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2009 Spa Poll Results: Spa Trends

Spas Go Green
Like the resorts and hotels that house many of them, spas are stepping up efforts to diminish their environmental footprint. Michael Stusser of the Green Spa Network says consumers are driving the movement. People are expecting green spas, he says. They recognize the connection between personal well-being and planetary well-being. Many changes are so subtle guests may not notice: non-toxic cleaning solutions, low-flow toilets, compostable corn-based cups. But there are also visible shifts, such as interiors of salvaged woods and sustainable cork and bamboo, and all-natural products in treatment rooms. The Chill Spa, at the Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, has installed a super-efficient water conservation system, distributes reusable aluminum water bottles, and employs only organic products. The brand-new Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront, in Avon, Colorado, has organic bamboo sheets, cups and plates made from corn, and organic products—and guests who arrive in their hotel robe (saving the spa from using an additional robe) receive a small discount.

Dollars and Senses
More pampering for less money? In a time of economic anxiety, that's the rub Call Ahead: As you plan your travels, contact spas to secure the times and treatments you want—and ask about discounts. Weekday Appointments: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are spas' busiest times. Facilities tend to be less crowded midweek, and treatments are sometimes less pricey to lure traffic. Package Deals: Inquire about markdowns for booking or paying for multiple services ahead of time. The More the Merrier: Many spas offer specials for couples treatments, which can apply to friends, too. Ask if there are further reductions for three in your party. Do Your Research: Check the Web for seasonal bargains such as Spa Week, when retreats across the country slash some packages to half the list price (spaweek.org; April 13-19). And read Consumer News Editor Wendy Perrin's picks for late-breaking spa values at perrinpost.com.

Dream Treatments
With sleep disorders rampant—reports say that one in three adults suffers from insomnia—increasing numbers of spas are helping guests get more shut-eye. In Utah, Red Mountain Spa's three-day sleep retreat pinpoints sleep problems and devises personalized techniques to help guests unwind. At Connecticut's Mayflower Inn, workshops include stress management, aromatherapy, and massage. Iru Fushi Beach & Spa Resort has brought sleep therapies to the Maldives, with relaxation-emphasizing yoga classes and evening spa sessions to bring on the z's.

Material Comfort
Long a soothing spa ingredient, aloe is weaving its way into loungewear. Tao Freedom of the Body's spa line (including fluid tunics, right) is made from a silklike fabric that contains aloe extract—to moisturize skin and even lessen a sunburn's sting (taofreedom.com; $143-$429).

Light Reading
A fresh crop of cookbooks lets do-it-yourselfers whip up the kind of healthy food that students prepare in classes at a growing number of spas. Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa has dishes that span the California institution's 50-year history, including rosemary-lemon polenta with oyster mushrooms and rainbow chard (Clarkson Potter, $40). In A Journey of Taste: Favorite Recipes from Mii Amo Spa, you'll find the Sedona spa's Southwestern fare, such as buffalo tenderloin with horseradish potato cake (Chronicle, $35). And Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta presents the California spa's seasonal cuisine in dishes like fall's butternut squash flan and New Year's lobster à la diabla and potato-kohlrabi gratin with truffle oil (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $35).

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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