Hotel Spas - Full-Time Travel

Hotel Spas

Hotel Spas

Inside the New Expectation-Defying Spas

Hotel spas have long followed the same format: Dim-lit interiors that carry wellness seekers across a series of whisper-hush spaces. Now that expected experience is being disrupted by a new breed of wellness experts, designers and hoteliers across the globe with an entirely updated approach on rejuvenation.

Field Notes

Plunge-worthy spa pools around the world

Dive into the waters of the indoor pool at the Euphoria Retreat, in Mystras, Greece and you’re in for a surprise: it reverberates with the song of whales and dolphins.  

At Homestead Resort in Utah, Mother Nature is responsible for the pool design, a giant crater/geothermal spring hidden within 55 feet of limestone rock.

Iceland’s Instagram supersite, the Blue Lagoon, is actually powered by a nearby geothermal power plant, but fear not: Its mix of lava rock, minerals and algae doesn’t just make for amazing photos – it also achieves wonders on the skin.

By the Numbers

Inn Crowd

Located in Napa Valley, this classic 1940s motel has been rechristened as Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, a boutique roadside hotel. Hospitality designers at AvroKo executed the overhaul, which mines a playful sense of retro chic throughout the 50-room property, all the way into its MoonAcre Spa and Baths. There, architects turned classic spa ideas on their head: Instead of secluded spaces, MoonAcre transforms wellness into a group event: An open-plan bathing area takes its design cues from the classic bathhouse with four mint-green claw-foot soaking tubs for co-soaking with friends, while a coed mosaic-lined steam room is perfect for relaxing with others. Grape-seed body scrubs and wine-paired treatments keep the Napa vibes flowing.

Launch Pad

Minimalism need not apply at Royal Mansour Marrakech. A 53-riad palace gem set in the in the heart of the medieval city, it’s a study in over-the-top opulence, a look that extends into its newly updated, sprawling spa that is a world unto its own: Bright white, lace-cut iron fretwork “walls” divide huge rooms amid swirling inlaid marble floors and Murano glass chandeliers. Orange trees and gardenia frame sunken seating nooks and carp-filled ponds, while three spa suites each come with their own hammam, treatment lounge, plunge pool and private terrace. It’s worth an entire day — or two — to explore this odyssey of pampering that includes an herbal tea bar, library, spa restaurant, and even nail and hair salons.

“The evolution we’re seeing is people expect more out of the hotel spa than a place where one can get a great massage. They want a spa to be a gathering place, where socializing and celebration complement the treatments they receive. There is a rising demand to customize treatments for a particular event, whether a birthday, bachelorette party or girls’ weekend. We’re also seeing a rising demand for mineral baths with CBD salts and massages with CBD creams.”

- MoonAcre Spa Director, Chris Hilburn

Sweat Equity

Why relegate the sauna into a corner when it can float unencumbered in the middle of a Norwegian lake? That’s the concept of Soria Moria Sauna. Located in Dalen southwest of Oslo, the striking structure casts a hard-edge silhouette against its stunningly picturesque surrounding mountains. Within the sauna, it’s all blonde wood walls and floor-to-ceiling windows, with dramatic views while you sweat it out. Tip: While the sauna is part of theDalen Hotel, you don’t have to be a guest to feel the heat: The sauna is open to all, first come, first served.

At Hotel Miramonti, a Nordic style sauna is hidden within the Italian Alps, offering a secluded, strikingly designed place to sweat it out in solitude.

There's more to Greece than the white and blue buildings and the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. If you're planning a visit, check out these places below!

📍Kokkinopilos. Preveza
📍Verliga Dragon lake, Thessaly
📍Ithaca island, lonian Sea
📍Aoos springs lake, Epirus
📍Lake Prespes, Macedonia
📍Balda di Stringa waterfalls, Epirus
📍Meteora, Thessaly
📍Pelion, Thessaly
📍Lake Zorika, Epirus
📍Mt Lakmos
📍Crete island, Aegean Sea
📍Gistova Dragon lake, Macedonia

Reel: @farawayfarers

Swim or kayak through the limestone cliffs of the Twin Lagoon, a must-visit destination for those traveling to Coron, Palawan, Philippines. It is called "twin" lagoon because it consists of two lagoons separated by a limestone cliff, with one lagoon on top of the other. The water in the inner lagoon is warm and clear, with a stunning turquoise color that makes it popular for swimming and snorkeling.

Reel: @travelifejournal

Take a dip in a series of seven saltwater lagoons located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. The Lagoons of Baltinache are known for their beautiful turquoise waters and unique geological formations. The high concentration of minerals in the water gives it a unique buoyancy that makes swimming in the lagoons a unique experience.

Reel: @everchanginghorizon

Watching the sun rise above the clouds at Haleakalā National Park is one of the most memorable experiences you could have. Haleakalā is a Hawaiian name that means “House of the Sun” and is an awesome place to watch the clear night sky and stars fade away as the sun lights up the sky and the earth.

Reel: @girlchill_sunset

Just 1 hour from Shanghai by train, Cherry Blossom Valley is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The valley is named after the thousands of cherry blossom trees that cover the area and create a stunning display of pink and white flowers. The trees were originally planted in the 1980s by a group of Japanese experts who were invited to China to help with reforestation efforts. The best time to visit is typically in late March or early April. Get there early to beat the crowds!

Reel: @cyncynti

New Zealand is unbelievable. See it for yourself:

1. Fiordland National Park
2. A classic backcountry hut trip
3. Blue Pools walk
4. Hooker Lake
5. Milford Sound
6. Lake Pukaki

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

Surrounded by lush greenery, towering karst mountains, and the river flowing through, the Detian Waterfall is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of the close relationship between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest cross-border waterfall in the world.

Reel: @sophoebelous

Escape to a serene and peaceful oasis away from the bustling city of Marrakech at Le Jardin Secret—a beautiful and historic garden where visitors can escape the noise and chaos and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was originally built in the 16th century and is home to many different species of plants, including exotic flowers, citrus trees, and palm trees.

Reel: @hypermiggzz

For a magical moment and bucket list travel experience, visit the end point of the annual monarch butterfly migration. Starting in August, the monarchs travel 2,800 miles south from Canada, making a temporary home amid the towering trees of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in Mexico, where the two most popular sanctuaries to view them are el Rosario in the state of Michoacan and Piedra Herrada in Estado de México. Standing in silence while thousands of delicate wings beat in unison is something you'll never forget.

Reel: @juliiathompson

There's just something beautiful about snow covered landscapes like this popular attraction in southwestern Utah. Known for its unique geology, @brycecanyonnps_gov consists of a series of natural amphitheaters, called "hoodoos," formed by erosion of the rock layers.

Photo: @nathanleeallen

As we experience a couple more weeks of winter, we can't help but dream of tropical destinations like Hawaii. The warm water, sunny skies, and consistent waves make it an ideal destination for surfers. Hawaii has a vibrant surf culture and community and is also a beautiful place to explore outside of the water, with lush green mountains, stunning beaches, and unique cultural experiences.

Reel: @christopherballadarez

1. @sequoiakingsnps, California
2. @canyonlandsnps, Utah
3. @olympic_nps, Washington
4. @whitesandsnps, New Mexico
5. Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona
6. Knik Glacier, Alaska

Reel: @nathanleeallen

Imagine getting caught in the rain while kayaking at one of the most beautiful and popular destinations in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Known for its stunning turquoise-colored lake, surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise is home to diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, elk, and moose.

Reel: @reneeroaming