Dive in to your next spa getaway. Photo courtesy of Capri Palace Hotel and Spa.
There are destination spas you visit for the whole "swaddle me in a bathrobe and see you in five days" experience. Those are lovely, but that's not what we're talking about here. These are amazing hotels in incredible destinations around the world that just so happen to have great spas. (Because sometimes, having the whole island of Capri at your fingertips just isn't enough.)
Where: Creede, Colorado What's to love: The no-frills fly fishing dude ranch offers shooting, hiking, horseback riding, and sublime soaking in the hot springs on the premises.
Where: Napa, California What's to Love: In this wooded canyon, you almost expect forest nymphs to usher you from the mineral hot springs to your treatment room, where the magic potions are made with local ingredients like mud and sage to detoxify and purify. Read more on Popupla:Most Romantic Hotels: US West
Where: Anacapri, Italy What's to Love: Set the scene: You're at the top of gorgeous Capri, away from the maddening crowds of tourists, with sea views out to the horizon. The hotel has it all: art, cuisine, shopping, mosaic swimming pool, and a cutting edge spa (they call it "Beauty Farm") famous for its Leg School program.
Where: Madaba, Jordan What's to love: The five-star hotel and Six Senses Spa are nestled in a canyon surrounded by hot spring waterfalls, where the natural salt water pools — a mere 20-minute drive from the Dead Sea — are loaded with therapeutic properties.
Where: Hakone National Park, Japan What's to love: Mount Fuji views from a top-of-the-crop ryokan (inn) a sheer 90 minutes from Tokyo. A restorative soak and slumber are yours — thanks to classic onsen rituals, out-of-this-world service, and incredible quiet afforded by the lush and leafy surroundings (and, of course, high price tag).
Where: Porto Ercole, Italy What's to Love: The spa offerings at the destination Tuscan beachside resort are massive, and a massage here has that dolce vita vibe going for it. Read more on Popupla:Finding Peace in Porto Ercole
Where: Lake Garda, Italy What's to Love: Running routes wind around lemon groves; wellness paths and therapeutic gardens make for easy meditating outside. An inventive East-meets-West program of tuina, flotation therapy, and acupuncture work out all your kinks in time for Italian lunch.
Where: Megeve, France What's to Love: Set in a quintessential chalet setting in the Alps, there is no deprivation here. The treatments and rich creams are specifically designed to soothe and combat the high altitude.
Where: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica What's to Love: Let the rainforest and volcanic spirits move you at this open-air spa where the mud treatments are mixed with ash. Bonus experience: Turn the indigenous natural mineral hot springs into your own private plunge pool.
Where: Montecito, California What's to Love: The in-room spa services here are heavenly. Massages and Japanese skin brushing are done on the porch of your casita, and you're surrounded by flowers, waters, sweet scents, and gorgeous mountain views. Read more on Popupla:History, Hollywood, and Heaven in Santa Barbara
Where: Oregon Wine Country What's to Love: It's spa by day and wine by night at this hillside resort in the heart of Willamette Valley. Of course, you could combine the pleasures with an anti-aging wine facial.
Where: Vals, Switzerland What's to love: Architect Peter Zumthor designed the minimalist spa around a Swiss ski village's Alpine spring. It's a modern temple to water rituals. After a day on the slopes, silent bathers spend evenings moving from outdoor pool to indoor plunge to aromatherapy bath to sound therapy pool, and back again. Read more on Popupla:Bathing Rituals of an Alpine Spa
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico What's to Love: Inspired by Japanese mountain hot spring resorts with traditional gardens and woodwork, this is an authentic spa experience tucked in the tranquil foothills of the mysterious Sangre de Cristo Mountains just outside Santa Fe. Read more on Popupla:The Dog Digs the Spa
Where: Cayo District, Belize What's to Love: Only in a Francis Ford Coppola vision could you conjure the scene: You, in the the thick jungles of Belize with Thai masseuses working under the spell of distant cascading waterfalls. Read more on Popupla:A Real Life Movie Set: Blancaneaux Lodge
Where: Washington, Connecticut What's to Love: Situated in the rolling Litchfield hills, the beloved country spa is truly luxurious — and the food is delicious. The recently renovated hotel makes for a perfect city escape from NYC.
Where: Watch Hill, Rhode Island What's to Love: A Relais and Chateaux spa that has it all, from reasonably priced haircuts to wildly expensive massages.
Where: Woodstock, Vermont What's to Love: After a fairly recent redo, the classic inn now has state-of-the-art, LEED-certified spa. Perfect for post cross-country skiing.
Where: Ascot, England What's to Love: The gorgeous country estate with magnificent horses, polo grounds, and meadows of flowers is a great one-hour detour from London. But the spa — gleaming, futuristic, built into the landscape — is a dollop of cream on the trifle.
Where: Machu Picchu, Peru What's to Love: You didn't come to here for the spa, but you'll be glad to end a day of hiking with a massage performed in your own casita with heated Andean river rocks.
Where: Ischia, Italy What's to Love: There's a Michelin-starred restaurant and a rooftop pool, but the showstopper is the spa for its indoor pool, thermal waters, and powerful mud treatments. Do it right: Stay a whole week.
Where: New Paltz, New York What’s to Love: Step back in time at this family-run inn in the Hudson River Valley north of NYC. Sit by the lake, nap by the fire, hike the surrounding trails — and make time for a massage, a facial, and a soak at the spa. The people who work here have magic, magic hands. Read more on Popupla:I Rediscovered My Happy Childhood at Mohonk Mountain House