Got a bad case of the winter blues? There’s no better remedy than bouncing back with a massage, cozy robe, and pair of warm slippers. Plan a weekend getaway to seek out luxury and relaxation at one of the 10 best winter spa retreats, whose unique treatments include maple sugar scrubs, Reiki sessions, and custom-built soaking tubs that will restore you to a balanced, healthy state.
By Zachary Laks
WHERE: Geneva, New York
The grounds of Belhurst Castle offer three distinct accommodation options, including the on-site castle that dates back to the 1880s. Just off Seneca Lake, in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Belhurst Castle offers guests the option to relax in the warmth of one of its 14 rooms. The main attraction, the Isabella Spa, is a full-service relaxation haven complete with an impressive menu of specialty treatments. Winter favorites from the spa include the Simple Solitude pedicure, which blends aromatherapy with a clay mask beneath a warming towel, and the soothing Isabella’s Raindrop Experience which features nine essential oils in combination with reflexology and massage.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Finger Lakes Travel Guide
Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
WHERE: Tabernash, Colorado
The crackling of the wood burning in the stone fireplace adds a calming white noise as you sink into the plush chairs of the spa at Devil's Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa. The 18,000-square-foot Ranch Creek Spa is a rustic hideaway of wooden paneling and country accents. Take some time to enjoy the steam and aromatherapy rooms before or after one of the specialty packages on offer, most notably The Ultimate Zen, a full-body scrub, wrap, and massage with decadent shea butter and essential oils.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Colorado Travel Guide
WHERE: Manchester Village, Vermont
As one of the many reasons to visit southwest Vermont’s Equinox Resort, The Spa at Equinox is a prime example of a winter retreat that offers serenity in the comfort of mountainside luxury. A collection of fine accommodations with 195 guest rooms, the resort has been operating since 1769. The 13,000-square-foot full-service incorporates local ingredients such as maple sugar, wildflowers, and mineral clay into the custom-crafted treatments. Start your day at the spa with a dip in the picturesque, heated indoor pool, well appointed with poolside topiary creations. A comprehensive fitness class schedule offers yoga, Zumba, and Pilates throughout the day. After a workout, renew your energy with Equinox’s signature treatment: The Spirit of Vermont, which combines massage, Reiki energy work, and reflexology into a unique healing experience.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Southern Vermont Travel Guide
Snake River Lodge & Spa
WHERE: Teton Village, Wyoming
The Snake River Lodge & Spa, just off the Jackson Hole ski slopes, is home to a 17,000-square-foot, five-floor spa complex. The pronounced log archway exterior set against the Grand Tetons is the first sign that your visit will be something out of the ordinary. The 152 guestrooms range from traditional to three-bedroom residences, complete with full kitchens and fireplaces. Take in the panoramic views of the snow falling on the mountains as you ease into one of the many scenic spots in the large lounge areas of the spa. Complete with a heated indoor-outdoor pool, a 1,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art fitness center, and steam showers, there’s no reason to leave the warmth of the spa—unless it’s to test your might in the outdoor pool. Opt for the popular Let Your Skin Breathe Body Scrub, an exfoliating treatment that uses local volcanic salt to exfoliate the entire body.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Jackson Hole and Northwest Wyoming Travel Guide
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe
WHERE: Truckee, California
Lake Tahoe, one of California’s finest nature escapes, is picturesque year-round, though the winter snow compliments the scenery nicely. Take refuge from the cold at The Ritz Carlton, Lake Tahoe Spa Resort, a sophisticated mountain resort that upholds the iconic brand’s standards of classic luxury and impeccable service. The exquisite spa features a full fitness center, exercise classes, and a heated lap pool. With a eucalyptus-scented steam room and a dry-heat sauna, relaxing comes easy at this mountainous mecca. Opt for the special winter treatment known as The Warm Up, where hot stones are used throughout a massage, manicure, and pedicure.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Lake Tahoe Travel Guide
The Whiteface Lodge
WHERE: Lake Placid, New York
The Whiteface Lodge was originally designed to focus on the mountainous region’s many winter sports. For those seeking a refuge from strenuous physical activity, The Spa at Whiteface delivers. Start with their special Great Outdoors Facial a treatment that caters to skin damaged by extreme cold, harsh winds, and sun. The Sports Massage helps improve range of motion, circulation, and strength through muscle massage therapy. A light and healthy meal is available from the Spa Café, where a daily bento box offers carb-free options.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Lake Placid Travel Guide
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
WHERE: Farmington, Pennsylvania
Located in the Laurel Highlands of the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is a luxury retreat complex that commands attention. With accommodations that range from the Chateau Lafayette, a stately hotel in the style of the Ritz Paris, to the collection of grand homes available for rent, guests seek out the Nemacolin for the ultimate getaway. The resort’s world-class Woodlands Spa delivers an impressive offering of just under 100 treatments that pamper and rejuvenate. Packages offered by the spa include the best savings and highlights of favorite treatments. The Woodlands Classic Collection is a must with its Swedish massage, personalized facial, body scrub, and manicure.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Pennsylvania Travel Guide
WHERE: Stowe, Vermont
Topnotch Resort’s spa offers a holistic retreat to help guests relax and restore their bodies and minds. While the resort is known for its fantastic skiing, Topnotch’s spa holds its own each winter. Specially crafted for Topnotch, the Pathway to Wellness is the spa’s signature four-program plan. The Discovery Pathway Package features an introduction to the spa’s treatments including their Maple Sugar Body Scrub, a 50-minute aroma massage, a spa pedicure, and a fitness class. Opt for the Restorative Pathway for the opportunity to center and calm yourself in true luxurious fashion with a custom energy healing and Reiki session, as well as a private yoga lesson.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Stowe Travel Guide
Spa at Norwich Inn
WHERE: Norwich, Connecticut
The classic red bricks are perhaps the first thing you’ll notice as you approach The Spa at Norwich Inn, the stately Georgian Colonial manor retreat situated on 42 acres of lush Connecticut countryside. The spa is the main attraction at this 100-guestroom resort, featuring an indoor pool, a long list of spa and salon services, and an active fitness program that often offers more than a dozen fitness classes each day. Special for the winter season, indulge in the Chocolate & Orange Body Wrap, an exfoliating treatment that invigorates the senses. Newly introduced to the spa, Healing with a Medium is a fully-clothed Reiki experience that uses spirits and energy to balance and charge the body. Not for the faint of heart, the Healing with a Medium offers the unique chance to connect with the great unknown.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s New Haven, Mystic, and The Coast Travel Guide
WHERE: Kohler, Wisconsin
Midwesterners seeking rest and relaxation in the winter head to the idyllic Destination Kohler, an hour north of Milwaukee. A luxury resort built at the headquarters of the international plumbing manufacturer, Destination Kohler is a summertime golf hotspot that shifts focus in the winter months to its robust spa. Known as the Kohler Waters Spa, the facility utilizes water in many of its treatments to create distinctive therapeutic sensations. With their Acoustic Bath Kohler offers a one-of-a-kind bathing experience featuring patented VibraAcoustic technology that combines music and sound vibrations with a deep soak. The newly added Bamboo Contouring Drizzle utilizes specially crafted water tiles to scrub the skin prior to a firming body crème. After your treatments, cozy up in your robe and recline near the heated spa pool as the waterfall’s patter lulls you to sleep. Note that spa rates increase for Saturdays.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Wisconsin Guide