From a niche mind-body movement to a popular wellness groundswell, mindful living has achieved critical mass as the great take-away among spa-goers. Celebrated Living readers rewarded those spas that balance activity and healthy-living programs with a sense of sanctuary that suspends reality. Bonus points for destination-inspired treatments, medi-services, and good yoga instructors.
TOP 25 U.S.
1. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
2. Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
3. Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach, Florida
4. Spa Bellagio, Las Vegas
5. The Spa at The Grand Del Mar, San Diego
6. Miraval Resort & Spa, Tucson, Arizona
7. The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii
8. Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts
9. Hualalai Spa at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Ka’upulehu, Hawaii
10. Kohler Waters Spa, Kohler, Wisconsin
11. Mii amo, Sedona, Arizona
12. Mauna Lani Spa at Mauna Lani Resort
13. Spa at JW Marriott Camelback Inn,
14. (tie) Golden Door, Escondido, California
16. Club Essentia, Delano South Beach, Florida
17. (tie) Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at
17. (tie) Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills,
19. Lodge at Woodloch, Pennsylvania
20. (tie) Sagestone Spa & Salon at Red Mountain Resort, Ivins, Utah
20. (tie) Regency Health Resort & Spa,Hallandale, Florida
20. (tie) Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Miami
23. Spa Grande at Grand Wailea,
24. The Mayflower Inn Spa & Resort,
25. Spa Ojai at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, California
On-trend: Mindful Living and Suspending Gravity
A spa visit is the equivalent of a psychic time-out, a suspension of duties and schedules. This mental notion of weightlessness has recently been boosted into the physical dimension by novel treatments and programs that suspend gravity.
“People have a deepening psychological and physical desire to escape from gravity’s relentless pull, and a distinct ‘suspending gravity’ or ‘floating’ trend is rising,” according to Susie Ellis, president of the industry group Spafinder Wellness that named anti-gravity one of its top trends for 2014.
At our readers’ favorite Lake Austin Spa Resort, the meditation program has been expanded to include “floating relaxation” in a warmed indoor pool, allowing your body to release all tension while being buoyed by the water. New week-long summer programs devoted to water focus on activity in and relaxation on the water.
In addition to offering outdoor watsu, Miraval recently pioneered a new Thai-massage-inspired therapy called Naga bodywork during which the therapist supports her weight by wrapping her arms in aerialist silks.
Hydrotherapy is at the center of Kohler Waters Spa, which focuses on the healing power of steeping in a bath with options that include acoustic sound vibrations, light therapy, and water jets. Similarly, Venus Spa at CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa on Anguilla offers multiple immersions in mineral or sea baths.
Detox massages are still popular at the Spa Bellagio in Las Vegas, but the health center newly marries stress-busting and sun worship in its Floating Bliss massage, in which guests drift on a raft in an outdoor pool while receiving hand and foot therapy.
TOP 25 international
1. Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora
2. Dior Institute Au Plaza Athenee, Paris
3. (tie) Cinq Mondes Spa at Beau-Rivage Palace, Lausanne, Switzerland
3. (tie) Clinique La Prairie Clarens-Montreux, Switzerland
5. COMO Shambhala at Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos, British West Indies
6. Spa & Hammam at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at the Bosphorus, Istanbul
7. (tie) Banyan Tree Spa Bangkok, Thailand
7. (tie) Banyan Tree Spa Phuket, Thailand
9. Ancient Cedars Spa at The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada
10. (tie) CHI Spa at the Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai
10. (tie) Esperanza, An Auberge Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico
12. Spa at Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa,
13. (tie) Chiva-Som International Health Resort,
13. (tie) Les Sources de Caudalie,
16. (tie) Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La Vancouver,
16. (tie) Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Peru
16. (tie) Les Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, Monaco
19. Venus Spa at CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa,
20. (tie) Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai, Thailand
20. (tie) Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta, Canada
22. (tie) Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai, Thailand
22. (tie) Oriental Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
24. Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraíso,
25. (tie) Nayara Hotel, Spa & Gardens, Costa Rica
25. (tie) Spa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at
25. (tie) Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort,
The new Vital program at Cinq Mondes Spa at Beau-Rivage Palace in Switzerland takes a multistep approach to chronic stress, including a consultation with a specialist in micronutrients and nutritional neuroscience, two training sessions with a personal coach, and two spa treatments over a two-night stay aimed at reducing anxiety and encouraging healthy sleep.