A wise man once said, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can surely pay for a Vichy rain therapy session.” Okay, so we’re not 100 percent sure if that person was at a wellness retreat when he uttered those famous words, though we’d guess he probably was. But with grueling morning commutes, ridiculous after-school schedules and every stressor in between, it’s getting increasingly more difficult to find any peace. Luckily, our Forbes Travel Guide editors found places where you can recharge. From a Mexican resort with lagoon-front massages to a desert oasis perfect for morning yoga, your happiness is out there. Sometimes you just have to be willing to pack a few bags to get to it.
Banyan Tree Spa Mayakoba, Riviera Maya
There are mysteries surrounding Mayakoba, the luxury resort community in Riviera Maya, that are hard to put your finger on. But a good place to start is with the hands working at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s magical spa. Adhering to a philosophy that employs ancient techniques to make you feel brand new, the Four-Star spa more than earns its reputation as one of Mexico’s finest sanctuaries. But the overwhelming sense of calm here goes well beyond Melipona honey cleansers and hydrothermal therapies; guest rooms include private indoor-outdoor gardens while Ixchel, the resort’s dining boat, floats through mangroves for romantic breakfast and dinner encounters.
The Spa at Wynn Las Vegas
A real treat for tired souls any time, Wynn Las Vegas’ Five-Star spa has a special glimmer in the fall, thanks to a roster of fun, calendar-driven treatments. This season’s PumpSkin Organic Facial (collagen-boosting yam and pumpkin peel, pumpkin latte hydration mask) and PumpSkin Organic Body Renewal (pumpkin-spice-enhanced body scrub, massage and wrap) will work wonders for a Hollywood A-lister in need of some relief or a working mom begging for a respite in the middle of the school year.
Spa Sage, Santa Fe
There’s a reason that creative types like Georgia O’Keeffe, George R.R. Martin and Tom Ford all called Santa Fe home at one time. The city’s piercing blue skies and postcard-perfect landscapes are just that inspiring. At La Posada de Santa Fe, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, once you marry exhilarating natural amenities with the property’s own restorative practices, you could be moved to pen the next great American novel yourself. While Spa Sage’s menu is packed with indigenous ingredients (Adobe Mud Wrap, Santa Fe Chocolate Chile Pedicure), the hotel rounds itself out with a lavender steam room, weekend yoga classes and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Elemis Spa at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut
If it’s sheer size and treatment options you’re after, the Elemis spa inside the sprawling Connecticut casino resort should do the trick. The 22,000-square-foot spa has 18 treatment rooms, a full-service hair and nail salon, a fitness center and two relaxation lounges. To use the facilities, buy a day pass or book a service from the vast treatment menu, which incorporates therapies from 10 different far-flung cultures.
Nizuc Spa by ESPA, Cancun
We’re all for convenient luxury, and at this Cancun resort you’ll get both (it’s just 15 minutes from the city’s airport). Once you’ve entered the modern, Mayan-inspired temple of relaxation, head straight to the spacious ESPA spa, where you can enjoy treatments that incorporate indigenous ingredients (cocoa, gemstones) against a breezy Caribbean backdrop. It’s not all pampering here — fitness activities include outdoor yoga, dance, tennis and cross training, too.
Anani Spa, Turks and Caicos
One doesn’t need to travel to Turks and Caicos for a really good massage, but if you find yourself at this ultra-luxe, suites-only Grace Bay Club, you’ll want to book a beachside massage in the custom spa tent. And for a follow-up service indoors at the resort’s Anani Spa, choose from a deep menu of results-focused Elemis treatments before retiring to one of the 22 exclusive oceanfront Estate homes.
SpaHalekulani, Oahu, Hawaii
You won’t want for treatment options at Halekulani, a beachfront Waikiki resort. Asian and Polynesian therapies reign at the Four-Star spa, which places a lot of emphasis on body-and-mind wellbeing with a slew of exotic services. The recently launched Living-Well initiative includes lifestyle coaching, a cleansing program and monthly wellness lectures; overnight wellness packages give you the chance for a comprehensive whole-body reboot.
The Spa at Loews Regency San Francisco Hotel
There’s nothing like restoring some mind-body balance in a buzzy city, and the spa at Loews Regency San Francisco Hotel is equipped to do just that. Both treatment rooms and services are highly customizable, so spa-goers get what they want (deep tissue massage, detox body wrap), how they want it (scented room, private shower). If weather permits, schedule a yoga session on the 40th-floor sky deck for awe-inspiring views.
Spa Walden, Aurora, Ohio
About 30 miles outside of Cleveland, Four-Star Inn Walden uses the bucolic pastures and streams in Aurora as the setting for a rejuvenating getaway. The hotel launches its first Wellness Retreat on November 15 and 16. Two-night, one-night, half-day and various day passes will get you access to a packed lineup of mind-body classes, including “Energizing Back Bends,” “Yin Yoga Through the Chakras” and “Mindfulness: The Gift of the Present for Optimal Health.” Even better, the retreat will include pampering services at the Four-Star Spa Walden.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London
This sanctuary hidden inside Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London is a coveted Five-Star spa destination with top-notch facilities (a vitality pool, an amethyst crystal steam room, a sanarium and relaxation areas with deep-sleep-inducing heated pods that feature piped-in music and aromatherapy) and expert therapists. Sample the best it has to offer by reserving the Luxury Wellness Escape, which includes a 110-minute treatment tailored to your needs, lunch, use of the gym and lap pool, and access to all of the can’t-miss facilities mentioned above.
The Spa at Condado Vanderbilt, Puerto Rico
For something out of the ordinary, head to Condado Vanderbilt Hotel’s spa. Indulge in Puerto Rico’s only hammam, a gray-and-white-marble room dedicated to purifying Turkish services, and the Aroma Blending Bar, where you can pick up your own customized Red Flower fragrance. While the sleek, wood-filled spa is a refuge, opt for the Vanderbilt Clay Caress-Exotic Outdoors Experience to savor the San Juan hotel’s ocean vistas after a detoxifying alfresco clay body treatment.
Kohler Waters Spa, Kohler, Wisconsin
Squeeze in a quick trip to the charming Wisconsin town of Kohler for this Five-Star spa’s Rounds and Relaxation package. You and a guest will receive two rounds of golf, unlimited use of practice facilities, a pair of 50-minute spa treatments, two nights at the cozy American Club and more. Can’t make it before golf season’s end? Try delicious services like the Apple Cider Pedicure, which includes a fizz ball soak, sugar scrub and caramel body milk foot rub, or the Chocolate Re-Wine Body Service, an antioxidant-rich facial and body treatment inspired by the Kohler Food & Wine Experience, our of our favorite autumn festivals.