Lakeview at Fontana, Bryson City, N.C.
Intimate and unpretentious. Small scale and casual. That's how the owners of Lakeview at Fontana, whose season runs April 3 to November 15, bill their "rustic chic" boutique resort and spa, with its view of the Great Smoky Mountains and Fontana Lake. Round up a group of comrades and book a Girls' Night In, a package with a choice of three- and five-night stays. The three-night deal, for example, includes lodging, breakfast daily (with Peruvian organic coffee roasted locally), two lunches, evening wine and cheese, yoga classes, and three 50-minute spa treatments of your choosing—the Pomegranate Body Polish is one favorite. All prices have been slashed across the board by 20 to 30 percent for the upcoming season. "This had to be the kind of deal that people can't resist, that makes sense even in light of the economic times," says co-owner Tom Cassidy. "That's the niche we're shooting for this season."
The Deal: The three-night Girls' Night In package runs $565 per person (total). Five-night packages cost $875. Dinners don't come with the deal.
Red Mountain Resort and Spa, St. George, Utah
Surrounded by thousands of acres of red-rock cliffs, mountains, and canyons, Red Mountain is for outdoorsy types, fitness enthusiasts, and those who desire pampering, too. Guests who book the Last-Minute Super Deal can choose just one night or longer and for a flat nightly rate get lodging, three healthful meals daily (you might find blue corn-crusted Wapiti elk on the dinner menu), daily guided morning hikes (perhaps a silent walk into the red rocks), unlimited fitness classes from yoga to salsa dancing (over 50 to choose from), chef-led cooking demonstrations, and use of the pools, bikes, trails, and exercise studios. Top off an activity-filled day with a 50-minute Swedish massage or facial, now only $69 (normally $105 and $110, respectively). This special offer, says general manager Tracey Welsh, "is hands down the best deal we've had in years."
The Deal: The Last-Minute Super Deal, valid through March 31, starts at $199 per night per person, double occupancy.
The Oaks at Ojai, Ojai, California
wellness, relaxation, and educating guests on taking the experience at homeAt this "oasis of health," as managing director Cathy Cluff puts it, the emphasis is on fitness,. If you've got a all meals (plus snacks), a full menu of daily fitness classes (in-line skating, belly dancing, hula-hooping, Pilates), full access to evening group, try the Super Spring Special for Groups of Six or More: four nights for the price of three, "mental fitness" programs (wellness lectures, tarot card readings, art classes) as well as use of the pools, saunas, and eucalyptus steam room. Spa treatments aren't included; the going rate for a Swedish massage is $80 for 50 minutes. Another freebie: The life coach is currently offering complimentary hourlong sessions (normally $100 for 75 minutes) to help people weather these stressful times.
The Deal: From now until May 1, the four-night Super Spring Special for Groups of Six or More starts at $567 per person, total, double occupancy. A caveat: Groups must book and arrive together.
Sundara Inn and Spa, Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Sundara, surrounded by 26 acres of pine forest, affords all the frills that you'd expect on the East and West coasts, says communications manager Carla Minsky, but at "stress-reducing prices." The Refreshing Spa Retreat promotion features one or more nights with breakfast, unlimited access to Sundara's amenities, which include the self-guided Purifying Bath Ritual in the bathhouse, aromatic steams, and hot pool soaks, and a spa credit to put toward massages, body treatments, and facials. The even more economical way to go is to opt for a do-it-yourself spa experience. Reserve a suite, and then take advantage of unlimited access to the bath house, outdoor pool, and relaxation lounge, a serene spot to read, nap, or meditate.
The Deal: The Refreshing Spa Retreat package starts at $239 per person, double occupancy. A one-night stay includes a $100 spa credit per person toward services and a $50 food and beverage credit per suite; a two-night stay includes a $200 spa credit. Suites by themselves start at $139.
New Age Health Spa, Neversink, N.Y.
This spa's 280 forested acres lie deep in the Catskills, a couple of hours' drive from New York City. The ambience is casual and mellow; options range from outdoor activities like hiking and bald eagle watching to spiritual programs to fitness classes and juice fast regimens for weight-loss and detox. "We're looking at the whole package, head to toe, mind, body, soul," says Lindy Goodman, the spa's marketing director. To take advantage of the Spring Special, book a two-night stay and four treatments or a three-night stay and five treatments, and bring a friend for no charge. Included: three healthful spa meals daily (typically chicken, fish, and vegetarian fare plus salads featuring the greens, sprouts, and edible flowers grown in the New Age greenhouse), meditation classes, yoga and strength and stretch classes, cooking courses, tea tasting, nutritional lectures, guided hikes, and seasonal snowshoeing. True to its healthful mission, no cigarettes or alcohol allowed.
The Deal: The two-night Spring Special runs from $660.79 for one person plus an average of about $100 each for four spa treatments; a second person comes free. The three-night version starts at $991.19 plus five treatments; the choices, which can be shared between friends, include an aromatherapy massage ($115 for 50 minutes) and a Seaweed Mud Paraffin Facial ($100 for 50 minutes). Effective March 1 through 31.
The Hills Health Ranch, British Columbia, Canada
The family-run Hills Health Ranch boasts 20,000 acres of Canadian wilderness, a big draw for fitness enthusiasts interested in hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, biking, or cross-country skiing and dog sledding in winter. Other draws: a focus on smoking cessation and weight loss. With the Two-Night Ride 'n Spa, horse lovers get lodging and all meals plus two two-hour rides, a relaxation body massage, two guided hikes, and free reign of the pools, Jacuzzis, saunas, and exercise rooms. (For those who want to learn to communicate better with their mount, a horse whispering package is also an option). A must-try, advises co-owner Pat Corbett: the vitamin-ladenrose hip facial ($71 USD, 50 minutes), derived from wild plants hand-picked on the premises.
The Deal: The Two-Night Ride 'n Spa runs from when stables reopen, typically in March, until mid-November. Starting at about $220 per person per day, double occupancy.
La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa, Santa Fe, N.M.
Book a three-night "Cloud 999" stay at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort and Spa, and get a $999 spa credit (per room) with which to sample some major pampering. There's the Chocolate-Chile Wrap, for example. You'll be swathed in a dark chocolate-chile paste, a concoction that promises to awaken your circulation and soak you in antioxidants. The Nirvana offers 100 minutes of Ayurvedic therapy, including an herbal body exfoliation; the centuries-old ritual of the Shirodhara, whereby a slow stream of warm oil is poured onto your third eye, just above the bridge of the nose, and massaged into the scalp; a head, neck, and shoulder massage; an herbal hair and scalp treatment; and a minifacial. "People love this package," says Laura Parsons, spa director.
The Deal: Through April, the Cloud 999 starts at $999, single or double occupancy, for three nights (the minimum). Guests receive a $999 spa credit per room. A la carte, the Chocolate-Chile Wrap starts at $135; the Nirvana, at $270. Meals are not included.
The Lodge at Woodloch, Hawley, Pa.
An easy drive from New York City and Philadelphia, The Lodge at Woodloch is a "luxury destination spa" on 75 acres of woodland and gardens in the state's lake region. Its mantra is "awakening," the experience, geared toward stress reduction and self-discovery. Guests who choose the all-inclusive Winter Wonderland Retreat get 25 percent off usual package rates by staying four or more nights; they get 20 percent off by staying three-nights, and 15 percent off by staying two nights. The offer comes with three healthful gourmet meals daily—roasted lobster with basil risotto, for example—plus a $120 daily allowance to spend on, say, a Lemongrass and Rosemary Facial. You have access to all spa facilities; group fitness classes, from Tai Chi to kickboxing; lectures and cooking demonstrations; and all group excursions, like guided hikes and seasonal snowshoeing.
The Deal: Through March, the four-night Winter Wonderland Retreat starts at $393 per night, double occupancy (about a $132 savings per night off usual package rates); the three-night starts at $424 per night (about a $105 savings per night); and the two-nights start at $447 per night (about a $79 savings per night). A daily spa services allowance of $120 is included. Stay midweek for at least three nights, and get an additional $120 spa allowance.
Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass.
At the Berkshires location of Canyon Ranch, the emphasis is squarely on kick-starting a healthy lifestyle. Besides an abundance of fitness, nutrition, and outdoor excursion offerings, you have access to more than 60 wellness professionals, from physicians to acupuncturists to naturopathic doctors. (Pampering, of course, is possible, too.) "Mindful dining" teaches nutritional content and portion control, and the pleasures of eating well. Traditionally, Lenox has required a three-night minimum stay, but that's been relaxed to two for now. An exception: the Two New, Too Terrific package, for two guests who have never stayed here before. Double up in a room, and you each save 15 percent. You also each receive a $390 service allowance to put toward spa, sports, and integrative wellness services. That might mean a Muscle Melt massage ($160 for 100 minutes), a private yoga lesson ($120 for 50 minutes), or a Sleep Enhancement/Insomnia consultation with a licensed therapist ($150 for 50 minutes). Canyon Ranch caters to men as well, with ample ways to break a sweat and relax.
The Deal: Through June, The Two New, Too Terrific package starts at $1,632, total, double occupancy, for a three-night minimum.
The Cliff House Resort and Spa, Ogunquit, Maine
At the Cliff House Resort and Spa, which reopens April 10 for the season, rooms overlook the ocean, and the spa features local treats like a body wrap that uses organic Maine blueberries ($110 for 50 minutes) and a massage using warm seashells ($100 for 50 minutes). There are two ways to save. With the Spa Splurge deal, you get two nights' lodging, one dinner (most opt for the obvious—lobster) a full breakfast daily, and a $100 spa credit per person. Or if you're seeking only a taste of the spa experience, consider just taking a room and signing up for the Spa Special Sampler, available Sundays and Thursdays by appointment, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. You get three 15-minute minitreatments—a head, neck, and shoulder massage, a hand treatment, and a lower leg hot-towel massage—followed by a glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres. Guys won't be neglected here: The spa boasts a "Mainely Men" treatment menu, including a gentleman's facial ($120 for 50 minutes), a gentleman's manicure ($45 for 50 minutes), a gentleman's pedicure ($65, 50 minutes), and several types of massage.
The Deal: From April 10 to May 21 and from October 25 to November 28, the Spa Splurge starts at $380 per person, double occupancy, for two nights. The Spa Special Sampler runs $99; rooms alone during April and May start at about $175 (double occupancy).
Mii amo, a destination spa at Enchantment Resort, Sedona, Ariz.
Mii amo, whose name is taken from an American Indian word for "journey," promises just that: a chance to do some soul-searching in the lap of luxury. "Lots of our guests are having a transitional moment in their lives," says Mark Grenoble, president of Enchantment Group, the company that oversees the spa. Whether they've reached an age milestone, become an empty nester, beaten cancer, or finished a divorce, "something in their life has spawned them to reflect," he says (though nonreflectors are welcome, too.) All overnight guests receive a blue robe, which many pretty much live in during their stay, as well as nightly gifts ranging from journals to candles to Mii amo tea blends. The best deal on the table, says Grenoble, is the Mii amo Journey Package With Friends. When four or more guests book together for one of Mii amo's five customized journey packages (healthy lifestyle, rejuvenation, de-stress, spiritual exploration, or Ayurvedic balance) they'll save about $420 per person on a four-night journey and $725 per person on a seven-night journey.
The Deal: The four-night Mii amo Journey Package With Friends starts at $2,900 per person, double occupancy, and includes lodging, all meals, two daily spa services per person, and classes from meditation and red rock hikes to stargazing; the seven-night starts at $4,235 per person, double occupancy.
ESPA at Acqualina Resort , Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
This ultraluxurious resort spa is right on the beach between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Try Chakra Balancing With Hot Stones (2 hours, $295), or a Purva Karma Four Hand Massage ($445 for 2 hours). The prices of all one-hour treatments, such as massages and facials, have recently been reduced to $125 from about $150, says spa director Kate Brown. A new promotion for "recession savvy" consumers, says Brown, is the Ultimate Spa Package for Two, at an "incredible rate" for people willing to book a minimum three-night stay. Along with lodging, you get a daily continental breakfast for two, two 60-minute "holistic" facials, two 60-minute aromatherapy massages, and one spa lunch for two.
The Deal: The Ultimate Spa Package for Two runs for most of 2009, from $575 per night, double occupancy.