Welcome to Celebrated Living’s Readers’ Choice Platinum List, a perennial go-to guide and popular summer tradition. Our travel-savvy readers have declared these hotels, golf courses, spas, and cruise lines to be the best of the best. Did your favorites make the list? Consider the following pages the ultimate resource for planning your next vacation or business trip.Spa lovers rejoice: There’s a lot more to your 2011 spa favorites than aloe wraps and anti-aging facials. The top selections this year have treatments to put your mind and body at ease.
Whether you want to focus on your mental and physical well-being or take a few years off your skin’s life, these top-notch spas have a treatment for you.
At Canyon Ranch (whose Tucson location scored No. 1 this year), executive spa director Angie Day has noticed increasing stress levels in guests. “Visitors want greater self-control and awareness. Services such as yoga, Thai massage, and ayurvedic treatments continue to thrive.”
Golden Door public relations specialist Sue Annetts notes her spa’s direction toward pain relief. “Our fitness specialists all deal with a large percentage of guests who have pain,” says Annetts. “And they excel at providing training options and therapeutic movements, from reflexology to management therapies such as acupuncture, Feldenkrais [a mind-and-body treatment], and corrective exercise for pain to individuals who suffer.”
Along with the physical component, the mental workout appears more necessary than ever. “Close your eyes, think of the number four and simply count backward,” encourages Annharriet Buck, a Golden Door regular. It doesn’t sound so hard — until you try. And that’s the thing with spa visits: It’s easy to get scrubbed into submission but not so easy to achieve mental stillness, no matter who you are.
While some spa-goers cling to classics and mental awareness, others are embracing Space Odyssey-like futurism. the spa at las Ventanas al Paraíso, a rosewood resort, the international No. 1 winner this year, has introduced new spa pods to the menu: multisensory, self-contained, hydrothermal, 22-jet spa systems that use radiant infrared heat to purge toxins and awaken the skin. Men can get a taste of the new technology in the spa’s Desert Sports for Men treatment, which includes vibratory massage, vitamin therapy, and a spectrum fiber-optic LED-light Colorbath — think of it as a 21st-century wrap, with water replacing the plastic sheet.