Be reborn in the USA
Juliet Kinsman selects 10 of the best wellness venues, from day spas to destination retreats
Friday 30 November 2012
Dunton Hot Springs, near Telluride, Colorado
A former mining village turned rustic retreat, this award-winning holistic spa with hot springs has a mountain setting heaven-sent for hiking and biking. This restored ghost town is ideal to spirit friends away to: a few dozen of you can hog the whole clutch of cabins for special celebrations. The gold-rush effect on today's discerning spa-seekers comes from romantic bathhouses and country-chic suites subtly kitted out with every mod con.
Dunton Hot Springs, West Fork Road, off Highway 145 between Telluride and Cortez (001 970 882 4800; duntonhotsprings.com). Cabins from $550 (£345) based on two people sharing including meals and drinks, but excluding taxes and service charges; treatments $185 (£115).
Löyly, Portland, Oregon
You know that burst of steam you get in a sauna when you ladle water onto the hot rocks? Well, of course the Finnish have a name for that – it's löyly. This pared-back day spa is a pristine pocket of Scandinavia in foodie Portland. As egalitarian as its motherland, the measly $20 (£12.50) entry charge is a great social leveller. Here in the swish cedar sauna or wet steam room you're as likely to cosy up with high-rolling corporates as low-rent creatives.
Löyly, 2713 Southeast 21st Avenue, Portland (001 503 236 6850; loyly.net). Entry $20 (£12.50), treatments from $55 (£35).
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California
To anyone hoping to improve their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, the views here are worth prescribing. Coastlines don't deal in looks more dramatic than this Pacific-kissing swathe of North California. The utter seclusion and wood-fire-fuelled romance ensure that the Post Ranch Inn's recycled redwood cabins and cottages perched on the rocky ridges of the Big Sur are particularly salubrious. Sure, there's the full gamut of rubs, wraps and exercise classes, but it wouldn't be California if there weren't a few far-out affairs too, such as fire ceremonies, journeys and consultations with the ranch's in-house shaman.
Post Ranch Inn, 47900 Highway 1 Big Sur, California (001 831 667 2200; postranchinn.com). Doubles from $675 (£420); treatments from $140 (£90).
Amangiri, Glen Canyon, Utah
Landscapes don't come more dramatic than the canyons and sand dunes near Utah's border with Arizona. So it's fitting that this outpost of the Aman brand translates as "peaceful mountain". Set on Navajo land, an Amangiri "journey" is laced with Native American healing traditions. Local ingredients and spiritual blessings are carried out to a specially created soundtrack of chimes and chanting. A session in this indulgent but minimalist spa can last as long as you like, inside or out, thanks to a sleek soul-soothing water pavilion and rockside pool.
Amangiri, 1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point (001 435 675 3999; amanresorts.com). Doubles from $1,050 (£655).
Kiehl's Spa 1851, New York City
At last, fans of the apothecary-inspired Kiehl skincare range have a dedicated day spa to make a pilgrimage to. Bespoke is the buzz-word, and facials for him or her involve a skin analysis as well as potions and blends tailored to individual needs. Haircuts, brow, lash and body waxing are all on the menu, as are anti-ageing treatments such as microdermabrasion.
Spa 1851, 157 East 64th Street at Lexington Avenue, New York (001 888 772 1851; kiehls.com). Treatments from $90 (£55).
The Standard Spa, Miami Beach, Florida
With its urban sheen and boutique-hotel context, the spa at the Standard Miami is, of course, a favourite with the fash pack. A classic cedar sauna and steam room are a given, as is the full scope of beauty treatments and therapies from acupuncture to hydrotherapy. However, it's the hammam and mud lounge that provide the most fun. Sign up for do-it-yourself servings for $20 (£12.50), and then slather the algae-enhanced goodness all over you and yours. Leave the mud to work its skin-toning magic while you lie back on one of the Biscayne Bay-view loungers.
Standard Miami Beach, 40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach (001 305 673 1717; standardhotels.com). Doubles from $289 (£180); treatments from $95 (£60).
Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
In 1979, in the Sonoran Desert, the first Canyon Ranch opened and then quickly established itself as America's fountain of youth. From Scottsdale to Phoenix, Arizona's luxury and low-key retreats try and outdo each other with their quirky, locally sourced ingredients. However, as Helena Christensen and Demi Moore might attest, Canyon Ranch is the mother of all health retreats. People holiday here to tackle weight-loss, illness, insomnia and more, while sun-seekers come for a fix of vitamin D year around.
Canyon Ranch, 8600 East Rockcliff Road, Tucson (001 520 749 9000; canyonranch.com). Doubles from $3,715 (£2,325) per person for a four-night all-inclusive package.
NoMI Spa, Park Hyatt Chicago, Illinois
We've all heard of the bar and kitchen – but a spa and kitchen? This city slicker has applied the philosophy of its restaurant to the two Scandinavian-fresh spa rooms. Here the experiences are seasonal, the service is top-notch and there's an elegant French accent to it all. Expert aestheticians, Aromatherapy Associates blends, and Deborah Lippmann polish mani/pedis aren't all that's alluring. The Small Bite and Spa Pairing Facial includes a complementary chef-prepared meal and tea (60 minutes, $170/£105). As for the seasonal spin: this autumn, expect the scent of cinnamon, skin-smoothing bourbon and brown sugar, moisturising shea and caramel on the spa menu.
NoMI Spa, Park Hyatt, 800 North Michigan Avenue Chicago (001 312 335 1234; parkchicago.hyatt.com). Doubles from $319 (£200); treatments from $120 (£75).
Tree Spa at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport, Maine
Simple and natural are the watchwords of this arts and crafts-inspired lodge and its tiny treehouse spa. As well as using Farmaesthetics organic skincare products, the treatments are enhanced with herbs from Hidden Pond's 60-acre grounds. Keeping the nature-inspired theme alive at this enclave of cottages is the "farm-to-fork" dining room, Earth, one of the three eateries. Spa dabblers seeking fresh sea air as well as a rustic woodland retreat will be delighted they're only a mile from sandy Goose Rocks Beach on Maine's southern shores.
Tree Spa at Hidden Pond, 354 Goose Rocks Road, Kennebunkport (001 207 967 9050; hiddenpondmaine.com). Three-night package for two from $885 (£550) per person.
Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie, Los Angeles, California
Hotel Bel-Air has been promoting health and wellness for over 65 years in the most looks-conscious city in the world, and treatments from the upscale Swiss skincare company are the A-list's go-to for instant beautification. Hollywood stars aplenty tackle wrinkles with a 150-minute dose of La Prairie's Caviar Luxury ($475/£298). Doyennes keen to seem more starlet than senior can challenge the clock further with private sessions from The Lifestyle by Scott Crawford. Part personal trainer, part life coach and concierge, his programmes incorporate everything from hiking to acting classes.
Hotel Bel-Air Spa by La Prairie, 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles (001 310 472 1211; hotelbelair.com/la-prairie-spa). Doubles from $515 (£320); treatments from $200 (£125).
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