Ultimate Spa Getaways

When you’re looking to escape the everyday, try these amazing spa vacations for a little R&R and adventure.
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The Greenbrier

Location: White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia Here’s a chance to test your off-road driving skills in somebody else’s car. For one to three hours, you’ll pilot a Land Rover on the resort’s 35-mile off-road course. Spa Capitalizing on the local hot springs, the spa offers hydrotherapy as well as decadent treatments like chocolate-covered strawberry body wrap. The Greenbrier Clinic, a medical facility at the spa, offers exams, lifestyle consultations and cosmetic treatments. To Do The activities list is almost endless, from billiards and croquet to hiking and hunting, to browsing the art colony, a row of cottages where artisans work metal, leather, wood and glass. Rates Rooms start at $389. 800-453-4858, greenbrier.com.
Photo courtesy of The Greenbrier

Dunton Hot Springs Resort & Spa

Location: Telluride, Colorado Learn to cast on a private seven-mile stretch of the West Fork of the Dolores River, from April until the end of November. You’ll be hooking brook trout, brown trout and the elusive rainbow. Spa The setting is rustic, the treatments designed to soothe saddle aches, from a deep-tissue massage to a "Musclease" Aroma Ocean Wrap. To extend the effect, pop into the restored 19th-century bathhouse and dip into hot springs mineral water. To Do An adrenaline-laced assortment, from heli-skiing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter to white-water rafting, mountaineering and rock-climbing in summer. Telluride, with shops and eateries, is just over the mountain. Rates Cabins start at $650 a day for two, including meals and unguided activities. 970-882-4800, duntonhotsprings.com.
Photo by Lars Gange

Emerson Resort & Spa

Location: Mount Tremper, New York Intrigued by the Japanese method of energy healing? A three-hour lesson leads to level-one certification (you can practice on yourself). A follow-up session confers level two certification (you can practice on others). Master Teacher Lorry Salluzzi says anyone can do it; she teaches you how to tap into your energy-healing powers. Spa A 17th-century wooden gate from Rajasthan defines the entrance to the spa, where Ayurvedic treatments (Shiradhara, Abhyanga) are the specialty. During summer months, massages are given in outdoor pavilions. To Do The Catskills offer hiking and mountain-biking, snow-shoeing, downhill and cross-country skiiing. Woodstock, where you can still buy patchooli and tie-dyed shirts, is a short drive away, and there’s good antiquing in the area. Rates Inn rooms start at $349; rooms in the lodge start at $129. 877-688-2828, emersonresort.com.
Photo courtesy of Emerson Resort & Spa

Canouan Resort

Location: The Grenadines Put on the gloves: This Caribbean resort has a regulation-size boxing ring, and a trainer who will teach you a wicked left jab. One-on-one lessons are generally 20 minutes-about all you can take. Spa Nine thatched-roof spa palapas have a view of the Caribbean; two over-water palapas have glass bottoms. In the Asian tradition, treatments begin with a foot bath. The ultimate-120-minute Aroma Bliss-combines a chamomile body scrub, aromatherapy mineral bath and aroma massage. To Do Water sports abound, from sailing to Scuba to snorkeling the reef. There’s tennis and an 18-hole Jim Fazio golf course. Fitness classes are offered daily. Rates Starting at $495 a night, including breakfast, fitness classes, non-motorized water sports. 784-458-8000, canouan.com.
Photo courtesy of Canouan Resort

Equinox Resort & Spa

Location: Manchester, Vermont There are just a handful of places in the U.S. where you can learn to fly a hawk. At this Vermont resort, a British School of Falconry instructor will teach you to send a bird off from your hand and call it back. You’ll also tour the barn where the resort’s resident raptors-eagle, falcon, hawks-live. Classes start at $70. Spa Maple sugar, Vermont wildflowers and local mineral clay are blended into rubs and masks. The Spirit of Vermont treatment combines Reiki, massage and reflexology. To Do The resort offers archery, fly-fishing, clays shooting, hiking and off-road driving school, plus an 18-hole golf course and tennis. Manchester is an outlet shopping mecca, and Vermont ski mountains-Killington, Pico Peak, Okemo-are nearby. Rates Rooms start at $559. 800-362-4861, equinoxresort.com.
Photo courtesy of Equinox Resort & Spa

Red Mountain Resort & Spa

Location: St. George, Utah Whether you’re a seasoned mountain biker looking for a challenge or a newbie to off-roading, there’s a class for you here, from "beginning single track" to "adventure mountain biking," in terrain tailor-made for this sport. Spa The Sagestone Spa is housed in a renovated geodesic dome (remember Buckminster Fuller?). Be sure to arrive early so you can relax in the waiting room, drinking in a smashing view of Snow Canyon. Rates Rooms start at $199 per person, including all meals, fitness classes and hikes. 877-246-HIKE, redmountainspa.com.
Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort & Spa

Rancho La Puerta

Location: Tecate, Mexico Most spas have cooking demonstrations; this one has a bona fide cooking school. At La Cocina Que Canta, the 4,500-square-foot facility that opened in 2007, spa chef Jesus Gonzales and guest chefs instruct, using ingredients picked from the Ranch’s organic garden. At three-and-a-half hour hands-on classes, offered six days a week, a group of 16 prepare and eat a meal. Spa Treatments, given in two facilities, cover all the basics: hot stone, sports massages, facials and herbal wraps. A rooftop hot tub at the Villa Health Center invites stargazing. A separate salon does manicures, pedicures and hair care. Rates Rancheras start at $2,795 a week per person double occupancy, including all activities and meals. A Villa Suite is $4,230 per person. If four people share a Villa Suite, one stays free. 800-443-7565, rancholapuerta.com.
Photo courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

Four Seasons Hualalai

Location: The Big Island, Hawaii Outrigger canoeing is a tradition in our fiftieth state. The Four Seasons resort uses local experts, Alaka’i Nalu ("leaders of the waves"), to teach proper technique on the crystal waters off the Kona Coast; you can even learn to paddle standing up. Along the way, they’ll share the traditions and culture of the islands. Spa Don’t miss the traditional Lomi Lomi massage, best enjoyed in one of the spa’s hale or outdoor pavilions. The apothecary custom blends beauty products for guests, using island ingredients such as ginger and coconut. To Do There’s swimming, extraordinary snorkeling on the coral reef, tennis and an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course on site. Island options include rainforest walks, mule rides, and excursions to glimpse red lava at the active volcano, Mauna Loa, or the mountaintop observatory. Rates $785 (including breakfast for two) and up. 808-325-8000, fourseasons.com/hualalai/.
Photo by John C. Russell

The Hills Health Ranch

Location: 108 Mile Ranch, British Columbia Not only can you ride horses at this dude ranch/spa, you can whisper them too. Sherry May, the resident horse intuitive, will teach you techniques for controlling the horse and gaining its trust as you exercise it on a lead line. It’s a fascinating communication between human and animal using posture and eye contact. Spa Rose hips are harvested each year and blended into a variety of proprietary lotions and oils. The spa environs are plain-spoken, but the massages are first rate, and Juanita gives superb facials and analyzes the nutritional needs of your skin. To Do Beyond horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking, there are fitness classes and cross-country skiing on nearly 100 miles of groomed trails. Rates Starting at $200 for a single person, including meals, fitness classes, and hiking. 800-668-2233, thehillshealthranch.com.
Photo by Raeanne Schacher

Mandarin Oriental Miami

Location: Miami, Florida This is your ticket to become a giver as well as a receiver, studying Thai massage with a master. Jongrak Intatha, who learned massage growing up in Thailand and now runs the program for this Asia-based hotel chain, teaches the classic technique of pressing and stretching. There’s a weekend (three days, 16 hours) introductory course, which couples love, to gives the basics, and a longer course that leads to certification. Spa There’s a definite Asian flavor to the expansive, dark-wood spa. Treatment rooms are large and lavish; the biggest have panoramic water views. Massages are also offered in cabanas at the beach. Asian/Pacific treatments are the specialty: Ayurvedic, Thai, Lomi Lomi. To Do Guests come to this hotel mainly to eat well, have spa treatments and relax. But all the bustle of Miami-shopping, the ocean, South Beach-beckons too. Rates Rooms start at $229. 866-888-6780, mandarinoriental.com/miami/.
Photo courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Miami

Biras Creek Resort

Location: British Virgin Islands Located on the Virgin Gorda, in the sailing capital of the Caribbean, the Biras Creek staff gives introductory and advanced instruction in 26-foot Folk sailboats. Spa Staffed with aromatherapy specialists, the spa offers a variety of massages, including Thai and Indian. To Do Beyond boating and sailing, there’s snorkeling, windsurfing, sand volleyball and tennis. Or you can just sun at the beach or the pool. Hiking trails invite guests to explore the island. Rates Rooms start at $700 for two, including all meals and all activities, including sailing instruction. 877-883-0756, biras.com. *FOR A SLIDESHOW OF WARM WEATHER GETAWAYS, CLICK HERE.*
Photo courtesy of Biras Creek Resort

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