Spa getaways promise a special kind of mind-body tune-up — a chance to dedicate time to unwinding, reenergizing, and communing with nature.
And thanks to the proliferation of retreats in the United States, which increasingly offer customizable well-being programs tailored to guests’ individual needs, travelers don’t have to travel far to take advantage.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more.
In the destination spas category, readers rated properties on their accommodations and facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value.
Several iconic wellness destinations, including Southern California’s Golden Door (No. 12) and the Ranch Malibu (No. 6), made it onto this year’s list.
But there were plenty of newcomers, too, such as Civana Wellness Resort & Spa (No. 3).
Set in the aptly named town of Carefree, Arizona, the year-old property is shaking things up with its affordable price point (rooms start at just $192 a night) and its mission to make holistic wellness experiences available to a larger number of travelers.
“Great value for a girls’ getaway weekend,” wrote one respondent, who praised the fact that all classes, programs, and lectures — like group meditation, sound baths, and body-weight training — were included in the daily fee. “Serene, enchanting, and centering,” a second commented.
Another fairly recent debut on the list is Miraval Austin (No. 13), a 220-acre wellness haven that opened in Texas early last year.
An offshoot of the brand’s flagship in Tucson, Arizona, which placed No. 9 on this year’s list, the Hill Country retreat similarly espouses an integrated approach to wellness: there are healing spa treatments (ayurvedic massages and depuffing facials), heart-pumping activities including stand-up paddleboarding on the waters of Lake Travis, and healthy meals that source ingredients from the hotel’s on-site farm.
As one guest put it, “Miraval Austin is a special sanctuary for those seeking a deeper connection with themselves.”
This year’s runner-up, Ojo Santa Fe (formerly Sunrise Springs Resort and Spa) in New Mexico, is another popular option for travelers looking for a more spiritual getaway.
The 52-room retreat offers healing one-on-one sessions with astrologers, hypnotherapists, crystal healers, and Aztec ceremonial leaders, in addition to medical doctors and family therapists.
In their off-hours, guests can soak in the natural hot springs that encircle the property or wander the 70 acres of manicured gardens and walking trails.
But of all the spas in us, none stood out to T+L readers more than the Pearl Laguna, a tranquil yoga-centric oasis in a California beach community.
Read on for more about what makes it special — and for the full list of the best spas in the United States.
1. The Pearl Laguna, Laguna Beach, California
More information: thepearllaguna.com
For years, this boutique retreat in Laguna Canyon, California, has been an insider’s secret — a place where tastemakers like designer Lola Rykiel go to reset. But now, more than a decade after opening, the property and its ultra-challenging boot camp are getting their moment in the limelight.
Offering stays of a week or longer, the intense retreat is known to deliver results. Luckily, the rigors of the program (think 11-mile hikes, a strict vegetarian menu) are tempered by relaxation-centered activities like daily massages, nutritional guidance, and walks on Laguna Beach, a few minutes away.
“I’ve been to the Pearl Laguna four times and would go more if my schedule allowed,” one traveler gushed.
“Each time I visit, I come away with a renewed sense of health and well-being that follows me into my everyday life.”
2. Ojo Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: sunrisesprings.ojospa.com
3. Civana Wellness Resort & Spas in us, Carefree, Arizona
More information: civanacarefree.com
4. Mii Amo, Sedona, Arizona
More information: miiamo.com
5. Westglow Resort & Spa, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
More information: westglowresortandspa.com
6. The Ranch Malibu, California
More information: theranchmalibu.com