Resort Spas

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Cool spa-like getaway?

May 2010

I'd like to take my husband to some sort of relaxing, spa-like place for his 40th birthday. The baby'll be with the grandparents and I'd love to get him a massage and relax for a night w/ good wine and food in some kind of relatively secluded nature-y environs. We're not fancy, nor are we rolling in cash these days, so I'm looking for something reasonably priced, and probably more on the funky side than the chi-chi side. (At the same time, I'm not looking for a hippied-out Harbin experience). I'm thinking somewhere within a few hrs from here, maybe Sebastapol or Sonoma Co., but would consider something in Mendo or elsewhere if there was a great rec. Thanks in advance for your suggestions! Getaway

Mercey Hot Springs . We love this place! Far enough away from the Bay Area but still less than a 3 hour drive coming 580 to the 5. They have lovely original cabins dating to the 1930's. This is a very unique place and the people are very nice without any hippyness. It is definitely one of those little secrets. My husband and I got married here, we love it so much. The wildflowers in early spring are amazing, but I still find it beautiful in the summer as well. A hidden spot with the old west feel, but completely on board with the latest green technology- they run solar and wind to power almost everything now. Anyway, check out the website, if you've heard about it in the past but haven't gone recently, they have made many nice upgrades including a swimming pool with the same water as the hot springs, but cooled down, several more bathrooms and improved camp sites. Rachel

Destination Spa for two moms

August 2004

My friend and I have ALL FOUR KIDS in college and we're declaring ourselves successes as parents! To celebrate, we'd like to go to a destination spa.

We're looking for a spa only, not a resort with a spa attached. Money is an object, so Canyon Ranch or Golden Door, etc. are out, as are spas in the east. Massage, facials, hiking, yoga classes, should be included. We're not looking to lose weight, so good, plentiful food should be available.

Does anyone know of any they can recommend? Is there anything else we should watch out for? Are there better times to go than others? Thanks for your advice. Successful Mom


  • Harbin Hot Springs Calistoga
  • Indian Springs Calistoga
  • Vichy Springs Resort Ukiah

    Spas in the Santa Fe NM area

    May 2004

    This weary single mom has decided to give herself a treat and is looking for a SPA in the Santa Fe, NM area. Ideally it would be a place that has yoga and even some shamanic healing sessions. Any ideas???? Sara

    My 2 women friends and I have been going to Santa Fe for an annual get away for years. You are in for a treat. Here are a few ideas: Ten Thousand Waves (a Japanese style spa); The International Folk Art Museum; hiking trip to Bandalier; a special dinner at Pasqual's (an incredible treat); and the best hole-in-the-mall local type food at Diego's. Enjoy!! Debbie
    Two Recommendations: There's a nice spa called Ten Thousand Waves in the hills above Sante fe. They have lodging, though I have only been there for spa teatments and can only recommend those. Just south of Sante Fe there is a little town called Galisteo, and the Galisteo Inn is a wonderful B It's an old hasienda converted into lodging and has got a first class restaurant, It's about 15 minutes away from Sante Fe, so you'll have to do some driving to get there, but it's very relaxing. I think there's a newish spa not to far from there, but I don not know the name. Carolyn
    10,000 Waves, Lived there

    Visiting a spa while pregnant

    March 2003

    I'm trying to plan a spa getaway with friends before baby #2 and I saw the postings on the Web site for recommendations in Calistoga, but I'm wondering if anyone has had experience getting spa treatments while pregnant at any place in the wine country area. I'm 7 mos and my midwife says it's ok, but I know that massages simply aren't comfortable at this stage without the proper table to accommodate the belly bulge. I'd also be interested in knowing what other treatments--mud bath, hot springs--are enjoyable or unadvisable while pregnant. Also, does anyone know of a house to rent in the area just for one night? We don't need anything lavish. We're not sold on the wine country, either, if anyone knows of spa alternatives closer to home. We just want to get away overnight. Whitney

    Recommendations received:

  • Calistoga Spa & Hot Springs
  • Harbin Hot Springs
  • Indian Springs
  • Sonoma Mission Inn
    I LOVED getting massages when I was pregnant (well I love getting massages any old time). You do not need to have a special table for your belly. Pre-natal massages are done on your side. What the practitioner needs is knowledge of the pregnant body. You should ask in advance if someone where you are going is experienced with pre-natal massage. The main concern as I understand it (and please check with your OB or midwife), is that massage of certain areas could potentially bring on early labor (though this is hard to believe if your only 7 mo.s, isn't it?). I forget all the spots, but around the ankles was one. The other thing the practioner needs is extra pillows, for between your knees, behind your back and one for you to hug - this should make you feel quite comfortable on the table. The massuese works one side of the body at a time.

    As for other spa treatments, I would skip the mud baths, as the temperature is quite high, and likewise the hot springs or jacuzzi unless you can find one that's not too hot. Or, what I used to do is get in the jacuzzi for a few minutes (like 3 or 4), then just sit on the edge of the jacuzzi and soak my legs. The idea is you don't want to raise your body's core temperature past what's safe for the baby. Again, ask your OB what that temp. is. If I were pregnant and going to a spa, I would definitely go for a nice long massage, a facial (though your skin's probably looking great!) and maybe some reflexology for those achin' feet! I'm jealous. Have fun! steph

    This is a little off topic for your post but I just wanted to address your concern about prenatal massage being uncomfortable. When I was 3 weeks from my due date I went to Azul Spa, off Solano, and had a massage. They had specially designed pillows which were placed on the regular massage table so I was able to lay on my tummy (absolute heaven... I had missed it so!) I am sure that these are pretty common accessories in the spa industry... just call the places you are interested in and ask for a prenatal massage, or what accomodations they have for pregnant women... as for treatments I would suggest... since hot tubs, saunas and mud baths are out go for massage, facial and especially a pedicure... Rose