A secret that might just be hiding in plain sight, Saratogians? When it comes to getting your zen on—think spa!—the Adirondacks are home to relaxation palaces many New York City establishments can’t even replicate. Geography certainly helps; with the wooded, babbling-brook splendor of the Adirondacks front and center, the region’s spas are often setting trends, not following them.
Here, we’ve selected four spa resorts that have been awarded “diamonds” and “stars” and are otherwise globally hailed by independent luxury-ratings publications and the most sophisticated travelers. The Adirondacks have found yet another reason to keep us coming back for more.
Lake Placid Lodge brings new meaning to the term “en suite.” With its luxe accommodations right on the lake, you can’t go wrong. The lodge’s legendary in-room massages are stellar and encompass a mix of aromatherapy, reflexology, deep tissue and sports massage. Ampersand Salon and Spa is located within the newly remodeled, luxurious and well-appointed Hotel Saranac and is fully prepared for all who want to go first-rate all the way, featuring gorgeous massage and treatment rooms; a chic unisex salon; a great men’s menu with real hand and foot repair (masculine mani/pedi); and a nutrient-rich service menu that delivers results featuring one of my faves, red flower skincare. (I’m telling you, it’s full-on, full-service!) Check out red flower’s Nature & Nurture, a powerful yet gentle bioactive exfoliant facial with a stimulating mushroom and phyto-nutrient wrap to heal damaged, aging skin, or, you can opt for the Pro-Definition Lift and Contour to help restore the architectural definition and youthfulness of your face.
The spa at Whiteface Lodge is 5700 square feet of rustic elegance and was voted by Condé Nast Traveler as among the top 100 spas in North America. The intimate spa delivers a range of luxurious treatments. You might want to start with the highly popular ZENTS Ultimate Luxury Wrap or HydraFacial MD Premier Facials, with breakthrough technology that’s non-invasive and non-surgical but leaves immediate and lasting results. Make no mistake, the whole excursion can be focused on your superior spa wellness experience, and the property itself is simply stunning. How does it get any better than this?
My top pick for a really great destination summer vacation, however, is the Mirror Lake Inn & Spa, itself voted the top resort in the Northeast by CN Traveler. The overall aesthetic checks all of the boxes, as if the estate were built for understated American royalty. It’s yesteryear-gorgeous-meets-2020. The View Restaurant offers an extraordinary AAA four diamond experience. With tennis, biking, a private beach, two heated pools and an afternoon tea, where does one even begin to plan the perfect day? Oh, I know: The full-service spa. Namaste, baby, Adirondacks style.