The World's 12 Best Spas for Food (Slideshow)
November 7, 2013
At these 12 spas you can pamper yourself with not only a relaxing spa treatment, but some extraordinary food as well
Gaia Retreat & Spa, Byron Bay, Australia
The Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, Australia, was the recent winner of Australia's Leading Spa Resort for the World Travel Awards 2013. Guests have the option of either enjoying lunch or dinner at the Kukura House. The restaurant offers an organic vegetarian lunch for $25 or a three-course set menu dinner for $65, and the chef will cater to any food allergies or intolerances. Try sampling one of the spa's non-vegetarian options, the stack of smoked yellowfin tuna, curried king prawn, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and Mediterranean dressing, if you make it Down Under.
Como Shambhala Estate, Bali
While in tranquil Bali, guests can eat healthily and fabulously at the Como Shambhala Estate. You have two options while dining at the spa: You can either sample local, seasonal Indonesian cuisine at Kudus House or you can participate in the healthy Como Shambhala Cuisine on all-day menus at Glow, where the menu boasts salads, energizing juices, and blends rich in living enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. To top it all off, guests can watch their meals being prepared in Glow’s open-aired kitchen.
Les Thermes Marins, Cannes, France
This French spa boasts all the elements of a great retreat. It offers a sauna, hammam (Turkish bath stream room), and a caldarium (a steam bath), as well as the finest, healthiest cuisine in town. Restaurant O’Bento offers guests a delicious bento box experience that incorporates fresh ingredients put together by an herbalist, and the ingredients are steam-cooked with stock.
Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa, Scottsdale, Ariz
The Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa showcases the culinary creations of Food Network star Beau MacMillan. It recently debuted the new Jade bar, which offers a variety of fresh cocktails featuring hand-selected premium spirits with farm-fresh local fruits, herbs, vegetables, and juices. As for the main event, chef MacMillan is committed to making dishes with fresh, local ingredients procured from a network of artisans and organic farmers.
Rancho La Puerta, Baja California, Mexico
At Rancho La Puerta, slow food tenets are observed, keeping things local and seasonal on a 6-acre organic farm that provides the fruits and vegetables served. Chef Denise Roa brings farm-fresh ingredients to life with creative presentations worthy of any city’s finest restaurants. The seafood is sourced from Ensenada’s Mercado Negro, an open-air covered arcade on the waterfront.
Chiva-Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
Thailand is known as a spa destination to travelers all over the world, and Chiva-Som does not disappoint in any way, particularly when it comes to food. It has won SpaFinder Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Spa Cuisine, as it constructs menus with the healthiest of ingredients that are still packed with flavor. Dishes may include rock lobster curry, baked sea bass, or wing bean and scallop salad. Guests also have the ability to choose the Chiva-Som detox diet during their stay, but each guest must consult with the facilities’ naturopathic practitioners and holistic medical staff.
The Setai Club & Spa, New York City
While many may not think of New York City as a tranquil spa destination, The Setai Club & Spa is changing how we think of urban spa destinations. Its cuisine showcases the best of the best of the world with items like frogs' legs shipped in from Florida, escolar from Japan, and Tasmanian fish for the ocean trout tartare, all served in the main restaurant in the hotel. Within the spa, guests can create their own light bites including salads and smoothies and consult with the spa director for a customized meal.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vt.
Twin Farms, a five-star luxury hotel nestled in Vermont, believes the food is just as important as the ambience when it comes to an amazing spa experience. The all-inclusive food program is created by chef Ted Ask, and guests can enjoy the cuisine in or out of the spa. At Twin Farms, menus don’t exist; rather, guests are treated to dishes that reflect the changing seasons with locally grown herbs and vegetables available each day. The property also caters to guests' dietary preferences and will create something special during the course of the stay.
Ananda, Narendra Nagar, India
Ananda is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas near Rishikesh, India, and takes customization of cuisine to new heights. The spa’s culinary concept is based on the belief that one type of food is not necessarily good for all people. It incorporates key principles from Ayurveda, where everything is made out of the five elements of air, space, fire, water, and earth. Menu items include fresh natural foods that are low in fat and calories, with an emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and the avoidance of added or artificial salts, colors, flavors, or preservatives. Guests can also enjoy the spa’s tea lounge on the grounds for beverages and light snacks.
Spa World, Centreville, Va.
As the largest luxury spa in the U.S., Spa World has a lot to offer guests looking to eat healthy and enjoy deep relaxation. It offers a full-service restaurant and juice bar that serves meals with natural ingredients that are full of nutrients. Dishes include buckwheat noodles, spicy soft tofu stew, and steamed dumplings and rice mixed with vegetables. The juice bar offers a variety of cold drinks, fresh fruit, and light fare for a quick bite.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, Orlando, Fla.
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Great Lakes spa serves nothing but the best. It has its own spa café menu where spa-goers can order lunch to eat inside the café or to dine outside by its picturesque pool. The menu includes everything from salads to power drinks to smoothies, and offers a wide selection of waters. A main feature on the menu is its spa bento box, where guests can choose a source of protein like salmon or grilled marinated tofu and pair it with sides like mushrooms and soba noodles or citrus and hearts of palm.
Mayflower Inn & Spa, Washington, Conn.
The Mayflower Inn offers spa-inspired dishes in all of its property’s eateries and can cater to any intolerances, allergies, and dietary preferences. Spa menus are available for lunch and dinner in the spa and can include items like rice pasta and bountiful fresh vegetables. The kitchen’s locally sourced ingredients are of the highest quality and include the produce, fish, and meat featured in the dishes, said Helen Brown, spa director. Guests also have the option to meet with a nutritionist to customize their own meal plan during their stay.