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Rejuvenate and Recharge At These 30 Top Spa Havens

Spas are a wonderful place to escape, revive, and restore our commitment to our health and well-being. But at these top 30 spa havens, you’ll find even more. Whether you’re looking for a new beginning, or to amp up your fitness routine, these properties—some veterans others new kids on the block—promise to deliver.

Woodsy Oasis

Just ninety miles from New York City, you’ll find the Lodge at Woodloch, a 75-acre destination spa (the first to open in more than a decade.) Situated in Pennsylvania’s Lake Region, the country lodge setting inspires guests to unwind, while nourishing themselves inside and out. At Tree, the lodge’s restaurant, you’ll sample mostly organic cuisine that defines a new era of spa fare. In between hiking and water activities on the private 15-acre lake, immerse yourself in such classes as yoga and drumming, before you indulge in one of the signature experiences at the world-class spa. We suggest trying the Awakening the Senses Head to Toe Ritual. Your senses won’t regret it. (866) 953-8500, www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com

Personalized Pampering

Mayflower Inn & Spa is nestled in 58 acres of enchanted woods in northwestern Connecticut. With a capacity for just 30 visitors and a staff-to-guest ratio of five to one, this intimate destination spa is ultra-luxurious, yet unpretentious. Its three, four, and five-night inclusive packages include unlimited spa treatments, scrumptious healthy cuisine, and classes in everything from aqua Pilates and snowshoeing to hypnotherapy and memoir writing. An advisor coordinates a personalized program for each guest that can be as gung-ho athletic or lazy sybaritic as you wish, depending on what aspects of your life need rejuvenating—be it that you need a nutrition makeover or to heal from a broken heart. Don’t miss the meditative stone labyrinth modeled on the one at Chartres Cathedral in France. (860) 868-9466, www.mayflowerinn.com

Seaweed with Style

A destination designed for slowing down the speed of life, Sooke Harbour Houses’s individually appointed guest rooms boast floor to ceiling views of Vancouver Island’s rocky shore. Adding to the sensory experience, the award-winning dining room serves native, natural cuisine, mostly grown or fished just steps from the kitchen. This philosophy extends to the spa, where a seaweed soak wraps guests in freshly harvested kelp. With nearby hiking, bird watching, and fishing, Sooke Harbour House is a celebration of British Columbia’s pure beauty. (800) 889-9688, www.sookeharbourhouse.com

Heaven in the Haldimand Hills

Entering Ste. Anne’s is like slipping back to a more genteel era; only the gracious stone walls betray its farmhouse past. Overstuffed, upholstered chairs and settees arranged near cozy fireplaces offer cosseting comfort in all public rooms and in spacious guest rooms and six unique cottages. Guests are encouraged to take meals (including afternoon tea) in their bathrobes, which belies the elegant-yet-comfortable setting and gourmet cuisine. The Aveda spa offers a broad array of luxurious treatments in soothing spaces. Group classes tend toward the mellow. Be sure to set aside time to enjoy the Fieldstone Grotto with hot tub as well as the bucolic view from a lawn chair. (888) 346-6772, www.steannes.com

Cavern Oasis

Hidden between two bunches of palms is Al Capone’s original desert hideaway, Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, California. While situated in the desert, the resort’s 256-acres feature luscious orchards and an emerald sanctuary. The green center holds the resort’s main attraction: relaxing in the Grotto’s hot spring pool, one of few natural aquatic getaways. Follow your pure water escape with an exclusive Watsu massage held in two private pools devoted to the weightless warm-water therapy or by relaxing to the divine sound of rippling water while you receive a mineral-rich mud treatment inside a rustic Villa. (760) 329-8791, www.twobunchpalms.com

Southwest Sento

Santa Fe and its adobe downtown are pure desert Southwest, and the scenery inside Ten Thousands Waves, just four miles outside the city, is pure Japan: rock gardens, waterfalls and pagodas (which are the treatment rooms). Combine the two and you get a won’t-find-this-anywhere-else aesthetic: Far East meets desert West. Refresh and relax in one of nine hot baths before giving your skin new life with the Japanese Nightingale Facial. Unique to the Waves, this facial uses processed nightingale droppings, which have been used for centuries by geisha, and Dermalogica products to brighten and smooth skin.  (505) 982-9304, www.tenthousandwaves.com

Mayan Rituals

Maroma Resort & Spa, an intimate sixty-five room white stucco property on the Yucatan Peninsula, not only offers guests seclusion; it also provides a multitude of opportunities to cleanse body and soul. With one of the most pristine beaches in the Caribbean, Maroma plays homage to its Mayan roots through its architecture, cuisine, and treatments at the Kinan Spa. Take the unique opportunity to refresh and renew during the property’s signature Mayan Temazcal ritual. During the 60-minute ceremony, you’ll be enclosed in a steamy hut—kept warm by the heat of volcanic rock—while your temazcalera leads you through sacred chants in total darkness. Before exiting the steamy environs, you’ll cover your body in mud and then plunge into the Caribbean, emerging refreshed and reconnected to your greater vision. (011)52-998-87-28200, www.maromahotel.com

Cleanse in the Catskills

Among the rich wilderness of Catskill Forest Preserve in Neversink, New York, you’ll be rewarded with the atypical spa experience of New Age Health Spa. The all-inclusive spa stresses the importance of health and well-being, so to assist you on your journey toward spiritual and external symmetry the spa highlights its guidelines to serenity: no alcohol, caffeine or nicotine is allowed and the use of the television is sparse. The not-so-average amenities are punctuated with soul-seeking activities like the Sweat Lodge, an ancient Native-American cleansing ceremony. Three wholesome meals are served a day, available by on-site garden sanctuaries, adding a flavorful touch to the diverse experience. (800)682-4348, www.newagehealthspa.com

Balance on the Rocks

Mii amo is awash in some of Sedona’s most spectacular scenery, making it an ideal place to reflect on the interior and exterior worlds. New for 2008 is a quarterly celebration of the seasons—four Native American-inspired programs themed around the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox, and Winter Solstice. Since each season coincides with the Ayurvedic doshas (e.g., fall/winter relates to vata), it’s a good time to reconnect with nature, adjust habits, and rebalance in order to move forward. (888) 749-2137, www.miiamo.com

Caribbean Equilibrium

Retreat from the rat race on an endless peaceful beach, with nothing but pleasant choices: daily hatha yoga classes, an eco-tour of Mayan ruins or cenotes, a snorkeling, sailing, kayaking or biking excursion; or perhaps a session at the spa, which features healing Mayan therapies. Gentle waves lull guests to sleep in simple, thatched-roof, beachside cabanas; awake to sunshine dancing on the turquoise sea. Buffet-style meals feature fresh seafood and vegetarian dishes in a grand, marble-floored cabana cooled by continuous ocean breezes. Be sure to schedule time to see the spectacular ruins at Coba as well as the Mayan Calabasuchitl body treatment, which utilizes native plants and flowers. (888)515-4580, www.mayatulum.com

Health Haven

Supportive and challenging, the no-frill program at the Oaks at Ojai helps you set realistic goals for a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy daily mountain hikes where the movie version of “Lost Horizon” was filmed and exercise classes, interspersed with navigating the arts-oriented town of Ojai, located only 90 minutes north of Los Angeles. The refurbished mission-style inn features aerobics studios, a garden swimming pool, and a relaxation sanctuary. Ideal for women and men, their budget-friendly daily packages include calorie-controlled meals and optional treatments. If you’re looking for a spa to get you and keep you motivated, the Oaks is the place. (800) 753-6257, www.oaksspa.com

Yoga Getaway

It’s quite possible you could unwind anywhere in the Turks & Caicos, but with a visit to Como Shambhala Parrot Cay, you’ll also find your center. Known for their yoga retreats that feature such yogis as Rodney Yee and Erich Schiffman (who is offering what promises to be a stellar retreat in 2008), Como Shambhala prides itself on assisting guests on their path to well-being. At the spa, indulge in the Abhyanga package, which starts with an Abhyanga massage and is followed by Swedana (herbal steam), Ubtan (a body mud mask), and finally with the oh-so-balancing Shirodhara. In between yoga classes and spa treatments, take a dip in the infinity-edge pool overlooking the clear turquoise waters. Simply divine. http://comoshambhala.bz

Red Rock Sanctuary

Located in Ivins, Utah, Red Mountain Spa is aptly named for the miles and miles of russet rock mountains and sandstone formations, which surround this spa resort. Considered one of the country’s best hiking spas, Red Mountain offers three levels of hikes daily on over thirty different trails. Hikers can wind around wind-swept cliffs, hike up volcano craters to ancient Anasazi petroglyphs, and through fragrant pine forests. There’s also climbing, biking, fitness, and yoga classes, and a brand new spa. Guests who want to know their ideal training zone (to burn fat at its maximum and work out at peak performance) can have a Cardiovascular/Metabolic Assessment. (877) 246-HIKE, www.redmountainspa.com

Southwestern Stimulation

Whether it’s your first visit to Canyon Ranch or your tenth, a trip to the Southwestern-style campus inevitably feels like a fresh start. Since 1978, Canyon Ranch has offered what is perhaps the largest variety of programs, classes, and lectures in the country. Learn to manage stress levels, fine-tune your golf game, hike the breathtaking Sonora desert, or take an African dance class. A front-runner in the wellness movement, Canyon Ranch’s medical department recently introduced “Biophysical 250 Blood Draw,” in which guests’ blood is assessed for 250 different biomarkers. But Canyon Ranch doesn’t scrimp on spa pleasures. Sample Watsu or fine-tune your physique with Muscle Melt. Canyon Ranch is sure to inspire the kind of lifestyle changes that last long after checkout. (800) 742-9000, www.canyonranch.com

Desert Vitality

Miraval Resort, located just thirty miles north of Tucson, is a rejuvenating desert landscape set in the shadow of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The spa offers invigorating challenge opportunities for those who want to test the limits of their physical strength and risk tolerance. Activities include “Out on a Limb”—facing your fears of the unknown by stepping on a log thirty feet above the ground and “Quantum Leap”—climbing a 35-foot pole to take a stand. In addition to a variety of massages, the spa offers excellent acupressure Oriental body treatments. (800) 825-4000, www.miravalresort.com

Mexican Hideaway

Founded in 1940, Rancho La Puerta, the original destination fitness resort and spa evolved from rustic roots into a dessert oasis of gracious Mexican-style haciendas and villas with superb food and a succinct menu of high-caliber spa services. The multitude of activities includes hi-octane cardio and strength classes; mellow meditation and T’ai Chi; all levels of dance, yoga and hiking; plus arts & crafts and cooking classes. Be sure to take the breakfast hike to Las Estrellas, the spa’s organic vegetable garden as well as the sunrise hike to Mt. Kuchumaa. After a few days of running to classes, most guests find their way into one of the hammocks or hot tubs scattered throughout the property. (800) 443-7565, www.rancholapuerta.com

Mountaintop Utopia

You never thought the top of a mountain would look so good until being perched atop the White Mountains Presidential Range, the home of New Hampshire’s breathtaking Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa. If you can pull your eyes from the spectacular summit vista, you’ll benefit from the wholesome mountain water during a refreshing and energizing hydrotherapy session in a 252-jet Chroma Tub, the only tub of its kind in the U.S. And, for the al fresco at heart, the resort has 400 acres fit for its seasonal playground of activities (from sleigh rides to fishing) for true mountaintop bliss. (866) 484-3843, www.mountainviewgrand.com

Canada’s Eastern Experience

At Echo Valley Ranch, nature’s healing power invigorates British Columbia’s Cariboo forest and Fraser River. As part of your personalized daily program enjoy horseback riding, hiking, and 4 x 4 birding and fishing excursions with wrangler-naturalists. Two spas will restore your energy: at the Baan Thai enjoy an authentic Thai massage, herbal steam treatment, or facial; or pamper your body with European beauty and bath therapies. The property features cozy log lodges and cabins, a spring-fed indoor swimming pool, and a fitness studio. A truly unique Canadian experience. (800) 253-8831, www.evranch.com

Earthy Environs

Taos, New Mexico’s El Monte Sagrado was the first U.S. property to integrate The Living Machine, a unique system that recycles the wastewater on property, creating a sustainable model for spas. In recognition of the area’s spiritual roots, the property boasts such unique treatments as sound and vibrational therapy, a spiritual cleansing, and even a treatment that maps your soul’s blueprint (using your birth chart amongst other things). Book one of the ten Global Suites, each featuring a unique ambience, including suites dedicated to China, Marrekech, and Morocco. From the intrinsic healing atmosphere to the property’s concern for the environment, a stay at El Monte Sagrado is sure to enlighten and inspire. (800) 828-8267, www.elmontesagrado.com

Lakeside Illumination

Lake Austin Spa could rest on its laurels that include a tranquil waterside site, a 25,000-square-foot spa, and a spa menu that boasts over 100 body treatments and other therapies. But it doesn’t. Instead, it aims to inspire its guests to explore their inner core by offering an array of themed workshops to compliment its multitude of fitness classes, low-fat gourmet cuisine, and hedonistic pools. These courses, from cooking to self-esteem to art, provide spiritual stimulation that works in conjunction with spa treatments and workouts to pave the way for personal growth. (800) 847-5637, www.lakeaustin.com

Destination Detox

Set on a 315-acre nature preserve near Montreal, Spa Eastman makes learning how to be your best part of the pleasure of being there. Chalet charm enhances this self-contained hideaway. The property boasts an abundance of inspirational amenities including exercise studios, an indoor swimming pool, and the “take time for yourself” sundeck. Take charge of your physical and mental well-being with a consult with their on-site naturopath for a personalized energy-booster herbal regimen. In addition, the destination spa offers water therapies, a Watsu pool, nature walks, snowshoe treks, and is located nearby ski slopes. The property consistently is voted one of the best values in Canada. (800) 665-5272, www.spa-eastman.com

Adult Summer Camp

Rustic cabins adorn the gardens, fields, and woods of Omega’s 195-acre Rhinebeck campus. Although most visitors come for workshops featuring internationally recognized teachers of yoga, meditation, writing, or other mind/body/spirit disciplines, the Rest & Rejuvenation Retreats let guests structure their own days of classes, contemplation, and wellness services ranging from Shamanic counseling to tennis. The cafeteria-style meals—primarily vegetarian—are exceptional. The Omega Center for Sustainable Living, under construction, demonstrates Omega’s “green” commitment; it will include a system of plants, bacteria, algae, snails, and fungi to filtrate wastewater for campus irrigation. (800) 944-1001, www.eomega.org

Wisconsin Serenity

Tucked behind the carnival atmosphere of Wisconsin Dells between a small canyon and pine forest, Sundara sets the stage for a personal journey with its feng shui design. Curved walls symbolize the flow of life; the red logo corresponds to relationships and romance. Each service in the Chakra series of treatments begins with a Dosha analysis to determine your personal system of balance based on body type and emotions. The Shiro Dhara massage revitalizes your chakras and promotes meditation by gently rubbing oil between the brows to open the third eye for looking within. (888) 735-8181, www.sundaraspa.com

Costa Rican Clarity

A winding road from Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, brings you endlessly upward to the Pura Vida spa, a mind/body retreat center perched on a mountaintop. Choose from luxe suites to A-frames to tentalows, scattered throughout tropical gardens bursting with vibrant, exotic flowers, butterflies, and birds. Five yoga halls, some with breathtaking views or indoor jungles, make it difficult to focus inward, but talented instructors guide the way. Fresh, healthful, buffet-style meals nourish you for eco-tours, including white-water rafting, a zip-line canopy adventure, or a cloud forest hike to the crater of the semi-active Poas volcano. Afterward, recover in healing hands at the Wellness Center. (888) 767-7375, www.puravida.com

Mediterranean Musings

With last year’s unveiling of their signature Alvadora Spa Suites, guests of the Mediterranean-inspired Royal Palms Resort & Spa are ensured of an experience that lives up to their fairy-tale dreams. Each suite overlooking the lush gardens and reflecting pool, features a Kusatsu soaking tub, steam shower, and fitness equipment. Treatments at the Alvadora Spa are inspired by the Mediterranean garden, including orange blossoms, olive leaves, and lavender. Enjoy dinner at the award-winning T Cook’s and then head back to your room for your evening turndown ritual. But don’t be looking for a mint on your pillow; as a guest of the Alvadora Spa Suites, each evening will end with a mini-massage. And you thought your dreams couldn’t get any sweeter... (800) 672-6011, www.royalpalmshotel.com

Rustic Splendor

Looks can be deceiving, and never more so than when you first glimpse the ghost-town-turned-spa of Dunton Hot Springs located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. While the exteriors of the rustic log cabins remain primitive in appearance, the interiors are lavishly decorated and feature such amenities as radiant heat floors and one cabin even has its own hot springs plunge pool. Soaking takes place either in the refurbished bath house or under the stars with the 14,000-foot-peaks looming in the distance. In between such outdoor activities as heli-skiing or hiking, the spa beckons, as does Executive Chef Mario Toby’s five-star cuisine. (970) 882-4800, www.duntonhotsprings.com

Jamaican Glory

The historic colonial property of Half Moon rests on one of the most pristine stretches of sand in Jamaica. The property, having undergone a series of restorations, recently unveiled their new Fern Tree Spa. Book your stay in one of the new signature Spa Suites, nestled on your own private stretch of sand. You don’t even have to leave your room to reap the benefits of the spa; your suite comes replete with a spa treatment and yoga area. Be sure to consult your Spa Elder for recommended treatments, which feature such indigenous ingredients as coffee, coconut, and even Jamaican rum. And at the end of your day of pampering, snorkeling, and relaxing, settle into your private chromatherapy bubble massage tub, with views of the azure waters. (866) 648-6951, www.halfmoon.com

Southern Comfort

If you’re looking for a true Southern getaway, replete with charm, and your own private oasis, look no further than the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Just a short drive from both Hilton Head Island and Savannah, the Inn at Palmetto Bluff feels more like a large family estate than a luxury hotel. Although one of the highlights of the property is the Jack Nicklaus golf course, be sure to spend some time unwinding at the spa. Nestled amongst moss-covered oaks and offering views of the verdant landscape, you’ll certainly find your Southern Comfort in such unique therapies as the High Cotton Body Dust massage. (866) 706-6565, www.palmettobluffresort.com

Mellow Out

Skana is an Oneida word meaning “inner peace and harmony,” and that’s what you’ll find at Skana, the Spa at Turning Stone. Located in New York’s Mohawk Valley, Skana is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, and spa treatments combine many Native American healing traditions and herbs. The 33,000-square-foot spa offers a signature treatment, the Sage and White Pine Hot Towel massage, a vigorous massage complete with steaming hot towels infused in sage and white pine oil. Skana has one of the only authentic American Indian Sweat Lodges in the country. There are plenty of places to relax and gaze at the rolling farmland, including from the wrap-around terrace and private outdoor Jacuzzi in your suite. (800)771-7711, www.turningstone.com

Coastal Drama

Even if the Big Sur setting wasn’t so spectacular, the quixotic architecture so pleasing, and the award-winning cuisine so exquisite, the Post Ranch Inn, which traces its history to 19th century explorer William Brainard Post, would still merit its stellar reputation. That’s because it melds serious luxury with the best of the California hippie tradition. The 30 unique guest rooms take the form of treehouses, ocean cottages, and airies on the cliff, and the spa is staffed with intuitive and dedicated bodyworkers. Sample the Wildflower Facial and Stone Therapy with Big Sur Jade, or book a “Soul Retrieval” session with the inn’s resident Shaman. Regardless, you’ll be wowed by the breathtaking scenery. Arrive at sunset, and you’ll feel brand new long before dawn. (800) 527-2200, www.postranchinn.com

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