Five Top Spa Resorts Where You Don't Expect Them



If you saw me on social media this weekend, you know that my time was spent at a local trade show. It was a home show, not travel related, but what better place to spend my time keeping the dream alive? I decided that my mission was to get people OUT of their homes, to encourage a change of scenery after spending the past year IN their homes. Although there were many passersby who announced that they ‘aren’t ready yet, maybe next year’ the vast majority are of the opposite mindset, and are curious about how to make plans for their first/next trip. Yes next, as many have already seen Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe already this year!

After an exhilarating and exhausting three days, I’m ready to get back to my daily routine – I missed my workouts; my dining choices were off, so were other things. This is TMI, I know, but it has inspired my article for this week. The three days has me a bit out of whack, more than even travel usually does, (or maybe I just don’t notice it when I travel, because, the joy of travel is all I notice), and it made me think of why people take spa vacations. This week, how about some top spa resorts in places you never thought to take a spa vacation?

None of these ultra-relaxing locations is in Arizona; most people know that Arizona is famous for its spa resorts, and I’d like to highlight some places you might not think of. Why would you stay at these? Maybe you don’t want to be seen by your friends; maybe you have other vacation activities planned in a destination and adding a spa resort will top off your vacay by being the rest from your vacay that’s often needed after a vacay. Yes, I just said ‘vacay’ three times.

Salamander Resort and Spa, Middleburg, VA. Who would have thought? I lived in Virginia for 10 years and never heard of Salamander, but oh, what a gorgeous spot, a mere 20 miles from Washington, D.C. It’s located on 340 scenic acres of Virginia’s horse and wine country – an equestrian center, cooking classes, a luxurious 23,000 square-foot spa, and exquisite locally-sourced dinners. Salamander offers a level of comfort and style that only the finest Virginia estate can offer. You can be tranquil, pampered, relaxed, experience just a bit of exhilaration on the zip line, or undergo retail therapy in the antique shops and galleries of quaint, yet elegant Middleburg.


Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, St. Andrews, Scotland is a bucket list destination for golfers. In addition to its own course, 30 additional courses are available nearby! What if you’re not golfing? I think you’ll still enjoy the stunning décor, the panoramic views that span the coast, the six restaurants, a world-class spa with the highest levels of personalized care, swimming pool with 8ft waterfall, fitness classes, rooftop hot tub, signature thermal suite with hydrotherapy pool, plunge pool, Japanese steam room, sauna with light therapy and laminar flow showers. The town of St Andrews on the East coast of Scotland has a fascinating history. Take in the heritage of the town with an exclusive guided tour as you explore the cobbled streets and the nooks and crannies of the University of St Andrews, the most ancient in Scotland, and today a thriving center of excellence made popular by Britain’s future King, Prince William, who studied here. Afterwards visit St Andrews Castle and the Cathedral ruins or one of the many picturesque fishing villages nearby. A variety of action-packed activities can be arranged for you before you even arrive, including clay pigeon shooting, horseback riding, salmon fishing and kite-surfing.


La Cantera Resort and Spa, San Antonio, Texas. Elevate your stay in the Lone Star state atop the highest point in San Antonio, the crest of Texas Hill Country’s rolling hills at this AAA® Four Diamond resort. Choose a guest room, suite or villa, and decide, if you can, which of the nine restaurants you’ll dine at each night: each of them showcases Texas-inspired cuisine with a distinctive Hill Country twist. SweetFire Kitchen features private and al fresco dining while Primero Cantina offers Tex-American dishes. The South of France meets South Texas at Signature's refined dining, Sire Bar is the perfect place to sip a hand-crafted cocktail and snack on small bites and charcuterie offerings from Bocado. Topaz and Vista Grille at the adult & resort pools offer healthy cuisine and inventive poolside cocktails. Indulge your senses in the elaborate pool decks, deluxe cabanas, and the Loma de Vida Spa’s 25,000 square feet of luxury. Seven, the resort’s adults-only floor, provides extra perks, such as private access, valet parking, and an exclusive lounge with daily breakfast and cocktail service.

Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa, Enniskerry, Ireland. A five-star resort with breathtaking views of the Great Sugarloaf Mountain. The resort is located on the beautifully manicured, historic Powerscourt Estate, and has a 30,000 square foot spa with 22 treatment rooms, a signature restaurant, and a traditional Irish pub among its distinctive attractions. Dublin feels like a million miles away, but is only 30 minutes by car. World-class golfing, biking, fitness, horseback riding and even a children’s program are available for your complete escape. Relax and enjoy!


The Inn and Spa at Loretto, Santa Fe, New Mexico is one of the state’s most photographed buildings – it’s a re-creation of the Taos Pueblo, a national historic landmark. The Inn and Spa at Loretto beautifully respects Santa Fe architecture, character and spirit. Traditional beamed ceilings with vigas and latillas, indigenous rugs, handwoven fabrics, and white-washed adobe walls adorned with authentic regional artwork reflect Pueblo, Native American and Spanish culture. Crackling kiva fireplaces, soft lighting and candles provide welcoming warmth and comfort, and the handcrafted doors, windows, corbels, canales and light fixtures display the personal mark of their makers. The full-service award-winning spa treatments mix indigenous herbs and minerals with surprising elements like coffee, chocolate, and chiles. Be sure to visit Luminaria, the inn's award-winning restaurant, where New Mexico's finest regional, farm-to-table ingredients are brought directly to talented chefs, who achieve culinary delights that are sure to please the senses. Santa Fe's renowned Canyon Road arts district and the historic plaza are just a short stroll away.

There are spa resorts in every state, and every country you wish to visit – Massachusetts, Wyoming,, China, Turkey. You might think that Hawaii is all volcanoes and surfing, and the beach is the only place to relax. You might never consider Cancun for anything other than beaches and Mayan ruins. Is there a luxury hotel and spa in Mexico City? Yes! Qatar? Yes! Urubamba, Peru? Yes! Let’s include a spa stay in your next vacation. So…where to?


'til next week.


Did you miss any of my articles? They are all here.



I create indulgent, transformative vacations for people who crave immersive travel. If you don't have the time to plan the details of your own well-deserved escape, don't know where to begin, or are simply longing to make unforgettable memories with those you love, then don’t wait another day. Let's talk.


Contact: GLOBAL EXOTIC ADVENTURES - Juliet Weller, Founder

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