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Destination Spas in ‘Survival Mode’

Lean times mean fat discounts at the nation's destination spas. Even some of the most prestigious ones, not known for deep discounting, are trying to tone up business with tempting deals.

For big-name spas, as for other sectors of the travel industry, "it's not a rosy picture," says Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association. "Visits are down, revenues are down."

While some spa-goers are staying home and opting for day spa treatments, others are taking advantage of what McNees calls "unprecedented" deals at destination spas. "They're in survival mode," she says. Sample deals, based on availability:

-- Get a third and fourth night free at Lake Austin Spa Resort in Texas when you arrive on Sunday and reserve a two-night "Ultimate Package" in a lakeview room. Book by Oct. 15 for stays through Dec. 31. Cost is $2,054.94 a person, double, including meals, activities, tax and gratuities, unlimited room service and $310 each in spa and fitness credits. For more information: 800-847-5637; lakeaustin.com

-- Miraval Resort, a Sonoran Desert oasis outside Tucson that's a favorite of Oprah Winfrey, has been slashing rates and just added a $275-a-person-daily special, double occupancy, through Oct. 14. That includes all meals and most activities, but not spa treatments or taxes. 800-232-3969; miravalresort.com

-- The well-regarded Canyon Ranch properties have a smorgasbord of specials. The original ranch, near Tucson, has a "Two New, Too Terrific" promo for two first-time guests sharing a room through Dec. 23. Each gets 15 percent off an all-inclusive package that includes meals, classes and airport transfers. From Nov. 29 to Dec. 23, you may get 30 percent off in honor of the ranch's 30th anniversary. The new Canyon Ranch Living in Florida has specials for guests in its condo-like lodging, including extra nights free (rates start at $350 for room and classes in the fall) and $100 spa and restaurant credit. And Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass., has deals, too, including a fifth night free. Information: 800-742-9000; canyonranch.com

-- Even one of the USA's most exclusive spas is discounting. A week at The Golden Door near San Diego is down from $7,750 a person to $6,000, depending on availability. Pricey, yes, but it includes all meals, daily massage and beauty treatments, personal trainer, wellness and nutrition education and take-home exercise routines. 800-424-0777; goldendoor.com

Visit destinationspavacations.com for more deals.

1 Responses »

  1. There are some very good deals out there that people can take advantage of. The economy is making it hard for everyone, but I think the spa industry is one that has some very creative and entrepreneurial minds that have the ability to come out of it and even excel by developing new techniques and cutting costs. The ones right now that are finding themselves in a better position are the day spas, but the destination spas are I believe having some success with Stay-cations.