Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa

Now that you’ve decided to go away for a spa break, you must choose between a destination spa and a resort spa.

Destination spas are fully equipped spas with state of the art facilities and the top practitioners in their fields offering dedicated spa retreat programmes.  The emphasis is on overall wellness with each spa specializing in a different area of expertise, a particular philosophy, or a unique location.  Most people go to destination spas for week-long programmes to kick start their health or to focus on a particular issue that can only be overcome through diet, exercise and spa treatments which are carefully constructed and calculatingly executed.  Spa purists love destination spas, but there are programmes at every spa that are also appropriate for first timers, so anyone can benefit from a spa retreat.

Resort spas are spas located at hotels or resorts for day use by guests of the resort, although some resort spas allow non-guests to book spa services. Resort spas are more common than destination spas.  The quality of the spa facilities, treatments, and practitioners can be extremely high, particularly at luxury resorts, but most resort spas focus more on pampering, relaxation, and beauty treatments than intensive wellbeing programmes meant to foster personal growth. Resort spas are popular with casual spa-goers on a holiday where the spa isn’t the main focus of their experience.

Go to a DESTINATION SPA if you want:

  • A purposeful retreat to focus on the solution to a particular issue/problem.
  • An adult environment.
  • Personal privacy and a high degree of discretion by staff.
  • To be surrounded by like minded people who provide camaraderie, inspiration, and energy.
  • A supportive environment to recover from a major life event.
  • An experience where it is easy to meet others and to socialize.
  • To practice under experts in their fields with personal interaction.
  • A pre-determined diet of spa cuisine tailored to your needs.
  • To follow a particular nutritional philosophy.
  • To abstain from alcohol and other toxins, sometimes including caffeine.
  • Consultations with doctors, nutritionists, and instructors.
  • To make a major, long-term change to your health and habits.
  • Programming which includes exercise, classes, outdoor activities, lectures, and meditation.
  • An all inclusive pricing plan which includes accommodation, meals, classes, and some spa treatments.

Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa


Go to a RESORT SPA if you want:

  • To go to the spa while your children or travel partners do something else.
  • Spa treatments as a part of your overall holiday, but not to be the main focus.
  • To spend time with friends or family that you are travelling with.
  • To participate in activities such as golf, tennis, and water sports that are not provided by the spa.
  • To drink alcohol or caffeine.
  • To eat meals outside of the spa or to not be restricted by particular diets.
  • To stay in a particular hotel or location that does not offer destination spas.
  • To gamble.
  • To relax and rest instead of taking classes.

Many resort spas are now offering more of the services and facilities of destination spas, but they typically charge extra for these classes or activities and offer them a la carte, as they do their spa treatments.

a pool in a resort with a distant sea Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa Destination Spa vs. Resort Spa



*By Guest Blogger Spa Samurai

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