The Best of New England: Spas
New England is blessed with many a pampering palace. The best ones incorporate the latest techniques as well as local ingredients.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL BOSTON One of the most indulgent in New England, the Mandarin’s spa is a magnificent green-stone sanctuary featuring cutting-edge treatments. The signature Time Ritual is a two- or three-hour marathon of customized pampering. Other unique offerings include a Vichy shower wrap, coffee and frankincense scrub, and underwater hydrotherapy massage. 776 Boylston St., Boston, MA, 617-535-8888, mandarinoriental.com.
OMNI MOUNT WASHINGTON RESORT Opened just last year, the luxury spa at the Mount Washington hotel has already earned high marks for its relaxing and invigorating treatments, many of which incorporate healing herbs that grow on its namesake mountain. The décor is both rugged and relaxing: granite flagstones and black-and-white photos of the White Mountains, along with a private outdoor Jacuzzi that serves up gorgeous mountain views while you soak. Route 302, Bretton Woods, NH, 800-314-1752, 603-278-1000, mtwashington.com.
SPA AT LITCHFIELD HILLS This skincare-focused Connecticut day spa offers a signature five-step deep-pore cleanse – just one of eight facial "rituals" designed to firm, hydrate, and reduce blemishes and fine lines, depending on the visitor’s needs. For the rest of the body, treatments include a lymphatic drainage massage and green-coffee wrap designed to combat cellulite. 407A Bantam Rd., Litchfield, CT, 860-567-8575, litchfield-spa.com.
STILLWATER SPA AT THE HYATT REGENCY NEWPORT The atmosphere here is as light and breezy as its semi-private island location. Salt scrubs and algae wraps bring the beach inside, and are complemented by mix-and-match treatments such as a hot stone leg massage with pedicure. Special treatments catering to business travelers include the ultimate "PDA hand massage" – a deep-tissue hand-and-wrist workout designed to soothe overstressed texting muscles. One Goat Island, Newport, RI, 401-851-1234, newport.hyatt.com.
TOPNOTCH RESORT AND SPA Skeptical Americans might recoil from the thought of "energy work" – a collection of ancient healing arts such as Reiki and chi balancing that increase energy and reduce stress. To cut back resistance, the therapists at Topnotch simply work the techniques into relaxing massages and other treatments, but they’re as adept as any practitioner in the country. 4000 Mountain Rd., Stowe, VT, 800-451-8686, topnotchresort.com.
THE WHITE BARN INN AND SPA It’s not easy to transport someone from Maine to Istanbul, but the White Barn’s hammam ritual does the trick with a five-part scrub, wrap, massage, and exfoliation based on traditional techniques from Turkish bathhouses. Other offerings include hot Kennebunk River stone massages, Maine sea salt body wraps, and green-tea facials. Finish with a "butler-drawn bath" in your guest room (champagne optional). 37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk Beach, ME, 207-967-2321, whitebarninn.com.