Spa getaways now cater to health, wellness lifestyles


The Millcroft Inn & Spa in Alton, Ont., boasts a serene setting

So you made resolutions to eat better, drink more water, quit smoking, start exercising, generally get fit and become healthier this year. But that was more than a month ago and, well, you still need a little kick start, right?

Spas to the rescue. Today, more spas are adopting the concept of health and wellness, and many are offering guests comprehensive packages to help them achieve their new year’s goals and resolutions. Here’s a sampling of what’s out there:

getting fit

I recently checked out the Red Door Lifestyle Spa in Weston, Fla., and was impressed with the spaciousness of the facility and the variety and quality of its fitness programs. Along with a full menu of spa treatments, lounges, a spa café and a lovely pool area for spa guests only, there’s a fully-loaded gym and various studios for daily exercise classes.

You can sign up for group classes such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba (a Latin dance-based exercise program) and spinning or go for one-on-one. As a runner, I consider myself pretty fit, but I tried my first spinning class here and, ouch, it was a killer.

Connected to the Hyatt Regency Bonaventure by a walkway, this Red Door is a good choice if you’re looking for a destination spa in a resort environment. Lifestyle Spa Packages are available from two nights to a full week. See

the millcroft inn & spa

The new detox program at The Millcroft Inn & Spa includes gourmet dishes.

gourmet detox

The new four-night, naturopathic spa detox getaway at the Millcroft Inn & Spa in Alton, Ont., means never having to say, “I’m starving.” There’s a growing number of detox programs available and many of them encourage guests to fast on soups and juices.

This one is different: Not only is it designed and managed by a local naturopathic doctor, but you get to eat. Meals and snacks are of the gourmet variety — but no wheat or refined sugar.

I tested this program just before it launched and dishes — including grilled salmon fillet and seared turkey tenderloin — were yummy and plentiful. Spa treatments and a one-on-one with the naturopath are all part of the deal. See

stress buster

The intimate Hillcrest Valenova Inn & Spa in Port Hope is one of the few spas in Canada that offers a stress release retreat. Called Strength Through Wellness, the three-night program includes workshops, a private consultation and a personalized action plan to take home with you. Meals and spa treatments are also included.

The program deals with helping participants understand their personal stresses, how they deal with stress, and how to learn to manage it;

lighten the load

If you really need to get serious about losing weight and want professional help and a change of scenery to help you shed those extra pounds, Hills Health Ranch has weight loss programs available in six-, 10- and 30-night packages.

This is a quiet, unpretentious setting in British Columbia, so don’t go if you need a high-paced urban environment. Visit

Anne Dimon is a spa and wellness travel writer and founder/editor of