The best spas are a place of restoration. Spending time in the spa will rejuvenate you, relieve your stress, soothe your sore body and simply make you blissfully happy. Our TravelingMoms love pampering themselves at the spa on vacation; read about their favorite spas for ultimate pampering on vacation, as well as tips for choosing and enjoying these great spas around the world.
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

The restful Laconium Relaxation Lounge at Spa Atlantis in Reno, Nevada – Photo Credit: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation?

Successful vacations should be an absolute blend of adventure and relaxation. How often do we take on too much during our trip, forgetting to decompress and breathe? As the Day Trip TMOM, my vacations are often scheduled in short bursts of activity, with as much crammed into the day as possible to maximize the trip. But sometimes we just need to wind down and make time for pampering on vacation.
My family and I just returned from a week-long road trip, our first in seven years. While we did pack in plenty of activities, we also took time to truly unwind. One way I like to relax is by spending a few hours at the spa.
One of our road trip stops was in Reno, Nevada and I was pleased to stay at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Their Spa Atlantis received the highly-coveted Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star designation, and rightly so. Luxurious and posh, Spa Atlantis is a beautiful respite that maintains a warm and friendly atmosphere; exactly what I want to feel when enjoying a spa.
Read on for other TravelingMom’s favorite spas, my spa tips for maximizing your visit, and why pampering on vacation is so important.
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

Brine Inhalation-Light Therapy Lounge at Spa Atlantis in Reno Nevada – Photo Credit: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

1. Soothe all the Senses

Give yourself a treat for all senses when pampering on vacation. Seek a spa that combines amazing sights and sounds as well as touch and smell. The Lomi Lomi massage at Spa Atlantis used heavenly scented coconut oil, which allowed the massage therapist to gently glide over and work into my tight muscles without discomfort to me. The gentle music and soft pillows on the massage table relaxed me even more deeply.

Spa Pampering on a Disney Cruise

Patty Holliday, Candid TMOM satisfied all senses in the appropriately named Senses Spa and Salon on a Disney cruise.
On my first cruise, I knew there were two things I looked forward to the most: eating all the yummy food options and visiting the Senses Spa and Salon. Finding out there were massage cabanas on the beach was the icing on the cake! Listening to the ocean waves with the salty sea smell of the beach made this experience close to heaven! Worth every penny to have a massage on Castaway Cay!  – Candid TravelingMom Patty Holliday
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

A spa for the senses aboard a Disney Cruise – Photo Credit: Patty Holliday/Candid TravelingMom

TMOM Spa Tip: During each spa experience, focus on all of your senses. Choose a beverage in the lounge that will make your taste buds dance. (Spa Atlantis served cinnamon apple water which I have to recreate!) Listen closely to the music playing in the background. Breathe deeply and appreciate the aromas used during treatments.

2. Indulge in All the Spa Offerings

Beyond the treatments, most spas have additional amenities that allow you to decompress. On my Spa Atlantis visit, I began my pampering on vacation in the herbal steam room. (My first experience and within a minute the sweat was rolling off of me!)

After toweling off with a moist chilled towel, I stepped into the cedarwood sauna and felt my muscle tension ease. Other relaxation areas like the Laconium Relaxation Lounge and Aqua Spa Lounge really got me into the spa mood.

Prior to your spa day, request a tour of the spa facilities so you can roughly plan out your visit and know what offerings and treatments you’d like to indulge in.

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

Aqua Spa Lounge inside the Spa Atlantis in Reno, Nevada – Photo Credit: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Spa at Sea Island Resort, Georgia

TMOM Sue Rodman had this to say about Spa at Sea Island:

From the moment you step into the Spa at Sea Island you can just feel your shoulders lower, and your breath slowly leave you. When you walk in, you are treated to a garden environment with trees and greenery. Bring a book and relax while listening to the gentle water falls. Of course the treatments are divine, but what makes this spa special are the other areas. Meditate in the labyrinth, soak in the mineral pool or the hydrotherapy pool with a waterfall. There are two couples suites that have private balconies. The one I peeked into had a fireplace, private bath, and tub. –  Teen TravelingMom Sue Rodman

TMOM Spa Tip: Discuss your conditions with a technician at the spa. Find out which offerings would be most beneficial to you and which you should avoid. (For instance, people with heart conditions and pregnant women should not use cold plunge pools.)

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

3. Stay in a Serene Mood at Ocean Blue & Sand

As TMOM Catherine Parker discovered, the Dominican Republic all-inclusive Ocean Blue & Sand offered daily indulgences in the way of champagne, butler service, and nightly turn-down service. Catherine was able to indulge at the spa with a massage and facial, then continued the pampering back in the hotel suite with deluxe toiletries and a whirlpool tub.
I loved the garden in the Despacio The Spa at Ocean Blue and Sand in Punta Cana, DR. – National Parks TravelingMom Catherine Parker
TMOM Spa Tip: Choose a location where you can continue to stay in relaxation mode even after leaving the spa. I stayed in the 2-room suite at the Atlantis and delighted in the amazing view of the mountains, Jacuzzi tub, and cozy bedding that allowed me to stay serene long after my massage was over. Also, it’s easier to maintain relaxation in your own room when the kids are sequestered in their own space!

4. A Complete Wellness Getaway

 If caring for your body is your desired focus, see how a total wellness getaway can completely nourish your body, mind, and soul. Consider booking several days at the spa to allow your body to adjust and gain traction with a new lifestyle.
Choosing a location that includes “good for you” foods can bring your spa days full circle. Snacks, beverages, and meals that sustain and benefit you inside out truly complete the spa experience.

New Life Plan at Spa Eastman

A wellness getaway like Cathy Bennett Kopf took at Spa Eastman in Canada can truly kick start a new life plan.
Located in Quebec’s Eastern Townships, just north of Vermont, the Spa Eastman is unpretentious, with fabulous Nordic baths and dairy- and gluten-free cuisine that tastes like it shouldn’t be good for you! – Optimism TravelingMom Cathy Bennett Kopf 
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

Choose a spa that nourishes you from the inside out – Photo Credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf / Optimism TravelingMom

TMOM Spa Tip: Even if the spa itself doesn’t offer meals, consider choosing healthier options when you dine to truly maximize your spa visit. Instead of a heavy meal, I opted for the salad bar at Purple Parrot restaurant inside Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. Here I could choose my own healthy greens, quinoa salads, fresh fruit and vegetable minestrone soup for dinner.

5. Make it a Ritual

Some spa offerings are best done in a process or ritual. Many spa therapists suggest that guests try certain spa treatments in orderly steps to maximize the experience.

Try out New Rituals

TMOM Karyn Locke had this to say about the Omni Bedford Springs Resort Spa:

Mr. Locke and I enjoyed a trip to the resort’s onsite luxury spot to get pampered, Springs Eternal Spa, on the last day of our visit. When talking to guests and staff of the resort about how we were looking forward to it, they all said the same thing: we had to try the Bedford Bath Ritual. We arrived an hour ahead of our Couple’s Massage (a story in itself!) appointment to dive right into why the ritual is so well-known. The multi-step ritual takes place inside the changing rooms (men and women each have their own) and can easily last 45 minutes if you follow each step. It has a series of hot and cold water treatments, steam therapy, and dips into cool and warm tubs. The process is meant to relax and heal using the water from the property’s springs. Although I’m not a complete health nut, I was totally sold on the process! – Road Trip TravelingMom Karyn Locke

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

Go with the flow and succumb to the spa ritual for optimal benefits – Photo Credit: Karyn Locke / Road Trip TravelingMom

TMOM Spa Tip: Even if you think you won’t like a certain step in the ritual, go into the experience with an open mind. You might find the overall process to be positive, despite one step you aren’t fond of (ice water bath, anyone? Brrrr!!)

6. Make it a Date

On my visit to the Spa Atlantis I was alone during my spa day. I’ll admit to seeing women there alongside their husbands or girlfriends and wished that I had someone to enjoy the afternoon with. While some rooms are silent, other areas like the Aqua Lounge and Tea Lounge are more fun with a friend.

The Broadmoor Pampering on Vacation

TMOM Diana Rowe took a spa vacation at Broadmoor in Colorado Springs with her husband to enjoy the down time prior to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Nothing gives you that “loving feeling” more than a couples’ spa getaway at the historic Broadmoor Hotel & Spa in Colorado Springs.  Surrounded by the mountains and framed by Cheyenne Lake, the historic Broadmoor is less than 90 minutes south of Denver. From warming our hands in front of the Hotel Bar’s outdoor fireplace to a couple’s massage followed by a pedicure and a glass of wine, we quite literally pampered ourselves. No real schedule, other than the requisite appointments and time together. – Traveling Grandmom Diana Rowe

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

A couples getaway is a perfect way to reconnect. Photo Credit: © Kevin Syms

Relax with Your Partner at The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa

The spa experience can be heightened when you’re able to relax alongside a favorite friend or partner. TMOM Teronya Holmes and her husband enjoyed the treatments together on their spa vacation at The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa.

Only an hour away from home, my husband and I love to book a relaxing couples’ massage and then spend the entire day enjoying all of the amenities. When you book a treatment, these amenities are included for the entire day at The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa in Asheville, North Carolina. Some of the amenities in this subterranean spa with rock walls, caverns, and arches include therapeutic waterfall pools, contrast and mineral pools, inhalation rooms, saunas and eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and whirlpools, and beautiful views overlooking the award-winning golf course and Blue Ridge Mountains. – Storytelling TravelingMom Teronya Holmes
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

A vacation with relaxation built in – Photo Credit: Teronya Holmes / Storytelling TravelingMom

TMOM Spa Tip: If you are traveling with a partner or friend, contact the spa ahead of time to see which lounge areas are co-ed and which are exclusively same-sex.

Check out this video that TMOM Sue Rodman recorded of the couples’ room at the Spa at Sea Island.

Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

The Serenity Suite at Spa Atlantis is made for two – Photo Credit: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

7. Enjoy the Alone Time

Some experiences are best enjoyed alone, without the need to chat. In certain lounge areas at Spa Atlantis (like the Brine Inhalation-Light Therapy Lounge), everyone quietly rested while taking in the colorful water cascade and breathing in the salt aerosols. It would not have been the same experience if someone had been carrying on a conversation.

Take on the World

TMOM Sherry Boswell was “ready to take on the world” after her Citrus Ritual treatment at the Alvadora Spa in Phoenix.
The Citrus Ritual is a truly zen experience that forces you to slow down. At first, I thought, there is no way I am going to be able to chill out for 20 minutes in between the exfoliation and the moisturizing sessions. Boy, was I wrong! Laying on the chaise lounge in front of the roaring fire underneath an abundant orange tree, I was blissed out! The other remarkable thing was the total privacy and tranquility. I was at total peace, which as a mom of two busy kids hardly EVER happens! – Melodious TravelingMom Sherry Boswell
Why Make Time for Pampering on Vacation? Read which are the favorite spas of the TravelingMom writers and follow these spa tips for the ultimate pampering on vacation!

Leave your worries at the doorstep – Photo Credit: Sherry Boswell / Melodious TravelingMom

TMOM Spa Tip: Make your spa experience guilt-free. Find kid-friendly activities that the rest of the family can do while you’re enjoying the spa. My family visited the indoor heated pool area at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa while I was indulging in my massage!

Do you have a favorite spa location? Breathe in. Breathe Out. Then share what treatments you love best in the comments!