Ten of the best spas designed with men in mind
Traditional spas might focus largely on the fairer sex — but not every wellness experience is for the ladies. As more men join the spa-going crowd, an increasing number of treatments, therapies, and programs are targeting those with a Y chromosome. From facials for him to fitness retreats for serious athletes, the following spa experiences have been designed with the not-so-fair sex in mind.
Argentta Spa, The Watergate Hotel
The new Argentta Spa — a stunning silver, mosaic-tiled space within the recently reopened Watergate Hotel — takes manly wellness to another level with male-focused treatments like the Black-Tie Facial (packed with anti-ageing ingredients specifically targeting men’s skin), the Muscle Recovery Massage (perfect for post-workout relaxation), and the anti-aging Gentleman’s Body Treatment (using essential oils of cedarwood and vetiver grass). The spa also comes with a host of friendly-for-him amenities, including a steam room, state-of-the-art gym, and unisex sauna. Our favourite post-treatment ritual, however, is just across the hotel lobby at the Next Whisky Bar, which features a curated selection of Scotch and American craft whiskies.
Cal-a-Vie, Vista, California
Since opening in 1987, Cal-a-Vie has been luring men to its Provençal-inspired grounds for one very good reason: The 32-room retreat is Southern California’s only wellness resort with its own 18-hole golf course. But the property is more than just a gorgeous green; it provides active men with kilometres of hiking trails, high-intensity interval training and TRX classes, and prominent guest instructors like anti-aging expert John Turk and fitness coach Todd Durkin. Cal-a-Vie also provides more targeted programs using empirical metrics, such as WellnessFX advanced medical testing and tracking. The spa, meanwhile, features treatments adapted specially for men, including back facials and leg wraps to treat sore muscles.
Canyon Ranch, Lenox, Massachusetts
Men are increasingly heading to Canyon Ranch for its comprehensive medical-wellness programs and fitness-oriented offerings. Join a game of pick-up basketball, hit the weight-room floor with a trainer at the property’s 9290-square-metre spa and sports facility, or head outdoors to conquer the climbing wall, high-ropes challenge course, and hiking and biking trails. Male-oriented treatments are also a highlight — from Neuromuscular Therapy (which reduces chronic muscle complaints) to the Muscle Melt for Road Warriors (which eases sore muscles after all of that manly activity).
Golden Door, San Marcos, California
California’s Golden Door is so popular among males that the legendary wellness resort has increased the frequency of its men-only weeks to six times annually. A maximum of 40 guests convene at the 600-acre retreat for days filled with hiking over 40 kilometres of trails, training with personal trainers in seven on-site gyms, and taking part in sports like tennis, water volleyball, and archery. Men can also try new spa experiences, like Watsu water therapy — excellent for muscle soreness and joint pain — and meditation.
Terre Blanch Hotel Spa Golf Resort
Any wellness retreat with the word “golf” in it has an innate appeal to the club-wielding male. But Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort has plenty to offer from its two championship courses, too. Explore southern France via electric bike, helicopter, buggy, or boat, or head to the fitness centre for state-of-the-art training on the resort’s Huber 360 machine. In the spa, there’s a laconium heat bath — where dry heat purifies and detoxifies — and a collection of treatments that focuses on muscular relaxation and recovery. Of course, Terre Blanche can also help you improve your game, thanks to its Albatros Golf Performance Center, Leadbetter Academy, and Biomecaswing center.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
Mandarin Oriental is known for creating tranquil spas that leave you saying om and smelling like lavender. However, at the 900-square-metre Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris, you’ll also find plenty of active wellness endeavors, whether lapping it up in the 14-metre-long swimming pool, sweating it out in the steam shower and vitality pools, or working hard with the gym’s trainers. Book an Individualized Time Ritual — in which you reserve blocks of time rather than specific treatments — to pile on the therapeutic experiences from the Gentleman Essentials collection, which includes face and body treatments as well as fitness coaching and digital detox programs.
Miraval, Tucson, Arizona
Don’t be fooled by the serene, soft-hued vibes at Miraval Resort. The 400-acre retreat, surrounded by saguaros and desert mountains, has more than just meditation and massages. Active guests can choose from 120 wellness and fitness activities — from outdoor circuit classes and trail running to off-road mountain biking and rock climbing. Miraval also eschews the wellness resort tradition of deprivation, offering three-square meals and plenty of snacks throughout the day. You can even have a glass of (biodynamic) wine with dinner.
Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
Set on 400 serene acres in the foothills of Mt. Kuchumaa, Mexico’s Rancho La Puerta takes male-centric wellness to the next level with its 500-square-metre Men’s Health Centre, kilometres of rugged hiking and biking trails, and weeks dedicated to obstacle course enthusiasts and marathon trainers. You’ll also find protein stations in the dining room, kettle-bell and circuit-training classes in the gym, and spa therapies like the Sports Recovery Massage and Mens’ Refesher Facial.
SHA Wellness Clinic, El Albir, Spain
Men with a serious wellness mission should make their way to the Mediterranean, where the SHA Wellness Clinic offers weeklong (or longer) programs that promise improvement in virtually every aspect of life. The retreat’s three-story wellness area employs a team of medical specialists who can personalize regimens targeting everything from weight loss and sleep improvement to smoke cessation and cognitive rejuvenation. Programs are hardcore, but the sea views and luxurious suites — not to mention the results — are well worth the effort.
La Prairie Spa, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
L.A.’s hottest new hotel, the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, opened in June on a triangular point between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, bringing with it the city’s first Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurants and chic La Prairie Spa. The latter — best known for luxe skincare therapies like white caviar facials and diamond microdermabrasion — is also heavy on wellness for him. Manly favorites include the Cellular Energizing Back Ritual and extensive thermal facilities. Fitness is also a focus, with a 185-square-metre gym featuring Technogym equipment and personal trainers.