7 Reasons Why You Deserve a Spa Vacation Today
Most people love being pampered, and where better to indulge than at a spa? And take note: A recent study from Thomas Jefferson University concludes that a one-week stay at a spa can launch a whole new health start at home, in addition to reducing stress.
Here are seven reasons to book a wellness trip now:
1. It’s all inclusive with no tipping. For one fee, you typically get beautiful, tranquil settings and luxury accommodations. Miraval in Tucson, for instance, has a stunning Southwestern ambiance, while its property in Orange County has an LA-Pacific Ocean vibe. Canyon Ranch in the Berkshire Mountains of New England sits on a gorgeous estate highlighted by rolling green hills and lush hiking trails. (Canyon Ranch also has shipboard spa clubs on the Queen May 2, and Oceania and Regent Seven Seas cruise lines, as well as resorts in Tucson, Miami, Las Vegas and Hot Springs, Virginia.) You get an allowance for spa treatments, which can buy an ultra-pampering facial and mani-pedi.
2. Spa cuisine is delicious and filling. Fresh, healthy food is the rule rather the exception at high-end spas such as Canyon Ranch and Miraval. You can order multiple entrees (portion sizes are small) and dessert if you want, so you don’t have to go hungry. You can also attend cooking demonstrations so you can try making healthier meals at home. Some spas even now offer once-verboten beverages such as cocktails and coffee.
3. There are a million things to do—multiple activities every hour, most of which don’t cost anything. You can try yoga, meditation, hiking, swimming, gym classes, tennis, aerobics or acquasize, as well as attend lectures on different topics. At Canyon Ranch, I took dance classes with a Broadway showgirl who taught us legendary choreographer Bob Fosse’s moves for Pippin. I also walked the labyrinth and meditated, took a watercolor class, attended lectures on the link between stress and fat, healthy eating and anti-aging skin care, watched a cooking demonstration, went hiking and (whew!) had sessions with a nutritionist and a hypnotist, both of whom helped me strategize about eating less at night. Plus, I received a body scrub and massage, a facial, and a pedicure. Or you can just relax!
4. Yes, the spa treatments are fantastic—but you can also get health and wellness treatments, the lessons from which you can take home with you. Canyon Ranch offers sleep studies, bone density testing, physicals and health coaching. Miraval offers integrative medicine services. Some people even visit these spas yearly for checkups and other treatments.
5. You learn about the mind-body connection and how to reduce stress in a tranquil environment. Spas teach you meditation, mindfulness and yoga and breathing exercises you can continue to practice at home. “I see mindfulness as the realization that no matter where you are in life, you have the ability to tap into your breath and be completely in the present moment, thus allowing any decisions you make to be as positive and impactful as possible,” says Michael Tompkins, RN, former CEO of Miraval. All Miraval activities and programs are created with this concept in mind (so to speak!)
6. You can go alone and have a good time, or you can bring your spouse, girlfriends or family. You’ll be so busy, that you won’t feel lonely if you go solo, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to eat with other guests and interact during classes and activities.
7. Because you’re worth it! You don’t have to wait until you’re a smaller size to book a trip to a spa, or until you have a week or more to relax—you’ll find a wide mix of body sizes and shapes, personality types and even genders at today’s spas. If cost is a consideration, you can visit one of a lower-cost spa, or you can stay for a weekend or just a day. (Many upscale spas like Mirbeau Inn & Spa, located in Skaneateles, NY, and Plymouth, MA, let you stay all day if you purchase one service.)
Disclaimer: I have visited both Miraval and Canyon Ranch on complimentary press trips, and received a complimentary mini-massage from Mirbeau Spa at a press event, but visited the spa in Plymouth as a paying customer.