French Lick Springs Resort and Spa
French Lick, Ind.
Over the years, the mineral water from local springs has drawn guests here from all over, including Clark Gable, Bing Crosby and President Ronald Reagan and his wife. Built in 1902, the resort is set apart by its nostalgic feel, says Amanda Ellis, retail and spa manager. "You're not going to get that Old World charm at other day spas," Ellis adds. You also won't get the chance to take a dip in swirling mineral water at most other spas. Additionally, the resort offers golf, tennis, miniature golf, horseback riding and many other seasonal activities so all members of the family can enjoy the relaxing time together.
Spa packages range from $89 to $195 for the day, and $179.95 to $199.95 for overnight packages. For information, call (812) 936-9300 or visit www.frenchlick.com.
The Greenbrier Spa
White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
People have been flocking to this spot in the Allegheny Mountains for more than 200 years to immerse themselves in a sulphur spring reported to cure everything from fallen arches to nervous tension. The Greenbrier resort's symbol, in fact, is a springhouse built in the early 1830s. The medicinal properties were long ago refuted, but guests continue to "take the waters" in a luxurious, 37,000-square-foot, full-service spa, renovated and expanded in 2001. All baths are prepared with freshly drawn mineral waters in oversized private tubs. The spa's signature combination treatment consists of a sulphur soak, steam or sauna, Swiss shower and Scotch spray, and massage. Also located in the stately white hotel's spa wing is an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool of jaw-dropping opulence and a poolside cafe that serves spa-cuisine selections such as fresh spring rolls with Maryland crabmeat, grilled vegetable and black-bean tortilla wraps, and grilled hummus pitas.
The Greenbrier's signature spa package includes two nights' accommodations and seven spa treatments for $1,160 per person (based on double occupancy). Visit www.greenbrier.com for more information or call (304) 536-1110.
Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Grand Traverse, Mich.
ûhe Grand Traverse Resort and Spa certainly reaps the benefits of being located near "the cherry capital of the world," Grand Traverse. Customers can treat themselves to the signature Cherry Honey Glow, a 60-minute full-body treatment that exfoliates ünd nourishes the skin. "When you're done, you're not only smooth and beautiful, but you also have the fragrance of cherries," says Mike DeAgostino, public-relations manager at the resort. Complement this treatment with a cherries-and-cream bath, cherry manicure, pedicure or massage. The 7,000-square-foot facility also offers other, non-cherry treatments, such as The Bear, a full-body massage given by two therapists working in tandem.
Spa packages start at $309 per person (based on double occupancy) and include two nights' accommodations, daily breakfast and two spa treatments per person. More information is available at www.grandtraverseresort.com or by calling 1-800-748-0303.
The Homestead Mineral Baths and Spa
Hot Springs, Va.
In 1892, the proprietors of The Homestead built a four-story Victorian spa directly over the same warm, mineral-spring-fed pool where Thomas Jefferson soaked during a daylong visit to the resort in 1818. Today, the upper floors of this refurbished structure offer the requisite massages, hydrotherapies, facials and body, foot and hand treatments even a menu of services for children that includes a foot treatment featuring a chocolate-milk bath and application of chocolate-soufflé lotion. The top floor is occupied by a salon, fitness center and aerobics room where exercise and yoga classes are held. But the main draw for many spa-goers seems to be five miles away at the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs, where Jefferson soaked three times a day to relieve his rheumatism during a three-week stay in 1818. Men enjoy the same natural pool the president used, a 40,000-gallon wonder filled by a constant flow of 98-degree mineral-spring water, in the same octagonal wooden structure built over it in 1761. Women retire to a ladies' pool house constructed over a similar nearby pool in 1836.
The classic spa package includes accommodations and three spa services for $228 per person per night (minimum two-night stay). Call 1-800-838-1766 or visit www.thehomestead.com for more information.
The Spa at The Hotel Hershey
"When in Hershey, do as Hershey!" Good advice from Kathleen Frick, public-relations manager for Hershey Entertainment. Only in Hershey, the city that claims to be "the sweetest place on earth," could one indulge in a Chocolate Fondue Wrap, Chocolate Bean Polish and a Whipped Cocoa Bath, to name a few of the options available. Spa quarters are as decadent as the treatments, with lounge areas overlooking the formal gardens. If you can't make the trip, but love the concept, visit the Web site to order one of their signature products, including Cocoa Latte Body Wash, Whipped Cocoa Bath and Cocoa Bean Scrub.
The "Hershey Sweet Retreat" package includes one night at The Hershey for $358 for one person and $486 for two people. Each person receives three spa treatments. For details, call 1-800-HER-SHEY or visit www.hersheypa.com.
The Kerr House
Grand Rapids, Ohio
They call it a "health retreat." At The Kerr House, located in a historic canal town just south of Toledo, you'll feel as good as you look when walking out the door. "There is nothing quite like going away for three to five nights and concentrating on your health," says Kerr House owner Laurie Hostetler. So how do they accomplish that lofty goal? For starters, Hostetler believes you are what you eat, meaning all the food she serves is natural. The day might begin with homemade porridge and fresh fruit in bed and end with a dinner of Parmesan chicken or a fish dinner (no red meat here). In addition, each day includes yoga designed to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Sounds healthy, but what about the pampering? There's plenty of that, too. Ranging from raspberry body scrubs to hot-oil hair treatments, there's no shortage of spa treats in this full service facility.
Packages range from $695 for three nights to $2,750 for five nights, and are all-inclusive. Call (419) 832-1733 for more information or visit www.thekerrhouse.com.
The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula Spa in downtown Chicago gives new meaning to "a room with a view." Set on the top floor of the five-star Peninsula Hotel, this spa was just rated one of the top 10 urban spas by Spa Finder Magazine. The Peninsula Spa offers Asian-based treatments in a facility surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. As general manager Danielle Devaux says, "We are this oasis in the middle of an urban jungle." An array of 60-minute treatments are offered, including a Green Tea Body Therapy and Shiatsu Massage. The ultimate treatment, however, has to be the $295 Sanctuary for the Senses. This 2 1/2-hour treatment includes a lemon-sugar body polish; mango, papaya and pineapple body wrap; cooling cucumber facial; cucumber foot treatment; and citrus massage cream.
The "Serene Indulgence" package includes his-and-her massages plus one night at the Peninsula Hotel for $499 total. Visit www.peninsulaspachicago.com or call (312) 573-6860 for information.
Mirbeau Inn and Spa
If you're moved by the art of Claude Monet, there can be no better place for you to pamper yourself. Mirbeau Inn is an ode to all things Monet, from the giant "Water Lilies" mural in the couples' treatment room to the outdoor ponds inspired by that same work. Taking things a step further is the Impressionist's Retreat body wrap, in which French clay is painted on the body, followed by the application of herbal-soaked linens and topped off with a lavender cream. It's no surprise, then, that the on-site restaurant takes an "impressionistic approach" to the culinary arts, with entrees such as the sautéed Hudson Valley foie gras with local apple crepes and strawberry gastrique.
In addition to these special French countryside touches, the spa wins points for other luxuries, including fireplaces in all the massage rooms and the Roman-inspired "resting room," where guests wait for spa services amid lounge chairs and heated foot pools. The spa also offers a new one-on-one Thai yoga massage that incorporates a 90-minute yoga session with massage.
Packages vary seasonally, but currently range from $285 to $420, including one night at the inn and one spa treatment per person. For details, visit www.mirbeau.com or call (315) 685-5006.
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa
Named one of the top 10 spas in America by Travel and Leisure magazine, Nemacolin offers a body-boggling variety of treatments from around the world, including the Greek Mint Gymnasia Transformation, Balinesian Hibiscus Haven, Italian Gentle Spa Peel, Turkish Body Restoration, Japanese Citrus Sento Rejuvenation and German Chamomile Body Soother. Add to that mix 17 different massages, as well as all the standard spa services. Those who venture beyond the spa can take culinary classes with an award-winning chef, go offroading in a Hummer, golf, hike, bike, try the obstacle course, ride horses and more. Then, return at night to the elegance of the Chateau LaFayette, with its marble baths and chandeliers.
Nemacolin's spa package starts at $368 per night, per person, and includes breakfast and 300 spa points per person, per night, to use on services of your choice. Call 1-800-422-2736 or visit www.nemacolin.com for more information.
The Villa Inn
Sometimes, you just want to be left alone. That's no problem, assuming you don't mind the company of a masseuse sent to your private room. The facility "specializes in everything," according to front-desk manager Paola Fernandec. In addition to its full-service spa menu, The Villa offers options for those who don't want to leave their room, including in-suite Swedish massages, Deep Tissue Massages and a Suite Soak, which uses the room's whirlpool tub for an "aqua therapy" soak followed by a massage with a hydrating aromatherapy moisturizer. All six guest rooms are uniquely decorated, with decor ranging from contemporary to Japanese. An on-site restaurant with an award-winning chef ensures that you never have to leave the building. In fact, if you're too worn out from your massage to make the trip downstairs, you can always have the porcini-dusted salmon and triple chocolate cheesecake sent up to your room.
Accommodations range from $200 to $250 per night for a double room. Spa packages typically include two to four services and range from $146 to $240 per person. Call (317) 916-8500 or visit www.thevillainn.com for information.
Lynne Thompson contributed to this article.