Photo credit: The Spa at Ballantyne

Photo credit: The Spa at Ballantyne

The lure of the Carolinas is strong for visitors seeking respite and renewal. Whether it’s along South Carolina’s sun kissed coastlines or sequestered in the lush mountains of North Carolina, here are 6 of the best spas in the Carolinas.

This article originally appeared in AAA Carolinas’ GO Magazine.

South Carolina

The Spa at Belmond Charleston Place

Best Spas Charleston Place Hotel

Photo courtesy of Belmond Charleston Place

The recent addition of “Belmond” to its name is quite accurate. Belmond means “beautiful world”, and that’s exactly what you step into when you spend time here.

The lobby’s light and airy atmosphere immediately begins to peel off a layer of stress before your treatment even begins. Ambrosial therapies like the Luxe 24-Karat Gold Facial and Moroccanoil treatments are unique to the Spa. Combining 24-karat gold with modern Japanese technology, this facial leaves your skin positively radiant. The Moroccanoil Scalp and Neck treatment not only eliminated my neck pain, but also transformed my crunchy, color-treated hair into soft, shiny locks.

Roughly 50% of the spa’s clientele is local. That’s largely due to community involvement with projects like the “I Will Reflect” melanoma initiative. The Spa partners with MUSC Foundation to raise skin cancer awareness and prevention through events and products. One product, the “I Will Reflect” bracelet, glows purple when your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful rays.

The rooftop pool is an ideal spot for a post-massage lunch and a glass or two of the hotel’s exclusive Pampered Peach Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka Cocktail.

Wentworth Mansion

Best Spas Wentworth Mansion

Photo credit: Wentworth Mansion

The charm of luxury living in a bygone era you feel while wandering about this meticulously restored 126-year-old property is enough to sate your soul. Details like exposed brick and 14-foot vaulted ceilings of what was once the stable make this historic spa quite unique. As you pad down the dimly lit brick hallway to the spa, you’ll feel as if you’re being let in on a special secret. Though not a secret, the fact that this spa offers Charleston’s only couples massage facility, complete with a dual headed shower and spacious treatment room, may not be widely known.

Relax in your own cocoon with their signature treatment, Rubbed and Wrapped. Enjoy a vigorous rubdown with your choice of warmed oils, then swaddled to “bake” blissfully before your massage.

If it’s raining the day of your massage, try and score one of the two treatment rooms under the tin roof. If it’s not raining, head up to Wentworth Mansion’s rooftop cupola after your treatment for unparalleled vistas of historic Charleston.

The Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Best Spas Palmetto Bluff

Photo credit: Inn at Palmetto Bluff

Cradled among forests of live oak, magnolia, and palmetto trees, the waterfront village within the Inn at Palmetto Bluff embodies Lowcountry charm.

Once the hunting estate of a wealthy New York banker in the early 1900s, the land was later purchased by the Union Paper Company for clear cutting purposes. With the almost mystical lure of the landscape, it’s not surprising the paper company opted to leave the land untouched, using it instead as a hunting lodge.

“The land clearly has a voice,” notes Christine Wrobel, Marketing Manager for the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. “We’re thankful that those caring for the land at different times listened to it.”

“The land clearly has a voice,” notes Christine Wrobel, Marketing Manager for the Inn… Click To Tweet

The Cottage Spa is a seamless extension of the property’s southern enchantment. It’s easy to get into relaxation mode as you sip a cool beverage in the screened-in porch that overlooks the water. The inn’s signature therapies like the Palmetto High Cotton and the May River Revival incorporate products infused with indigenous and natural ingredients.

North Carolina

The Spa at Ballantyne

Best Spas Ballantyne

Photo courtesy of The Spa at Ballantyne

Harried schedules and endless traffic are typical of city life in Charlotte. Perhaps that’s why locals comprise 85% – 90% of their client base here. With 12 massage rooms, six facial rooms, and several hair and manicure stations, Ballantyne provides ample pampering opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

Contrary to the childhood poem, sticks and stones rejuvenate your body here. The signature River Rock Massage incorporates hot stones, and rosemary and ginger oils to soothe sore muscles. Warm bamboo sticks used during the Bamboo Massage also release muscle tension.

The resort’s well-equipped fitness center is available to spa guests, too. It includes an eight-person staff specializing in different modalities of fitness.

Westglow Resort and Spa

Best Spas Westglow Resort

Photo courtesy of Westglow Resort and Spa

Sequestered within the luxuriant Blue Ridge Mountains, this stately Greek revival mansion was once the summer home of noted writer and artist Elliott Daingerfield.

The 42-acre property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the views alone are enough to lull you into a state of extreme bliss.

In addition to detox therapies and varied luxury massages on offer, Westglow integrates Vichy shower services into several treatments. For a total mind and body transformation, consider the Metamorphosis. First you’re enveloped in a cocoon of detoxing mud, then rinsed by a warm rain from the Vichy shower. The treatment concludes with a massage and rain therapy combo.

All spa packages include the use of the resort’s Life Enrichment Center, which boasts an indoor swimming pool, steam room, whirlpools, a tennis court, and a fitness center.

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Best Spas Old Edwards

Photo credit: Old Edwards Inn and Spa

Also situated within the Blue Ridge Mountains, this European style retreat is poised on the picturesque southwest plateau. Local stonework, cascading greenery, and impressive wood furnishings throughout create a sense of oneness with nature.

Signature therapies like the Sweet Mountain Metamorphosis uses herbs grown in the resort’s garden. For a unique spa experience, try the InFusion Bath Ritual. Hot herbal poultice balls are used to increase circulation, blood flow, and lymphatic drainage. A traditional Balinese massage and soaking bath infused with healing herbs rounds out this decadent experience.

Treat yourself to a holiday getaway to Old Edwards with the Comfort and Joy package, which includes accommodations for two, dinner and spa treatments.

All of the above mentioned spas are located in or near charming Carolina towns. Make a weekend of it, and soak in some local experiences after you soak away your stress.

For more getaways in the Carolinas, check out these posts:

FEAST Food Tour: Experience the Tasty Side of Charlotte!

High Country Skiing: Why Have I Neglected You?

Hilton Head Island Under the Radar