Ah, the destination spa, a monument to pampering and self-improvement. One departs feeling more grounded, lighter, lifted, even younger and taller. But do you want to leave feeling ravenous? Whatever the dietary restrictions, spas are doing something right. According to a 2005 Cornell University study of the comparative impact of destination spa vacations versus regular vacations, and the spa goers came out way ahead, reporting more mental and physical energy, and a greater sense of connectivity to friends, family, work, and the meaning of life.
However before commiting to the paradise of your choosing, it's important to know what kind of culinary challenges lay ahead. Should you pack some snacks in case the spa diet is inedible, or worse, strictly portion-controlled? Many of the locations are remote and once you’re there, you're there — and paying hundreds of dollars a day for the privilege.
Most all spas have a very strong point of view on food. Indeed, culinary philosophy abounds in these environments, with some menus apparently driven by architecture and others by alchemy. Count on the likelihood that whatever they’re offering they’re also a bit excessively explaining, as lifestyle transformation seems to involve much more than a side dish of education.
No two destination spas are identical, of course. Some have a better reputation for dining than others, and so at The Daily Meal, we’ve rounded up ten with the best buzz for cuisine as well as a few recipes from their chefs for a spa stay-cation in your own home.