Holiday magic doesn't just happen. If you're a self-appointed director of merriment and cheer, you're well aware that the winter season starts as busy as any other. But as the mental and physical load of elf magic melts away, sometimes the best gift of all is a little post-holiday R&R.
Whether you're looking to recuperate and refocus for the new year ahead or you'd simply like a soak, there's no shortage of Southern destinations offering treatments as sensational as their surroundings. Disconnect from everyday stress in some of the region's most luxurious spaces. From steam rooms nestled in the mountains to deep tissue massages with waterfront views , the South's best spa resorts will rejuvenate your body and soothe your soul regardless of the temperature outside.
The Spa at Sea Island
Sea Island, Georgia
Old-school elegance meets modern relaxation on the sprawling grounds of this Georgia island retreat. At The Spa at Sea Island , guests are greeted with a "Spallini" cocktail on their way to the property's sanctuary centerpiece: a garden atrium that transports the area's natural windswept riches inside. Hospitable beyond compare, prepare to be pampered at every turn as you choose from the 65,000-square-foot facility's classic treatments.
The Cloister, 100 Cloister Drive, Sea Island, GA 31561, seaisland.com
Spa Montage at Montage Palmetto Bluff
Bluffton, South Carolina
This Lowcountry haven begs for a restful porch rock before you even head to the spa. Set among moss-laden trees and Carolina marshes, Spa Montage uses local elements to create an authentic sense of place in their services, which range from facials to body treatments. Who wouldn't want to sign up for a "Pure Bliss" full-body massage and skin treatment?
477 Mount Pelia Road, Bluffton, SC 29910, montagehotels.com/palmettobluff
The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm
Though it's fashioned from an 1800s farmhouse, guests of The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm are far from roughing it. Splurge for the solace you can only find in the foothills of the Smokies. Signature experiences, from wellness to treatments, are rooted in the restorative power of the surrounding mountains and feature house-made lavenders and lotions.
1471 West Millers Cove Road Walland, TN 37886, blackberryfarm.com
The Spa at The Sanctuary
Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Just when you think Kiawah Island's secluded beaches and award-winning greens couldn't get more divine, The Spa at The Sanctuary Hotel ups the ante. Try the spa's herbal teas while soaking in a mineral pool or decompress with a body fusion or facial. Private personal training and yoga and pilates classes are also on the menu.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, One Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island, SC 29455, kiawahresort.com
The Spa at High Hampton
Cashiers, North Carolina
Redesigned and reinvigorated, this nostalgic mountain gem is back to deliver the apex of relaxation in the Appalachians. Indulge in a day of pampering in the state-of-the-art spa , with special offerings for couples and mothers-to-be. Afterwards, take in the property's crisp mountain air and camplike charm with a stroll through the dahlia gardens or hiking trails.
1525 Highway 107 South, Cashiers, NC 28717, highhampton.com
Lake Austin Spa Resort
The premier retreat for a dose of wellness by the water, this destination spa offers peak Hill Country serenity just miles outside of downtown Austin. Lake Austin Spa Resort's 19 waterfront acres hug the shoreline of the Colorado River, immersing guests in the healing power of nature in and outside of the spa's walls. After relaxing with a "Tour of Texas" treatment, take a toga class on the dock or end the day with an astrologer-led stargazing experience.
12611 Riverbend Road, Austin, TX 78732, lakeaustin.com
Salamander Spa at The Henderson
Florida serenity reigns supreme at this upscale spa with bed and breakfast-style charm. At The Salamander Spa , an impressive menu of treatments inspired by coastal waters is appealing enough to lure you away from the emerald beaches right outside your window. If you have a full itinerary, sign up for one of the many mini therapy treatments.
200 Henderson Resort Way, Destin, FL 32541, hendersonbeachresort.com
The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn
Asheville, North Carolina
Anchored by Blue Ridge views, this Southern landmark has been pampering guests since 1913. Soak in mountain vistas from the spa's oversized hot tubs and therapeutic waterfalls before diving into the property's sensational underground pool. Then check out the Annual National Gingerbread Competition, which is on display until early January.
290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804, omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park
Old Edwards Inn & Spa
Highlands, North Carolina
Old Edwards Inn & Spa delights with crackling fireplaces, inviting porches, and a spa that has perfected the art of relaxation. Fine wood and local stone steep spa sessions with European-style while spotlighting the Blue Ridge Mountains natural healing wonders. Take a dip in the outdoor Jacuzzi and seasonally heated mineral pools.
445 Main St., Highlands, NC 28741, oldedwardshospitality.com/old-edwards-inn-spa
The Spa at The Breakers
Palm Beach, Florida
Treat yourself at this famed resort brimming with architectural grandeur. This grand dame is as deluxe today as it was decades ago, and its spa is no different. Try the Tammy Fender Rose Quarts Massage for a therapeutic session on a heated bed of alpha-quartz sand—well worth the splurge, indeed.
One South County Road, Palm Beach, FL 33480, thebreakers.com