From the treatment rooms to the décor, even the finest resorts can show wear and tear through the years, and there’s nothing more dispiriting than checking into a luxury retreat to find it feels old and uninspired. Millions are spent each year in a never-ending race to update the country’s premium vacation spots with the most contemporary finishes. From transforming color schemes to building a lazy river, these ten newly renovated destination spa sanctuaries have invested huge sums to deliver the most exciting and refreshing guest experiences in the past year. And believe us, it shows.
By Zachary Laks
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
WHERE: Farmington, Pennsylvania
Fifteen months and $30 million later, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort unveiled a new-and-improved spin on country luxury this past March. Situated an hour and a half from Pittsburgh, Nemacolin Woodlands was built 28 years ago as a golf resort and has evolved into a 2,000-acre destination spa, fly fishing hub, and outdoor activity haven.
Among the renovations to the retreat, spa highlights include the new Holistic Healing Center and Holistic Garden focused on restoring balance to the mind and body with treatments such as acupuncture, Reiki, and cupping. Renovations to the hotel extended to 263 of its 318 guest rooms and a floor-to-ceiling overhaul of its signature Chateau Lafayette lobby, the Tudor-inspired palatial entry.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Pittsburgh Travel Guide
Silverado Resort and Spa
WHERE: Napa Valley, California
Charm comes easy at the 1,200-acre Silverado Resort and Spa, a California landmark for more than 140 years. With a massive renovation in August 2014, the retreat’s PGA Championship golf course was redesigned and all of its 330 guest rooms were given a total makeover. The iconic southern-inspired mansion on the estate, which was built in the 1860s by General John Franklin Miller, a California senator, now functions as the resort’s main lobby. And for foodies who seek out the best, world-renowned chef Thomas Keller has installed a temporary pop-up restaurant, Ad Lib Pop-Up, inside the mansion until October.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Napa Valley Travel Guide
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa
WHERE: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Bucking the trend of Atlantic City’s recent casino-folding struggle, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa continues to set the standard for luxury on the Jersey Shore, as it just invested $13 million into renovations throughout its 2,000-room resort. The casino’s revamped 54,000-square-foot spa, Spa Toccare, brings updated men’s and women’s lounges, ideal for serene relaxation prior to one of the long list of services in the spa’s 31 treatment rooms (also recently renovated with new massage tables, carpet, and lighting).
The restorations are noticeable upon first step into the hotel because $4 million were spent revamping the front desk reception with a new ceiling and art and the entire casino with fresh carpet and light fixtures.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New Jersey Shore Travel Guide
Turtle Bay Resort
WHERE: Kahuku, Hawaii
No twist of the arm is needed to make a case for a getaway at Turtle Bay Resort, the only property on Oahu’s North Shore (one of the world’s most scenic peninsulas). With a $45 million renovation, all of the 410 oceanfront rooms have been upgraded, and the resort’s 42 luxury beachfront cottages will be revamped this summer.
Take in the endless vistas of clear skies, ocean, and wildlife native to Oahu from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the newly refreshed Nalu Kinetic Spa, featuring a new spa menu and fitness studio. Turtle Bay plays host to dozens of adventurous activities from surfing the powerful Hawaiian waves to diving with sharks and even stand-up paddling with a surfing dog.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide
Naples Grande Beach Resort
WHERE: Naples, Florida
Set on the calm shores of Outer Clam Bay, right off the Gulf of Mexico, Naples Grande Beach Resort reemerged this past February from an $18 million renovation with a new name (formerly Waldorf Astoria Naples). The restoration encompassed an overhaul of the resort’s 424 guest rooms and suites, three new restaurants, and a facelift to the beach and pool areas. Make time for the on-site spa, where fun innovations, such as the “floating” hair and nail salon (overlooking the spa pool), add a whimsical touch to your relaxation.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Naples Travel Guide
Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa
WHERE: Palm Beach, Florida
The endless sand and sun of Palm Beach welcomed Kimpton Hotels’ Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa this past December, a completely re-imagined, beachfront luxury resort, formerly The Omphoy Ocean Resort. Launching the newly renovated and expanded spa in March, the 5,900-square-foot spa includes seven treatment rooms offering indulgent body scrubs, facials, and massages. For something a bit more active, each room provides complimentary yoga mats, perfect for the opportunity to stretch and practice beachside. And be sure to stop by Tideline's nightly Wine Hour from 4-5 p.m., where a complimentary toast is the perfect way to start the night off on the right foot.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast Travel Guide
WHERE: Fish Camp, California
When the sun goes down in the great outdoors, head to the great indoors of Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite National Park. Tenaya stands out for its tranquil setting, away from the crowded Yosemite Valley and fine country lodge atmosphere, and there’s no better excuse to recover from a strenuous hike than one of the organic treatments at the 10,000-square-foot Ascent Spa.
The resort is investing $5 million into remodeling 240 of the main retreat’s rooms in a rustic contemporary flair, with granite countertopped bathrooms, new luxury bedding, barn-inspired doors, and plantation-style window shutters. Many of the rooms are complete, but renovations are still underway.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Yosemite National Park Travel Guide
Hotel del Coronado
WHERE: Coronado, California
San Diego’s beach gem, Hotel del Coronado, received a little polish this past year to the tune of $13 million. The 757-room luxe beach resort, with its ornate Victorian design and iconic red-shingled roof, completely overhauled its main lobby, re-introducing what it refers to as the “turn-of-the-century charm” from the original hotel’s lobby in 1888. A dazzling, refurbished chandelier serves as the centerpiece of the dark-wood lobby, and newly refinished woodwork and period light fixtures make for a grand entrance.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s San Diego Travel Guide
The Woodlands Resort
WHERE: The Woodlands, Texas
A family favorite since 1974, the all-encompassing The Woodlands Resort unveiled a $75 million renovation this past March. Situated thirty minutes outside of Houston, the retreat spared no expense in gutting its 406 rooms to give a sleek, fresh finish. The affordable luxury setting provides nonstop activities from the new, uber relaxing lazy river through the surrounding forest to the resort’s ample spa, thirty-six holes of golf, and impressive twenty-one-court tennis facility.
In addition to structural upgrades and a grand welcoming cochere, Woodlands meets the demands of sophisticated diners with the new Robard’s Steakhouse, an upscale dining experience featuring a private wine vault and nearly every cut of steak you can imagine.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Houston and Galveston Travel Guide
Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort
WHERE: Hilton Head, South Carolina
With its new renovation less than two months old, the Omni Hilton Head has a lot to show for its $17 million upgrade. Featuring 323 restyled studio suites influenced by contemporary Caribbean themes, the property has undergone interior enhancements including a fresh front entrance and lobby, a revived Ocean Tides Spa, and expanded pool complex.
Catering to guests of all ages, the Kid’s Splash Zone and 3,600-square-foot family pool are welcome additions alongside the recently revamped adult pool. For those seeking a saltwater swim, the picturesque grounds are the perfect inroads to the island’s sugar sand beaches off the Atlantic. Reconfigured to include a relaxation room and three treatment rooms, the Ocean Tides Spa excels at providing immersive getaways that completely envelop the body and mind.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s South Carolina Travel Guide