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Spas That Won’t Break Your Budget

Spas That Won’t Break Your Budget
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By Mary Jane Horton

Whether it is a day of pampering, a weekend of spa treatments and fitness classes, or a blowout week of ultimate relaxation, there is spa in every price range. You can save money at a destination spa if you go with a friend and split the cost of your room. And, by virtue of what they are – you get a room, food use of the facilities, classes and more – a destination spa is going to be a bigger monetary commitment than a day spa.

So here is a selection of cost-conscious destination and day spas throughout the country:

Destination Spas

Sheila Cluff, a longtime spa advocate, has always striven for affordability. Her spa – the Oaks at Ojai, – may cost less than others, but it offers the real spa experience with a full roster of classes and treatments along with great-tasting, low calorie cuisine. A five-night shared room at the Oaks is $1,250, and when you look at what you get — -15 optional fitness classes, three tailor-made spa meals, snacks and beverages, health Center, resort facilities and evening programs – and compare it to other similar spas that can range from $4000 to $8000 a week, it’s a bargain. Spa treatments are extra. Ojai, in and of itself is a relaxing and inspiring place to be. Hikes from the spa take you into the surrounding mountains – none less than the setting for the of Shangri-La in the 1939 film Los Horizon.

The Red Mountain Spa in Utah, consists of hotel rooms and high-end villas on the desert floor of red sandstone canyons. It on the higher end of the budget scale (prices start at $230 a day), yet extremely well-equipped and with a serious approach to nutrition that for many results in permanent weight loss. The spa boasts the most modern sports equipment, and a large heated indoor pool. Visitors go on guided hikes or rock climbs, engage in numerous exercise classes daily, eat meals designed to cut fat and cholesterol, and often experience dramatic reductions in blood pressure and clothing sizes. A wide array of treatments is also available.

The spa package at the Birdsing Spa,,i in Litchfield, Minnesota (70 miles from Minneapolis) includes a daily spa treatment, which makes this venue, even at $350 a day in the budget range (a day spa option is also available; $275 includes 2.5 hours of spa services, presentations, food, and use of the facilities). This spa is set on 300 acres and has its own private lake. Guests stay in a chalet or converted barn and use the grounds for lots of biking, hiking, and canoeing. The cuisine here is renowned and has been featured in many magazines including Shape and Better Homes and Gardens; the emphasis is on fresh natural foods and healthy eating; a balance of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and dairy sources.

The Hills Health Ranch, in British Columbia, Canada, is an award-winning destination fitness specializing in, weight loss, fitness, hiking, and world`class gourmet spa cuisine. Situated in the middle of 20,000 acre of ranch lands, the spa features extensive daily fitness programs, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, biking. There are lots of wellness services to choose from including: yoga, Pilates, aerobics, and aqua fitness. And the highly-trained staff includes: kinesiologists, nurses, personal trainers, nutritionist, and body therapists.  All-inclusive prices start at $199 a day.

Rates at the Tennessee Fitness Spa,, start at just about $1000 a week; and you get meals and classes and activities all day long. Located two hours from Nashville, this spa will not only pamper you and make sure you are well- exercised, you will learn the skills to take all that you have learned home with you. The program, which has been likened to summer camp for adults, offers 10 different aerobic workouts, yoga, aqua classes, and stretch classes. Treatments (which are charged separately and start at $40 for a ½ hour massage) include: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, body scrubs, reflexology, and much more.

Rates at The Deerfield Health Retreat and Spa, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania (in the Poconos Mountains), include accommodations, three meals and two snacks a day, unlimited fitness classes, Deerfield’s celebrated hiking program, lifestyle education lectures, workshops and demonstrations, evening activities, and 24-hour use of all facilities. With all of that, the five-night, double occupancy rate of $1100 is a bargain. Spa treatments are separate (you get a $150 gift certificate) and start at $85 for a 50-minute Swedish massage. Deerfield is a friendly, casual health retreat and day spa that “favors health over hype and laughs over luxe”. It has two state-of-the-art gyms, heated outdoor pool, gazebo-enclosed hot tub, complimentary Wi-Fi access, outdoor sport court, and full-service spa, this refurbished Victorian home.

The Spa at Grand Lake, on Lake Williams in Lebanon, Connecticut, is a charming full-service spa that serves visitors who desire a quiet retreat. The spa prides itself on an informal, nurturing environment, which draws their guests back year after year. Special attention is paid to meeting individual needs with an emphasis on offering a well-balanced dietary program, exercise, stress-reducing activities and surroundings. Fitness classes include: yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, reflexology, belly dancing, Qigong, and more. Each spa stay includes three, a half-hour massage per night’s stay, inclusion in all fitness classes, and unlimited use of the facilities, which include a heated spring water pool, Olympic-sized outdoor pool, tennis courts, Jacuzzi, sauna, exercise and weight-training equipment rooms. Rates start at $275 double occupancy.

Day Spas

If you’re lucky enough to be in Hawaii, Laka Skin Care and Spa, in Honolulu,, is know for its Korean/Japanese spa experience at budget rates without the communal bath culture shock. The ecofriendly and serene day spa is the first in Hawaii to offer facial reflexology. It also features 24-K gold and lymphatic facials, foot reflexology, herbal hydrotherapy and a hot amethyst-stone detox room. Treatments range from $50 for a 30-minute express massage to relaxation and rejuvenation spa packages for $175-235. Add-ons like aromatherapy, lemon grass foot rub, and the hot stone detox room are available for a small fee.

Dtox Day Spa, in the tony Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles,, often offers specials – such as the current promotion of $39 for a 20-minute mini massage, hand and foot scrub and other choices. This also includes wine and appetizers. Full-prized treatments include: Hot Stone Massage, which was called the best in the city by Los Angeles Magazine, $125 for 50 minutes, Dtox body wrap, $100 for 50 minutes, Dtox spa facial, $95 for 50 minutes, and many, many more. This urban and urbane retreat has a cozy, relaxed vibe with an Indonesia flare, and encourages hanging out and relaxation before and after treatments.

The Imperial Spa, in San Francisco,, is a complete Korean-style spa offering a steam room, red clay Sauna, and hot and cold Jacuzzi tubs. Treatments include body scrubs starting at $60 for 30 minutes, reflexology, $60 for 50 minutes, and aromatherapy acupressure, $90 for 60 minutes.

Treatments at Ummelina Day Spa,, in Seattle, Washington, begin with a foot soak and tea ceremony. The spa prides its with having traveled the globe to present new and ancient healing rituals which they have blended with state-of-the-art spa technologies. All about health and balance, some of the offering here include: hydrotherapy in Waterfall and Monsoon showers for $100, an African foot bath for $60, and Thai massage for $120. An array of natural products from around the world are also available for purchase.

The Woodhouse Day Spa, in New Orleans,, is a full-service, luxury spa near the French Quarter. Over 70 spa treatments are offered in a relaxing environment. Treatments include: a brightening facial, $105 for 50 minutes, volcanic stone massage, $95 for 50 minutes, and an anti-aging manicure, $55 for 50 minutes.

Ten Thousand Waves,, is inspired by the great Japanese mountain hot spring resorts. Ten minutes from downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, but only minutes from a large national forest, the location is spectacular. Among piñons and junipers are beautiful outdoor hot tubs and spa suites, where world-class bodywork and skin care are offered. Starting at $45 you can get private spa suite with a hot tub; and spa treatments start at $61 for a 25-minute foot treatment, an oxygen facial is $91 for 25 minutes, and a Thai massage is $163 for 80 minutes. Day packages, which include several treatments, start at $255 for three hours.

Allyu Spa, in Chicago,, provides therapeutic massage and bodywork, advanced skincare and beauty resources in a luxurious environment. Located in the unlikely setting of an old Montgomery Ward distribution center, Allyu is a large, beautiful space with an Asian feel. And its east meets west approach is carried through to the treatments; techniques, such as shiatsu massage, eyebrow threading, reflexology, and chakra balancing, are offered, but more traditional offerings are available too. Chakra balancing is $70 for 40 minutes, 60-minute customized signature facial, $95, and a 40-minute reflexology session is $70.

The G2O Spa and Salon, on Newbury Street in Boston,, has some very innovative spa treatments in a totally “green” building. Their brine inhalation relaxation room has a cascading three-tiered waterfall — the combination of salt and oxygen has proven highly beneficial for the respiratory system. Massage treatments start at $85 for a 30-minute Targeted Massage that gets right at problem areas. The Bali Paradise is a signature body treatment that starts with a self-application of hydrating, fruit extract crème, and an herbal salt exfoliation during a therapeutic steam treatment, $75 for 40 minutes. And Craniosacral therapy, $130 for 60 minutes uses gentle techniques to encourage the release of restrictions and imbalances in the body’s tissues.

The Cornelia Day Resort at the Surrey,, is a tranquil retreat in New York’s upper east side. Because it’s in New York and it’s luxurious, it’s a bit pricier than some of the others we have listed. But there are some bargains to be had. For instance, a 30-minute reflexology session is $125; and 30-minute mini facials, top tier massage, and honey skin smoother treatments are also $125. For the ultimate pampering, guests are given pomegranate tea or Prosecco after their treatments.

For a totally different experience in New York, the Yelo Spa, on 57th Street,, bills itself as “the next generation of spas”. They offer massages, skin care including facials, waxings and scrubs as well as power napping. Instead of the typical spa menu, Yelo offers three simple categories with add-ons: massage, skin care and napping. The pricing is per minute — $2.65 for massages, $2.65 for skin care (longer sessions are discounted), and napping is $1 a minute. It takes place in a peaceful Zero Gravity type of experience in their special YeloBeds.

If you want to find the perfect spa near you, Spa Finders,, is a great tool. It allows you to search for spas – even for a specific treatment that you want – with your zip code. And then you get a list of spas in every price range within a certain mile radius. You can even buy gift cards that can be used at 20,000 locations.




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