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.

The Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany, transforms Römer square into a festive haven with twinkling lights and charming stalls. Aromas of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine fill the air as visitors explore handcrafted gifts and traditional treats. The iconic Christmas tree and live performances create a magical atmosphere, making this market a cherished holiday tradition.

Reel: @pillter_

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It`s cabin season where crackling fireplaces and peaceful solitude creates a magical and cozy atmosphere in the winter time.

Reel: @dirtandglass 📍 @evergreen_cabins

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We love a pre-winter adventure just before the water freezes into ice. @jaspernationalpark

Reel: @ninadefilla

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Throughout November, the mountains surrounding the well-known abodes of Shirakawa-gō begin to adopt the colors of autumn. 🍂 ...

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"The wait is over... it`s that time of year again! Every year from November to early March, millions of butterflies blanket the high altitude forest in central Mexico in a mesmerizing display. It`s truly spectacular to witness." - 🎥 @jess.wandering @everchanginghorizon ...

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In the latest episode of our podcast, an award winning editor, writer and producer and the host of the podcast, Travel That Matters, @brucewallintravel travels through Central America with his then fiancee to enjoy what they imagined to be their last big adventure before settling down. It was a trip that gave Bruce a new travel ethos, that travel gets better the more effort you put into it. 🎧 Link in bio to listen! ...

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When fall meets winter in Utah.

Reel: @ashleylporter

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Ethereal moments from a sunset in Scoresby Sound, Greenland.

Reel: @kylekotajarvi

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Autumn in Lago di Saoseo, a stunning alpine lake in the Poschiavo Valley of Switzerland, is a magical experience. The season transforms the surrounding landscape into a picturesque tapestry of vibrant colors. The dense forests that encircle the lake burst into a riot of reds, yellows, and oranges as the leaves change, creating a breathtaking contrast against the crystal-clear, emerald waters of the lake. The cool, crisp air of autumn adds to the tranquility of the scene, making it an ideal time for peaceful hikes and nature appreciation. It`s a time when the natural beauty of Lago di Saoseo truly shines, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Reel: @jakeguzman

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6 Spooky Fall Adventures (An Hour from NYC)

Follow this guide from @steffy where everything is Halloween themed
including the street signs!

- @pumpkinblaze
- @harvestmoonorchard
- @lyndhurst_mansion
- @ Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
- @sleepyhollowbookshop
- @horsefeathers for a spooky drink
- @castlehotelandspa to stay!

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Zhangjiajie, located in China`s Hunan province, is a stunning national park known for its towering sandstone pillars, deep ravines, and lush forests. It gained international fame as the inspiration for James Cameron`s "Avatar." The park`s surreal and otherworldly landscape, particularly the "Southern Sky Column" (renamed "Avatar Hallelujah Mountain"), served as the muse for the film`s floating mountains and lush forests. Zhangjiajie remains a popular destination for travelers seeking to witness the real-world beauty that inspired the cinematic masterpiece.

Reel: @cyn_cynti

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The scent of crisp, autumn air fills the atmosphere of this picturesque region in southern Germany. Allgäu turns into a patchwork of fiery reds, golden yellows, and rustic browns as the leaves change color.

Reel: @_marcelsiebert

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Host of our very own podcast, The Trip That Changed Me, and this week’s Travel That Matters guest, Esme Benjamin (@esmebenjamin), tells us about her year-in-the-making five-month-long road trip across the United States.

On the podcast, Esme starts by telling us the things that happened in her life that led her to take this life-altering adventure. Then, we hear about her path through the following incredible places: Black Hills & Badlands (South Dakota), Glacier National Park and Bozeman (Montana), Cody (Wyoming), Boulder, Rocky Mountain National Park, Gateway Canyons Resort and Spa (Colorado), Monument Valley, Antelope Canyon, and the Grand Canyon (Arizona), Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana), San Francisco and Los Angeles (California), and more!

🎧 Link in bio to listen and to explore the transformative power of travel.

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