What exactly is New Life Hiking Spa?  With all the recent media attention, it seems there’s a bit of confusion.

Inquiries from New York Magazine have been coming in droves this week.  It has been a busy month for us at New Life Hiking Spa and we have gotten a lot of media requests, but I didn’t recall ever being contacted by a writer for this article.  In this social media world where bloggers with 93 followers consider themselves big-time travel writers, it is always interesting when you see an article that brings in hundreds of people.  So, I did a little digging…

It turns out, the article wasn’t about New Life Hiking Spa at all.  But, we were mentioned in it (I guess that proves how many people read this magazine)!  An article titled, “At Celebrity Boot Camp, $4,100 Gets You Six Almonds” focused on “Hollywood’s favorite wellness retreat”.  In a tongue-in-cheek article about The Ranch in Malibu, California, New Life Hiking Spa is mentioned.  Once.  But, with a link (thank you NYMag.com)!

In case you haven’t heard, (that is partly a joke, I have been posting it everywhere) we recently were named the #1 Destination Spa in America on the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards list.  The article states, “Deprivation programs like the New Life Hiking Spa dominated Travel + Leisure’s top-ten list of destination spas in the U.S. this year. (The Ranch came in at No. 3.)”

It also mentions another spa in California that is about $5,200 a week, all-inclusive, but you share a bathroom (and maybe a bedroom, it’s not really clear).

So, even though we were only mentioned briefly, it seems people’s interest has peaked in New Life.  And, because it doesn’t really describe us, it just mentions us with these other places, people are assuming we are like them.

We need to clarify a few things that the article brings up and some have been calling/emailing to ask about:

  • We are not a deprivation program. We do have a wellness and weight loss retreat, but we serve about 1,600 calories a day. We give you enough food to do the activities and detox your body and lose weight.  Check out our food and recipes page to get an understanding of our food philosophy.
  • A week with us will only cost you about $1,600 and that is all-inclusive. Even our 11 night retreat will only cost you about $2750 (and we almost always have a special on that, so the price is lower).  You get your own room (even if you stay by yourself, you get 2 queen beds) and your OWN bathroom.  It is not fancy, but you will be in a clean, comfortable, renovated room that has a quaint, funky Vermont vibe.  Our prices are about $229-$269 a night depending on length of stay.
  • Yes, we occasionally do get some famous people, but they pay just like every other guest. And, you know what?  The ones we have met want to be treated like every other guest.  They also want to be treated like a regular guest by the other guests.  We also get burned out-stay-at-home moms needing a break, teachers, nurses, managers, computer programmers, accountants and the occasional self-made millionaire that flies in on a private plane.
  • We have been doing this and leading people on hikes in the Green Mountains of Vermont for 39 summers now, we are experts and the only thing you need to bring is your hiking boots. That’s it!  We have backpacks, water bottles, hiking poles, and fresh, healthy snacks for you!
  • What exactly is included?   Your room, three freshly prepared meals a day, our world-renowned hiking program with awesome hike leaders, fitness classes, yoga, one massage for every three night stay, lectures, cooking demos, water aerobics, and healthy snacks. Yes, you can get additional massages if you would like, and even those are affordable too.  See our listing here.
  • We are not luxury, we are not “in-your-face” boot camp and we are not a fad diet. We are simply a low-key, affordable getaway for you to concentrate on yourself and have a healthy vacation.
  • We have been around for almost 4 decades and have been called “A Pioneer in Destination Spas” by the industry leader, SpaFinder Wellness. We have guests that have been coming to us since the 1980’s, almost half of our guests that have come this year are repeat guests, and we have many guests who have come to New Life more than 20 times!  We have so many loyal customers that we find it weird to even call them a “customer” because they are more like family.

I really do believe the best way to have a happy guest (and one who comes back year after year) is for them to know what to expect when they get here.  This review from Tessa in NYC who came in August of last year wrote:

 “Learn how to take care of yourself again”

Meet people that will have the best influence on your life, simplify the way you live and feel lighter. If you are looking for a formal, fancy retreat look elsewhere- this is a community-style home away from home full of people that care about your health and well-being. No frills, just fun in the great outdoors and a casual education about living a healthy life. I seriously believe that this experience has changed me and my life for the better – the real work begins now, but I feel like I have been given the tools to be the best me I can be. Sounds cheesy, I know. But it’s the truth.
The class instructors very from super experienced, to chill and relaxed encouragement to just move your body. The hike leaders serve you your meals and are diligent about your particular needs, but also challenge you when you need it. The hikes are varied and beautiful, and my daily sweat could fill buckets. Talk about detox. And the PEOPLE- omg. The people I met are from everywhere, all walks of life, and are so good-hearted and fun to be around. High maintenance people please don’t ruin the fun – come here with the ability to laugh at yourself. Jimmy Lesage has created something so special in this little town in Vermont. Get here and see for yourself – I feel like a new person.


That’s what we are about.  I really hope this clears things up.  My husband, Jimmy, has put his heart into New Life Hiking Spa since he created it in 1978.  He still answers every call.  Do you still have questions?  Give him a ring at 802-353-2954.  Our lines are a bit busier these days, but if you leave a message, he’ll call you back as soon as he is finished up his other call.

So, come on up New Yorkers (and everyone else for that matter)!  We are a lot closer than California…and no one can compete with our fall foliage OR our prices!

Here’s the article in New York Magazine:

“At Celebrity Boot Camp, $4,100 Gets You Six Almonds”

Here’s an article that was written last year in Purple Clover about New Life Hiking Spa (it really gets what we are).

Vermont’s New Life Hiking Spa is a top destination retreat for over-40 explorers who prefer outdoor adventure to overpriced luxury

We close for the 2016 season on October 3.  That is in exactly 2 months.  We hope to see you!

Be well…

Kathleen LeSage

New Life Hiking Spa & Wellness Retreat is suspending the 2020 season.  We are sorry for any inconvenience.  Please read the full statement on our blog.