Visiting the United States’ busiest cities – for work 
or leisure – can be hectic. Steal a minute (or 90) of peace and quiet in its most soothing sanctuaries.

New York 

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

The Spa at 
Mandarin Oriental
Nowhere is an oasis of calm more needed than in one of 
the world’s busiest cities. 
From the moment you step 
inside this five-star hotel’s award-winning spa, the crowds, congestion and constant car horns 34 floors below feel miles away. Take in uninterrupted views of Central Park and the Hudson River through floor-
to-ceiling windows in the sprawling space, which has 
six treatment rooms – with private showers, amethyst crystal steam chambers and gender-specific plunge pools – and an Oriental Tea Lounge 
to relax in sipping a herbal infusion. As you’d expect from 
a Mandarin Oriental, the spa menu features a dash of the 
Far East: Ayurvedic skin and body treatments; therapeutic massages; chakra balancing; acupressure; and a jetlag-busting Oriental Harmony massage that has two therapists working on your body in perfect unison. Guests are encouraged to book a 90-minute appointment then decide on the ideal mix of treatments in a pre-therapy consultation. Who said New York has to be exhausting? – Vanessa Lawrence


The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club

The Spa at 
Four Seasons hotel at The Surf Club
This luxury hotel is located in the Surfside neighbourhood of Miami. It’s 
a mere 20-minute drive north 
of the buzzing South Beach precinct but the serenity is other-worldly. The sound of crashing waves echoing along 
its stately hallways certainly helps but it’s at the spa that 
this hotel really delivers on 
Zen. A seamless symphony 
of white shuttered windows 
and relaxing lounges, crisp robes and plush linen, the tranquil space offers regular yoga and meditation workshops, a dedicated steam room and sauna, plus a bevy of treatments – from a 90-minute anti-ageing facial to two-hour-long stress-
relieving hot-stone massages. There are a number of highly specialised therapies, too – 
a hand-regenerating ritual 
that takes away the signs of 
time from your mitts, say, or 
the slimming and sculpting treatment that features a rigorous massage. 
– Akash Arora

San Francisco

Remède Spa at 
the St. Regis
Your lymphatic system will get 
a boost simply walking into the stylish St. Regis hotel, located in the happening SoMa neighbourhood, but its serene sixth-floor spa is the perfect retreat for stressed 
tech executives. A lengthy 
menu of therapies and rituals covers customised massages, while restorative baths use ingredients inspired by the 
Bay area. For après-treatment relaxation, there are few better options than floating in the indoor saltwater pool and soaking up stunning views 
of the San Francisco skyline. – Larissa Dubecki


The Spa at The Joule
Dallas, Texas, is packing some serious wellness heat thanks to 
The Spa at The Joule boutique hotel. Housed in a lavishly renovated 1920s neo-Gothic building, 
the subterranean spa is pure 2019, complete with a crystal steam room (the giant amethyst in the corner is said to induce tranquillity while also aligning those pesky chakras), a jet-
massage vitality pool equipped with in-water loungers and 
a futuristic fountain of shaved ice to slather on the body post-
sauna. The treatments range from pampering, personalised facials to super-luxurious massages, including the Fire 
and Ice, which uses alternating hot volcanic stones and cool jade crystals. – Larissa Dubecki

Los Angeles 

Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel

Ciel Spa at SLS Hotel
The soothing white-on-white décor of Ciel Spa comes courtesy 
of designer to the stars Philippe Starck – fittingly, this sumptuous wellbeing den is a favoured haunt of Los Angeles’ glitterati. A sanctuary within a sanctuary (it’s housed in Beverly Hills’ five-
star SLS Hotel), Ciel Spa has a finely honed attention to detail. Even the wellness seeker who’s seen 
it all will thrill to the custom-made massage beds complete with music-therapy technology and the healthy finger food created by celebrity chef José Andrés. And being La La Land there’s a smorgasbord of frontier treatments such as intravenous therapy to replenish the body with essential minerals, vitamins and amino acids. – Larissa Dubecki


Wind down in Waikiki with 
the stress-melting rituals of Polynesian tradition. The spa belonging to the waterfront five-star Halekulani hotel 
(the name translates as “house befitting heaven”) marries ancient wisdom and indigenous ingredients for an only-in-Hawaii experience. Relax to the sound of ocean waves while indulging in massages ranging from the Nonu, using hot stones and healing noni fruit, to Lomi Lomi, the sacred Hawaiian massage using kukui nut oil, 
or Ho‘olele, an intense, all-over massage enlisting the help of 
the therapist’s bare feet. – Larissa Dubecki


Aire Ancient Baths
Steeped in the bathing rituals 
of the ancient Roman, Greek and Ottoman civilisations, 
Aire Ancient Baths (pictured top) offers transporting pleasure. In the cavernous basement of an historic building in Chicago’s River West area, you can pamper yourself like it’s 500 BCE with 
a thermal-bath circuit featuring pools set to varied temperatures (hot, cold, warm and – eek – ice), plus a saltwater “flotarium” in which you can bob weightlessly. Or really sink your teeth into the Aire experience with a solo soak in red wine. – Larissa Dubecki

SEE ALSO: Where to Pamper Yourself in New York City

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