Rejuvenate in the New Year

Insomnia? Stress? Baby blues? From a few days to a week or more, wellness spas around Florida can help with whatever ails you.

If weeks of rushing around, budget-busting shopping and cooking for guests has left you exhausted, stressed and filled with anxiety and stress, you’re not alone. That’s no way to begin a new year. It’s time to take some time for yourself, and there’s no better place to rejuvenate than a wellness spa. Here are a few that are close to home where you can renew your spirit for the year ahead.

Safety Harbor Resort & Spa
105 N Bayshore Drive, Safety Harbor

When Hernando Desoto discovered natural springs near Old Tampa Bay in 1539, he sincerely believed that Ponce De Leon had missed the Fountain of Youth. Desoto was convinced he had discovered the legendary waters on Florida’s west coast, and maybe he did if the Safety Harbor Resort & Spa is any indication. The natural spring waters bubbling beneath the spa attracted the rich and famous even before the spa was founded in 1925. Believed to restore youth and vitality, the natural mineral water from the springs is still used today in the spa’s three swimming pools and spa treatments.

One of the most comprehensive spa and fitness centers in the nation, Safety Harbor Resort & Spa specializes in wellness programs to rejuvenate and revitalize mind and body. The website SpaWellness Finder consistently names it among the top 10 U.S. spas. The 50,000-square-foot spa features 30 newly renovated treatment rooms, pools, saunas, steamrooms, whirlpools and a tranquility garden. In addition, the resort offers 174 spacious guest rooms and an additional 30,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. The U.S. Department of Interior named the spa as a national historic landmark in 1964, and it became a Florida Heritage Landmark in 1997.

Guests choose the services and level of activity that fits their interests. One of the most popular programs is the “Wellness for Life,” a six-night minimum package that partners guests with a physician to provide an optimal health and wellness plan through sustainable exercise, nutrition and relaxation. One- and two-day packages are also available for guests who need to find just a bit of personal serenity where the healing waters still flow.

Discovery Yoga Retreat & Renewal Programs
3 Davis Street, St. Augustine

Can’t sleep? According to University of Pennsylvania researchers, 20 minutes of yoga each day banishes insomnia as effectively as sleeping pills. It can also reduce anxiety, chronic stress and blue moods after just two weeks.

If you suffer from any of these ailments, or just need some affordable R&R, you may want to head over to Florida’s east coast where Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth is supposedly located. The Discovery Yoga Retreat offers guests a chance to find tranquility, healing energy and personal growth in historic St. Augustine. The beautifully restored, 1913 building has a 1,350-square-foot main studio, a smaller meditation room, a healing arts therapy room and a gift shop. The yoga hostel with guest rooms and baths, a community kitchen and commons lounge are on the second floor of the center. Guests may share rooms with rates as low as $35 a night or elect to have private rooms for $85 per night.

Discovery Yoga is a Kripalu-affiliated yoga center, which is a form of Hatha Yoga that uses inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques to help guests develop “quiet minds.”

Discovery Yoga’s R&R programs run year-round and give students a chance to de-stress and focus on health, wellness and personal growth. Guests can set their own schedules and choose just how many activities or classes they want. In addition to the personalized R&R programs and special workshops, the center also offers a 200-hour Kripalu yoga teacher training or a 500-hour Master Yoga Teacher Certification.

Guests are encouraged to experience the healing nature of the beaches and explore St. Augustine during their stay. And chances are they’ll feel refreshed and well rested when they leave whether their stay has been two nights, two weeks or even a month.

Mission Inn Resort & Spa
10400 County Rd 48, Howey in the Hills

Mission Inn’s Spa Marbella offers busy couples a romantic retreat where they can relax, rejuvenate and rejoice over their love for one another. The Lake County resort is only a stone’s throw from Ocala, and, speaking of stones, the 50-minute customized couples’ massages feature heated stones and chocolate-scented oils. It’s the perfect way to relax after a full day of activities offered at Mission Inn, including golf, tennis, fishing, trap and skeet shooting, and even hiking on the Trails of the Conquistadors that wind through undeveloped land reminiscent of “old Florida.”

The blissful spa treatments are a great way to enjoy a day or, even better, a weekend of luxurious pampering and romance. Mission Inn’s bougainvillea-covered courtyards and Spanish Mission-style architecture create a special ambience for couples whether they are there for their wedding, a special occasion or just for some downtime together. And a candlelit dinner in Mission Inn’s elegant El Conquistador Restaurant is the perfect way to end the day.

Possibly because Mission Inn offers so many activities, men have become a growing part of the Spa Marbella clientele. A newly furbished men’s Serinidad Lounge and relaxing steamroom facilities are only part of the men’s spa package. They can also choose from services designed just for the masculine gender, such as deluxe razor shaves and men’s MAN-icures.

Seasonal rates at Mission Inn begin at $184 and include deluxe room accommodations, breakfast buffets and $100 credit in Spa Marbella per night stay. Also, check the website for special spa packages available throughout the year.

The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes
4012 Central Florida Parkway, Orlando

In addition to many luxurious amenities, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grand Lakes is also home to the largest spa in Central Florida with a 40,000-square-foot “sanctuary” that features 40 treatment rooms, wet areas, a wellness center and more.

No one deserves special treatment more than expectant and new moms, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa has a variety of services to help them get through the final stages of pregnancy. The “Mellow Mama” package includes massages using specific pre-natal techniques to increase circulation, alleviate tired muscles and reduce water retention. Other treatments include “The Yummy Tummy” to soothe and moisturize the abdomen and the “Free Your Mind” treatment to relieve the stresses that often accompany pregnancy.

If baby is already here, The Ritz Carlton Spa offers a “4th Trimester Healing Hour” treatment to help new moms realign and restore their bodies. The special mother-to-be packages range from $75 to $185. Rates for hotel accommodations are additional.

Helping guests achieve good health, balance and overall well-being are the goals at The Ritz-Carlton Spa. These are also reflected in the Spa Cafe where guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy healthy cuisine after their treatments.

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa
6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

The name Canyon Ranch has been synonymous with health and wellness retreats since the original property in Arizona was founded more than 30 years ago. Any Internet search for Florida wellness retreats puts Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach at the top of the list.

The 1950s-era Carillon Hotel itself was restored and rejuvenated after sitting vacant for 10 years to become the Miami Beach location for Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in 2008. After Carillon owner Eric Sheppard visited the legendary Canyon Ranch in Tucson, his life changed dramatically. He and a business partner convinced Canyon Ranch founder Mel Zuckerman to join them in restoring and converting the Carillon into a hybrid version of the original property.

Canyon Ranch offers holistic and integrative medical advice that helps guests establish healthy habits for life. On-staff health specialists include board-certified physicians, physical therapists, nutritionists, healing touch practitioners, exercise physiologists, licensed therapists and acupuncturists. The health professionals work with guests to design health programs specifically tailored for guests’ needs.

The various health packages offered at the Ranch address issues such as stress management, weight control, pain management or smoking cessation and range in price from $1,800 to $3,500 for four days. One of the most popular is the Optimal Living® health package that creates a personalized plan for health, fitness, nutrition, stress management and creative expression. The package begins with a consultation with a Canyon Ranch physician and can include a combination of sessions with other health practitioners on the staff.

Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach is one of the first wellness retreats to offer energy medicine, a relatively new study to Western culture; although, it has been practiced for thousands of years in Asia. Guests can choose acupuncture, acutonics, reiki and other Eastern practices to address pain and stress.

In addition to the health packages, Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa offers more than 40 indoor and outdoor fitness classes every day, including cycling and yoga.

Ayurveda Health Retreat & Spa
14616 NW 140th St., Alachua

Looking for someplace a little more peaceful than Miami Beach to discover a holistic approach to wellness? Hundreds of people from all over the world travel to the small town of Alachua, just north of Gainesville, to learn how to enrich their lives at the Ayurveda Health Retreat & Spa.

Founded in 2001 by Richard Masla, the spa focuses on a 5,000-year-old healing tradition from India known as Ayurveda, which promotes harmony with nature. “Ayur” means life and “veda” means knowledge. The ancient healing system—or science of life—is a holistic approach to understanding how the environment impacts health.

The therapists help guests make lifestyle changes that create a greater harmonic balance for the mind, body and spirit. These include nutrition and dietary changes, simple exercises such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing and herbal medicines and treatments.

Ayurveda offers weekend retreats, 14- or 28-day weight management programs and a detoxification program known as Panchakarma that eliminates toxins from the body through a deep cleansing process. To gain maximum results from Panchakarma programs, the spa recommends a minimum five-day stay that is all-inclusive at $2,250.Prices for a weekend retreat begin at $615 while the weight management programs begin at $4,900 for 14 days and $8,900 for 28 days.

In addition, an à la carte menu of services is available during the Wellness Retreat packages that run $149 a day and include a private room, yoga, and meals.

Advanced Aesthetics
(352) 620-2566

Aesthetic & Laser Center
(352) 867-7777

Aqua MedSpa at Ocala Plastic Surgery
(352) 629-8154 /

Azulene Day Spa
(352) 620-0095 /

Escape Salon & Spa
(352) 629-2828

Face the Day 
(352) 622-9946 /

Lifestyle Solutions (352) 368-2148 /

The Ranch Fitness Center &
Spa at On Top of the World
(352) 861-8180 /

Signature Aesthetics Center For Anti Aging
(352) 325-3702

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