Organic Spa Magazine’s Top 10 Green Spas and Resorts

By Organic Spa Magazine / September 14, 2011

Callaway Gardens

We found serenity in the natural beauty of this family-run property that’s nestled in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, just an hour from Atlanta. The 13,000-acre resort offers gardens galore, butterfly habitats, serpentine bridges, a 150-room rustic lodge, a plethora of outdoor activities (biking, hiking, fishing, and canoeing, to name a few) and the Spa Prunifolia that feautures a nice array of nature-inspired treatments. Most of the fruit and vegetables are grown on property, and The Gardens restaurant is entirely devoted to the Slow Foods concept.

Sullivan Estate

This new private, holistic spa is about a 90-minute drive from Honolulu on Oahu’s north shore. Set on five acres of lush, landscaped grounds overlooking the ocean, the Estate is run as a private spa for groups as small as two and as large as 12. Heat and electricity are solar-powered, food is organic and (mostly) locally sourced, and treatments offered use the owner’s (Jurgen Klein, chemist, horticulturist, and co-founder of the biodynamic skin care line, Jurlique) new skin care line, JK7 that’s made on-property with natural and organic ingredients. Each guest receives a personal itinerary, including a variety of therapies and exercise—such as facial yoga, t’ai chi, and qigong—in addition to spa treatments.

Blue Marble Spa at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

This is Hyatt’s very first eco-friendly spa situated in San Diego and surrounded by the natural beauty of Mission Bay. We love the name—taken from “The Blue Marble” image of the earth that was shot from outer space during the Apollo 17 mission—and the spa’s contemporary design, as well as its very green sensibility. The spa’s treatment menu is in digital format; skin care products are natural and organic; organic fruits and food options are on hand; low-flow shower heads are used; and even the spa linens are dyed using eco-friendly processes—to name just a few green details. Guests can reconnect with nature via one of the two-and-a-half to four-hour Blue Marble Journeys of their choosing (the four offered are Earth, Water, Air, and Fire), or spend some quiet time in the outdoor Earth Garden.

Evason Ma’In Hot Springs & Six Senses Spa

The adventurous soul will find respite at this spa resort located an hour outside of Amman, the capitol of Jordan. Set along the legendary Ma’In Hot Springs, a series of mineral-rich waterfalls and pools that have been a popular wellness destination since King Herod visited to take the waters, this eco-destination has 97 rooms and suites simply designed—and soothing views of the waterfalls or the valley overlooking the Dead Sea. Due to its remote setting, Evason Ma’In is forced to be even more self-sufficient, and the resort, like every Six Senses property, is committed to operating in a healthful, sustainable way. The extensive spa menu’s emphasis is on indigenous treatments (think Dead Sea salts and mud, organic cold-pressed virgin olive oil, fresh olives, and dates).

Mohonk Mountain House

Owned and operated by the Smiley family since 1869, this idyllic destination, a National Historic Landmark, sits on 2,200 acres of beautifully maintained land. In 1963, it established a 5,000-acre-plus nature preserve, and on its 125th anniversary received an award from the United Nations Environment Program. The award honored the Smiley family and Mohonk “for generations of dedicated leadership and commitment to the protection and enhancement of the environment and for their inestimable contribution to the cause of peace, justice, and sustainable human development.” We love its programs like the Junior Naturalist Experience created for kids and the fact that Mohonk maintains a CO 2-neutral environment. But we’re especially fond of the very large and very comforting Spa (featuring a geothermal heating and cooling system) that has over 200 windows that let the beauty of the outside woodlands in.

Keystone Lodge & Spa

World-class fly-fishing and hiking through spring and summer, world-renowned skiing in winter and a sustainable spa make this a progressive yet laidback resort. A member of the RockResorts chain, Keystone is one of the first of its facilities to use wind energy; the first to initiate an on-property composting program, and one of the few to forge a partnership with an environmental non-profit organization, the Keystone Science School, that educates guests on environmental issues and offers star-gazing programs, fireside nature chats with rangers, and hands-on learning environmental tours for kids. (RockResorts has also partnered with the National Forest Foundation to create the Ski Conservation Fund.) The spa has one of the nicest staffs around and uses 100 percent wind power, an array of organic products, indigenous ingredients, and glorious natural light.


If you want to experience true green luxury, check out this modern hotel in the heart of Californian’s wine country. Bardessono is a LEED Platinum-aspiring hotel, spa, and restaurant that’s located in Yountville on six tastefully landscaped acres with drought-tolerant foliage, organic herb gardens, and vineyards. Simple, sparse lines (think box-like buildings covered in corrugated steel) combined with a smart and stylish use of reclaimed materials (recycled stone and salvaged orchard Walnut, Cypress, Redwood, and California Bay woods are evident throughout) are just some of the reasons why this property tops our list. We especially love the handsome signage monuments crafted from rammed earth and the fact that all grey and black water are treated and recycled for irrigation uses by the Town of Yountville. This is a great place to go with a loved one, as each of the hotel’s 62 suites doubles as a private spa stocked with some of the best organic towels, linens, and robes we’ve come across. The well-balanced spa menu offers an East-meets-West-inspired menu and organic skin care (not to mention a small but very well-stocked spa boutique).

Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte

Welcome to the first LEED-built hotel for this luxury group (and the first for greater Charlotte, too). This isn’t your grandmother’s Ritz—this 146-room hotel boasts a warm, contemporary vibe that’s younger than what you’d traditionally find, but thankfully, not trendy. There’s a 13,000-square-foot Wellness Center where you can opt for treatments like the Green Your Body Eco-Treatment or the Techno-Stress Relief. Other eco-friendly details include: A green roof vegetated with 18,000 plants that insulates the building, slows rain runoff, and cools the air through evaporation of water from leaves; employee uniforms made of fabric derived from regenerated plastic bottles; an impressive in-house water purification and container system; a state-of-the-art air transfer system which circulates outside air into guest rooms at 60 cubic-feet per minute; a hotel Bike Valet, featuring 150 bicycle parking spaces and complimentary Trek bikes for guests to use, as well as complimentary parking for hybrid vehicles.

Rancho La Puerta

Is it the organic farm and cooking school or the authentic spa treatments or the 3,000 acres to hike and bike and wander along that keep us coming back to this cherished destination spa? We believe it’s that and much more. Few can compare to this property that launched back in 1940 in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico, becoming the first true destination spa. And like all good and true destination spas, the emphasis here is on spending a full week immersed in the experience. “Ours is a nature preserve that preserves people!” states a spokesperson for the property. We couldn’t agree more.

Jivana Holistic Spa

It’s simple, it’s charming, and its owner is dedicated to providing the ultimate in healing and holistic treatments in a nurturing and caring environment. Jivana is a welcome respite that’s located three stories above a bustling pedestrian-only street in Burlington, Vermont. The day spa is known for its esoteric spa menu that includes many ancient and traditional spa treatments, as well as for its selection of natural and organic product lines. We opted for the Traditional Hammam Experience that took place atop a heated ceramic hammam table. We were lovingly scrubbed with Moroccan black soap, covered in a special mud mask, and placed under a steam canopy. After showering off, we received a full massage with an organic Moroccan Argan Oil that left us feeling ready to take on the world.

Organic Spa Magazine
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