Wellness Hotels Are Coming in Hot: Here’s What to Look for!

Last updated April 15, 2024

Lucky for all you wellness-conscious travelers, a growing number of hotels have started to make wellness a priority. Perks such as yoga, meditation, holistic spa treatments, weekend retreat packages, fitness options and much more are becoming part of a night’s stay. So, if you want to keep up your at-home routine and dabble in a bit of pampering, it’s easier than ever before to book a wellness hotel.

Ever since my dad gave teenage-me a spa day at Saks Fifth Avenue for Valentine’s Day, I’ve been hooked. Over the years, I’ve visited more than 50 hotel and resort spas from Park City to Prague. Plus, I’ve taught fitness classes ranging from barre to spin for 20 years and love all things wellness. So, visiting the perfect wellness hotel during my travels is a huge part of my enjoyment.  

Eight Criteria For Booking a Wellness Hotel 

If you’re looking for wellness-oriented options, here are my eight tips for finding your wellness hotel fit (plus three favorite wellness hotels to book now on Vacayou)!

1. Read the reviews

Typically, I’ll search “boutique spa hotels,” “spa hotels,” and “luxury spas” with the city I’m visiting tagged onto the end of the search terms. Look for the properties that are consistently ranked highly by reviewers.

I especially keep an eye out for any mentions of the spa and customer service. Again, five-star ratings are amazing. But, I’ve also stayed at properties with four- to four-and-a half-star ratings — but that’s generally the lowest I go.

2. Scope out the spa menu

Massages and facials are a dime a dozen. I like to try something that’s unique to the property. For example, I recently tried the 60-minute Nopal Massage at Arizona’s Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, which incorporates gel from cactus paddles (that tie into the desert that is Scottsdale).

If I’m short on time, I’ll look for express treatment options, such as a 25-minute back massage or facial. Or, if I’m on a budget but still want to experience a spa’s amenities, I’ll book a pedicure (a treatment that tends to be under $100).

This is how I manage to experience spots like North Carolina’s Old Edwards Inn and Spa, which has fabulous relaxation rooms with chaise lounges and snuggly blankets. Also, when you settle on a hotel, don’t wait until your visit to book your treatment of choice. Availability can be unpredictable.

3. Get the skinny on spa amenities

The more amenities a spa has for me to experience, the more eager I am to visit. Basically, I want to get as much bang for my buck as I can. Some of the more standard options to look for are sauna, steam rooms, and special wellness-focused food and drink menus.

But, some of the more unique options I’ve enjoyed include the thermal area at the Irene Forte Spa at Hotel de la Ville in Rome, Italy, which is equipped with a Mediterranean salt room, sauna, steam room, ice fountain, Kneipp foot baths, hydro pool and plunge pool.

There’s also the relaxation room at the spa at Four Seasons Philadelphia at Comcast Center, which overlooks the city’s skyline and offers a variety of snacks, sparkling water and a glass of bubbly, if you ask nicely. And visit the Brine Light Inhalation Lounge at New Jersey’s Salt Spa at The Reeds at Shelter Haven, Stone Harbor (a complimentary experience for those who have booked multiple facial and/or massage treatments).    

4. Check out the fitness center and any classes

I want workout options that complement my spa experience. So, finding a property that offers a top-notch fitness center filled with everything from Peloton bikes to TRX contraptions and other fitness toys is important to me. I loved that at The Joseph Nashville, you can get your Peloton workout in while enjoying phenomenal views of the city.

And it’s a bonus when the hotel also offers fitness classes that are complimentary or for a small fee. For example, the last time I visited Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, I could choose from classes ranging from aerial yoga to Pilates. Another go-to for a property with a stellar schedule of classes is Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, which offers daily yoga and barre, and faster-paced options like Zumba.

5. Look at the location

I’ll take a run/walk/hike outside over working out on a treadmill any day of the week. So, I gravitate toward wellness hotels that have hiking trails on-property like the Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah, and Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North.

Or, if I’m staying in a city, I look for wellness hotels where I can go for a run or walk. For example, Mandarin Oriental Boston is near a fabulous jogging path along the Charles River.

And on a run/walk around The St. Regis Atlanta you’ll see the impressive multimillion dollar homes of Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood, which is also home to the governor’s mansion. 

6. Explore any in-room wellness options

It’s a bonus when the hotel offers wellness options that extend to your room. When I visited The Langham London, I had a chance to try elements of the Refresh and Renew package, which includes a daily “revitalizing” breakfast, an in-room yoga mat, and turndown amenities such as earplugs and pillow mist.

Or, the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta offers a Wellness Immersion package that includes everything from in-room exercise equipment to a relaxing bath kit to a silk eye pillow and sound machine to support REM sleep.

Finally, the Wellness Level at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta offers features like sound therapy machines, PURE air purification, healthy snacks and drinks in the honor bar plus a yoga mat, foam roller and stability ball in each guest room. 

7. Find out what’s on the menu

Before you book, try to take a look at any on-property dining menus. One of my selling points is if I find fresh-pressed juice on the breakfast menu. For example, I’ve found that most Four Seasons Hotels offer a green juice on the room service menu, as well as other healthy options like berry-based smoothies and egg white omelettes.

I often want something light for dinner, so if a spot offers a soup or two on the menu—like Palm Court at The Langham—I’m in heaven. Also, take a look at a map around the property to see what restaurants are nearby. Just beyond the doors of the W Fort Lauderdale, you’ll find SoBe Vegan, which, as the name implies, offers a variety of vegan dishes and there’s S3, which serves up sushi in an upscale but casual-chic environment. 

8. Ask about other amenities

Be sure to check out the “Amenities” section of the hotel’s website, which often features other perks for staying at the property. For example, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach offers guests use of bikes (which is included in the resort fee that all guests are charged). Or, the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Fort Lauderdale provides guests a third-level Ocean Sun Deck, which offers the atmosphere of a private club.

Plus, I’ve found that many Four Seasons Hotels and Ritz-Carlton properties also offer complimentary sunscreens and aloe at their pools, as well as the occasional complimentary cool snack like frozen ice pops or fruit. While these might be little touches, I find that the devil is in the details.

Wellness Hotels that Stand Out

From getting active and trying new spa treatments to practicing meditation and eating organic food, these wellness hotels have everything you need to unwind on vacation.  So what are you waiting for? 

These three amazing wellness hotels have made it their priority to provide guests with a unique wellness-focused experience.

1. Equinox Hotel New York

The Equinox Hotel was designed for people who want to make the most of their time off. Whether you’re looking to relax and recharge or seeking adventure, this is the place for you. With stunning views of the city and river, the sleek and tranquil rooms come equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, including Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and healthy minibars.

One- and two-bedroom suites offer additional living space and are perfect for families or groups traveling together. And the Equinox 24-hour fitness center has everything you need to stay in shape while on vacation.

Equinox Hotels were built with one goal in mind: to create the ultimate fitness experience for those who desire high-performance living. Equinox Clubs offer innovative group fitness programming, industry-defining personal training and recovery-driven spa services that are designed to help you make the most of every moment.

2. 1 Hotel West Hollywood

With its native greenery, reclaimed wood, earthen plaster, clay tones, marble bathrooms and organic cotton linens, 1 Hotel West Hollywood is a nature lover’s paradise. Lounge poolside with stunning skyline views, work out at The Field House or take a stroll through West Hollywood—one of California’s most walkable cities.

And when you get hungry, 1 Hotel West Hollywood has you covered with four on-site restaurants serving up everything from locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine to inventive cocktails and healthy cold-pressed juices.

At this luxury wellness hotel in Los Angeles, guests are able to find a sense of balance for their mind, body and spirit. Every morning, you can participate in sunrise meditation and kundalini yoga on the pool deck to greet the day.

For those who want to explore the local area, they offer garden tours and guided hikes in the Hollywood Hills. The on-site gym is available 24/7 for guests who want to stay fit and active during their vacation. In addition, enjoy the selection of fitness classes taught by highly skilled personal trainers.

3. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is a unique destination for those seeking transformative spa treatments, massage therapies and facials. They offer a comprehensive mixture of western, eastern, alternative and aesthetic medicine, and custom treatment plans with dramatic results.

Their seaside location provides the perfect setting for signature spa treatments, which harness the power of aromatherapy and warm crystal quartz. Facials combat pollution, stress, and address specific skin concerns.

The expansive fitness center offers stunning ocean views to help motivate you during your cardio and strength training sessions. You’ll be using top-of-the-line Technogym equipment, and they have a range of group classes available including barre, TRX and various yoga styles suited for all ages and abilities.

The heart of the facility is their exclusive Thermal Experience, an expansive hydrotherapy circuit that uses the restorative properties of water to promote wellness—just like European wellness traditions!

Stick to Your Wellness Routine at These Wellness Hotels

Looking for a wellness hotel? These wellness hotels are not only beautiful and comfortable, they also offer incredible amenities and services to help you relax and unwind. From outdoor pools and hot tubs, to massages and yoga classes, these hotels have it all and these eight tips can help you choose the best one.

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