centuries a spa referred to a location where people enjoyed healing, medicinal
baths in mineral-rich spring or seawater. Entire towns grew around these springs,
such as World Heritage City of Bath, where Celts and Romans bathed in natural
thermal waters over 2,000 years ago.
destinations like the Thermae Bath Spa in England are still very popular, and
spas like Kohler
in Wisconsin create immersive experiences around hydrotherapy healing
rituals. However, today spas also focus
on a vast range of beauty and wellness treatments designed to help you feel and
look your best. And most are not near a thermal mineral spring. We’re here to
explain the top four categories of spas–and help you choose the types that are
best for your wellness and beauty goals.
spas are spas that don’t offer overnight accommodations but do have a wide
range of spa services. They usually have massage, facials, manicures and
pedicures and treatments like wraps or scrubs on their menus. The vast majority
of spas are day spas but the term covers a range of possibilities, from Thai
massage locations to luxurious full service spas, complete with wine service,
elegant lounges and an array of treatments, rituals and experiences. Many also
offer saunas, steam rooms, hydrotherapy and more.
fall under the day spa category. A medical doctor supervises beauty treatments
and services, which may include advanced facials, IPL treatments,
microdermabrasion, photo facials, chemical peels and more.
you don’t want to travel but need a spa escape, day spas are your answer. Many
have half or full day packages and can accommodate small groups.
you think of a “spa getaway,” you’re probably imaging a stay at a destination
(Or as Spafinder describes it, travel that helps you feel healthier and happier
when you check out than when you checked in.) While there aren’t many true destination
spas, the experience is life changing and their devotion to wellness has a big
impact on the industry. Expect to find lots fitness activities, healthy living,
nutrition and cooking classes and wellness lectures, hiking along with a
destination spas offer immersive experiences, meaning healthy meals and snacks,
classes and accommodations are included in the daily rate. (Some include spa
treatments.) Destination spa getaways
are available in all price ranges. Be sure to check the spa’s specialties
before you book.
Resort and Hotel Spas
resorts and hotels add exceptional spas and wellness programming to their
amenities, the line is blurring–somewhat–between destination spas and spa resorts/hotels.
However at a resort, you’ll find more alcohol and opportunities to party, along
with spas, fitness centers, hiking and outdoor sports, swimming, etc.–even
wellness centers. In other words, you will find more wellness options at a
healthy hotel but still be able to indulge in a hamburger and fries.
Wellness-focused resort spas and hotels may also be a better choice for
families and business travelers who need office and meeting facilities.
are all kinds of resorts and hotels that have spas and fitness amenities.
Again, do your homework and decide if the location is the best fit for
Mineral and Thermal Springs Spas
Spafinder defines a mineral spring as a source of thermal or seawater containing naturally occurring elements from surrounding rocks, sand and soil, used in hydrotherapy or spa treatments. Mineral springs spas use the mineral-rich waters in hydrotherapy or thalassotherapy, which is a range of treatments that use seawater, seaweed and other natural elements from the ocean for therapeutic benefits.
Spas, spa treatments and holistic medicine are more popular than ever. However, that means some “woo-woo” treatments that may have little therapeutic or scientific basis can creep into the conversation. If you see a treatment or wellness product that seems questionable, research before you spend your money. At Spafinder, we are committed to giving you the facts–and fallacies– about the latest spa and wellness trends and news.
Learn spa lingo here.
Spafinder gift cards are accepted at thousands of spas.