Travel experts identify their top picks for affordable spa destinations, if you don’t mind flying there:
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Riviera Maya, Mexico
Book a very inexpensive guest house in Playa del Carmen and travel to the spas, advises Sallie Frankel, chief operating officer of SpaFinder.com. “With all that money you’ve saved on a hotel, you could do three or four spa treatments and have an extravaganza.”
If you’re traveling with a family or group of friends, consider staying in a small town suite at Las Villas Akumal, which is a jumping off point to the Riviera Maya’s top beach destinations and spas, says Frankel. Rates in the off season start at $139 night, with 60-minute massages ranging from $40-$80.
Fitness fanatics would appreciate Minneapolis-based Tiger Athletics’ weeklong cross-training and yoga wellness package at the Las Villas Akuma, which starts at $999 for a week, including tax, lodging, breakfast, rentals and local transportation.
If you’re looking to splurge, make an appointment for a restorative lomi lomi massage at the Maroma Resort and Spa ($215 for 80 minutes).
If you’re looking for a unique experience, try the Temezcal treatment, an ancient steam bath treatment in a hut sweat house, followed by a plunge in the ocean, at Hotel Esencia in Tulum (90 minutes for $95).
If reflection is part of your ideal spa vacation, a blindfolded, silent sense adventure through natural mangroves by a holistic guide at the Hacienda Tres Rios hotel might be for you. The package navigates you through trees to help you connect with your inner mind, body and spirit as cinnamon is waved in front of your nose and beans dropped over your head. The tour is included in the all-inclusive $250 off-season rate.
Gerrmany takes wellness so seriously it used to entitle its citizens to a spa break each year which was covered by health insurance companies, according to travel consultant Ann Lombardi of the Trip Chicks in Atlanta.
Spas are especially plentiful around Munich and the Black Forest areas of Germany.
“You can find some incredible buys,” Lombardi says. “$1,000 can buy you two meals a day, accommodations in a twin-bedded room for seven nights, free use of sauna, thermal baths and roman mineral springs, five or six different kinds of treatments.”
The glitzy town of Baden Baden is home to luxury, ritzy spas, but try staying in Bad Reichenhall, located10 miles from Salzburg, Austria and 90 miles from Munich.
Stay in the quaint Kurhotel Alpina for less than 50 euro per night with breakfast and dinner during the shoulder season. For 12 euro at the Rupertus Therme spa, you get you access to the facilities and packages from 59 euro offer an array of health and wellness treatments and activities.
Check CometoGermany.com for a dropdown menu of spa and wellness packages that are organized by type, Lombardi says.
St. George, Utah and Las Vegas
If you want to stay stateside, St. George, Utah and Las Vegas are the most affordable spa destinations, according to Frankel.
For example, Red Mountain Spa in St. George has a last-minute special running for $215 per person, per night that includes daily meals, unlimited fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, hiking and healthy living classes.
Hotels along the Strip in Las Vegas can be as low as $50 per night, leaving money to splurge on daily spa treatments. Many hotels and spas offer free access to fitness centers and saunas with the purchase of one treatment.