Winter in New England, without a bloom in sight for months to come, may feel more like a time to hibernate that to rejuvenate. But I beg to differ: This is the perfect time to start on your wellness journey for mind, body, and spirit. A little pampering from these five-star luxury hotel spas can help you get in the mindset of self-care and healing. Crystal steam rooms, vitality pools, and sleep rituals are just some of the innovative restorative offerings at three top-rated spas in the region.
Zen zone at the Mandarin Oriental
Located on Boston’s bustling Boylston Street, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is an oasis of soothing elegance. Upon entry to its marble lobby, you can feel the stress slip away. The hotel recently received a $15 million renovation, giving spacious guest rooms a chic, residential feel. Marble bathrooms offer deep Jacuzzi tubs and walk-in rain showers. Although it’s hard to leave the posh accommodations, the star of the Mandarin is its 16,000-square-foot spa. It truly is one of the finest hotel spas, according to World Spa Awards, which awarded it top honors in 2022.
As soon as you enter the space, you know you are somewhere special. The ultra-calm and quiet surroundings, eight treatment rooms (five with their own personal showers), including two private couples’ suites, tell you you’ve come to the right place for the latest in spa offerings. With ice baths, dry saunas, a quartz crystal steam room, invigorating whirlpools, a vitality pool, and treatments such as Himalayan singing bowls and guided meditations, you have entered the epitome of restorative care.
One of the spa’s latest offerings at the Mandarin Oriental for 2024 is its wellness retreats called Inner Strength and Outer Strength. In addition to a daily itinerary of spa treatments and fitness offerings, the retreats include wellness dishes with organic, plant-based and gluten-free options. Inner Strength is designed for mindfulness, contemplation, and renewal while Outer Strength incorporates fitness/movement classes, muscular healing massage treatments, and the spa’s signature Intelligent Movement posture therapy.
During my stay I opt for a customized massage to target those areas on my body where I hold stress. I love that a questionnaire asks whether I prefer oils or creams, what type of music I would like to listen to, and where my trouble spots are. Tension melts away from my shoulders as I embrace this nurturing hour of peacefulness.
Sophisticated slumber at the Four Seasons
With breathtaking Boston skyline views, the Four Seasons One Dalton, Boston, is the quintessence of sophistication. The 61-story skyscraper, designed by famed architect firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, offers 160 private residences and 215 hotel guest rooms, which provide the ultimate of comfort and luxury. The curated collection of artworks found throughout the hotel common areas and guest rooms ranges from Duke Riley’s mosaic “They Say, On a Really Hot Day,” depicting the city’s Great Molasses Flood of 1919 to small images shot by photographer Alexander Coster Scott.
Aside from the elevated interiors and impeccable and personable service at every touchpoint, the hotel dedicates an entire floor to wellness, including a 64-foot curved lap pool, custom Italian mosaic art installations throughout the space, five treatment rooms, a eucalyptus steam room, and a state-of-the-art fitness center designed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak. The spa recently launched its five new rituals, spa treatments developed in partnership with Ground Wellbeing, a company that curates award-winning spa experiences.
I opted for the sleep ritual, an ultra-relaxing massage that begins with setting an intention and uses crystals and aromatherapy oils to lull you into a state of tranquility. The massage, gentle and meditative, nourishes the entire body and mind and spirit. You truly will get one of your best night’s of sleep after this healing experience. I felt like an Egyptian queen ready to float off to a dream-filled slumber.
Temple of wellness at Encore Boston Harbor
Arriving at the Forbes Five-Star Encore Boston Harbor, there is a buzz of excitement as you enter the lobby. A giant floral-laden Ferris wheel greets you as Francis the bellman is at your service, ushering you through a breezy check-in and off to your spacious and bright guestroom, where everything is state of the art. Alexa is on the job to open your drapes, adjust the temperature in the room, dim the lights, or even turn on the TV to your favorite show. The 671 guest rooms are awash in cream tones with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the inner harbor, the Zakim Bridge, and Logan Airport.
Although you see a city of activity off in the distance, the expansive guest rooms are quiet and serene. The capacious gold-toned marble bathroom—with its Jacuzzi tub, walk-in shower, and double sink—feels like a mini spa in itself, the perfect place to primp and pamper before exploring the hotel and casino. If the rooms were not spectacular enough, the spa is like stepping into a Roman temple with Venetian chandeliers, hand-painted silk walls, lockers covered in cream-colored crocodile leather, a tranquil lounge area, and 17 treatment rooms.
I opted for the VENN Pure Results Facial. A Korean skin brand, VENN is supercharged with collagen-activation peptides and antioxidants to boost firmness and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The soft lighting and soothing music swaddled me as I lay down on the table heated to the perfect temperature. Aesthetician Alexa is an expert in her field and gently begins the process of rejuvenating very tired skin. After my skin feels perfectly polished and hydrated, I head to the opulent whirlpool to further relax and continue my healing and wellness journey.
Winter Skin Rescue
If you are looking for skin care services designed to give winter skin a boost, we have you covered, thanks to expert advice from five local skincare professionals all committed to helping your winter skin be the best it can be no matter how low those temperatures drop. – Lauren Torlone Mahoney
Holistic healing at BodiScience
This time of year feels like the perfect time to indulge in a treatment. At BodiScience Wellness Center & Spa, owner Dawn Tardif encourages clients to learn more about BodiScience’s exclusive EPAQ supplement, a secret elixir for internal hydration, which enhances elasticity, texture, and vibrancy. BodiScience’s Ageless Face Kur treatments sculpt, tone, and hydrate— delivering results that redefine your reflection.
100 Cummings Center, Suite 101D, Beverly, bodiscience.com
Relaxed environs at Ciao Bella Skincare
In Salisbury at Ciao Bella Skincare, owner Karen Damon recommends treatments that deliver results—as well as relaxation. “We always strive to provide you with services that are as effective as they are calming,” Damon says. Remember that self-care should be a priority, and that includes keeping up with your daily product regimen if you can’t squeeze in a service.
102 Bridge Road, Salisbury, ciaobellaskincare.com
Glow up at Interlocks
At Interlocks MedSpa in Newburyport, the PRX Derm Perfection Treatment is the ideal noninvasive winter treatment to help regenerate the skin. It provides immediate improvement with no downtime. Aesthetician Kassandra Carusso explains that PRX is a collagen-stimulating treatment that targets texture, laxity, and wrinkles to help your skin glow throughout the winter season.
58 Merrimac St., Newburyport, interlockssalon.com
Corrective measures at Shaun Charles Med Spa
In Wakefield at Shaun Charles Med Spa, owner Shaun Spanos says cold and dry air in winter poses challenges to skin health. “In order to maintain or rejuvenate winter skin, I like to focus on correction and hydration.” Skin treatments like Neogen PSR, Moxi, and IPL help correct skin issues—including irregularities like pigmentation and fine lines by stimulating collagen production, promoting smoother, more even-toned skin.
29 Albion St., Suite 5, Wakefield, shauncharlesmedspa.com
Keep skin hydrated with RN Esthetics
With three North Shore locations, the team at RN Esthetics is ready to take on winter skin challenges. They believe hydration and protection from the elements are key as we approach the colder weather. The most popular skincare treatment in the winter is the Hydrafacial. The facial artisans love Alto Advanced serum from SkinBetter Science, which has 19 antioxidants plus vitamin C. They recommend combining it with their trio hydrator and Tone Smart mineral-based sunscreen.
2 Market St., Newburyport, rnesthetics.com