Angela Adto Tepper, the founder of luxury brand AZA Travel, explains that the pandemic refocused people’s priorities; she's seeing groups plan bachelorette trips that focus more on bonding and spending time together, rather than just having wild and crazy nights out.
“We have been slammed, in a good way, with girls' getaways,” she says. “People just really want to bring focus to friendships. While it's still [fun] to do something lively, like in the Bridesmaids movie, in Vegas, New York City, or Miami, you can have that and also a balance to feel like you’re connected with each other and come back feeling rejuvenated and like you had bonding moments.”
Both Adto Tepper, and Carly Patane Moss, a travel expert at luxury tour operator Black Tomato, have seen spa getaways become popular for bachelorette trips (and travelers in general).
“What’s appealing is that the focus is on relaxation and wellness, and having a more relaxed cadence leaves more room to design some adventurous experiences within the itinerary," says Moss. "Especially popular recently is Napa and Sonoma, where yes, there is a strong wine and food culture, but also inspiring spa and wellness treatments and fitness classes, too, that are increasingly important to smaller groups who want to ditch the traditional boozy bach.” she shares.
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It's worth noting that while a spa weekend is meant to destress, planning any group vacation can be quite the opposite experience. Adto Tepper recommends opting for an all-inclusive spot like Miraval Resorts and Spas, with locations in three states. This way, everything is paid for upfront and there is no stress over the bills during the trip. If you don’t go the all-inclusive route, she suggests creating an itinerary upfront and laying out all the pricing ahead of time to avoid “sticker shock.” When in doubt, hire a professional that will map out the entire trip from flights to meals, spa treatments, and excursions, making for an ultra-luxurious relaxing experience.
Once you're ready to begin planning, Moss suggests considering which elements to look for in a spa property. “Look beyond just a nice setting, to whether the spa offers wellness treatments more holistically,” suggests Moss. “That's not to say that every spa has to have a wellness partner to be great, but these tend to be some of the better ones, as they are thinking about wellness on a tailored and bespoke level—far beyond just a deep tissue massage—for lasting impact.”
If you’re thinking about a spa getaway for your bachelorette trip, here are 12 highly-rated luxury spas in the U.S. to add to your list.
If budget allows, Aman Spa at Amangiri is an ultra-luxury, exclusive spa experience recommended by both Adto Tepper and Moss. And the view alone is worth the price. “There is a reason that Amangiri is one of the most coveted luxury properties and destinations in the entire world,” says Moss. “Set on 600 acres of untouched desert in Southern Utah, there are few settings quite like it, tucked serenely into a protected valley. The juxtaposition of the desert environs and the dramatic pool and interiors make this a beautiful study in contrasts.” The accommodations at the resort range from suites to an entire house, and they all feature breathtaking views. The property's on-site tented camp, Camp Sarika, is made up of tented pavilions for a truly unique stay. “Once you arrive…relish the experience of those secluded desert vibes with your girl gang,” says Adto Tepper.
Activities near the resort include hiking the slotted canyons, crossing the Sky Bridge, yoga on the rocks, Colorado River tours, and more. And, of course, there are spa treatments. There’s an overwater sauna pavilion and floating treatment pagoda, a sauna and steam room, and an extensive menu of massages and beauty treatments. And, it’s all centered around nature. The treatments are inspired by the wellness traditions of the Navajo people. “The concept of hózhó describes the state of being in tune with the self and in harmony with the world, and it is this state that the Aman Spa seeks to induce in Amangiri guests,” the site describes.
Adto Tepper groups the three Miraval resorts in Tucson, Austin, and the Berkshires together as one recommendation because you can’t go wrong with any of them. A client of hers just came back from a Berkshires getaway and told her, “Ah yes, it was a real vacation.” The all-inclusive resorts offer everything you could possibly need for a bachelorette trip built into the price. You can build your own experience right on the website by starting with an intention for your trip (i.e. spa experience, reconnection getaway, relaxation, mental wellbeing), then decide on the activities you’d like (spa treatments, equine therapy, fitness classes, hiking, meditation, or even beekeeping), and finally put it all in motion with a planner. It’s a great way to take the stress out of organizing a group trip.
The Tucson resort is the flagship location and has been around for more than 25 years while Austin and the Berkshires are newer spots that opened in 2019 and 2020, but all three are set among their beautiful and very different natural landscapes. And, the Life in Balance Spa at all locations offers unique treatments like Ayurveda, an ancient massage practice using warm, herb-infused oils. “This ancient ‘Science of Self-Healing’ is rooted in nature and perfected by the centuries. Expand self-awareness and cultivate your innate state of balance with therapies that treat holistically,” Miraval describes. There are also Energy & Eastern treatments, which include acupuncture, Qi grounding, and Jin Shou-Tui Na. Each location also has a hair and nail salon, perfect for bonding time with the girls.
“If you want to have a five-star spa extravaganza with all the glitz and glamor in New York City, Baccarat's Spa de la Mer is the ultra-luxurious way to go,” says Adto Tepper. The Parisian-inspired hotel was designed by a Paris design team who, of course, embellished each room with Baccarat crystal and the iconic Baccarat red. A Parisian art connoisseur made sure to outfit the hotel with fine works spanning from the 18th century until now.
Moss also recommends the Baccarat hotel as a destination for those seeking top-of-the-line wellness treatments with a holistic approach. The treatments at Spa de la Mer are, as the name implies, inspired by the sea. There’s a full menu of facials and massages, including a Mother To Be Massage, an aromatherapy massage, and the Four Hands Massage, which is performed by two massage therapists at once. The hotel also has a beautiful indoor pool to swim laps or just float. For a full foray into cosmopolitan elegance, indulge in afternoon high tea and/or cocktails in the garden.
Moss calls Auberge Resorts Collections “one of the finest experience-driven hotel companies in the world,” and this one in the Napa region of California is in keeping with a theme she’s seeing of bachelorette trips to wine country. But, more importantly, it’s absolutely stunning—and there’s great wine. The luxury resort overlooks the rolling hills of Napa Valley and offers rooms, suites, and even private homes (with outdoor soaking tubs) for guests. Use it as a space to truly unwind and relax after a girls' trip out to the area’s wineries, or just hang out there the whole time. On the property, you will find an outdoor pool with gorgeous views, great dining and wine selections, and La Pagode—a Japanese ryokan-style pavilion for practicing yoga, pilates, and meditation (classes are free for guests). The spa is a zen space anchored by a beautiful courtyard and fountain. The menu offers skin treatments (including facial acupuncture), hair and scalp treatments, water massages, and more. The resort also offers three pre-planned itineraries that you can book based on your group’s interests: food and wine, nature, or arts and architecture.
If your group is full of nature lovers, head to one of the country’s most beautiful national parks: Yosemite. But, fret not, you don't have to forego luxury for adventure; there is a stunning French-style chateau just 16 miles from the park offering the highest level of accommodations, dining, and spa services. It’s also close to the area’s wineries for some fun girls’ day activities. Like something out of a fairy tale, the chateau is luxurious but cozy with stone work, ivy, and formal gardens. Stay in the main house, or go all out and rent out the entire residence called Villa du Sureau. On the grounds, there is an outdoor pool and a serene spa offering massages, facials, and full-body treatments. From October through April, the spa offers a two-day getaway package that offers a spa package for two, two nights’ stay, and free breakfast.
The Lake House on Canandaigua is a beautiful hotel on the Finger Lakes boasting a rustic-meets-modern design. One of its most notable features is Willowbrook Spa with “signature water-view barrel saunas overlooking the serene lake on which it resides,” describes Moss. Willowbrook was designed in partnership with TLee Spas, a global spa design firm. The treatment menu includes everything from massage to skincare and entire body treatments. You can even build a custom treatment. “Our spa therapists are empowered to work with you to create a tailored treatment, which includes an intentional choice of one of our custom-blended herbal tinctures and herbal-infused massage oils,” the site notes.
The hotel, which has been named on a few Travel + Leisure award lists, has a dockside bar and features lake activities like a boat cruise, boat rentals, sailing lessons, and kayaking. Or, if you just prefer to lounge while enjoying the lake view, there are poolside daybeds right on the water.
“Giddyup with your girl group to Triple Creek Ranch, a refined and rustic Relais and Chateaux property in Montana,” says Adto Tepper. “Just think of the bonding moments you'll create with experiences like rounding up the herd or white-water rafting in the summer. During the winter, you can slush through the snow by dog-sledding or whip along the mountainside in snowmobiles. After all the fun, you can soothe yourself with signature spa services. This resort has a strong focus on gastronomy, so expect the food to be divine, as well,” she says.
This is the perfect mountain getaway for adventurous groups who love the outdoors and wildlife—or maybe those who don’t but want to get out of their comfort zone a little! The decor is a rustic ranch style with wooden walls and Western art, and, in fact, there is an artist in residence at the resort. There is tons to do in the great outdoors, including horseback riding, cattle driving, beginner mountain biking, hiking, and fly fishing. One of the quirkier offerings is a smartphone photography class (perfect to make your bach trip Instagram photos pop). For more relaxing activities, enjoy yoga and guided meditation on an outdoor platform in the forest, a dry sauna, and a spa offering massages and full-body treatments like the Forest Oasis Body Wrap.
Valmont, a luxury Swiss skincare line, opened its own spa in New York City at one of the city’s most legendary hotels. Located on the Upper East Side near Central Park, the Carlyle is perfect for any bride looking to fulfill her Gossip Girl fantasies. “Treatments are exclusively tailored to the Carlyle, with signature butterfly motions that set the tone for treatments. The products and treatment ideation are bespoke to the guest, and exemplify Valmont’s results-driven approach to skincare and wellness,” says Moss. Her favorite is the Hydra Escape, “a full body exfoliation followed by a rejuvenating LED waterfall shower, and then a 60-minute soothing massage really brings it together beautifully,” she shares.
The Caryle exudes 1930s glamor with rich, traditional decor in the common areas and contemporary art deco-inspired style in the rooms. Suites offer breathtaking views of the park and the skyline. It’s an ideal spot to get a little relaxation in the city that never sleeps.
Twin Peaks fans will want to check out Salish Lodge & Spa in Washington State as it was one of the filming locations for the David Lynch cult classic. But aside from earning a place in pop culture history, it has also earned a reputation as a top-notch hotel and spa. Boasting grandiose views of the lush Pacific Northwest, the Salish is a great option for groups who love nature and also have a slightly tighter budget as the price point is a tad lower than many of the other spots on this list. “Not too many people know about it in luxury travel,” says Adto Tepper. “It’s about 30 minutes from Seattle, and it specializes in good cuisine, good ambiance, and a spa experience. It sits right on top of a waterfall, so it’s really nice.”
The spa menu offers some unique treatments like Ashiatsu massage, which originates in Eastern Asia and the Pacific Rim. “The root word ‘Ashi’ means foot, and ‘Atsu’ means pressure, so together they symbolize ‘foot pressure.’ This barefoot massage technique utilizes gravity and an overhead bar system for support while delivering a deep, therapeutic massage that stimulates the lymphatic system and creates a structural change in chronic soft tissue damage,” the spa website describes. There’s also a Cannabis Body Treatment and a Hands and Feet Revitalizer. Another standout feature of Salish is that there is an on-site beekeeper.
The Hamptons are a great location for a bachelorette weekend: beach, bars, and booze are all plentiful out in New York City’s summer playground. But there’s also an amazing spa to get away to at any time of year. Shou Sugi Ban House is a “zen oasis” that has a “Japanese-inspired focus on intuitive wellness and nature,” Adto Tepper says. The main house has 13 rooms, and there is also an inn that serves as a cozy but sleek bed and breakfast. The vibe of the whole property is minimalistic, calming, and rooted in the natural surroundings. The spa (which is also available for day trips) offers hydrotherapy, plunge pools, two saunas, an aromatic steam room, and two very unique treatments. An experience shower uses water, light, and color as a means of relaxation. And, an ice fountain uses ice flakes applied directly to the body to boost the circulatory system. There’s also an extensive menu of massages, skincare treatments, and facials. When you’re sufficiently relaxed, head out to the nearby Southampton scene to show off your glowing skin.
“Within the lively city of Miami sits a hotel with a built-in program designed to offer you every kind of therapy—electric cryotherapy, salt float baths, infrared detoxes. You'll be ready for a night out after you've revitalized yourself here,” says Adto Tepper. And, she’s not joking; as the name implies, the whole resort is focused on wellness treatments, and they run the gamut. Aside from traditional massages, body therapies, and skin treatments, there’s a whole menu of “touchless wellness” that offers things like a prism light pod, spa wave (i.e. sound wave therapy), a meditation pod, and more. It’s a great way for your friends to get some alone time throughout the trip.
But, when you do want to hang out together, the gorgeous beach awaits. Or, take a workout class as a group. The spa is located in North Beach, which is just far enough from the hustle and bustle of the South Beach and Miami Beach areas to feel like you’re truly disconnected, but close enough that you can hit the town when you want to.
Escape the traffic and stress of Los Angeles by heading to the Four Seasons Westlake Village near the Santa Monica Mountains. “With an established Center for Health and Well-Being, this is a great property where your bachelorette party can get a balance of exercise classes, spa treatments, great meals (with wine), and still be relatively close to excellent shopping, restaurants, and other areas in Malibu,” says Adto Tepper.
The center offers retreats, two-night stays, and day passes. No matter how long you stay, there’s a wealth of offerings from yoga and fitness classes to a tranquility pool, sound baths, and art therapy. The spa has a menu of massages, facials, and beauty treatments, too. There’s also the opportunity to meet with a dietician and, of course, enjoy the healthful food prepared at the hotel.