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Olivia de Havilland

Here's the rub: Is a more expensive spa better, or just different?

Those elegant new spas being built at hotels and resorts often come with heart-stopping price tags. We wondered: Does the pampering feel progressively better the more you pay -- or just different? Here are three spa experiences: at a high-end resort in Santa Fe, a moderately priced lodge in the Texas Hill Country and an inexpensive, historic hotel in Hot Springs, Ark. LA POSADA DE SANTA FE Location: Santa Fe, N.M. Age: This long-standing inn, including an 1892 mansion and a Pueblo-style motor court added in the 1930s, underwent a massive $20 million redo in 1999. Claim to fame: The Avanyu spa has attracted a glittering clientele (Dylan McDermott, Cher, k.d. lang) and an -In Style"...