The Best Spas for Busy Men (Who Like Being Busy)
These retreats will help you to relax completely – or not. Your call.
Relaxation can be great, but it can also be frustrating – there are only so many hours before you’ve got to get back to the office and you don’t want to spend all of them lying down with vegetables on your eyes. That’s why the best spas aren’t just spas. By offering access to mountains, beaches, golf courses, and excellent steak, these standout retreats provide men with an opportunity to unwind exactly as much or as little as they want. Whether you want to sit in a lotus pose or on an ATV, these oases have got you covered.
In the glitzy sprawl of Miami Beach, the Setai is an oasis of orientalist calm. The spa offers a typical array of individual and couples massages – shiatsu, aromatherapy, Balinese pressure point treatment – as well as yoga classes on the beach and access to its astonishing courtyard, where three outdoor pools are climate controlled to exactly 75, 85, and 95 degrees. Visitors warm and cool themselves and hide from the sun under architecturally impressive wooden shades. Indulgence follows indulgence at The Restaurant, an unimaginatively named but otherwise outstanding Mediterranean spot, or the Setai Grill, where premium dry-aged beef is also climate controlled. On Wednesdays, visitors can meet Setai Chef Mathias Gervais and Sommelier Dwayne Savoie, who presides over one of South Florida’s finest cellars. Ask Dwayne about the Louis Roederer champagne, which is bottled in gold and worth over $40,000.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, Ojai, California
Perched above the Pacific Ocean and just south of Santa Barbara, Ojai offers a wide range of spiritual activities and cleansing rituals, including but not limited to chanting in mud baths, astrological counseling, and toasting the setting sun’s “Pink Moment” with sparking wine. That might sound less than appealing, but it’s a welcome way to relax after taking surfing and paddleboarding lessons from staff pros and before retiring to your 1,500-square-foot penthouse overlooking the Topa Topa Mountains and Ojai Valley. The grounds are as magnificent as the location: private outdoor whirlpools, fireplaces, and wet bars outnumber crystals.
One of the highlights of the Essex Resort, which is nestled in the woods lining Lake Champlain east of Burlington, is its culinary school. Four accredited chefs teach visitors about Italian, European, and Southern American cuisine and how to make it. The emphasis on creating meals out of locally-sourced ingredients, which look awfully tempting even before they enter the oven. But this classic spot isn’t just a destination for foodies. A par 60 course, tennis courts, lap pools, and a hot tub perfect for fall evenings make the grounds an Earthly paradise for anyone trying to get away from it all while staying active. When it’s time to get inactive, visitors enjoy deep tissue massages, reflexology sessions and skin treatments designed specifically for men.
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, Beaver Creek, Colorado
The Beaver Creek air is as rarefied as it is thin, but the nicest spot in town still makes the rest look positively shabby. Aqua Sanitas, a Roman-style bath house, let’s skiers, bikers, and hikers indulge in a bit of old-school bath in their hot and hold rooms. After the initial shvitz, clients sign up for hot stone and Swedish massages or visit the onsite acupuncturist. What’s particularly impressive about this spa is the speed with which you can go from ATVing up a mountain to white water rafting to feeling put out that it took a steward more than 30 seconds to fetch a cucumber-infused water. The place is as indulgent as the landscape isn’t.