Pioneer Spas

Destination Spas, Wellness Spas, or Vacation Spas – there are only a few Pioneer Spas

Wellness Tourism has exploded and destination spas and wellness spas are popping up all around the world.  It might seem like a new trend, but it actually started many decades ago.

SpaFinder Wellness, paid homage to the 25 “Pioneer Spas” that truly made the spa industry what it is today.

These spas paved the way for the spa industry when spas were still a new, innovative path to better health and wellness.  

Let’s take a look at some of these trailblazing businesses for shaping the destination spa and wellness tourism as we know it today.

New Life Hiking Spa, Killington, Vermont

Each May since 1978, New Life Hiking Spa has opened for the season to run a hiking spa and wellness retreat in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  Over the past 40 years, it has grown from just 12 guests to becoming one of the most top rated destination spas in North America. New Life Hiking Spa is won the # 1 Destination Spa in America Award by Travel + Leisure Magazine in 2016 and has been #1 on the annual Spas of America Top 100 listing for 2015, 2016 & 2017.  At New Life, the focus is on hiking and getting back to nature to destress.  The 2018 season will find New Life Hiking Spa back at the newly renovated Killington Mountain Lodge.

Cal-A-Vie, Vista, California

Experience a taste of Europe and explore a French village nestled away in Northern San Diego County. Try the new trail “Lavender Lane” that combines beauty and beast when a challenging incline meets a beautiful unobstructed scenic view of the valley beyond.  Cal-A-Vie models authenticity and empowers guests through their food, health and the community in which they live.

Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Beach and fitness lovers flock to Hilton Head Health, founded in 1976 by Dr. Peter Miller, a renowned behavioral psychologist. Since the beginning, the core has remained, but the concept has evolved to include programs in Wellness, Longevity and Weight Loss.  The Indigo Spa and Salon offers body, face and salon services, balancing fitness, nutrition, body, and mind, imprinting a lifelong path to a healthier lifestyle.

Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, Miami, Florida

Pritikin, 39 years young, is a cutting-edge lifestyle program known for reversing society’s health concerns, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.  The faculty keeps in touch with each guest, going beyond the initial stay, offering one-on-one telephone counseling, an alumni newsletter Pritikin Perspective and website memberships.

Canyon Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

You are amongst family in the breathtaking Santa Catalina Mountains.   Second and third generations of the Cohen and Zukerman families are deeply involved, leading the company forward, creating and educating guests on a personal path where healing and overall wellness is achievable.  With a proven plan, self-discovery leads to better ways of exercising, relaxing, thinking and eating.  A Tucson spa vacation leaves guests inspired, renewed, and energized.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico

In the tranquil setting upon the shadows of Baja California’s mystical Mt. Kuchumaa is Rancho La Puerta, a fitness spa, and retreat where guests escape from daily distractions and ongoing stress. Renewing the mind, spirit, and body is the beginning to self-awareness. Explore the unique Art Studio and take a class on making jewelry, landscape sketching, watercolor, and sculpture. Learn about the brilliant pieces found in each hacienda and the artist behind the masterpiece.

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, Safety Harbor, Florida

Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer from the 1500’s, thought he had found the Fountain of Youth. What he had discovered was Safety Harbor Resort & Spa located in Tampa Bay.  Natural mineral springs are believed to restore youth and vitality. Moreover, with these healing powers guests can achieve personal serenity by visiting three swimming pools, geared to rejuvenate, revitalize yet calm the mind and body. Along with a fitness program, Safety Harbor has conference rooms, special seasonal events, weddings and weekly entertainment.

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

Human potential: The action to promote positive social change and realization through projects, passions, and commitments.  The goals of Esalen Center for Theory & Research share a vision whereby developing a new worldview is transformative. When theory, research, and practice co-evolve, there is support and an emerging ‘school’ and the ability to embody a super-nature is then possible.

Golden Door, Escondido, California

Before eating a meal at legendary Golden Door roam the mountainside and pick your vegetables and greens right from the land.  Enjoying the bio-intensive farming means everything is fresh, wholesome, clean and flavorful. Nature surrounds this coastal pocket in Northern San Diego, which continuously ranks among top spas in North America. Tranquility is further enhanced, as all the single occupancy rooms have private baths and sliding doors, inviting nature in, like the beautiful Japanese gardens and the vast sky beyond.