We’ve long known that fall is a savvy time to take a restorative trip — the crowds are usually less dense, the weather is often lovely and it’s the last opportunity to squeeze in a little R&R before the crazy holiday season begins.
These five far-flung locales are our perfect picks for resting up this autumn.
Skip the typical beach or city getaway and lose yourself at this spectacular Costa Rican resort nestled into a rural hillside surrounded by terrain ripe for adventure. Even if you come here for the outdoor activities (hiking, biking, horseback riding), you’ll want to spend some time in pure relaxation at the stunning indoor/outdoor spa.
Choose from a handful of environments to take your locally inspired pampering, from the thatched-roofed palapas to the traditional treatment rooms to outdoor water suites with Vichy showers, hydrotherapy tubs and private sun gardens.
Amenities include a dark and moody relaxation room, a light-filled pool area with unbelievable views of the wild countryside, a Jacuzzi and steam and sauna rooms.
Treatments are inspired by the jungle surroundings, from the Rainfall Garden Retreat to the Forest Stretching Ritual.
After a day at the spa, escape to either a suite or casita with panoramas and earthy-but-elegant furnishings.
The Grand America Hotel
If you’ve gazed upon the Salt Lake City skyline, then you’ve seen this opulent Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel. The 775-room high-rise may be abuzz with business and family travelers this season, but the four-level Four-Star spa is a zone of Zen with earth tones, natural materials and amenities galore.
Spend your day there lounging by the large indoor pool and indulging in classic luxe services. This fall, treat yourself to a Honey Moisture Body Wrap or Sugar Body Polish and enjoy a 30-minute mini facial peel on the house.
For the ultimate escape, book the Grand Spa Suite, a guest room adjacent to the luxe facility that’s decked out in neutral hues and plush fabrics.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita Mexico
Head to Mexico before the holiday crowds go en masse and you’ll be privy to a more serene getaway that’s every bit as glorious as the traditional high season. At this Five-Star resort about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find the relaxation experience of your dreams — Four Seasons Apuane Spa offers indoor/outdoor facilities, massages on the beach and heavenly amenities like poolside cabanas and hydrotherapy bathtubs.
Unique treatments are inspired by the ancient practices of the indigenous Huichol culture — the Punta Mita Massage uses tequila, local sage oil and age-old Mexican healing techniques.
For an extra dose of romance after sundown, book the Apuane Nights package, which includes shutting the spa down to other guests for total privacy and use of all the luxurious facilities, like the steam bath and Jacuzzi. It all comes complete with a complimentary bottle of bubbly, of course.
Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
Visit the original Shangri-La in Singapore and you’ll get a lovely look at the regal property that inspired the Asian luxury hotel chain. Located on 15 acres of greenery near the city’s buzzy Orchard Road, the Four-Star hotel manages to be both a serene place for respite and completely urbanized.
Chi, The Spa follows suit, with state-of-the-art facilities, skilled therapists and treatments that complement the Southeast Asian locale, such as the White Flower Toning Wrap and the Singapore Heritage Deep Tissue Massage.
This autumn, indulge all your senses with the Spa-Tea package, which consists of 90 minutes of pampering followed by an elaborate three-tier afternoon tea in the lobby of the iconic property.
The Ritz-Carlton, Chengdu
Chengdu is a thoroughly modern city, but it also nods to its historical significance as a key stop on the ancient Silk Road. Inside this high-rise hotel, you’ll see up-to-the-moment amenities (55-inch TVs, intelligent toilets) alongside references to the past (like carved wooden features and silk screens).
Hole up in the spa after some vigorous exploring of the city and its more rural sites (giant panda sanctuaries, temples). In the 10-treatment room sanctuary, on the 23rd floor, discover indulgences like an 82-foot indoor pool and a state-of-the-art gym as well as more exotic elements like the tea-themed treatments (Chengdu is famous for its historic tea houses).
Services here have unique touches — the signature massage, for example, starts by dry brushing the body with green tea; another treatment uses handmade bowls to create therapeutic sounds for healing.