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Get Your Zen On at These Top Health Spas

June 17, 2014

(Courtesy: Canyon Ranch Spa)

Vacations can often leave you feeling over-indulged: too much wine, too many sweets. And then, you jump back into your stress-filled life. It’s hard to get on the path to healthier living. Fortunately, there are a number of getaways aimed specifically at jump-starting your health, whether you’re looking for a weight-loss camp or a meditation retreat. Health spas and wellness retreats range from all-inclusive ranches to luxurious spas inside four-star hotels. Pick what works for you.

Here are the most-searched health spas and rejuvenation vacation locations on Yahoo:

(Courtesy: Hilton Head Health Spa)

1. Hilton Head Health Spa

On a barrier off the coast of South Carolina is Hilton Head Island, home to one of the country’s leading health spas. Hilton Head Health Spa (H3) is known for its weight-loss programs in a secluded environment. While a three-day and month-long weight-loss program are also offered, the spa’s most popular program is its all-inclusive, weeklong weight-loss plan. This includes group fitness classes, educational workshops, hands-on cooking classes, and gourmet low-calorie meals. Use individual consultations and metabolic assessments to help you get a start on healthy living. Or, take a boat ride in search of dolphins after a bike ride around the island.

Cost: $2,400-$4,100 per week all-inclusive

(See also: World’s Best Spas with a View)

(Courtesy: Canyon Ranch Spa)

2. Canyon Ranch Spa

While Canyon Ranch has locations in Las Vegas, Miami Beach, Massachusetts, and even on board the Queen Mary cruise ship, it’s best known for its serene desert ranch in Tucson. Since Mel Zuckerman opened the Arizona spa in 1979 after coming to terms with his own unhealthy lifestyle, Canyon Ranch has won countless awards and become one of the most well-known spas in the country. It was founded as a departure from traditional slow-moving spas. Instead, get inspired to live a healthier lifestyle in any way you see fit. Take a survival class and learn to build fire, or join in a group exercise class. Or, just do whatever you want. The 50-acre ranch includes a 62,000-square-foot spa complex, three racquetball courts and one squash court, a ropes course, a climbing wall, eight tennis courts, four saline pools (with some underwater treadmills), a yoga dome, exercise rooms, whirlpools, and hydromassage rooms.

Cost: $800-$3,000 per night all-inclusive

(Courtesy: Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Spa Arizona)

3. Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Spa

Is there anything more luxuriously relaxing than lounging in a pool in the middle of the desert? The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain was recognized as the best spa in Arizona and the third-best spa in North America by Condé Nast Traveler. On the edge of Tucson, the 200-room hotel is surrounded by Saguaro cacti and picturesque mountain ranges. Take a bike ride, horseback ride, or hike – and try to catch sight of a javelina. Or, just enjoy the view from the deck, as you warm yourself by the fire pit. The spa, inside the resort, offers holistic treatments like herbal wraps, gemstone therapy, and stone massages. This summer, the resort will also offer night hikes, astronomer-led stargazing, and even a butler to attend to your electronic devices as you sit by the pool.

Cost: $200-$500 per night


(Courtesy: Grand Wailea Spa) 

4. Grand Wailea Spa

On the southwest shore of Maui is a beachfront 40-acre resort. Welcome to the Grand Wailea. The resort has 780 guestrooms and a number of luxury private villas centered on a tropical children’s playground, swim-in grotto, and fitness center. The grounds also include nine separate pools and a golf club. The diamond of the resort, though, is the award-winning Spa Grande. At 50,000 square feet, it’s the largest spa in Hawaii. Treatments combine Hawaiian ingredients with Thalassotherapy and Eastern philosophies. While you wait, you can take advantage of the hydrotherapy center: a Roman Tub, saunas, cascading waterfalls, Swiss Jet Showers, a Japanese Furo, and five Hawaiian sea salt baths. After your relaxing spa day, dine at the resort’s floating seafood restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Don’t worry, you don’t need to pronounce it to enjoy it.

Cost: $350-$2,600 per night


(Courtesy: St. Anne’s Spa)

5. St. Anne’s Spa

Canada’s most popular spa, Saint Anne’s is spread across 400 acres of rolling countryside in Ontario. Walk the trails, pitch in on the farm or at the horse stables, swim in the stone pools, or simply spend your day taking fitness classes, enjoying spa services, and lounging in the main inn. Country cuisine is offered in the dining room, but no calories are discussed or included on the menu. The spa’s bakery, which is open to the public and all gluten free, has also recently been added to the Northumberland Butter Tart Tour – so, you’ll want to try a tart. Visitors come to use the day spa, get away for a weekend or week, or participate in yoga retreats. Stay overnight at one of the eight cottages or in the 14-room main inn. The main inn, which has been renovated and added to, was originally built in 1858 as a stone house and is now considered a historic landmark.

Cost: $300-$600 per night all-inclusive

(Courtesy: Sundara Spa)

6. Sundara Spa

The Wisconsin Dells is best known as the waterpark capital of the world. But it also happens to be home to Sundara Inn and Spa, tucked away in a pine forest on the edge of the Dells. The infinity pool, waterfalls, and outdoor fireplace greet guests as they arrive. Across 26 acres, this resort incorporates outdoor fitness and the three nearby state parks into its accommodations, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the winter or mountain biking in the summer. Stay in one of the 26 suites in the main building or rent out the private villa. Enjoy the purifying bath ritual or choose from a menu of massages and spa treatments. The tranquility garden is a place for silent walking and contemplation; no talking allowed. And the meditation trail, winding through the pine trees, is for those looking for a longer thought-provoking walk. At the end of the trail, you’ll reach the hammock retreat. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Cost: $210-$500 per night


(Courtesy: Eau Spa Palm Beach)

7. Eau Spa Palm Beach

Situated directly on the beach, Eau Palm Beach is all about sunny resort living. The resort offers boating and water sports for kids and adults, tennis courts, oceanfront cabanas, and two pools: an active resort pool and a tranquil adult-only pool. While the resort is popular for weddings and events, the spa inside the hotel is an award-winning spot for pampering and luxury. The 42,000-square-foot spa combines indoor and outdoor spaces for an adult getaway. Sit in the cabanas and hanging chairs inside the Self-Centered Gardens. Shower and bathe under the sky in your own private garden villa. Create a DIY scrub to try in the bath lounge. Sure, there are fitness classes and traditional massages. But, this is all about opulence and nibbling on cupcakes in the steam shower. A visit to Eau wouldn’t be complete without a facial made from crushed diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and amethysts.

Cost: $300-$1,400 per night


(Courtesy: Golden Door Spa)

8. Golden Door Spa

Japan-inspired, Golden Door is a sustainable, environmentally friendly oasis focused on meditation, health, and self-awareness. Twenty miles of hiking trails meander through 600 acres in San Marcos, Calif. The land also houses a bamboo garden, two labyrinths, an organic vegetable garden, tennis courts, and an orange grove. The bathhouse is home to hydrotherapy treatments, massages, and body scrubs – included in your weeklong program. But it isn’t all meditation and baths. The fitness facility has a 2,000-square-foot gym, two pools, a Pilates studio, a spinning room, and a hilltop exercise retreat for those private sweat sessions. All stays are for a week and are all-inclusive of treatments, classes, meals, and accommodations. Pick a women’s week, a men’s week, or a themed week centered on meditation or exercise performance.

Cost: $8,250 per week all-inclusive


(Courtesy: Spa Eastman Quebec)

9. Spa Eastman Quebec

This is not a hotel with a spa. This is a spa. Known as the first health and wellness resort in Canada, Spa Eastman Quebec Health and Wellness Retreat is located on 326 acres near Mt. Orford. About one hour from Montreal, the natural beauty is a key part of the retreat lifestyle. Walk and hike through the forests. Or, in the winter, snowshoe and ski. Individual consultations make up the backbone of the wellness program. Get a fitness, naturopathic or nutritional evaluation to customize a plan for you.  Life coaching sessions will also help you address the non-physical issues you want to reinvigorate. Spa treatments include hydrotherapy, massage, and detoxes. And, of course, eat meals from the award-winning chefs.

Cost: $175-$500 per night all-inclusive

(Courtesy: Peppermill Resort Spa)

10. Peppermill Resort Spa

Inspired by the Roman baths, the Spa Toscana, inside the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno, Nev., combines old-world glamor with a focus on modern spa treatments. The three-story, 43,000-square-foot spa is filled with fountains and Mediterranean architecture, as well as treatment rooms and a salon. The spa also claims to have the nation’s only Caldarium, a kind of hot plunge room used in historic Roman bathhouses. The Peppermill’s Spa Toscana’s version features an indoor pool, sun deck, and secret garden. Come for the day to use the hot and cold plunge pools, or stay in one of the Peppermill’s rooms and suites. (Stick with the theme and stay in the 5,000-square-foot Roman Opulence two-story penthouse suite.)

Cost: $70-$4,000 per night

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