These are the best destination spa resorts for water-based wellness in the United States, boasting everything from hot springs and hydrotherapy to float pods and in-water massages.
Last updated: March 2023
When it comes to water-based wellness, sometimes all you need is a long, relaxing soak in the tub. Or even a good dose of vitamin sea. But these destination spa resorts are redefining the concept with immersive and innovative H2O therapies boasting wide-reaching health benefits, plus serious R&R.
From mineral-rich hot springs and expansive hydrotherapy circuits to sensory-deprivation float pods and unique in-water massages, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best spa resorts to visit right now for water-based wellness treatments – right here in the United States.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on one such link and make a purchase through it, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. This also means you are directly supporting us as an independent, paywall-free publisher (read: we can continue sharing helpful and gratis travel guides, editor’s picks and further Twell intel) and for this we extend a heartfelt thank you!
Related: In Honor of World Sleep Day, Here Are 10 Hotels Around the World Giving Guests the Best Night’s Rest
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort: Miami, Florida
At wellness resort Carillon Miami, all-suite rooms equipped with floor-to-ceiling ocean views, innovative mind and body treatments in the cutting-edge spa and clean, organic cuisine all equate to a restorative and rewarding beachfront stay. For those looking to absorb some major H2O, the spa’s Thermal Hydrotherapy Circuit – one of the most expansive hydrotherapy circuits in the country – has you covered.
In addition to a purifying Herbal Laconium, Crystal Steam Room, Finnish Spa and Thermal Loungers, the circuit further counts such unique experiences as multi-sensory storm showers simulating the likes of a Caribbean monsoon, Atlantic storm or Polar mist, plus a menthol, mint and eucalyptus-infused Igloo. As you move through the circuit’s thermal suites you can expect stimulated circulation, pain relief, decreased stress and a rejuvenated mind and body, among other wellness benefits.
As if all that weren’t enough, you can float into an even greater state of zen by reserving the spa’s weightless, Salt Float Bath Therapy pod.
Book your stay at Carillon Miami.
Related: Travel-Friendly Loungewear Sets That Are Stylish, Cozy and Perfect For Your Long-Haul Flight
Boulders Resort & Spa: Carefree, Arizona
Located in the high Sonoran Desert foothills of Arizona, this stunning spa resort is named after the 12 million year-old granite boulder formations that dot the dramatic desert landscape – plus provide panoramic views. Adobe and hacienda-inspired accommodations provide a stylish and spacious stay, while a 33,000 square foot luxury spa awaits to pamper. Choose from any of the many garden-to-spa treatments utilizing seasonal botanicals from the property’s own Organic Garden. Many are rooted in centuries-old Native American traditions.
Or, reserve the spa’s private, outdoor Water Lounge to experience ultimate relaxation with an in-water Watsu Massage (50 minutes). You’ll float weightless through the warm, shallow water as your therapist gently guides you with rhythmic movement, pressure point massages and gentle stretching. Stemming from the words “water” and “shiatsu” (a type of traditional Japanese massage that uses acupressure to promote relaxation) Watsu massages can help reduce muscle tension, anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia and even discomfort during pregnancy.
Book your stay at Boulders Resort & Spa.
Related: This Exclusive Silicon Valley Spa Just Debuted a 2 Hour Anti-Aging Facial From European Skincare Leader QMS Medicosmetics
The Springs Resort: Pagosa Springs, Colorado
If soothing geothermal soaks, rooms-with-a-view of the San Juan River and ultimate relaxation all sound appealing, than The Springs Resort has your name on it. Boasting wellness at its core, literally, this picturesque spa resort is located in Pagosa Springs: the world’s deepest geothermal spring at a whopping 1,002 feet deep. The Eiffel Tower could even fit into it.
Discovered by the native Southern Ute tribe centuries ago, the word “Pagosa” comes from the Ute word meaning “healing waters.” And it’s no wonder, as mineral-rich waters counting the likes of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron promote a bounty of wellness benefits. Think healthy skin, decreased inflammation, lower blood pressure, strengthened immune response, improved sleep and increased energy, to name a few.
A bubbling Mother Spring feeds 25 soaking pools along the San Juan River, where guests can take the plunge – a cold plunge, that is – and reap the benefits of contrast bathing. Your soak-and-stay experience includes 24-hour access to all natural pools, in addition to daily in-water activities like Aqua Yoga and Aqua Sound Bathing. Plus, the ability to soak pre-check in and post-check out.
Book your stay at The Springs Resort.
Related: 8 Bucket List Foodie Experiences Feeding Your Wanderlust At Luxury Resorts Around the World, Tuscany to Punta de Mita
The American Club at Destination Kohler: Kohler, Wisconsin
Originally built in 1918 as immigrant housing for employees of Kohler, this historic property was reborn in 1981 as a luxury destination resort under the umbrella of the water-rooted brand. In fact, The American Club currently retains the title of the Midwest’s only Forbes Five-Star hotel (for the 11th consecutive year as of 2022).
Book a room in the property’s Carriage House to not only enjoy in-room fitness amenities and access to complimentary wellness classes like yoga and indoor cycling, but “walk in your robe” proximity to the award-winning Kohler Waters Spa. Coming from a name like Kohler, it should come as no surprise that this wellness haven offers one of the most extensive offerings of water-based wellness treatments in the country.
Eight innovative hydrotherapy body treatments take the healing powers of water seriously. During the Cascading Waterfall Massage, relaxing Swedish techniques relieve muscle tension underneath warm rain from a Kohler Custom Vichy Shower. The Hydro Rock body treatment combines toxin-removing lymphatic exfoliation with circulation-boosting hot and cold hydrotherapy. Book the H20 Inspiration for a hydrating Moroccan oil hair masque and full-body exfoliation, followed by a calming Ambient Rain shower and RiverBath soak.
Speaking of the latter – three Kohler Bathing experiences allow you to soak into an even deeper state of zen. All utilize mineral-rich thalassotherapy and moisturizing marine extracts for therapeutic relaxation, accompanied by full-body exfoliation and Vichy Shower rinses. Make sure to arrive to your hydro treatment early, as you’ll want to take advantage of the spa’s warm relaxation pool (complete with a cascading, 8-foot waterwall), whirlpools, cold plunge pools, saunas, steam rooms and unique Kohler showers.
Book your stay at The American Club.
Related: Top 10 Most Legendary Hotels in New York City
Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort: Phoenix, Arizona
Nothing says water therapy quite like a long, soothing soak in the tub. And at historic Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Tierra Luna Spa is delivering. Located at the foot of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and breathtaking Piestewa Peak, this Waldorf Astoria Resort exudes desert glamour at its finest – with Tierra Luna taking the form of a literal oasis.
The transformative spa blends the spirit of the surrounding Sonoran Desert with the energy of the endless cosmos above, offering a range of sensorial treatments including three signature bath soaks. Choose from the Goddess Bath Ritual to uplift and cleanse negative energy, the magnesium-infused Circadian Bath Ritual for powerful muscle relief or the Intention Bathing Ritual for meditative manifestation. All sensory journeys are accompanied by restful music, essential oils and salts and supporting gemstones to change the energetic vibration of the water according to your needs.
Book your stay at Arizona Biltmore.
Related: The Best Rolling Carry-On Luggage You Can Buy Right Now, According to Amazon Reviews
Fontainebleau: Miami, Florida
Located in the heart of Millionaire’s Row on oceanfront Collins Ave, the only thing more legendary than Fontainebleau Miami Beach itself is the revered resort’s spa. Called “the most beautiful spa in America” by Martha Stewart, it’s easy to see why between the bi-level sanctuary’s sleek, oceanside design and world class treatments.
Prior to the start of any appointment at Lapis Spa, guests are encouraged to arrive 1-hour early to enjoy the spa’s signature Water Journey Ritual. Elements of mist, rain, steam and mineral-rich waters provide deep relaxation and renewal, starting with a dip in the tranquil Mineral Pool. Head for a soak in the 104 degree fahrenheit Mineral Jet Bath, then detox in the Eucalyptus Infusion Steam Room. Revitalize with alternating warm and cool massage streams in the Bleau Rain Room or experience a plunge of warm cascading jets in the Energy Deluge Shower. Finally, catnap on a warm, Marrakech-inspired Hammam Bench.
Warning: you’ll be so relaxed by this point you may forget that the spa treatment you booked hasn’t even started.
Book your stay at Fontainebleau.
Related: These Stunning Overwater Resorts in the Caribbean Are Bringing the Maldives to You
Alyeska Resort: Girdwood, Alaska
Forty minutes from Alaska’s capital of Anchorage lies the chateau-style mountain resort of Alyeska – and its brand new, adults-only Nordic Spa. A destination for ski and summer seasons alike, the spa comes as a welcome addition for guests looking to unwind after embarking on any number of adventurous activities. Officially opening July 2022, Alyeska’s year-round Nordic Spa marks the first of its kind in Alaska.
A vast series of outdoor hydrotherapy pools – clocking 50,000 square feet – await guests ready to soak in some R&R. Cold water plunges and waterfalls, Halotherapy and Finnish saunas, aromatherapy-infused steam rooms and an exfoliation cabin featuring Alaskan sea salt are all on offer, plus heated walkways throughout the spa.
“The Nordic Spa experience gives Alaskans and visitors alike an opportunity to experience the Nordic tradition of hydrotherapy, a health ritual Nordic people have practiced for thousands of years,” says Spa Manager Melissa DeRose in a press release. “Guests can cycle through stages of submersion in hot, warm, and cold water at their leisure, moving between the initial hot pools to stimulate blood flow and relax muscles, to cold, with the cold plunge waterfall to flush the body of toxins.”
Next up? A forest bathing experience debuting later this year complete with an elevated boardwalk through Chugach Forest, six outdoor hot and cold wooden tubs, two large barrel saunas built locally with Alaska timber and two Banya saunas.
Book your stay at Alyeska Resort.
Related: These Are The Best Sweat & Waterproof Sunscreens
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa: Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
Head north of Santa Fe and you’ll emerge into the legendary desert landscape – and healing waters – of Ojo Caliente. Deemed sacred by the region’s Native Americans, Ojo’s mineral-rich springs have been soothing mind, body and spirit for centuries. Here, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa lays claim as one of the country’s oldest natural health resorts. The property dates to the 1800s.
Accommodations range from the Mission revival-style Historic Hotel to traditional Adobe houses, cozy, cottonwood-lined Cottages to luxurious Cliffside Suites (complete with crackling Kiva fireplaces and private mineral soaking tubs) and even quirky Vintage Trailers. Whichever you decide, you’ll have complimentary access to the property’s prized hot springs (all 9 of them) from 7:30am – 10pm daily. Or, soak in solitude by reserving a private mineral pool with Kiva fireplace. Don’t miss the cleansing Himalayan Salt Dry Sauna and detoxifying Eucalyptus Steam Room, or any of the spa’s signature treatments utilizing unique, local botanicals.
Book your stay at Ojo Caliente.
Related: 7 Psychedelic Wellness Retreats Around the World Offering the Trip of a Lifetime
Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa: Tucson, Arizona
Nestled at the foot of Arizona’s Santa Catalina Mountains, the adults-only, all-inclusive healing sanctuary Miraval has been a purveyor of imaginative and authentic wellness since 1995. Here, the globally-renowned Life in Balance Spa draws on ancient and modern techniques alike to offer signature, transformative treatments complete with breathtaking desert views.
One such treatment is Miraval-exclusive Vasudhara (Sanskrit for “stream of gems”). This innovative in-water experience weightlessly combines the gentle stretching techniques of Thai massage with calming sensory deprivation. While floating in a dark and shallow pool heated exactly to body temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) – complete with an eye mask to block light – don’t be surprised if you experience a surreal sense of flying. Underwater speakers provide a soundtrack of soothing vibrations. Resulting benefits count relaxed muscles, opened joints and lengthened limbs as your therapist gently guides you into suspended, untethered bliss.
Book your stay at Miraval Arizona.
Related: 9 Alcohol-Free Cocktail Bars Around the World For Sober (& Sober Curious) Globetrotters
The Boca Raton: Boca Raton, Florida
At south Florida icon The Boca Raton, luxurious glamour spills throughout 200 private, tropical acres, 5 distinct hotels within 1 resort, and a 44-room, 50,000+ square foot spa inspired by Spain’s grand Alhambra Palace. Located within Cloister, the property’s original hotel opened in 1926, a series of magnificent arches, elaborate mosaics and lush, tranquil gardens set the scene at Spa Palmera.
Here, guests can embark on a 50-minute signature Hydrotherapy Ritual inspired by the lavish Moroccan baths of the Alhambra. The experience starts in the sensorial Halotherapy Salt Room, followed by detoxing in the sauna or steam room. Next, choose from three Ritual Baths ranging from the calming, coconut milk-infused Royal Ritual, the restorative, CBD-infused Mizner Ritual (named after The Boca Raton’s original architect, Addison Mizner) or the uplifting Tropical Fusion Ritual. All guarantee ultimate relaxation in an oversized soaking tub.
The experience ends with an invigorating Swiss shower and deluge warm water massage. Or, keep it going with a subsequent soak in the jacuzzi or outdoor spa pool.
Book your stay at The Boca Raton.
Related: 5 Places to Find Tropical, Turquoise Water Beaches – Without Leaving the United States
The Lodge at Woodloch: Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
This luxury wellness refuge sits on 500 acres of majestic woodland within the Pocono Mountains. Alongside 58 lavish accommodations emulating an exclusive country estate and artfully crafted, included gourmet meals, the adults-only Lodge at Woodloch further plays host to a comprehensive 40,000 square foot spa.
Here, you can head to the Aqua Garden for varying levels of water-powered shoulder relief underneath the two-tier Hydromassage WaterWall. Take a turn under the Tyrolean Bucket Shower to improve blood circulation, increase metabolism and strengthen the immune system, or for a more calming alternative you can enter the one-of-a-kind Snow Room. Compact dry snow and crisp cold air allow for a gentle cooling experience best enjoyed after spending time in the new, co-ed Himalayan Salt Sauna.
Let stress and muscle tension melt away while laying suspended in the hydrotherapy Float Cabin, or take advantage of low-impact aqua fitness classes such as Aqua Yoga and cardio-focused Aqua Tabata.
Book your stay at The Lodge at Woodloch.
Related: 18 Stylish, Oversized Beach Towels From Turkish to Round to Classic Cabana Stripes
CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa: Carefree, Arizona
Nestled into 20+ acres of succulent-studded Sonoran Desert, this destination wellness sanctuary empowers guests to transform body and mind through four signature pillars: Movement, Spa, Nourishment, and Discovery. Calming, contemporary rooms and local-inspired cuisine are complemented by a curated range of included fitness and wellness classes, not to mention the state-of-the-art Spa at CIVANA.
Here, the healing powers of water aren’t just celebrated, they’re the foundation of the spa itself. Guests are encouraged to begin any spa treatment by “taking the waters,” an ancient tradition of healing, cleansing and rejuvenation. Your journey through the spa’s Aqua Therapy Circuit begins in the European-designed Kneipp hot/cold wading pool and Tepidarium therapeutic soaking pool. Detox in the KLAFS Sanarium (a five-in-one sauna that happens to be the only one in the continental United States) then take the plunge with a cold deluge shower.
You’ll not only experience improved circulation, increased metabolism and a boosted immune system, but a sense of deep relaxation as you head into your massage, facial or desert-inspired wellness treatment. Plus: a Watsu therapy pool and outdoor, heated saltwater swimming pool.
Book your stay at CIVANA Wellness Resort.
Comments are closed.