holistic health magazine





The World of Healing Spas:

Luxury Spas, Hot Spring Resorts and Day Spas

By Janice Hughes, Share Guide Copublisher

Mexico spa
Many of us, when we go on vacation, have as our primary goal rest and relaxation. We want to pamper ourselves, and we shouldn't have to be embarrassed about it. After all, we work hard all year and we deserve it! We may want to pursue a spiritual retreat at certain times, but vacations definitely have their place. Yet a lot of us Cultural Creative types are not happy with the standard American vacation options such as Disneyland, Las Vegas or Miami Beach. The thought of these loud and over-crowded locations with the unhealthy accoutrements involved such as greasy food, alcohol, smoking, cheap souvenirs, etc make many of us want to run screaming the other way. However, it may be that we are not up for the typical eco-tour of Central America either (at least not every time). We don't want to sleep in a grass hut, sip yak butter tea or swat mosquitos all day. We want room service.

Luckily, there is an excellent healthy alternative available in the spa or hot springs vacation. This is a booming industry, with options available for every taste and health concern. The services offered are as diverse as the locations, from outdoor therapeutic massage by the pool to volcanic ash mud baths to reflexology to herbal facials to arthritis water therapy. You can choose a coastal location, mountains, desert or anything in between. Here we will spotlight a few spas and hot spring resorts available to Californians looking to treat themselves to a healthy (and extremely enjoyable) time out.

Holistic Health Newsletter!


New! Natural Quit Smoking Program recommended by The Share Guide:
learn more

About Share Guide

Holistic Health Articles

Health Directory




Contact us

Do you have a
Holistic Business?
Get listed in Share Guide's Holistic Health Directory for only $9.95 per month. For more info
Click Here

Sanoviv Health Retreat

Baja California, Mexico

www.sanoviv.com 1-800- SANOVIV (726-6848)

Gracing a bluff at the edge of Bahia del Descanso on the Pacific Ocean in Baja California, Sanoviv Health Retreat offers an ideal environment for total body cleansing and detoxification, regeneration and renewal. Sanoviv is an architecturally-elegant, holistic, licensed medical facility, offering specific preventive programs to assist people in maintaining whole body wellness, and providing integrative therapies to aid in the process of recovery for individuals who are suffering from chronic degenerative diseases. Sanoviv is comprehensive in its approach, providing advanced conventional and alternative healing therapies in a toxin-free environment with state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities, world-class spa amenities, luxurious guest suites and a professional medical and dental staff. Following a thorough medical, dental and fitness assessment, the entire staff (medical, dental, nutritional, therapeutic and psychospiritual professionals) meets to develop a personalized treatment plan for each guest, including an individual physical fitness regimen. There is also a European-style spa, offering a range of medically-based hydrotherapies and massage techniques, as well as salon amenities using natural products.Seven residential health programs are offered, which focus on cleansing & detoxification, diagnostics, medical, oral healthcare and spa treatments. Services include Lymphatic massage, reflexology, shiatsu, watsu, craniosacral and Swedish massages, Herbal wraps, seaweed therapy, colon hydrotherapy, infra-red Sauna, facials, salon, Thalasso thermal therapy, Kneippe hydrotherapy, meditation classes, health and nutrition education classes.

The AquaSpaSM on Celebrity Cruises

1050 Caribbean Way, Miami FL 33132

www.celebritycruises.com 1-800-Celebrity ext. 215

Celebrity Cruises has been a pioneer in the development of the spa vacation within a cruise experience. They have literally changed the nature of the cruise industry by dedicating generous onboard space and investing in breakthrough spa technology to expand guests' vacations to include a luxury spa experience onboard Celebrity vessels.

Created in response to increased consumer interest in a more holistic approach toward physical fitness and psychological relaxation, Celebrity's AquaSpasm was the first at sea to offer a Thalassotherapy pool providing water jet stations, along with sophisticated sea and fresh water treatments, and unique mud and steam treatments. Many of the spa treatments are drawn from Middle Eastern, Asian, and European spa practices that use sea and fresh mineral water to detoxify and refresh both mind and body. Complementing the water treatments and spa programs is a complete program of fitness activities, ranging from individual exercise using virtual reality cycles, to training under the guidance of a personal fitness instructor.

Celebrity offers cruises to many locations, including Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe and South America. (Every ship offers the AquaSpasm program.) For those of us on the West Coast, the Alaska and Hawaii cruises may be most appealing. On board the brand new ship Infinity, you can cruise to Alaska directly from San Franciso (or from Vancouver). This is the season to explore this incredibly vast frontier; cruises are scheduled from May through September 2001. When you travel with Celebrity, they offer the expertise of native Alaskans and The Nature Conservancy, naturalists and guides, to give you the adventure of a lifetime.

If you are looking for a more tropical vacation, you can try a Celebrity cruise on Mercury to the Hawaiian Islands. Ships leave from Honolulu or Vancouver this Fall, starting September 2001. The Hawaiian Islands offer landscapes in splendid contrast. From high rugged mountains to deeply cut gorges, from jet black beaches to tropical rainforests, and from fiery volcanoes to macadamia nut plantations, all are there for exploring. Celebrity visits Honolulu, Hilo, Kailua Kona, Lahaina, Nawiliwili and the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii. For more information on this and many other cruises, visit their website at www.celebritycruises.com.


Aletheia Mind/Body Health Spa

P.O. Box 2400 Mendocino, CA 95460

www.holisticu.org (707) 937-0602

Located on the beautiful Mendocino Coast, the Aletheia Mind/Body Health Spa provides instruction for experiencing self-discovery, self-awareness and self-health. The four-day Mind/Body Health Spa Program, developed by Jack and Lois Schwarz, has been called Western Inner Yoga. Discover and know your mission in life, experience Autogenic Training (brainwaves), learn tools for self-regulation and the human energy systems. The program is intense and limited to 8 participants per session. You can stay at the beautiful Stanford Inn while participating, with massage and facials available beside the pool.


Rancho Encantado Eco-Resort

Southern Yucatan, Mexico

(800) 505-MAYA www.encantado.com

Experience the magic of the ancient Maya at Rancho Encantado Eco-Resort and Retreat Center in Mexico. Visit them on the shore of the magnificent Laguna Bacalar, the "Lake of Seven Colors." Exquisite private cottages, soaring palapa dining room, spa and separate workshop facility. They specialize in exclusive tours to little-known Mayan ruins. For individuals, families and groups.


SolSierra Destinations

(800) 400-3333 www.solsierra.com

Solsierra Destinations specializes in spa and retreat vacations in Mexico. A variety of treatments and packages are available at many locations, including:

Premiere Hotel & Spa - Puerto Vallarta

This 5-star beachfront property offers ocean view rooms, a swimming pool, dining at their gourmet Spanish restaurant and scuba lessons for nearby diving. Treatments include relaxation massage, reflexology, algae body wrap, hydrating bath and more.

Punta Serena Holistic Retreat - Manzanillo, Mexico

This beautiful resort has two jacuzzis perched on a cliff above the sea, a private beach and swimming pool. Treatments include therapeutic massage, facials, reflexology, yoga and meditation, native sweatlodge, spiritual awareness program and fitness program. Vegetarian meals available.

Eldorado Royale - Playa del Carmen

This resort is nestled in a coconut plantation on a secluded beach 30 minutes south of Cancun. Treatments include basic medical assessment, nutritional evaluation, fitness program, yoga, tai chi, body scrubs, mud wraps and massage therapy.


Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort

1215 Avila Beach Dr., San Luis Obispo (800) 234-5831 sycamoresprings.com

Tucked away in the wooded hillsides of the Avila Valley, Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort is a great place for a romantic getaway or relaxing spa retreat. Each one of their guest accommodations has its own private balcony mineral spa. There are also 20 outdoor redwood hot tubs canopied by oak and sycamore trees, a variety of therapeutic massages and facials, plus a heated swimming pool, gardens and on-site restaurant.


Vichy Springs Resort

2605 Vichy Springs Rd., Ukiah

vichysprings.com (707) 462-9515

Vichy Springs is a unique historic hot springs resort offering the only naturally warm and carbonated mineral baths in North America. Other amenities include a communal 104 degree soaking pool, Olympic size pool, therapeutic massage, herbal facials and 700 private acres with trails and roads for walking and hiking. Lodging includes 18 rooms and 4 beautiful private cottages, with full buffet breakfast included.


More Hot Springs & Retreat Centers:

Harbin Hot Springs

P.O. Box 782, Middletown, CA 95461

www.harbin.org (707) 987-2477

Harbin Hot Springs is located in Middletown in the wine region north of Calisotga. Enjoy natural hot spring pools, professional massage, Watsu®, yoga, daily classes, clothing-optional sun bathing and 1700 acres to hike.

Jenner Inn & Retreat Center

Coast Route 1, Box 69 Jenner 95459 www.jennerinn.com

(800) 732-2377/(707) 865-2377

Jenner Inn & Retreat Center offers ocean view and river front rooms and cottages with fireplaces, spas, sundecks and sauna--surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary, deserted beaches and several thousand acres of state parks. Yoga and meditation classes, hiking, vegetarian breakfast included. Affordable rates.

Morton's Sonoma Springs Resort

1651 Warm Springs Rd., Kenwood, CA 95452

(800) 551-2177/(707) 833-5511 www.sonomasprings.com

New ownership has thoroughly restored the historic Morton's Sonoma Springs Resort to offer an incomparable setting for seminars, retreats, meetings and picnics. Surrounded by oak woodlands, Morton's 20+ acres feature geothermal mineral pools, sports fields and courts, picnic and meeting sites, health and fitness classes and a cafe.

Saratoga Springs

10243 Saratoga Springs Rd. Upper Lake 95485
(800) 655-7153 www.saratogasprings.com

Saratoga Springs specializes in exclusive use for groups or classes. Amenities include an 8 x 17 foot hot pool plus a larger swimming pool, hiking trails, fire pit area and sweat lodges.

Sierra Hot Springs

P.O. Box 366, Sierraville, CA 96126

www.sierrahotsprings.org (530) 994-3773

Located in a beautiful alpine valley at the edge of the Tahoe National Forest, Sierra Hot Springs offers natural hot spring pools (clothing-optional), professional massage, Watsu®, hiking, yoga and workshops.


Day Spas
Alles Day Spa

432 Orchard St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404

www.allesdayspa.com (707) 573-3068

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Rosa in a beautiful Victorian house, Alles European Day Spa offers therapeutic massage including Swedish, Breema, CranioSacral, Reflexology, Manual Lymph Drainage (Dr. Vodder method), LaStone™ thermotherapy treatment and LomiLomi. Other services include facials, Salt Glow, body bronzing, waxing, natural manicure and pedicure, and a full line of natural European skin care products by Decleor and Babor.


Asante Day Spa

18B Mary St., San Rafael, CA 94901 (415) 460-6506

Asante Day Spa and Holistic Health Centers offer many types of therapeutic massage including Swedish, Vibrational Healing Massage Therapy®, CranioSacral, Pregnancy massage, Reflexology, Acupressure, Watsu® Shiatsu and more. They also offer facials and skin care treatments, Jin Shin Jyutsu, Reiki, Pedicare® Foot Rehabilitation. A pleasant, non-rushed complimentary tea service and aromatherapy foot bath are available as a prelude to all of their services.

Healing Oasis

Sebastopol, CA (707) 823-1304 healingoasis@att.net

Healing Oasis is a new day spa in Sebastopol that offers a wide variety of spa services including body scrubs, wraps, facials, Raindrop therapy and essential oil foot baths with reflexology. They also offer therapeutic massage, watsu®, energy healing, intuitive readings, yoga, dance, workshops and a sweat lodge. A lap pool, warm pool and natural sunbathing round out the list of services.


F. Joseph Smith's Massage Therapy Center

158 Almonte Blvd., Mill Valley 94941 (415) 383-8260

Explore the healing of a therapeutic hot tub, sauna and/or massage in a quaint, rustic setting among the redwoods in Marin. We offer all styles of massage and our massage therapists come from the heart.


Osmosis Enzyme Bath

209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone

www.osmosis.com (707) 823-8231

Osmosis features warm, fragrant Enzyme Baths in the Japanese tradition at their 5-acre refuge. They also offer therapeutic massages (either indoors or outside in the garden sanctuary) and aromatherapy facials.

The Wellness Sanctuary at Bella Luna Farm

21001 Broadway, Sonoma 95476

www.bellaluna-sanctuary.com (707) 935-1583

The Wellness Sanctuary features a private and peaceful atmosphere in the heart of Bella Luna Organic Farm. They offer a variety of therapeutic massages, reflexology with scalp treatment, plus other body treatments such as sage purification wrap, total body detox masque, aromatherapy stress relief, papaya enzyme body glow, and total body remineralizing masque. There is also yoga, meditation, energy healing, and classes.


free If you liked this article, you'll love The Share Guide's
Holistic Health Newsletter. Subscribe for free!

New! Natural Quit Smoking Program recommended by The Share Guide: learn more

About Share Guide


Health Directory




Contact us


Avertising Info
Subscribe to magazine

Search this site

copyright 2004--The Share Guide--All rightsreserved