Travelers looking for a more luxurious kind of vacation may think about staying in a spa hotel. These accommodations may be the goal of the vacation or merely a pleasant amenity, but will certainly be a relaxing part of the trip.
The word "spa" is actually the name of a town in Belgium, famous for its hot springs. In fact, spas used to be regarded as towns that featured hot springs or other geographical features believed to benefit the health. Nowadays, spa hotels may be regular hotels that offer spa services, or they may be resort destinations in and of themselves.
A regular hotel offering spa amenities will still have a hotel's atmosphere. Guests will not have a personal fitness expert, for instance, nor will their meals be included in the price of the hotel room, unless they purchase a package. Spa hotels that are not spa resorts may still have an impressive selection of spa services, including herbal wraps, salt scrubs and mud baths.
Spa hotels that are resort destinations, however, treat guests to a complete package of treatments, including the resort's or area's specialty, such as natural hot mineral springs. These resorts make a point of pampering their guests with all sorts of luxuries. These spa hotels provide personal fitness trainers, massage therapists and chef-prepared meals for their guests. Guests can request special menus, such as macrobiotic foods, or eat the standard healthy meals usually served at spa hotels. Some resorts even hold seminars on stress reduction and healthy living. They will also offer fitness classes, including yoga, and may even feature such activities as horseback riding and rock climbing. Resort spa hotels are focused on improving the physical and mental health of their guests.
Naturally, these kinds of luxuries are not inexpensive, and guests should expect to pay double or triple the room rate for a regular luxury hotel. Some spa hotels have packages for weekends, honeymoons, or other special occasions, and a travel agent should be able to find out about the specials available. Travelers can also consult travel books or the Internet about the best places to stay with the amenities they want.
Travelers looking to "get away from it all," without even the responsibility of choosing a restaurant, may want to consider spa hotels for their next vacation.