Having covered the spa industry for the past decade, I’ve had the opportunity to visit spas throughout the world. However, I’m always excited to discover some of the inviting gems found in my own backyard. When looking for a reprieve from the city, these charming spa destinations provide the perfect escape.
Saybrook Point Inn & Spa | Old Saybrook, CT | saybrook.com
Overlooking Long Island Sound, this romantic inn on the water with views of an iconic lighthouse serves as the perfect base from which to explore the stunning shoreline. In the warmer months, you may want to borrow one of the Inn’s bikes to explore the lovely historic town that Kate Hepburn once called home. Regardless of the season, you’ll certainly want to pay a visit to Sanno, the Inn’s 11-treatment room spa. Its name is derived from the Latin word, which means to heal or to make sound. Of course, healing is exactly what you’ll get when you opt for the Customized Sanno Massage ($108, 50 minutes), performed just the way you want it; the Sanno Scrub ($58, 25 minutes), personalized to your specific skin type; or the Sanno Organic Facial ($118, 50 minutes), which relies on nourishing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The spa is just one of the many comforts you’ll find at this quintessential New England getaway.
Must-Try Treatment: A tribute to the late Katherine Hepburn, The Kate ($118, 50 minutes) is a signature body ritual combining a scrub, rinse, and body wrap with various energy techniques to balance both mind and body. The namesake treatment embraces Hepburn’s love of the outdoors and zest for life.
How to get there: Take Metro North to Old Saybrook Station. Call at least a day before with your telephone number and time of arrival and a complimentary shuttle will be waiting for you at the station. Rooms from $259/night.
The Sagamore Resort on Lake George | Bolton Landing, NY | thesagamore.com
Although The Sagamore on Lake George doesn’t reopen until early May, it’s never too early to start planning a visit to this Northwest family favorite. Located in the heart of the Adirondacks, it provides the perfect antidote to urban angst. First opened in 1883, the historic lakeside hotel is practically an institution. For those who need more soothing than nature provides, the Spa at The Sagamore offers an extensive menu of enticing therapies, such as the Adirondack Hot Stone Massage ($165, 75 minutes) and the Sweet Maple Treat ($165, 75 minutes), an indulgent body treatment including a hydrating body scrub, a cocoa and shea butter wrap, and a relaxing scalp massage. It’s enough to send you reeling into a state of perpetual bliss.
Must-Try Treatment: There is no need to limit yourself to just one treatment thanks to the Sagamore Sampler Package ($195, 1 hour 40 minutes), which features an Express Massage, an Express Facial, and an Express Manicure and Pedicure. The stress alone it saves you from having to decide makes it a no-brainer.
How to get there: Take Amtrak to Fort Edward station, roughly 10 miles south of Lake George. For pickup, call the Sagamore’s transportation line at 518.743.6018 at least two days prior to arrival. A roundtrip train ticket will cost around $100 and take four hours, depending on time of departure. Rates from $186/night in May.
Woodstock Inn & Resort | Woodstock, VT | woodstockinn.com
Located in what is often referred to as “the prettiest small town in America,” the Colonial-style inn is within easy walking distance to all that Main Street has to offer. There are also numerous nearby hiking paths for the more intrepid as well as groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Just be sure to be back in time for complimentary afternoon tea with cookies that are so good you’ll want to stow a few away for later. Then head to The Spa at Woodstock Inn & Resort to experience a host of warming body treatments, such as the Hot Chocolate Body Wrap ($120, 50 minutes; $180, 80 minutes) or the Hot Peppermint Leg & Foot Therapy ($70, 25 minutes). Capturing the essence of Vermont, the 10-treatment room spa features organic and locally sourced products. Its light-filled relaxation area is the perfect place to while away a lazy afternoon.
Must-Try Treatment: Although they change with the seasons, the Signature Spa Experiences (starting at $210, 1 hour 40 minutes) are not to be missed. Each involves a gentle exfoliation, a hydrating body mask, a Moroccan Oil scalp massage, a foot massage, and a full-body massage. The winter-themed service features a rosemary mint body scrub and invokes a sense of rest and relaxation.
How to get there: Take Amtrak to White River Junction, 14 miles from Woodstock. Call Big Yellow Taxi for a ride to the hotel. From $210/night, includes luxury accommodations, use of all resort amenities including the racquet and fitness center, Billings Farm and Museum, free wifi, complimentary internet, and free skiing for kids over 14, Sunday – Thursday.
Turning Stone Resort Casino | Verona, NY | turningstone.com
When fun is in the cards, a visit to Turning Stone Resort Casino can bring its own rewards. However, you don’t need to be a gambler to enjoy Ska:ná:, the resort’s Native American-influenced spa. As part of the Oneida Indian Nation’s 1,200-acre resort and casino complex, the spa highlights various Oneida traditions with services that incorporate fresh ingredients, such as cedar, sage, and sweetgrass. The Oneida culture is also evident in the architecture of the 12-treatment-room spa. In fact, the spa’s reception area resembles a traditional arched Oneida longhouse. To get the most out of Ska:ná:, be sure to allow an additional 40 to 50 minutes to experience the Balancing Waters Ritual, which provides both a relaxing and stimulating tour of the sauna, steam room, mineral whirlpool, and more. Then opt for one of the spa’s Balancing Remedies. They’re indigenous healing at its best.
Must-Try Treatment: Believing in the power of dreams, the Oneida people served as inspiration for Lavender Dreams ($160, 80 minutes), one of the spa’s Balancing Remedies. Following a full-body scrub, you’ll be treated to a muscle-melting massage with lavender essential oil and hot stones. If that isn’t dreamy enough, the treatment concludes with a lavender wrap and a pressure-point scalp, neck, and foot massage.
How to get there: Consult oM’s guide to renting hybrids in NYC. Rooms from $149/night.
Heather Mikesell is the executive editor at American Spa Magazine. Visit spatrade.com for more travel tips and the newest trends in the industry.