A destination spa is a resort centered on a spa, such as a mineral spa. Historically many such spas were developed at the location of natural hot springs or mineral springs; in the era before modern biochemical knowledge and pharmacotherapy, "taking the waters" was often believed to have great medicinal powers. Even without such mystic powers, however, the stress relief and health education of spas also often has some degree of positive effect on health. Typically over a seven-day stay, such facilities provide a comprehensive program that includes spa services, physical fitness activities, wellness education, healthy cuisine, and special interest programming.
Some destination spas offer an all-inclusive program that includes facilitated fitness classes, healthy cuisine, educational classes and seminars as well as similar services to a beauty salon or a day spa. Guests reside and participate in the program at a destination spa instead of just visiting for a treatment or pure vacation. Some destination spas are in exotic locations or in spa towns.
Destination spas have been in use for a considerable time, and some are no longer used but preserved as elements of earlier history; for example, Gilroy Yamato Hot Springs in California is such a historically used spa whose peak patronage occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Resort spas are generally located in resorts and offer similar services via rooms with services, meals, body treatments and fitness a la carte.
Typical services include:
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