It’s been four years since we updated this list, and after the past two years – when comfort food and a few too many glasses of wine may have been your salve to deal with the world’s state of affairs – it might be time for a reset. Only four of the spas on our previous list made the cut this time around, with six others breaking through. Yes, you can find award-winning, luxury spas and wellness retreats right here in the South! Here are our picks for the top 10 spas and wellness retreats that we know you will enjoy.
Each spa is located at a destination known for getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and embracing your health and wellness. Some of our suggestions are 100% dedicated to health and wellness while the others offer such stellar spa accommodations that they also made the list. While the following places all offer premium spa and wellness activities, each offers an experience different from the next.
10 Top Spas & Wellness Centers in the South
The spas and wellness centers listed below are in no particular order.
Blackberry Mountain | Walland, Tennessee
Blackberry Mountain opened in 2019 as the sister property to Blackberry Farm, long known for amazing food and exceptional service. The same premise is instilled at the Mountain, but there is a definite overlay of wellness, with the heart of the property being Nest, the spa. With a menu of natural therapies, Nest offers a tranquility lounge, sauna, steam showers, and a year-round heated infinity pool overlooking the Smoky Mountains.
With 5,200 acres of tranquility at your doorstep, Blackberry Mountain has the ability to offer things that others can’t, including forest bathing. Personal plans are also offered to help you with a holistic reboot, deal with grief, or overcome burnout. You will find hiking, yoga, horseback riding, acupuncture, and so much more.
Like Blackberry Farm, your price includes meals and non-alcoholic beverages, with snacks as desired throughout the day. And, the long-held philosophy that “Yes is the answer … what is the question?” carries over to Blackberry Mountain as well.
Lake Austin Spa Resort | Austin, Texas
The Lake Austin Spa Resort has been voted among the top spas in the country for more than 10 years, and this past year was voted by the readers of Condé Nast to be one of America’s top three spas, so clearly they are doing it right. Drawing on the serene setting of the banks of Lake Austin, just outside the hustle and bustle of the busy city, all spa treatments are customized and developed in-house and fuse ancient and modern techniques.
Spa options range from what you might expect to a bit of the unexpected. With more than 18 massages to choose from, as well as body treatments, you’ll also find over a dozen options for your perfect facial, with The Regal by Valmont facial being one of the most exotic we’ve ever seen. There are also aquatic specialties, such as floating meditation, and an array of options with eastern influences.
Wellness options included everything from private training sessions to group classes. And, with the lake, there are a variety of options on the water as well!
Find out more about Lake Austin Spa Resort HERE.
Hilton Head Health | Hilton Head, South Carolina
From a four-week residential weight loss and wellness experience program to two seven-day options for a healthy vacation or jumpstart program, Hilton Head Health, referred to as H3, has been welcoming people ready to change their lives for more than 40 years. You can also book a three-night stay for a quicker healthy getaway.
In 2021, H3 opened its new Sweetgrass Inn, with 30 rooms, including a variety of luxurious suites. As H3 has grown, the central philosophy has not changed: to provide an all-inclusive, personalized wellness experience for both the body and the mind.
Located in the Shipyard development on Hilton Head Island, the healing power of the beach is right outside your door. You will also find spa services, fitness classes including yoga and Pilates, as well as counseling services and a variety of health assessments.
Fine out more about Hilton Head Health HERE.
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Spa | Kiawah Island, South Carolina
The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is just 17 miles from Charleston, South Carolina and is located right on the beach. The spa’s menu of services allows you to arrive in sweats and a ponytail and leave looking — and feeling — like a completely new woman. Begin your visit by relaxing in the solarium with a cup of herbal tea before hitting a personal training session. Then work out your muscle soreness with a 90-minute Sea Essence Fusion massage, which incorporates sea salts, polished seashells, and marine extracts to exfoliate, polish, and energize the body.
Next, indulge in the 60 minute Seaside Escape Facial, which will “send you into a state of warm, seaside bliss” with “heated, polished seashells … used during an extended facial massage … to draw out impurities and improve your skin’s vitality.”
Close out your day of bliss with a Sanctuary Makeover, which includes a shampoo and style for your hair and a makeup application. You’ll be so relaxed, exfoliated, and moisturized, nobody will recognize you.
Find out more about The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Spa HERE.
Salamander Resort & Spa | Middleburg, Virginia
Just 90 minutes west of Washington, D.C., in Middleburg, Virginia, is a destination for relaxation: Salamander Resort & Spa. This is a luxurious destination with incredible food and surroundings, with a spa that complements that entire experience. From a girlfriends’ or couple’s escape to a corporate retreat, Salamander offers a variety of activities, even family-friendly ones.
With indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, an equestrian center, lawn games, plus a putting green on-property and golf privileges at nearby Creighton Farms, you can be as active as you would like. There is also a variety of yoga classes, meditation classes, and fitness options available.
The award-winning spa offers seasonal treatments as well as a full menu of massage, facial, and body treatment services. With hair and nail services, you can also enjoy a beauty refresh.
As a Forbes Five-Star resort, you can expect delicious food, the best in accommodations and service, and a true retreat for the mind and body.
Find out more about Salamander Resort & Spa HERE.
Miraval | Austin, Texas
Austin is quite the destination for spas, with two landing on our list. And, when two of the best are in the same city, it only serves to elevate them both. When you book your stay at Miraval, it comes with $175/per night in resort credits, access to more than 60 spa services at Miraval’s Life in Balance Spa, and over 50 daily wellness activities. Your rate also includes three gourmet meals each day with additional snacks, smoothies, tea, and coffee.
Nestled in the green hills overlooking Lake Travis, the setting surrounding Miraval is gorgeous. And, your spa-inspired room will always have a private balcony overlooking the Texas Hill Country. Lucky Austin residents also have the ability to escape for a quick refresh, as Miraval acts as a day spa as well.
After you book your room, Miraval works with you to create a custom experience. While there are 11 “journeys” offered, any combination can be created to make yours match the getaway and experience you desire. Plus, in spring 2022, their challenge course expansion will be complete, combining endurance, mindfulness, and fun.
Miraval Austin was also named a top 25 spa in America in the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2021.
Find out more about Miraval Austin HERE.
The Greenbrier | White Sulphur Springs, WV
While other spas may tout their beachfront location as a top amenity, at The Greenbrier, they are most proud of their water, which they say is known for its healing properties. Since 1778, people have traveled to The Greenbrier specifically to bathe in the white sulphur spring water indigenous to this part of West Virginia. And, it is for this magical spring water that The Greenbrier cements its place on this list.
The spa’s signature service is the Greenbrier Treatment, which starts with a soak in the magical waters of the white sulphur springs, followed by a Swiss Shower and Scotch Spray designed to remove cellular blockage and break up toxins in the body. The treatment is completed with a Swedish massage.
The spa also features a full meditation and healing menu ranging from chakra clearing and guided meditation to yoga and sound healing, all led by a spiritual healer. They have mud wraps, sugar scrubs, and salt stone treatments, and of course the standards like nail treatments and facials. And, unlike many spas, they have a full lineup of MedSpa services as well.
Find out more about The Greenbriar HERE.
La Cantera Resort & Spa | San Antonio, Texas
The award-winning Loma de Vida Spa is part of La Cantera Resort. Located on San Antonio’s highest elevation point, the spa is reserved for ages 18 and up, but the resort itself is family friendly.
The 25,000-square-foot spa offers myriad massages, from deep tissue to stone mineral, and holistic intentional healing varieties intended to help you let go, slow down, or get moving. Additionally, there are eight different facials, three “body rituals,” and a variety of hair and nail options. Loma de Vida also has a number of “intentional spaces” such as private decks, garden cabanas, and a private grotto saline pool where you can enjoy lunch, cocktails, or just the cascading waters.
For fitness options, you will find a dozen options from high-intensity to gentle flow yoga. There are also two golf courses, six pools, and 550 acres to explore! When you get hungry, there are 12 restaurants on property. Choose to stay at one of the 34 villas or in a more traditional hotel setting with suites, deluxe rooms, and even an adults-only floor for added serenity.
Find out more about La Cantera Resort & Spa HERE.
Eupepsia Wellness Resort | Bland, Virginia
Located on the Virginia side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Eupepsia firmly believes in taking time to reconnect your mind, body, energy, emotion, and spirit as the resort was founded on the “science and philosophy of Ayurveda.” Menus are personalized to each person’s body type, and Eupepsia offers health screenings combined with traditional and progressive therapies.
Guests of the resort can enjoy the gorgeous spa with options such as Ayurvedic treatments, signature massages, aromatherapy scrubs and wraps, and floatation therapy. For fitness, unexpected options like a hydrotherapy pool with underwater treadmill, hydro spa bikes, and a climbing wall means that there truly is something for everyone.
There are seven different wellness retreat options consisting of Bespoke Wellness, Relax & Destress, Healthy Detox, Rejuvenating Cleanse, Weight Management, Fitness & Recovery, and Advanced Healing.
Find out more about Eupepsia Wellness Resort HERE.
Carillon Wellness Resort | Miami Beach, Florida
No list is complete without one of the many spa options available in South Florida, and we think Carillon Miami, fully renovated in 2017, is the top of the group. According to its website, Carillon Miami is “where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting.” Count us in!
The modern apartment-like rooms are some of the largest offered in Miami Beach, with floor to ceiling windows, one to two bedrooms, a separate living room and kitchen, and a large, spa-like bathroom.
With more than 70,000 square feet dedicated to spa and wellness, you can expect the proper amount of luxurious and medically supervised treatments. However, it is the Thermal Hydrotherapy Circuit, one of the largest in the country, that has our attention. Men and women each have private experiences that are limited to just 20 people at a time for 90 minutes. Move from one thermal suite to the next, and experience hot and cold intended to cleanse and provide warmth and relaxation before a spa experience or after your workout.
A Top-30 Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Award winner in 2021, Carillon also offers an array of wellness retreats for your specific needs.
Find out more about Carillon Wellness Resort HERE.
Bonus option: Westglow | Blowing Rock, North Carolina
*This is a bonus addition as the rooms at Westglow are now booked through Airbnb and VRBO. However, the experience is unique and provides a great option for a girls’ getaway or couple’s weekend away.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, minutes from Blowing Rock, NC, is Westglow. Often showing up as a Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast top destination spa, this historic property offers a Life Enrichment Center with à la carte, half-day, and full-day packages as well as guided daily hikes.
In 2020, the property entered a new chapter by making its three lodging options, with 15 total rooms, available as private home rentals on Airbnb and VRBO. The spa still operates as a day-spa with additional membership options. Grab some friends and book a home to enjoy the Life Enrichment Center, with an abundance of spa services, low- and non-impact fitness classes, and hikes during your stay!
Find out more about Westglow HERE.
Enjoy your refreshing escape!
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