by Sandy McLeod
Asheville has long had a reputation as a place where high quality spas and innovative treatments are found in aplenty. The city and its surrounding mountains are home to a host of award-winning retreats, hot springs, and saunas, which are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. If you’re looking to pamper yourself amidst some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring scenery in the country, Asheville is the perfect setting for spa treatments.
Shoji Retreat, just 8-10 minutes from Asheville, is a gorgeous hot tub retreat with breathtaking views of national forests and mountains. It has the distinction of offering Asheville’s only private outdoor tubs, and is designed, as its name would suggest, in the style of Japanese spas (tubs hold up to eight people, so this is a great place for families or groups to come). It’s also the perfect spot for a day at the spa. Shoji offers dry cedar saunas and a number of massages, including Warm Oil Scalp Massage, Reflexology, Exfoliating Skin Brushing, and Hot Stones. The retreat has been voted Best of WNC, and has received numerous other customer-satisfaction awards over the years.
Illusions Day Spa of Asheville
Housed in a “stylishly renovated 1920s home” situated just moments from downtown Asheville, llusions Day Spa of Asheville combines an elegantly Jazz-Age ambiance with a whole package of delectable massage options. Guests can receive a hot stone massage or body wrap, or a state-of-the-art full-body Herbology Retexturing Wrap, which uses specially formulated Chinese herbs. There’s also the popular CynoThermic Body Treatment, which helps eliminate toxins and firm up tissue. The Deep Tissue Massage and a massage package for two is ideal for couples looking to unwind.
Far Infrared Sauna
The Far Infrared Sauna, located at the Biltmore Wellness Center, is an institution that has been praised by many healthcare professionals. In addition to detox services, the infrared sauna offers a wide variety of massage therapies. The beautiful and peaceful atmosphere here is tailored to transport guests to a world of bliss. Schedule a session for a peaceful and relaxing experience to remember.
The Salt Spa of Asheville
The Salt Spa of Asheville, features Himalayan pink salt on all walls and the floor, golden glowing salt features and soft music. Himalayan Salt has long been renowned for its rich mineral content that promotes healing. Spending time in the salt spa is said to help reduce the symptoms of allergies and asthma and bodily pains such as arthritis. It is also deeply relaxing.
The spa has a very healing micro-climate with micron size dry salt particles saturating the air and is specially designed with a ventilation system that keeps the room hypo-bacterial and free of allergens. The room can accommodate up to six people per session, and offers a salt-therapy preparation session, as well as meditation sessions and other relaxing services. The experience has been described by happy visitors and reviewers as like “being in a dream.”
The Secret Spa
The five-star The Secret Spa, housed in the magnificent and historic Belvedere House in nearby North Asheville is a veritable sanctuary—created, as its website says, exclusively for guest’s “beauty, pleasure and well-being.” Promising intriguing “aromatic, old world treatment rooms” that conjure up an air of mystery, the spa is famous for its Mountain Mud & Sea Detox Wrap, which includes a full-body massage and exfoliation treatment and a mud and algae wrap.
Serenity Wellness Spa
The Serenity Wellness Spa in Asheville is a relatively new spa established in 2011 that has garnered major accolades and reviews from customers since its inception. With a goal of sending guests off “into a state of peaceful bliss,” the spa is known for its luxurious treatments like Eucalyptus, Espresso, and Lemon body wraps.
Just as it’s a city of natural wonders, Asheville is also a city of spas. If you want to feel pampered, Western North Carolina has some of the most unique and luxurious options in the country to offer. Take your pick, and be transported.