If the shopping, cooking and entertaining of the upcoming holiday season already seem overwhelming, or if you simply want to end the year right, a spa getaway can be the ticket to relaxation and renewal. Here are six suggestions for spa vacations in various popular destinations in Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico. If you can't escape now, just keep them in mind for those New Year's resolutions.
The Spa At Disney's Vero Beach Resort --Tranquility reigns in this new spa that opened recently in Vero Beach on Florida's Treasure Coast. An oasis on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, it offers a variety of relaxing and pampering treatments including a Vichy shower with seven heads that massage the body with warm water, and massages with hot stones and shells. Treatments, including facials, utilize citrus and tropical essential oils. There is a treatment room for couples and one for manicures and pedicures. A relaxation room offers views of the ocean and guests can order spa menu selections for lunch and snacks to enjoy in the relaxation room after or in between treatments.
Sample treatment offerings include a Coconut Hydrating Facial ($105 for 50 minutes); a Citrus Vichy Shower Scrub ($85/35 minutes), a Mango Enzyme Exfoliating Wrap ($120/50 minutes) and a Signature Massage with hot stones, warm shells and choice of citrus or tropical essential oils ($175/80 minutes). The resort has, in addition to an uncrowded beach, a pool and whirlpool, steam bath and fitness center. Accommodation prices start at $185 per night for a studio sleeping four with kitchenette. Visit www.DisneyBeachResorts.com.
Marriott Vacation Club Aruba Ocean Club --Situated by the shores of Aruba's Palm Beach--a beach that consistently makes those lists of the "10 Best Beaches of the Caribbean" for its crystal-clear waters and dazzling white sands, Marriott's Aruba Ocean Club offers a health club and a Mandara Spa on-site offering a variety of treatments. A Classic Spa Manicure is $35; a Fabulous Fruity Facial is $85 (45 minutes), to name a few. Teen services are also available. Accommodations include one- or two-bedroom villas with kitchens, separate living and dining areas, washer/dryer and balconies. Among the amenities are an outdoor pool with waterfall, restaurants and beach bar, and pastimes include water sports, casino and nearby golf. Among the deals available for Fall is a "Buy 4, 5 or 6 Nights, Get 1 Night Free" offer that also provides a $100 Island Certificate (valid at participating restaurants and shops). Rates range from $390 to $975 and the offer is valid through Nov. 24. Promotional code is P74. A "Save 20 Percent This Fall" offer is also available at Marriott Vacation Club properties and Grand Residences by Marriott with rates from $320 to $480 per night, valid through Dec. 17 (promotion code is FSZ. For details and terms and conditions, visit www.marriott.com/vacationdreams.
La Source, Grenada --Surrounded by tropical gardens by the sea on Pink Gin Beach (so called because depending on currents its waters sometimes are pinkish) this resort spa on the Caribbean island of Grenada has 100 rooms and suites. Many of the suites and rooms have ocean views. Each guest can enjoy a free spa treatment each day (except arrival day). Among the complimentary treatments are massages and facials, and other treatments are available at extra charge.
Four restaurants on site serve healthy fare and there are three bars--including one by the water's edge--and beverages are included in the price. Among included activities are snorkeling, yoga, exercise classes, water-skiing, kayaking and sailing. Rates start at $324 per person, per night, double occupancy, from Nov. 2 to Dec. 16. Visit www.theamazingholiday.com.
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, Orlando --This Central Florida resort on Disney property is inspired in the waters of Saratoga Springs in New York -frequented, among others, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The resort has beautiful landscaping and a full-service, 12,600-square-foot spa.
In the varied menu of spa services are hydrotherapy, massages, aromatherapy treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures, among others. Treatments can be booked singly or in packages.
And families can enjoy them too as they offer treatments for couples, individuals, children and adolescents (among the treatments for youngsters are manicures, pedicures, and facials including tips on keeping skin healthy). Other facilities include a gym, sauna, steam baths, tropical showers, pools and whirlpools.
The resort has 828 units, from studios with kitchenette, to one-, two- and three-bedrooms with full kitchen. Located next to the Downtown Disney shopping and entertainment center, complimentary buses take guests to Downtown Disney and the Disney parks and attractions. Rates for a studio (sleeping four people) start at $295 per night. Visit www.disneyworld.com.
Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico --The Ixtapan Hotel Spa & Golf Resort on the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains in México, has 220 rooms near pristine panoramas and colonial towns. The property is surrounded by tropical gardens and brooks.
The hotel has three restaurants serving international cuisine and the spa offers a variety of treatments including hot stone massages and aromatherapy. Four-, seven-, 21- and 28-day packages are offered. Among the offerings is a mother/daughter package: seven-nights is $973 for the mother and $400 for the daughter (both sharing a room). If mother/daughter prefer a four-night package the cost is $609 for the mother and $290 for the daughter. The package is valid from Nov. 21 until Dec. 18. Visit www.spamexico.com.
The Pier House, Key West --This resort on Florida's Last Key is by the sea in Key West. Its Caribbean Spa offers a good variety of treatments and special packages.