It’s a little unnerving when your couture clothes are a wee bit tight across the hips, but if dieting is a bore and you can’t quite bring yourself to dust off that stationary bike, then a few days at a luxury health spa may be the best gift you can give yourself.
Furthermore, say fans of these indulgent getaways, the experience is so pleasurable you may not even realize you’ve shed those few pounds until it’s time to pull yourself away.
If you’re ready to relax and reshape yourself a bit, where gourmet fare and scenic delight only add to the total experience, check out four of the nation’s luxury spas and block out a week in your calendar:
- Canyon Ranch Resort. Arguably the Grande Dame of wellness resorts, Canyon Ranch, with spas in Woodside, Calif., Las Vegas, Nev., and Lenox, Mass., offers morning hikes, on-site golf, even ziplining for the more adventurous—all in scenic environments with expert fitness gurus to help the stress slip away and gourmet, if portion-controlled menus prepared by culinary experts.
- Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas. Known for indulgent personal care, this sunny resort overlooking a nature preserve may be the only luxury spa in the nation built on the shores of a lake. You can paddleboard, pedalboard, do yoga on the dock, and walk through the herb and vegetable gardens the resort’s chef harvests each day as the base of specialized gourmet meals.
- Cal-a-Vie Resort. Located in a quiet suburb north of San Diego, this intimate little spa is French country chic, designed to put you in mind of a quaint Provençal village. But don’t let the casual atmosphere fool you. You’ll start your day early with a canyon hike, indulge in massages, wraps and scrubs with products made from resort-grown grapes, and revel in menus designed to delight as they aid in your journey to svelte.
- Sundara Inn and Spa. A four-hour drive from Chicago, this Midwest gem sits in the midst of a fragrant pine forest in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc. It offers a vibe comprised of Ayurveda and Feng Shui principles designed to relax and refresh, with quiet hikes along a meditation trail, seasonal spa treatments and chef-prepared cuisine, as well as downy featherbeds and freshly brewed tea to help ease you into slumber.