royal Spa

At the Royal Spa in the Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal in Budapest, I did something I don’t normally do: I booked two treatments back to back. The first was a foot massage. The second was the spa’s signature Deep Blue massage.

2007 / December-January 2007
Jan 1, 2007

Miami, Fla., The Spa At Mandarin Oriental

“Abandon stress, all ye who enter here” might as well be carved over the door of The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami. I’ve been to health spas that are all bright tile, hearty Swedish masseuses, loofahs and firehoses, and this was most definitely not one of those; here, it’s more like joining a cult of serenity.

2006 / November 2006
Nov 1, 2006

Hong Kong, InterContinental Hong Kong, ISpa

My last fully conscious thought as the first drop of oil hit my forehead was, “I will never get this out of my hair.” And then I succumbed as a steady flow of the silken liquid lulled me into a state of nirvana.

2006 / October 2006
Oct 1, 2006

Dublin, Ireland, Merrion Hotel, Tethra Spa

There is always a certain leap of faith required in turning over one’s body to a perfect stranger for a spa treatment. Add a fistful of scalding hot stones in the hands of the masseuse, and that leap becomes a plunge. In the case of the hot stone massage at the Tethra Spa at the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin, the leap was worth it.

Feature
Sep 20, 2019

Coming Soon: America’s First Solar-Powered Airport

As harmful to the environment as air travel is, some airports are taking measures to become more environmentally conscious. One example is Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an adjacent solar farm powers certain airport operations.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

Feature
Sep 20, 2019

Ryanair Will Start Georgia Flights

Ryanair will soon start its first round-trip Georgia flights. The flights, which start this November, will connect the capital Tbilisi (TBS) to Milan Bergamo (BGY) four times weekly and the western city of Kutaisi (KUT) to Bologna (BLQ) and Marseille (MRS), both twice weekly. Then, in April, Ryanair will add twice weekly flights between Tbilisi and Cologne (CGN).

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Daily
Sep 20, 2019

Catch Autumn at the Arboretum in Dallas

Attend one of the most acclaimed fall events, Autumn at the Arboretum, in Dallas. In its 14th year, the annual event is known as one of the best pumpkin festivals in the country, with its creative displays featuring more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash. The event takes place at Dallas Arboretum, Sept. 21 –Oct. 31. Alongside thousands of pumpkins, guests glimpse 150,000 autumn flowers across the 66-acre space.

Claridge House
eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

New Delhi Package Offers

This New Delhi property offers visitors four options to pass the time.

TAP Air Portugal Adds 15 Flights Each Week From U.S., Canada

TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020,  a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.

eFlyer Deals
Sep 18, 2019

Family Get Together in Malaysia

The Hotel Jen Johor Puteri Harbour has excellent offers for families who need to make some quality time on the road.