Any spa worth its bath salts can install a hot tub and call its treatments hydrotherapy. But these five establishments, all within driving distance of Long Island, offer distinct water cures — unique soaks that will warm your frozen bones to the core. From hot cocoa- and warm champagne-like submersions to the new trend of float therapy, these short but effective spa treatments are all you need to feel warm and cozy this winter. Of course, the soaks are just the beginning of a great getaway. Here’s where to stay, and what to do, once you emerge from the water.
THE RITZ-CARLTON WESTCHESTER SPA, WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK
WHAT Japanese tub soak
THERAPY The largest destination spa in Westchester County has 11 treatment rooms and one unique amenity: a Japanese soaking tub. Rather than trying to keep your floating body submerged in a larger bath, you sit upright on a seat, as warm water envelopes your skin from the neck down. Sure, you can book a professional massage or wrap, but the $75, 20-minute immersion in hot, fragrant, jetted water — candles flickering, soft music playing — will warm you to the marrow (914-467-5888, ritzcarlton.com/westchester/spa).
WHERE TO STAY Ritz Carlton Westchester, rooms from $293 a night, 914-946-5500, ritzcarlton.com
WHERE TO EAT The eye-catching, art-filled Lobby Lounge at the Ritz serves as a casual restaurant, where guests ease into gray plush chairs at small tables around a contemporary glass-and-stone fireplace. The refined space, open 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., serves everything from omelets to oysters.
WHAT TO DO Shop. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom anchor The Westchester, one of the most upscale malls in the New York metro area, chock-full of high-end fashion labels within 890,000 square feet of space.
Pictured: A massage room at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester.
ROOSEVELT BATHS & SPA, SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK
WHAT Warm mineral water soak
THERAPY Indulge in the strange but pleasant sensation of a warm and tingly carbonated soak in the mineral water that gave Saratoga Springs its name. You can settle into a deep bathtub in a private room for 40 minutes for only $35. The fee includes the use of a robe, sauna and a wait in the stunning Relaxation Room. “It’s like bathing in warm Champagne,” says one repeat customer (800-452-7275, gideonputnam.com/roosevelt-baths-and-spa)
WHERE TO STAY Adelphi Hotel (just reopened after a five-year renovation), rooms from $360 a night, 518-678-6000, theadelphihotel.com
WHERE TO EAT Dining in the sun-flooded conservatory of the Adelphi’s Blue Hen restaurant would be a memorable experience no matter what the quality of the food. But the dishes, made mostly from locally sourced ingredients, are superb.
WHAT TO DO Health seekers have been coming to Saratoga Springs to “take the waters” since the mid 19th century, and thoroughbred horse racing soon followed. The Saratoga Racetrack is so distinctive, it served as a film set for “The Horse Whisperer” and “Seabiscuit.” You can also check out the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Automobile Museum and the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center — each worthy of an hour of your time.
Pictured: Entrance to Roosevelt Baths & Spa in Saratoga Springs.
THE SPA AT THE HOTEL HERSHEY, HERSHEY, PENNSYLVANIA
WHAT Whipped cocoa bath
THERAPY Are you the type who can’t get enough chocolate? The 15-minute whipped cocoa bath ($45), an experience comparable to sitting in a cup of hot chocolate, was in fact awarded a U.S. patent in 2001 and remains the spa’s most popular treatment (844-330-1797, chocolatespa.com).
WHERE TO EAT The Circular at the Hotel Hershey serves well-crafted cocktails and top-notch cuisine in this historic, recently renovated dining room.
WHAT TO DO Hershey Park is closed offseason, but there is plenty to do in the town where streetlamps are shaped like Hershey’s Kisses. Visit the Milton Hershey School, The Hershey Story museum, Chocolate World (a 30-minute Disney-like ride with free admission) and, when you tire of everything chocolate, the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum.
Pictured: Getting ready for chocolate treatments at The Spa at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania.
THE LODGE AT WOODLOCH, HAWLEY, PENNSYLVANIA
WHAT Float therapy
THERAPY One of Travel + Leisure’s Top Ten Destination Spas in the World, the Lodge at Woodloch has added float therapy ($90 for 50 minutes) to its roster of treatments. The increasingly popular treatment is akin to being set adrift in the Dead Sea (only warmer). The water’s primary ingredient is a high concentration of Epson salts — it’s impossible to sink. Float therapy is said to relieve muscle tension, joint inflammation and arthritic pain, as well as improve sleep, concentration and skin ailments. (800-966-3562, thelodgeatwoodloch.com/spa)
WHERE TO STAY The Lodge at Woodloch, rooms from $738 a night, 800-966-3562, thelodgeatwoodloch.co
WHERE TO EAT AND WHAT TO DO You can take advantage of each and every hard-core workout class, sure. But you can also walk meditatively around the outdoor labyrinth, soothe your bones in a restorative yoga class, hike with a naturalist or do nothing but sit in the library and read — your choice. Alcohol is permitted (though wine and drinks are not included in the “all inclusive” price), and the excellent offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner (all included) are far, far from rabbit food.
Pictured: Float therapy in water infused with Epsom salts provides a profound sense of relaxation and weightlessness.
SPRINGS ETERNAL SPA, BEDFORD, PENNSYLVANIA
WHAT Bedford bath ritual
THERAPY Believing the local underground springs to have curative properties, Dr. John Anderson purchased more than 2,000 acres and began to bring patients here in the late 18th century. In 1806, Anderson built the Stone House as a sanitarium where city folk could drink and swim in the restorative water. Modern visitors participate in this historic healing experience by taking the waters during a $65, 20-minute Bedford Bath Ritual, featuring an aromatic steam, mineral deluge, whirlpool and cold plunge (814-623-8100, omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs/spa)
WHERE TO STAY Omni Bedford Springs, rooms from $309 a night, 888-444-6664, omnihotels.com/hotels/bedford-springs
WHERE TO EAT There are four full time restaurants at the resort, including the upscale steakhouse, 1796, the casual Frontier Tavern, Tillie’s at the Golf Clubhouse and the Crystal Dining Room, with black-and-white portrait photographs blanketing the walls and glittery crystal chandeliers. It’s like dining inside a 1930s movie.
WHAT TO DO Swim in the historic spring-fed indoor pool or walk the miles of trails on property. Take a 10 a.m. tour of the property, full of tales of presidents and dignitaries. Drive 30 minutes to the Flight 93 Memorial — a somber homage to those who lost their lives in a terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001, when a hijacked United Airlines jet crashed in this field.
Pictured: The Springs Eternal spa boutique.