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Health + Wellness

11 Dreamy Winter Spa Retreats

Dry, chapped skin? Vitamin C deficiency? Just too damn cold? These dreamy winter spa retreats are the cure-all for any cold-weather woe.

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Photos courtesy of NORDIK-PHOTOLUX

1

Nordik Spa-Nature, Ottawa

The largest spa in North America, 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, is expectedly impressive. It’s home to a whopping seven Scandinavian-style outdoor baths (including the saltwater-based Källa, which feels like floating in the Dead Sea), nine different saunas, a restaurant serving up Canadian and Mediterranean dishes, and an outdoor terrace lounge complete with cocktails and European small plates. To meet demand, the spa is also introducing non-spa activities like foodie get-togethers and social nights—but we'd forgive you if you spent most of your time here just wading in the stunning infinity pool, which overlooks the twinkling city of Ottawa in the distance.

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2

Fairmont Banff Springs

This 1888 baronial castle is straight out of a Scottish folk tale—but you’ll find it much closer to home, in the thick of the Canadian Rockies. Snow-covered pines, pristine lakes, and looming mountains are the backdrop for Willow Stream Spa, whose mineral pools are fed by hot springs, whirlpools by waterfalls, and 23 treatment rooms duly accommodate the demand from the resorts whopping 768 rooms. We can think of nothing better to counteract spirited hikes in the surrounding Bow Valley than a soak in the mineral bath followed with snuggling by the fire swaddled a thick, comfy robe.

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3

The Spa at Norwich Inn, CT

Despite its star-studded past (the original 1930 inn hosted the likes of Sinatra and the Prince of Wales), you’ll still find The Spa at Norwich Inn, in southeastern Connecticut, a timeless New England hideaway. A peaceful forest gives way to manicured gardens, fountains, and a destination spa resort that offers 100 guest rooms, including 49 in its Georgian Colonial inn, as well as healing rituals for any ailment—from hand, foot, and facial therapies to massages, walks, meditation, and classes on nutrition and fitness—not to mention a beauty salon where Hilary Swank stopped by. The afternoon tea and scones, and evening wine tasting, are the icing on the cake—whether you come with family, friends, a partner, or just yourself.

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4

Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana

A stay at the Ranch at Rock Creek is Western mountain living at its most pastoral: guests hunker down in log or canvas cabins, the historic lodge, or in the furnished 19th-century barn; there’s an Old West-style Saloon for afternoon games of billiards and shuffleboard, where saddles sit in for bar stools; and daylight hours are spent engaging in the usual ranch activities (horseback riding the trails; sleigh rides over frost-covered meadow; ice-fishing on Mallard Pond). Those hoping to refuel make a beeline for the Granite Spa, whose “Winter Cleansing Ritual” includes a steam in the cedar sauna and a soak in a tub filled with peppermint bath salts before a coffee- and mint-infused body scrub.

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5

Whiteface Lodge, NY

Inside the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, near Lake Placid village, the all-suite Whiteface Lodge is rustic-luxe at its best. The resort is built from hand-milled timber, while, inside, its everything you’d want in a cabin getaway: cast-iron fireplaces, deep leather armchairs, mounted deer antlers, a perfectly placed wooden balcony, and an onsite restaurant serving up North American fish and game. But it’s not all about skiing here: snowshoes are provided in winter for exploring the trails, while the full-service spa is an ideal respite for rejuvenating moisture-zapped skin (go for the Adirondack exfoliation, which combines mineral crystals with essential oils).

RELATED: 8 Rustic-Luxe Getaways We're Crazy About

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6

The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa, Vermont

No, this isn’t a fitness boot camp—named for Mount Equinox, this historic retreat is as charming as they come. Its clutch of historic buildings (the oldest of which dates back to the 1700s) has hosted American presidents from Ulysses S. Grant to Theodore Roosevelt, while the Gleneagles Golf Course (named after its sister course across the pond) continues to draw the game’s best players. Fall foliage is Vermont’s natural claim to fame, but the attractions here are arguably even more compelling come wintertime, when the state becomes blanketed in snow. Treatments at the Equinox spa run the gamut from hot stone massages to Vitamin C facials—best concluded with a dip in the 75-foot heated indoor pool.

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7

Viceroy Snowmass, Colorado

Rustic log cabin this is not—designer Kelly Wearstler gave the public spaces at this ski-in/ski-out Viceroy a much subtler, Alpine-chic take, and the results are stunning: think birch-tree walls, tree-trunk columns, and a statement lobby fireplace encased in glass. Meanwhile, each of the 173 serene guest suites by Jean-Michel Gathy are visions in white and gray, with roaring fireplaces and patios overlooking the mountain or forest. The stunner is the expansive 7,000-square-foot spa, all chrome and glass tiles, with its Ute Indian-inspired therapies, while a hangout at the pool deck, with cabanas, a fire pit, and ‘grammable views, is de rigueur in any season.

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8

Aire Ancient Baths, New York, NY

Manhattan’s maze of streets and neighborhoods are known for hiding countless secret oases—moody speakeasies, subterranean dinner clubs, in-the-know jazz joints—that become all the more appealing once the winter chills hits the streets. Our latest obsession: Aire Ancient Baths, a winter spa retreat in upscale Tribeca, is Manhattan’s newest cold-weather cure. Equal parts Roman bath, Turkish hammam, and massage parlor, this 16,000-square-foot underground bath (part of a spa chain begun in Seville, Spain) possesses a certain kind of atmospheric magic—imported white Spanish marble and stone, pools for any preference—fiery or icy, saltwater or fresh, still or bubbling)—and Moroccan lanterns and candles that alone illuminate the cavernous space. Did we mention only 20 guests are allowed inside at a time? Pure bliss.

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9

Gstaad Palace, Gstaad, Switzerland

For over a century, Gstaad Palace had been the Swiss hideaway of choice for Europe’s ski elite. Its castle-like exteriors and interiors match (or rather, are cause for) its grand reputation: rich royal fabrics and old-world furnishings and service. The spa is a newer, chicer version of its parent building, but no less glamorous. The hotel spent a small fortune carving out the basement space for a 20,000-square-foot spa and pool complex, which now features eight treatment rooms, a solarium, a wall installation featuring 50 tons of granite brought from the Blausee region, and its own hammam. Take in the views from the fur-covered sofas surrounding the spa’s central fire pit—or better yet, from the heated outdoor pool, with the Alps on all sides.

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Images courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

10

Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

If you’re looking for an outdoors-meets-indoors type of vibe, you’ve come to the right place. This ski-in/ski-out Ritz-Carlton at the Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resort, all wood and stone, is all about its beautiful mountain surrounds. Rooms come in woodsy color palettes with brown leather armchairs and gas fireplaces while floor-to-ceiling windows keep the spotlight on the surrounding mountains and Martis Valley. Our favorite escape is the 17,000-suare-foot spa, whose treatments draw from nature as well: think cedar-oil massages and exfoliating scrubs incorporating crushed pinecone.

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11

Badrutt's Palace Hotel, St. Moritz

St. Moritz is the definition of dreamscape come wintertime. Consistently rated one of the best alpine towns worldwide, it has enjoyed a lifetime of glamorous visitors and even more glamorous hotels. Badrutt’s Palace is one of them, an 1800s jewel that’s hosted the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich thanks to its buttoned-up rooms (all serviced by butlers), famous après-ski scene, and renowned spa. Treatments here, such as massages that use Engadin stones and Ayurvedic herbs and teas, marry Swiss wellness techniques with Indian, Thai, and Japanese traditions. Don’t miss a swim in the show-stopping indoor pool, whose floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the surrounding Engadine Alps.

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