Best Hotel Spas

Things to Do, What's New — By Sarah Sekula on November 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Mandara Spa at Disney's Swan and Dolphin Resort

When you are completely worn out from all the hullabaloo that is Orlando, scope out a spa — there are plenty of them. Your weary muscles deserve a treat.

Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes
There’s a reason that The Ritz-Carlton Spa is voted again and again as one of Orlando’s top spas. First of all, It features 40 treatment rooms, a private 4,000-square-foot heated outdoor lap pool, a Carita salon, a boutique and a café. I mean, who said relaxing should not also include eating? The healthy cuisine includes tasty salads, power drinks, smoothies and a wide selection of waters.

Second, the treatments are so unique. There’s the East Indian Lime Scalp and Body Massage, which is just heavenly. Or the neuromuscular massage, which is super effective in relieving discomfort from tension headaches and other back and neck pains. Or the Eco-Rooftop Hammock Experience, which takes you to a private green rooftop sanctuary for a “zero gravity” massage. My all-time favorite, however, is called “Drift To Sleep,” which is designed to take you to a deep state of sub-consciousness. Perfect for those with overactive minds or those who are sleep deprived. It begins with an aromatherapy milk bath. Then, you sip aromatic herbal tea, infused with specialized essential oils like lavender and St. John’s Wort to assist in slowing the body’s internal rhythms. Next up: a peaceful body massage, including warm aromatherapy oils, Reiki, Cranial Sacral holds, lymphatic drainage and other polarity techniques specialized to transition you into the alpha state of sleep. Your sleep therapists will then encourage 30-minute power nap on a warmed, down duvet and oversized massage table.

Check the spa’s webpage for deals throughout the year.

4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando, FL 32837

The Spa at the Peabody
Just walking into this spa triggers instant relaxation mode. You’ll be surrounded by rubber duckies, towels that look very much like edible cupcakes and scents that artfully encourage repose. Try the signature mango ginger infusion or the tranquility body cocoon or a even a deep tissue massage. I recommend the paraffin wax treatment, which is said to help circulation and heals and soothes, too. Better yet, it makes your tootsies smell mighty nice. Apres-treatment, make a beeline for the hot tub. Then, in your sloth-like state, check out the steam room. Then it’s back to the hot tub and straight to a cushy chair for some lounging.

9801 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

The Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain
There’s a lot to adore about The Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain. For starters, the treatments. Try the Waldorf Impériale, a 2-hour treatment that includes an indulgent massage and decadent facial complete with Guerlain’s complete age-defying skincare, Orchidée Impériale. Or sign up for Intensive Body Therapy, a 2-hour treatment that includes an invigorating Vichy shower body polish, replenishing body wrap, and customized skincare concentrate therapy to sublimate the skin from head to toe. Should you not have time to enjoy one of these luxurious treatments, relax with the spa’s tea lounge, steam room and jacuzzi for a daily fee of $30.

14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando, FL 32821

Mandara Spa
Mandara, a Sanskrit word referring to an ancient legend about the quest to find the secret to eternal youth and beauty, is everything you’d expect from a Disney resort. For starters, the Balinese architecture alone will blow you away. Rooted in the great Hindu traditions and reminiscent of the Polynesian style, Balinese structures are created with natural materials including woven bamboo and coconut wood. The moment you enter the spa through the Meru Temple you’ll notice the intricate detail in every nook and cranny.

Beyond its good looks, the Mandara Spa is also well known for its over-the-top pampering and beauty services. The Mandara experience is inspired by the traditions of healing touch present in the Balinese culture. Together, these time-honored therapies, along with modern methods, meld together creating unique treatments; and with over 40 options, there is certainly a choice for everyone.

1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista
407-934-4SPA (4772)

Relâche Spa at the Gaylord Palms Resort
Before your appointment, I highly recommend making a beeline for the Eucalyptus Steam Room. It is the perfect way to start your day spa experience. After that, the Muscle Melt treatment is a great choice. The Thai-inspired treatment will work your pressure points and release blocked energy. Plus, a heated herbal poultice is used to reduce aches and pains followed by a massage with lemongrass-infused oil to nourish the skin. Next, washed it all off in one of the spa’s duper-super showers. I’m talking seven shower heads shooting from all directions, plus your choice of lighting and music. It was every bit as fanciful as it sounds.

6000 West Osceola Parkway
, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Tags: Mandara Spa, Orlando's Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes, Relâche Spa at the Gaylord Palms Resort, The Spa at the Peabody, The Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain