The best destination spas in the United States entice us to pause and indulge in ourselves — whether the aim is to relax the muscles or clear the mind, or both. And according to Travel + Leisure readers, there are plenty of standout options from coast to coast, from the Texas spa that specializes in equine therapy to the California property that offers CBD deep-tissue massage.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. In the destination spas category, readers rated properties on their accommodations and facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value.
Travel + Leisure readers’ favorite spa destinations varied in approach, but as far as location goes, one state led the way: four properties in Arizona made this year’s list. “Mystical desert vibes give you the best positive energy,” wrote one voter, who visited Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, which earned the No. 5 spot. “It’s the best atmosphere to reset.” Noteworthy neighbors: Miraval Arizona (No. 6), Canyon Ranch Tucson (No. 7), and Mii Amo (No. 8), which has been undergoing intensive renovations.
Ten Thousand Waves in Santa Fe, New Mexico, nabbed the No. 2 spot with a similar magic. “It can be romantic, as well as family-friendly,” wrote one voter, who praised the property’s versatility. “There are many rooms depending on what you’re looking for — meditation, communal and private spas, and a sauna.”
East Coast wellness icons appear on this year’s list, including last year’s winner, the Japan-inspired Shou Sugi Ban House in New York’s Hamptons (No. 3 this time around), and Canyon Ranch Lenox, Massachusetts (coming in at No. 13). One reader celebrated getting the first COVID vaccine with a trip to the No. 10 winner, the Lodge at Woodloch. “After the pandemic, we needed a stress-free getaway, but were very concerned about cleanliness,” wrote a voter, who stayed at the property in Hawley, Pennsylvania. “The staff went beyond expectations and even managed to add a few treatments and accommodations I haven’t seen anywhere else. And we were always delighted by the quality of the dishes at the restaurant.” More highlights: forest bathing, pausing for a beat in the resort’s whisper lounge, or relaxing in one of the hammocks with a view of the lake.
But it was a property in sun-drenched Southern California that emerged as the No. 1 winner among the best domestic destination spas.
1. The Ranch Malibu, California
“The best week of my life — restorative, invigorating, and addictive.” That’s how one spa-goer described a visit to this luxury fitness resort, situated on 200 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains. Guests boost their health through hours-long hikes, holistic meals, acupuncture, massages, chiropractic sessions, and many other therapeutic offerings. The hikes were especially popular with T+L readers. “I felt challenged with daily training sessions, pampered by the daily massages, and nourished by the most amazing vegan meals,” noted one voter. The supportive and knowledgeable staff is key to the resort’s success, according to readers.
More information: theranchmalibu.com
2. Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe, New Mexico
More information: tenthousandwaves.com
3. Shou Sugi Ban House, Water Mill, New York
More information: shousugibanhouse.com
4. Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort, Hawaii
More information: fourseasons.com
5. Civana Wellness Resort & Spa, Carefree, Arizona
More information: civanacarefree.com
6. Miraval Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
More information: miravalresorts.com
7. Canyon Ranch Tucson, Arizona
More information: canyonranch.com
8. Mii Amo, Sedona, Arizona
More information: miiamo.com
9. Lake Austin Spa Resort, Austin, Texas
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.90
More information: lakeaustin.com
10. The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pennsylvania
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 90.57
More information: lodgeatwoodloch.com
11. Miraval Austin, Texas
More information: miravalaustin.com
12. Indian Springs Resort, Calistoga, California
More information: indianspringscalistoga.com
13. Canyon Ranch Lenox, Massachusetts
More information: canyonranch.com
14. Two Bunch Palms, Desert Hot Springs, California
More information: twobunchpalms.com
15. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
More information: ojosparesorts.com