Coating yourself in chocolate, honey or perhaps peppermint and champagne just feels like the right thing to do come winter, doesn't it?
What with the chilly temps and harsh winds, what better way to fight back than by indulging in some of the season's best spa treatments. And come winter, spas around the country roll out some of their most indulgent and delicious offerings - serving up the season's most popular flavors in the form of a body wrap, facial or foot treatment.
How else is one to cope with the harsh realities of this brutal season?
Dena Roche, expert in all things spa related, certified wellness coach and co-founder of Wellness Travel Media, has revealed to TheStreet a few of her favorite winter spas - locations that combine a world class spa and a memorable destination.
Topping her list is The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Aside from being a picturesque mountain resort, Roche reveals this juicy little tidbit - the hotel's spa is home a stunning $60,000 copper soaking tub where one can rest and warm weary bones. There's also a heated lap pool, eucalyptus-scented steam room and a dry-heat sauna.
"The copper tub is the single most expensive item in entire hotel," says Roche. "It's great for a soak, especially after a long day of skiing."
Yet another property making Roche's list is Destination Kohler, and its Kohler Waters Spa, located one-hour north of Milwaukee. If the name Kohler has you thinking plumbing fixtures, you're on the right track. This resort is located at the headquarters of the international plumbing manufacturer. In the summer, the resort is a luxe golf mecca. Come winter it transitions into one of the country's hottest spa retreats, complete with acoustic baths, bamboo contouring drizzles, heated pool and waterfalls.
Destination Kohler is one of only 44 resort-hotels in the world to have earned five-star ratings from both AAA and Forbes. It's located on a 500-acre wildlife preserve where guests can participate in such activities as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, trap shooting and ice fishing.
Among the noteworthy spa treatments, meanwhile, is the Peppermint Snowflake Pedicure, designed to make your parched winter feet smell (and feel) outstanding.
"For me, every season is spa season," adds Roche with a chuckle. "But whether you're looking at Colorado or Utah, there are properties where you can get a massage to work out your muscles after skiing or a really hydrating facial after having the wind whipping at your face... From a wellness and relaxation standpoint, take the time to enjoy the spa treatments."
So here for your winter enjoyment, are few more properties that combine a sense of place, with fabulous spa offerings. There's options for those who want to embrace the season, spend time outdoors burning a few calories and then retreat inside for some serious warming and pampering. And for those who truly want to escape the winter blues on every level, there are a few warmer options, where your toughest chore will be deciding which cocktail to order as you as you watch the waves gently roll in and out.
If it's good enough for royalty, it must be good enough for you and me right?
That this stunning property will be hosting a royal head of state over the next few weeks, is just one item that makes it noteworthy. It is also the only property located at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.
"We are the only lodging you can find out here, otherwise you need to be in a cruise ship to get the views we offer from this property," says Richard Orozco, Solmar's vice president of operations.
Capitalizing on the property's stellar view, its Sea Spa at Land's End features individual spa cabanas built directly into rock formations overlooking the famous and much photographed 'El Arco' arch. In other words, sun, sand and spa are the main attractions here, along with the spectacular view.
The spa also specializes in revitalizing wellness experiences that combine tastings of the flavors of Mexico with treatments that involve seaweed, unique oils and four hands massage therapies. Reflexology and aromatherapy are some of the other offerings.
And one last tip for the winter weary about this destination, now through the end of the year, the resort is offering travel packages that are up to 62% off the normal rate. What other excuse could you possibly need to get this on your calendar?
One of the most popular getaway packages at this winter wonderland property is the VIP Wine & Spa offering.
The experience involves an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of one of the wineries near the resort (including food pairings), followed by your choice of various enticing spa treatments at Spa Grand Traverse.
The pressing choices facing guests here are Sugar Body Butter Scrub or Chocolate Meltdown mani/pedi? Or maybe both.
"We really try and play off what time of year we are in," says Dawn Olsen, the property's spa director. "This is one of our favorite seasons and we warm all of the products and they all smell wonderful."
There's also plenty of the winter activities for those brave enough to venture outside, including snowshoeing, ice skating and cross country skiing. Not to be overlooked is the outdoor hot tub that guests dip into after a spa treatment.
For the foodies, here's a tantalizing little extra: Traverse is becoming quite the culinary mecca, says Olsen.
"Wine and spa treatments are a good reason to make it to our region, but the restaurants are some of the best in Michigan ...and it's becoming a craft beer town as well," says Olsen.
When it comes to iconic winter destinations, it's hard to outdo Alaska. And with its setting amid a mountain wilderness 40 miles outside of Anchorage, The Hotel Alyeska serves up all that has made the nation's northernmost state famous.
In addition to skiing, dogsledding and glacier viewing, there's bear viewing and northern lights. When it comes to dining, there's the estimable Seven Glaciers restaurant, which earned a AAA Four Diamond award.
Amid all of this, the property's all important spa serves as an oasis where guests can indulge in a variety of Alaskan-themed treatments, such as the signature Alaska Glacial Facial, which uses arctic mud to exfoliate and detoxify the skin.
How about escaping the winter doldrums in California's wine country? The Meritage Resort and Spa offers just the place. The hotel is set against rolling hills and private vineyards, and includes Tuscan-inspired guestrooms and seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine.
Its spa is among one of the most intriguing in the world, located in a cave beneath nine acres of hillside vineyards. The unusual space is filled with steam grottos, soaking pools, treatment alcoves and tranquil walls of water.
"We're actually the only resort in North America, and we think in world, that has an actual cave spa," says Maile Quigley, spa supervisor. "It's one of the many interesting features we have on the property."
Specialties to select here include a locally inspired grape-seed-infused treatment or a rinse and decadent body wrap using wine cave mud.
Other niceties at this spa include a peaceful coed relaxation lounge with a water wall and a eucalyptus steam grotto. Beyond the spa, the property itself offers endless warm, outdoor activities.
"Because of where we are destination-wise, there is a lot to do close by, or you can stay here and never leave property," continues Quigley. "You can walk through the vineyard, go hiking, biking, play bocce ball. We have outdoor areas with fire pits and hot tubs. And if it's cold out, there is plenty to do inside."
A luxury guest ranch, The Ranch at Rock Creek offers one last ultimate winter retreat that combines pampering and a picturesque setting. A cozy retreat located on 6,600 acres of rugged Montana wilderness, the ranch's activities include downhill and cross country skiing, horse-drawn sleigh rides and horseback riding.
Accommodations range from luxury suites in the property's Granite Lodge, to authentic log cabins and historic barn accommodations. There's also several luxury canvas cabins located along Rock Creek, for the definitive glamping experience.
And then there's the spa. A 2,000 square-foot space, the Granite Spa offers intriguing options ranging from a Fisherman's Facial to a Winter Warming Ritual.
Another fun option: every Saturday morning the adventurous can participate in "snowga" (yoga in the snow) on a peaceful mountain peak.
The resort, which is the only U.S. property to be included in National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World, is offering a new Winter Wellness + Adventure Special from January 3 through March 31 that includes a free skiing excursion and two restorative spa treatments.
"The property was founded by an investment banker who searched for years and years for what he thought would be the perfect guest ranch," explains publicist Christina McGoldrick. "It really is a great, all around getaway, isolated from the big city, in a valley, with a river running through it, and rolling pastures."