Resort Spas, Mineral Spas

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Resort spas are one of the most popular amenities associated with resort hotels. Consider coupling your vacation with spa treatments and a round of golf, tennis lessons, or active water sports. Some spas, such as the Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa in Carefree, Arizona, or the Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa in Sonoma, California, are legendary, attracting a who's-who of the rich and famous. If you want to splurge on a truly exotic experience, think further afield. The tropics are therapeutic by nature: bathtub-warm seas act as a natural hydrotherapy tub, humidity is a tonic for dehydrated skin, and the sun is its own healing tonic (as long as you don't get too much of it). Consider these gems: Aveda Concept Spa in Strawberry Hill, Jamaica; Rio Caliente in La Primavera, Mexico; and One&Only Spa Palmilla in San José del Cabo, Mexico, a favorite of stars from John Travolta to Oprah Winfrey.

Built atop or adjacent to natural mineral or thermal waters, mineral spas specialize almost exclusively in hydrotherapy treatments. Steaming-hot whirlpool baths and up-to-the-neck immersions in heated volcanic mud are featured at these locales. Mineral-steeped hot waters do wonders for ailments from rheumatism to skin disorders, in addition to muscle and soul relaxation. Be prepared for noxious, sulfurous smells, and know that many mineral spas were developed in the 19th century and several are in need of updating. Not so, though, for West Virginia's luxuriant Greenbrier and the Estrella Spa in Palm Springs, California. Both are regal exemplars of the genre.

Published: 3 May 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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