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2016 Top Ten Organic Spa Awards

by Organic Spa Magazine

This year, we have refined our award structure to recognize one award winner in each of 10 top categories: Best Fitness Focus, Best Gourmet Organic, Best Girlfriend Getaway, Best Immersive Wellness Program, Best Hot Springs Getaway, Best Going Solo, Best Romantic Escape, Best Detox, Best Ayurveda Program, Best Yoga Retreat.

Of course, this being Organic Spa Magazine, each spa selected features local, natural and organic ingredients on the spa and culinary menus, along with integrative health and wellness programs that lead the way for the industry. We are proud to honor these outstanding Top 10 spas for their passionate commitment to wellness, sustainability, environmental stewardship and organic living.

—The Editors

Best Immersive Wellness Program

Rancho La Puerta, Mexico

Cofounded by Deborah Szekely 75 years ago, The Ranch is still an industry leader in overall wellness programming, and offers over 60 fitness classes and activities at any given time, ranging from yoga and Pilates to Ropes Gone Wild—a high intensity, low impact, full-body workout. You can also experience a specialized men’s fitness program, exhilarating hikes, top-notch spa treatments and a 3.5-acre organic farm. Try a new wellness service, like Reiki, Reconnective Healing, Somatic Experiencing, with a focus on spiritual grounding. In this remarkably low-key, comfortable place, you will sweat side by side with incredibly interesting people, and are guaranteed to make a few good friends during your stay. rancholapuerta.com

Best Fitness Focus

The Oaks at Ojai, California

Sheila Cluff, a fitness pioneer and figure skating champion who founded The Oaks at Ojai decades ago, still leads the spa hike most mornings and is living proof that the fitness-focused regimen here really works. The all-inclusive program offers everything from guided hikes in the sunny California mountains to Aqua Zumba to Restorative Yoga, under the watchful eye of skilled and caring fitness experts who help you set goals–weight loss, fitness, etc.–and meet them while making new friends and relaxing in a friendly, laid-back spa environment. oaksspa.com

Best Girlfriend Getaway

The Lodge at Woodloch, Pennsylvania

With a master herbalist and gardener on staff, and a resident beekeeper, who just analyzed the honey from The Lodge’s first harvest, there is always something to enjoy here with a friend. The Outdoor Adventure program features hiking on property and off, in the Pennsylvania lake region and the peaceful Pennsylvania Mountains nearby, along with fishing and kayaking, and wildlife viewing. The area is a natural habitat for osprey, bald eagles and great blue heron, and a visit to the stellar 27-treatment room spa is a great way to unwind with friends.

Best Romantic Escape

Amangiri, Utah

The big open country on the Arizona border provides a stunning backdrop for hiking, horseback riding and rock climbing on the Via Ferrata, a unique ropes-climbing course on the nearby mesas. Then, a dip in the pool, where a massive rock outcrop is the striking centerpiece; a romantic al fresco dinner in the Desert Lounge; and the new Desert Wind Journey–a perfect-for-couples spa treatment with a hike along Coyote Trail, outdoor yoga, Thai massage, lunch and a Jacuzzi set up on a platform in the desert. Or sign on for one of the new wellness programs on offer. If you can bring yourself to leave this enchanting property (not easy!), the Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce Canyon National parks are only a few hours away. amangiri.com

Best Going Solo

Mii Amo, Arizona

With only 16 casitas, Mii Amo is the perfect place to fly solo and experience an utterly bespoke and healing spa experience. A communal dining table in front of the open kitchen–which provides a superb culinary experience–ensures that you will meet other spa-goers. And, if you like, you can head across the green to Enchantment, a big sister property, for a less intimate vibe. The incredible red rock surround, considered a spiritual vortex, is perfect for hiking, and adds a uniquely spiritual dimension to the spa experience. Meditation in the crystal grotto and energy work at the spa offer a profoundly cleansing and transformative experience. miiamo.com

Best Ayurveda Program

The Art of Living Retreat Center, North Carolina

This beautiful retreat center, with gorgeous vistas that overlook the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, NC, is the real deal. You simply will not find a more authentic or effective Ayurvedic program outside of India, where this program–and its founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar–are renowned. Everything, including the architecture of the prominent Meditation Center, is designed to help guests gain focus, lift their spirits and fulfill their human potential, with the help of a loving and attentive staff, therapeutic Ayurvedic spa treatments, yoga and meditation, and amazing workshops and retreats from Panchakarma to the world-famous Happiness Program. artoflivingretreatcenter.org

Best Gourmet Organic

Meadowood, California

The newly renovated Meadowood Napa Valley features incredibly delicious three-star Michelin dining at The Restaurant, wellness programs, refurbished rooms and suites, an impeccable nine-hole golf course and a brand-new world-class spa, with a sumptuous–but healthy–spa menu featuring small or large plates. The food can be complemented with a range of inventive wellness elixirs or, this being Napa, a choice of wine pairings. Almost everything is locally sourced or grown in the Meadowood garden down the road, and is sure to delight the eye and the palate. meadowood.com

Best Hot Springs Getaway

Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa, New Mexico

Less than an hour from Santa Fe, Ojo provides sulfur-free healing waters that flow from an underground volcanic aquifer, along with a therapeutic Spa, for an amazingly restorative experience. Ojo features 11 geothermal mineral pools, including the Mud Pool and Lithia Pool. Rent a private outdoor pool, with a kiva fireplace, and bathe under the stars. The Spa offers Native American-inspired treatments incorporating wild-crafted and organic botanicals.

Joined to thousands of acres of National Forest land, with breathtaking desert mesas and river valleys, it is perfect for hiking, biking and gulping in deep breaths of the juniper-tinged desert air. ojospa.com

Best Detox

Deer Lake Lodge, Texas

Only 45 minutes from Houston, it is easy to dial it down and disconnect at this holistic wellness retreat on 50 wooded acres. Stays are designed primarily for cleansing and detox, along with a wide array of classes on juicing, raw foods, vegan cuisine and essential oil therapies. The rooms feature organic linens, spa products and robes. Energy work is on the spa menu, including Reiki, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, as well as iridology. Many of the facilities incorporate recycled and refurbished shipping containers, sod roofs, energy-efficient windows and lighting, solar panels and repurposed materials rescued from local homes. deerlakelodge.com

Best Yoga Retreat

RR Resorts’ Dahlonega Spa Resort, Georgia

The rustic Dahlonega Spa Resort, tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains outside Atlanta, offers cozy down-home cabins and comfy rooms, mountain views and wraparound verandas. The centerpiece is a 1200-square-foot yoga studio, where you can find a yoga retreat going on pretty much any time, as well as wellness getaways, a charming spa and mind/body/spirit-enriching events and programming. With rivers and tributaries running through it, there is plenty of opportunity for water sports like swimming, kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. dahlonegasparesort.com

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