Navigator: Spas

By Michael Blanding | |

WHILE WINTER HERE HAS ITS CHARMS, the long, cold season can take its toll on the body. So when the snow howls outside, smart New Englanders head to the region’s many luxurious spas, taking advantage of exfoliation treatments to rejuvenate dry skin and massages to soothe muscles tired from shoveling. The best options can be found both in urban environs and natural settings far from city centers.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Boston
Hands down the most luxurious spa in New England, this urban oasis wraps guests in serenity with cool, green-marble décor; large Jacuzzi plunge pools and four-setting steam showers in the relaxation rooms; and treatments incorporating original Asian body oils. But the most indulgent element is the customization of even the simplest of treatments; staffers use detailed questionnaires to holistically pinpoint each guest’s physical, mental, and spiritual needs. A new package combines five yoga, pilates, and personal-training sessions with use of the spa’s facilities. >> 776 Boylston St., Boston, MA, 617-535-8888, mandarinoriental.com/boston/spa.

International Golf Club and Resort
Captains of industry have long come to the International outside Boston for corporate retreats and a challenging 18 holes on the longest course in the world. So it’s no surprise that executives used to the best of everything should also find a hidden gem of a spa with therapists who are masters in the art of teasing loose overstressed muscles (including through a specialized golf massage). Located in the quaint small town of Bolton, the spa also offers a package that caters to girls’ weekends and includes a signature organic champagne facial featuring ice-wine grapes and orange essential oils.  >> 159 Ballville Rd., Bolton, MA, 978-779-6911, theinternational.com.

Mayflower Inn and Spa
The beech forest vistas from floor-to-ceiling windows at Connecticut’s most lavish destination spa relax guests before hands even touch skin. The signature body rituals are full sensory experiences, incorporating not only massage but also aromatherapy, color therapy, visualizations, and cranio-sacral work to attack frayed nerves from every angle. For the spa glutton, special overnight packages include unlimited treatments. >> 18 Woodbury Rd., (Rte. 47), Washington, CT, 860-868-9466, mayflowerinn.com.

The Woodstock Inn and Resort
Newly opened last fall, the Woodstock Inn’s spa reflects the Vermont resort’s upscale yet relaxed ambiance. The centerpiece of the 10,000-square-foot space is a sun-drenched relaxation room with cathedral ceiling and fireplace; better yet is an outdoor whirlpool that is as magical at the height of summer as when the snow falls. Signature treatments change with the seasons, but always incorporate exfoliation and massage using organic skin-care products.  >> 14 The Green, Woodstock, VT, 802-457-6697, woodstockinnspa.com.

White Barn Inn and Spa
For decades, this posh inn and restaurant on the south coast of Maine had lacked only a spa to put it over the top in the romance department. The White Barn fixed that five years ago by converting its breakfast room into an intimate collection of suites, some equipped with their own fireplace. There inn guests can partake in treatments including a Kennebunk river-stone massage, intimate couples’ massages, and Red Flower body treatments including a Japanese skin-softening ritual. >> 37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk Beach, ME, 207-967-2321, whitebarninn.com.

Omni Mount Washington Resort

The spa at this hotel in the White Mountains is as rugged as the environment, with dramatic black-and-white nature photos setting the tone. The theme extends to an outdoor Jacuzzi with a view of Mount Washington and herb gardens that include native flora. For some treatments, therapists help guests pick herbs to crush into an exfoliating sugar scrub, then finish with an herbal oil massage.  Route 302, Bretton Woods, NH, 603-278-4286, omnimountwashingtonresort.com.
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