Learn About the Different Types of Spas

Types of Spas

Medical Spa, Resort Spa, Destination Spas, Wellness Spa


Learn more about the different types of Spas available to you – from wellness spa to wellness hotels, health spa resorts, destination spas and many others:


Mineral waters and hot springs – the original spas – have been part of relaxation and healing in many cultures for centuries. Towns with hot springs grew into popular destinations for holiday retreats.

Today this concept is still intact but greatly expanded into modern health resorts offering just about everything for what relaxes, what energizes and what ails you. Contemporary spas cater to people who want to lose weight, get in shape, simply relax or luxuriate with pampering treatments. They offer all the elements you need for a healthy lifestyle including nutritious food – fitness activities – body treatments – medical evaluations – behavioral management counseling – nutrition education – stress management – holistic health – spiritual growth – movement therapy – exercise physiology and more.

You’ll find spas in all shapes and sizes – at a mountain top retreat, in the heart of the city, on a tropical island, in a desert oasis or in the serene countryside. What they have in common is they all specialize in wellness. To one degree or another, each addresses physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Some have distinct specialties while others can tailor your stay for your preferences.

The Seven Kinds of Spas You Should Focus On:


Types of spas? Don’t all spas offer the same things? Far from it! The International SPA Association has categorized spas into seven types to assist spa goers in choosing the best spa experience for them.


Club Spa – a facility whose primary purpose is fitness and which offers a variety of professionally administered spa services on a day-use basis.

Cruise Ship Spa – a spa aboard a cruise ship providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

Day Spa – Local spas offering hourly services – Choose a day spa near your home or while traveling when you want a spa experience for a short period of time. Day spas are designed to provide a beautifying, relaxing, or pampering experience with individual treatments that last for as little as an hour or multiple spa treatments that may take up to a whole day. Day spas are freestanding or located in health clubs, hotels, shopping centers, department stores, or even airports.

Destination Spa – Spas where guests come to focus purposefully on lifestyle improvement, health enhancement, and self-renewal.   Choose a Destination Spa if you seek total immersion in everything spa. Destination spas are places to go for a few days, a week, or even longer to enjoy the spa experience in the company of like-minded people. At these inspiring retreats, you find all-inclusive programs that integrate fitness, spa treatments, healthful cuisine, and lifestyle education. Our most popular destination spas include: Canyon Ranch, The Oaks at Ojai, Rancho La Puerta, and Red Mountain Spa. Learn More…..

Hotel Spa – Spa in city hotels – Choose a City Hotel, (also called hotel Spa or urban spa), when you are traveling or wish to have a day spa experience with hotel amenities like a health club and a restaurant. Steam rooms, saunas, pools, exercise equipment, and fitness classes may also be offered. Located in metropolitan hotels, some of these spas are open only to hotel guests, while others are accessible to the general public. Our most popular hotel spas include: San Diego Paradise Point Resort & Spa, Fairmont Empress, Sutton Place and the Westin Casaurina Las Vegas. Find your hotel spa…..

Medical Spa & Wellness Spa – spas with a focus on wellness and preventive healthcare or cosmetic and aesthetic procedures.  Choose a Medical Spa if you are interested in healthcare in a spa setting, either at a day spa or at a spa with overnight accommodations. Medical spas offer traditional and complementary medical services supervised or administered by medical professionals. The spa’s specialty may be diagnostic testing, preventive care, cosmetic procedures, or a combination of these. Our most popular medical spas include: Cooper Aerobics Center, Hilton Head Health Institute, Danubius Grand Hotel Margitsziget, Danubius Thermal Hotel Margitsziget, and Nove Lazne Spa Hotel.

Mineral Spring Spa – a spa offering an on-site source of natural mineral, thermal or seawater used in hydrotherapy treatments. Resort/Hotel Spa – a spa owned by and located within a resort or hotel providing professionally administered spa services, fitness and wellness components and spa cuisine menu choices.

Resort Spa – Spas in resort settings – Choose a resort spa if you want to combine a wide variety of recreational activities with a renewing spa experience. At these vacation resorts, spa treatments and services complement such activities as golf, tennis, horseback riding, skiing, and water sports. Healthful spa cuisine is on the menu alongside traditional fare, and alcohol is available. In the evening, guests can enjoy resort pastimes such as dancing and live entertainment. Children’s programs may also be offered. Our most popular resort spas include: The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Spa, and Round Hill Hotel & Villas. See our list of spa resorts…..


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