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8 Incredible Under-the-Radar Spas in the U.S.

From a beer bath in Denver to treetop soaking cabanas in the Smoky Mountains, these spas are standouts.

By Brittany Anas on September 29, 2022

The relaxation pool at the Alyeska Nordic Spa surrounded by snow. The spa is one of the best under the radar spas in the U.S. and is in Girdwood, Alaska.
Kristian Irey

What if we told you that one of the best ways to get a feel for a new place is by seeking out the spa and booking a treatment? Destination spas tend to have a strong sense of place, sourcing local salts for body scrubs or foraging native herbs to incorporate into aromatherapy. What’s more, some treatment rooms come with amazing views should you be able to keep your eyes open long enough to take in the scenery.

Ready to relax? Check in. Bliss out. And relax at one of these under-the-radar spas that serve as lovely ambassadors for the cities in which they’re located.   

Interior of The Beer Spa in Denver, Colorado.
Courtesy of The Beer Spa

The Beer Spa 

Denver, Colorado
Denver loves beer so dang much that locals bathe in it. At The Beer Spa, spa-goers can pour a local brew from the tap wall and proceed into a private therapy room where a tub of bubbles beckons. Steeping in the warm water is a supersized tea bag packed with hops, barley and a rotating bonus seasonal medicinal herb. The herbs, like the featured brewery on the tap wall, rotate every month. Afterward, shower off and lather your locks with a beer and honey conditioner.  

Steam rising from the ground outside of the outhouses at the Alyeska Nordic Spa. The spa is in Girdwood, Alaska, which is near Anchorage.
Dev Walker

Alyeska Nordic Spa 

Girdwood, Alaska
What better place to disconnect than at a 50,000 square-foot, cell phone-free spa in “America’s Last Frontier?” At Alaska’s first-ever Nordic Spa, heated pathways connect cold water plunges, aromatherapy-infused steam rooms, a Finnish sauna and an exfoliation cabin where you can be buffed with local sea salt. The Alyeska Nordic Spa at Girdwood’s Alyeska Resort is 40 miles outside Anchorage, but you’ll feel like you’re on another planet when you walk the spa’s forest loop as the Northern Lights beam neon green swirls in the night sky. 

Interior shot of the Caliente Posi Suites at the Ojo Caliente Spa in Taos, New Mexico.
Courtesy of Ojo SpaResorts

Ojo Caliente 

In New Mexico, between Taos and Santa Fe
The healing waters at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort in New Mexico have been drawing spa enthusiasts since 1868, yet the destination remains a high-desert hideout. Surrounded by earthy orange cliff walls, spa days here include soaking in mineral pools and checking out the spruced-up Historic Bath House outfitted with a new Himalayan salt sauna and eucalyptus steam room. Enjoy a Southwest-style spa treatment with a hydrotherapy hot towel wrap infused with locally harvested botanicals like pinon and comfrey. Ojo Caliente also plucks desert sage on the property. The spa’s signature line of shampoos, conditioners, body washes and lotions features the sage.

Woman gets a cocoa massage at The Spa at the Hershey Hotel in Hershey, PA.
Courtesy of The Spa At The Hotel Hershey 

The Spa at The Hotel Hershey

Hershey, Pennsylvania 
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more indulgent hotel than The Spa At The Hotel Hershey. This spot is known as the “the chocolate spa” and is aptly located in Hershey, PA. Downright decadent, the spa menu features a variety of chocolate-inspired treatments — a cocoa massage, a chocolate fondue wrap, cocoa facials and whipped cocoa baths. As it turns out, cacao is also a treat for the skin because it’s full of antioxidants and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, the secrets to supple, radiating skin. While the chocolate spa is most famous for its creative use of cacao, it also offers traditional and seasonal treatments and services that are a nod to Cuba, where Milton S. Hershey owned sugar mills from 1916 to 1946.

Exterior of the Ummelina Spa in Yakima, Washington.
Courtesy of Ummelina

Ummelina 

Yakima, Washington
With rolling hillsides and more than 90 wineries, Yakima Valley is Washington’s wine country. But it also has a dreamy landscape of lavender fields, and Ummelina spa puts the calming herb to good use by using it in aromatic foot baths and rainforest steam treatments. The spa also sells fresh lavender bundles, lavender bath salts, sprays and more. As for the vino, we heard through the grapevine that you can get a wine face peel at Ummelina, too. Derived from grape and wine extracts, the peel gently exfoliates the skin and delivers nutrients and antioxidants. 

Woman takes a bath with a view of the water and mountains at the Lakeview at Fontana. The Lakeview at Fontana is a spa in Bryson City, North Carolina.
Courtesy of Bryson City TDA and Chamber

Lakeview at Fontana  

Bryson City, North Carolina
You’ve heard of a room with a view. But how about a spa with a view? At Lakeview at Fontana, the Treetop Soaking Cabanas are a sylvan oasis, with the tubs tucked away in the trees, showing off views of Fontana Lake and the Smoky Mountains. Each luxury cabana has its own oversized standalone tub that’s large enough for two. You can customize your soak with add-ons like CBD-infused soaking salts and clay facial masks.  

Lobby area at the Pomona Salt Cave and Spa. The Pomona is located in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Photo Courtesy of the Greenbrier Couty CVB

Pomona Salt Cave and Spa

White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia 
In West Virginia, you can visit a halotherapy spa that also offers massages, foot soaks and light therapy. But you might mistake this whimsical spot as a hobbit house. Pomona Salt Cave and Spa is a man-made cave tucked away in a hillside and lined with thousands of pounds of restorative Himalayan salt. Salt is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and the tiny particles can have respiratory and skin healing benefits.

Mountain view suite at the Exhale at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Courtesy of Exhale at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort

Exhale at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa 

Beaver Creek, Colorado
Already, you’ll feel some European familiarity in Beaver Creek Village as the Colorado enclave is modeled after St. Moritz, Switzerland, Cortina, Italy and Val d’Aran, Spain. But when you step foot into the Exhale at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, you’ll do a little time traveling, too. The spa’s centerpiece is the specialty Aqua Sanitas, a hydrotherapy treatment modeled after historic Roman baths. We recommend visitors enjoy a five-step ritual inspired by ancient customs. Then enjoy a massage with moisturizing shea butter or a wildflower body scrub. 

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