Last updated September 6, 2023
You might have heard the phrase: stress is creativity’s enemy. Well, we’re here to say that a creative life is a healthier life. And there’s no better place to feel the push to get creative than on a spa getaway.
Creativity inspires the heart and soul. Creating helps make people happier, less anxious, more resilient and better equipped to problem-solve. In fact, research over the past 20 years shows that painting, knitting, journaling, woodcarving and other creative hobbies can benefit your mental health.
Along with diet and exercise, nurturing creativity, then, should be considered a wellness exercise in and of itself. So make time for creative expression!
Flex Your Creative Muscle at One of These Spa Getaways
Here are five of our favorite wellness resorts where you can get creative during a spa getaway.
This often-lauded luxury spa resort is located in a secluded area of the Texas Hill Country on, as the name suggests, Lake Austin, about 30 minutes outside the city.
The resort is small. It houses forty rooms, and all of them have views of the lake. Lake Austin Spa Resort has a designated “Creative Rx” program. The program features classes for all skill levels. Classes include watercolor and acrylic painting, smartphone photography, paper crafting, journaling, basket weaving and making gratitude bracelets.
2. Canyon Ranch
The OG of wellness resorts, this iconic chain has a specialized “Reconnect with Joy” creative wellness pathway for guests who wish to learn how to express themselves creatively to enhance their health and wellness and promote mindfulness.
Canyon Ranch locations are in Tucson, Arizona, Lenox, Massachusetts, and Woodside, California. The creativity classes that are offered vary by week and day. There are classes on origami, watercolor painting and ceramics. Live musical concerts of all genres (classical, Broadway, jazz, blues) are offered as well.
Canyon Ranch Woodside in California offers both short (45 minutes) and long (three days) courses in photography, including a Magic Hour (Sunrise) Photo Walk through a nature preserve.
3. Omega Institute for Holistic Studies
Imagine looking over the Hudson Valley after walking away from a deep-tissue massage. Located in the city of Rhineback, NY, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is a spa for the creatives. Since 1977, it has been a place for spiritual learning, integrative wellness and holistic living.
Contrary to popular belief, Omega is not a resort or spa. Despite this fact, the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies does offer many amenities. This includes massage and energy treatments. The center is rather known for its new-agey programming. The programming has a focus on creative activities. Activities such as yoga, mindfulness, writing, mixed media art and painting.
Accommodations are rustic, ranging from tents to cabins. Rooms do not have TVs, but Wi-Fi is available in select rooms.
One of the premier spa resorts on the East Coast is The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, Pennsylvania. The Lodge upped the ante on their creative offerings during the pandemic by building a new art studio.
Facing out into the woods, the window-lined studio is filled with light and offers an ideal space to explore a variety of art forms. Classes vary daily and range from learning to paint a silk scarf to creating a porcelain coaster with alcohol inks, drawing with charcoal and pastels, constructing a decorative birdhouse and making a beaded bracelet.
The instructors make it easy for guests of all skill levels to enjoy the creative process. In the evenings, The Lodge also offers guest artists (like me!), who teach classes in Zentangle® drawing and painting acrylic dots on rocks.
5. Ocean House
This high-end Relais & Chateaux resort and spa is located in Watch Hill, Rhode Island.
Fun fact: Taylor Swift owns a summer home called “Holiday House” here.
The Ocean House is situated on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The focal point is a huge yellow Victorian mansion. It almost makes you feel like you’ve been reborn into the HBO series The Gilded Age. The property is complete with a large art collection containing paintings dating from the 19th century through the 1990s.
Private tours of the collection are available upon request or you can take a 45-minute self-guided audio tour, as well as view seasonal contemporary art exhibitions, attend art lectures and watch invited plein air artists and artists in residence paint on the grounds during the summer. Also, guests can participate in wine and painting art experiences.
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