Get the five-star treatment as we take a look at some of the best spas in the West. Let the healing begin.
People have been taking the waters, wrapping themselves in mud, and sweating in huts for centuries — not because it was trendy, but because this connection to the place and its local healing traditions made good sense. It still does. Here’s how some of our favorite spas of the West are going hyper-local by offering authentic treatments that speak to the uniqueness of the environment and what’s grown there.
In the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Spa at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado makes its luxurious home on the outskirts of Santa Fe, which was established in the early 1600s on the site of old Pueblo villages. In keeping with the city’s reputation as a healing spiritual vortex, the spa offers treatments that go beyond the physical realm. From its Spiritual Enhancement Menu, you can add a sage smudging ceremony (to remove negative energy) to your blue corn and honey massage in the new luxury tepee. Or in an adobe-walled treatment room, you can try the body scrub with locally grown lavender. Afterward, in the warming room, go for full-on chill time in one of the lounge chairs near the kiva fireplace, crackling with New Mexico pinyon wood.
In a toast to Oregon’s wine region, in the middle of the Willamette Valley (500 wineries and counting), the spa at The Allison Inn & Spa offers “Pinotherapy,” a selection of treatments that feature the most favored grape of the area, pinot noir. Grapes are, after all, antioxidants. The Divine Wine facial includes a honey and wine mask and grape seed moisturizer; the Grape Seed Cure body treatment includes a crushed grape seed scrub to purify and exfoliate. Not completely relaxed yet? Order a Pinotini — a martini with a splash of you know what — from the bar.
Honey has been considered a powerful healer since Egyptian times, and Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa near Tucson is tapping into that sweet natural magic by harvesting its own and offering two honey facials at its spa. Miraval is all about life in balance, and you can borrow some balance from the natural world of bees when you take the staff beekeeper’s interactive beekeeping class. Taste the spa’s own honey in the artisan bread served in the restaurant, made with Sonoran wheat and local rye. Sweet.
The dramatic spaciousness of the desert is on full display at Amangiri. Tucked away in a valley on 600 acres in southern Utah, where the flat-topped mesa rock formations rise and fall like so many prehistoric skyscrapers, the spa reflects the simplicity of its surroundings in its treatment menu. The Desert Calm exfoliates, then wraps you in Red Sedona clay to pull out the toxins before hydrating. There are other desert-themed therapies in-spa, but perhaps the most creative tie-in to the location is Tower Butte Yoga, which begins with a pre-dawn helicopter ride over Glen Canyon and Lake Powell and ends with a private yoga session at Tower Butte, overlooking Lake Powell 1,000 feet below.
Water, Water Everywhere
At Lake Austin Spa Resort, which sits on the banks of the Colorado River in the Texas Hill Country and offers stunning sunrise and sunset views, it’s all about the healing powers of water. Inspired by the book Blue Mind by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, it has launched a water-centric series called “Ripple Effects: The Wellness of Water.” You can take water-based fitness classes in one of three pools, learn meditative floating techniques, get a hydrating full-body wrap, learn the Zen-like art of sculling, take a scenic yoga-and-breakfast boat cruise, or enjoy a sunset paddleboard class.
From the June/July 2018 Issue.
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