Vacations at some of the world's most popular resort spas can cost $4,000 or more per week, but that doesn't mean that budget-conscious travelers have to miss out on glorious spa vacations filled with pampering. By traveling during the slow season, making the most of free amenities, and taking advantage of bargain-priced vacation packages offered at lesser-known, but highly-rated, resort spas, travelers can relax and rejuvenate without breaking the bank.
The Oaks at Ojai (CA)
Located an hour and a half north of Los Angeles in Ojai, California, The Oaks at Ojai is an all-inclusive destination spa known for its peaceful atmosphere, wide range of optional fitness classes, and delicious low-calorie cuisine. Guests can also enjoy free Wi-Fi, stimulating evening programs, and resort-style facilities, which include:
- Sparkling swimming pool
- Hot tub
- Fitness center with weight training and cardiovascular equipment
Recommendations: The Oaks at Ojai was recommended by The Travel Channel as an affordable spa vacation. It was also named one of North America's best budget spas by BudgetTravel, due to its luxurious rooms and reasonably-priced spa treatments.
Pricing: The spa offers several discounted vacation packages, including a five-night package for two that starts at $1,200 and includes one complimentary spa service and 50 percent off a second service.
Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa (NM)
The Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa is a charming, rustic resort spa located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The resort features an elegant hotel and spa with a wide selection of holistic spa treatments, including private mineral baths in the on-site geothermal hot springs. Guests can also enjoy spa services such as:
- Centering bodywork
- Soothing massage
- Skin conditioning wraps and polishes
- Custom facials
The resort's location in southern New Mexico allows guests to easily access Elephant Butte Lake State Park and world-class golf courses.
Recommendations: The Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence each year from 2011 through 2014. It was also featured in an ABC News article on affordable spa vacations around the world.
Pricing: The lodge and spa offers several types of vacation packages, including a three-night relaxation package that starts at $670. The package includes a $250 spa services credit and breakfast each morning.
Tennessee Fitness Spa
Situated 95 miles southwest of Nashville, just outside of Waynesboro, Tennessee, the Tennessee Fitness Spa is a quiet little health spa and weight loss camp surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. The grounds provide access to the crystal-clear water of Forty-Eight Creek and feature the only known double-span natural bridge formation in the world, as well as a 58-degree natural 'ice cave' with a stream, and . Tennessee Fitness Spa offers cozy accommodations and spa facilities such as:
- Fully-equipped gym and weight room with Pacific Fitness and Pro Maxima equipment
- Enclosed, heated swimming pool
- Hot tub
- Racquetball court with viewing area
Recommendations: The spa was recognized as one of North America's best budget spas by Budget Travel and was featured in a 2010 Frommer's article on affordable spa and fitness retreats.
Pricing: Tennessee Fitness Spa offers several three-night packages that start at $440 per person and include the full fitness program, fitness assessment, healthy meal plan, and one free beauty treatment.
Red Mountain Resort (UT)
Red Mountain Resort is a high-end, destination resort in the red sandstone canyons of Ivins, Utah that offers amazing accommodations and amenities at affordable prices. The health-focused resort and spa boasts amenities such as:
- Indoor and outdoor swimming pools
- Strength and cardio fitness studios
- More than 50 fitness classes weekly
- Spiral labyrinth and walking trails
- Three whirlpools
- Guided hiking and biking
Recommendations: Named one of North America's best budget spas by Budget Travel, Red Mountain Resort and Spa was also Luxury SpaFinder's 2012 Readers' Choice Award Winner in the Best Spa for Affordability, Going Solo, Outdoor Adventure, and Men's categories.
Pricing: Red Mountain Resort and Spa offers packages to suit a wide range of tastes and budgets. One of the resort's most popular packages is a four-day, three-night retreat for two that starts at $285 per person and includes three healthy meals per day, unlimited fitness classes, and two 50-minute spa treatments.
Tips for Affordable Spa Vacations
Travelers don't have to live near the resort spas listed in this article to find great deals on their next spa vacation. Here are some basic tips spa enthusiasts can use to help keep vacation costs down:
- Visit the spa during the resort's slow season. Try ski resorts in the summer, and beach resorts in the winter, for great rates on both accommodations and services.
- Make the most of the "free" amenities at resort spas. Facility amenities such as swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, and relaxation rooms are usually available to spa guests, who can book short, low-cost spa services and spend the rest of the day lounging by the pool.
Book next year's spa vacation before the end of the year to get a discounted rate. Some spas, such as the Tennessee Fitness Spa, allow guests to receive the current year's rates when they book a vacation for the following year before December 31.
Save Money, Feel Great
When it comes to spa vacations, travelers don't have to spend a million dollars to find spa accommodations and services that make them feel like a million bucks. Bargain-priced spa vacation packages and careful vacation planning can make the dream of a spa vacation a reality for even budget-conscious travelers.