Other notable health and wellness destination spas around North America:

California Health and Longevity Institute, Westlake Village, California
Located in Southern California, the institute offers comprehensive wellness programs that are tailored to individual needs. Guests stay at the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village and participate in medical and fitness evaluations, nutrition workshops, hands-on cooking lessons, fitness classes and personal training, and much more.

Red Mountain Spa, Ivins, Utah
This destination spa combines fitness and spa programs, outdoor activities and New Age elements that align perfectly with its Mojave Desert location. Guests are invited to take daily guided hikes, go horseback riding or rock climbing or stay indoors to participate in dozens of group fitness classes. Holistic health programs include life-coaching sessions, "life path" readings, and learning how to balance emotions and work stresses.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Baja California, Mexico
Considered one of the leading wellness resorts in North America, Rancho La Puerta incorporates healthy-eating education, hands-on experiences, and a huge variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Nutrition education is a key component here, with a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen in the midst of the resort's six-acre organic farm.

Miraval, Tucson, Arizona
This desert getaway is all about balanced living and integrated wellness programs to learn techniques you can bring home with you. Whether you're into outdoor yoga, art therapy and Native American talking circles, or prefer to focus on more mainstream activities like spa treatments, cardio/strength training and cooking lessons, it's all available here.

Get more ideas for destination spas at

When choosing a facility for your wellness vacation, consider these questions:
  • What kind of surroundings do you want? A place to hike, bike and swim—or do you prefer to remain indoors at the gym and spa?
  • Do you want a girlfriends getaway, or do you prefer to travel solo? Do you want be part of a large community of guests, or a more intimate experience?
  • Do you prefer to exercise by yourself, or participate in the classes? How advanced are your classes?
  • Are you interested in any medical evaluations?
  • Does the spa sell products in which they have a vested interest?
  • Do you want to participate in educational classes and seminars to learn behavioral changes?
Being honest with yourself regarding your expectations—and what you hope to take away with you and back into your normal lifestyle—will help you make the best choice for your spa experience.

What would you look for in a wellness spa vacation? Share your experiences—good and bad—in the comments area.

Keep Reading:
Pick your perfect vacation destination
Oprah and Gayle's perfect girls' getaway to Miraval
Exercises to bring the spa experience home with you
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.


Next Story