In luxury hotels across the country, the farm-to-table experience is moving from bustling dining rooms into the hotel's full-facility spas. While "organic" has always been a trend in the spa world, several hotels are ramping up services by using ingredients fresh from their own gardens or nearby farmers' markets. "The farm-to-table trend has really taken hold in the spa industry because it is a perfect fit with the healthy philosophy most spas espouse," says Heather Mikesell, editor of American Spa. Think of these services as "green-meets-luxury" with prices to match. The shelf-life of products used in spa treatments becomes incredibly short and producing enticing experiences using garden-grown ingredients takes more work. (Literally, plucking, juicing, dicing, blending...sheesh.)
Here are some of the most luxe hotel spas in the US pioneering this farm-to-massage-table trend.
Montage Laguna Beach
This popular coastal retreat sits close to terrific beaches and is known for its strong culinary scene, thanks to its very own Studio Garden, where produce, vegetables, and herbs are not only used in the kitchens and bars but also in the 20,000 square foot spa. The spa menu at Montage Laguna Beach incorporates a variety of herbs and fruits—like lavender, thyme, and lemons—into customized spa experiences. They get a lot of mileage from those lemons in particular, thanks to its amazing immune boosting powers (find it in facials, scrubs, and, of course, beverages). The signature Surrender treatment (2 hours for $455) allows guests to personalize their treatment with a customized program.
Treatment to Book: Scrub with mustard, lemon, grapefruit, and thyme ($135/30 minutes)
Andaz Wall Street
New York, New York
Last March, Andaz Wall Street unveiled new farm-to-table signature treatments, sourcing in-season ingredients from the hotel's on-property Farmers Market and New York's Hudson Valley. Guests can expect everything from fresh cucumber, honeydew, and strawberries to bee pollen and honey. While The Spa only has two treatment rooms, the in-room services transform guest rooms into multi-sensory spa-like environments. You'll smell so good after a Strawberry/Honey/Bee Pollen Detox Facial or Dandelion/Fennel/Chamomile Herbal Wrap, it will prove hard not to lick yourself! (Yep, we went there.)
Treatment to Book: Apple Cider/Celery Lotion Massage with pressed tart apples and crisp celebry with aloe, jojoba, avocado, grapeseed, and safflower oils ($149/65 minutes in spa; $169/65 minutes in room)
Ritz Carlton Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
The Ritz Carlton Los Angeles recently launched their Garden to Glamorous program, a seasonal farm-to-spa concept. Downtown LA's only luxury, full-service spa sources all their ingredients from the rooftop garden on the 26th floor that grows more than twenty different herbs and produce, from basil to oranges. Their seasonal menu focuses on all fall flavors like pomegranate and peppermint for holiday-inspired treatments. Expect deliciously fun treatments like Pumpkin Spice Hydrating Facial and Hot Chocolate Stone Massage.
Treatment to Book: Cranberry Pomegranate Body Treatment ($150/50 minutes)
The St Regis Aspen Resort
The Remede Spa at St. Regis Aspen Resort has already taken the farm-to-spa trend to the next level. Implemented this summer, the "farm-to-massage table" experience pairs spa treatments with a tasting menu that uses the same aromas, textures, and flavors. For example, the Savory Salt Glow Scrub (with grapeseed oil) is paired with a chilled cucumber consommé served in a shot glass with a freshly picked mint "caviar" garnish. The entire package ($500 for three hours) must be booked 48 in advance. For the spa-goer that's seen it all.
Treatment to Book: Rosemary Mint Savory Scrub, Warm Apple Cider, or Candied Chestnut Sweet Body Butter Application with Coordinated Seasonal Bites (part of a 3-day Thanksgiving package for two for $1,904. Thursday night must be included).
JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa
JW Marriott is so intent on their guests having the most memorable spa experience that they created the Farm-to-Treatment Table program. Rolled out this year, there's more to expect than just farm-fresh treatments: guests have the opportunity to learn and discover the origin of the ingredients and personally select them for their spa services from local lavender fields to the resorts' own gardens. JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa is perhaps the most seasoned hotel with farm-to-table, as the hotel's spa went "organic" back in 2008.
Treatment to Book: Active Organic Facial ($155/60 minutes)
Jimmy Im is a freelance travel writer based in NYC. He's hosted programs on the Travel Channel and LOGO, and makes regular appearances on morning news shows as a "travel expert." He teaches travel writing courses and is also cofounder of OutEscapes.com.
Photo Credits: Montage Laguna Beach: Courtesy of Montage Hotels & Resorts; Andaz Wall Street: Courtesy of Hyatt Corporation; Ritz Carlton Los Angeles: Courtesy of Ron Starr/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C; The St Regis Aspen Resort: Courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.; JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa: Courtesy of JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa