The Infrared Sauna and Detox Spa Guide
When we’re looking to complement a full-on detox, or invest in some next-level self-care, this is where you’ll find us: spas with lymphatic massages, infrared saunas, steam rooms, clay wraps, and more (hello, barometric pressure chamber). The heat treatments are also brilliant for anyone new to (or intensifying) a workout program as they can work wonders on sore muscles. All these treatments fit blissfully into the span of an afternoon; for travel options, see our guide to full-on wellness and detox retreats.
Sauna DecoHerengracht 115, Grachtengordel | +184.108.40.206.215
The breathtaking Art Deco stained glass panels, gilded details, and winding wrought-iron staircase at this canal-side sauna were rescued from Au Bon Marché in Paris before it underwent a top-to-bottom renovation—the resulting space is a hybrid of immaculate Dutch craftsmanship and Parisian refinement. In addition to the various baths and relaxation rooms there are infrared saunas, a solarium, and the option to book a private massage. Fair warning: The unisex saunas and baths follow a strict no-swimsuits-allowed policy (towels are okay).
Löyly2713 S.E. 21st Ave., Hosford-Abernethy, Portland, OR | 503.236.6850
The design at Löyly (which is Finnish for the steam that comes off hot rocks at a sauna) is distinctly Scandinavian, with beautiful hardwood floors and minimalist wooden lounge chairs set around the communal space. The facials, though, are decidedly unminimalist: There are nourishing masks; steamy, aromatic compresses to calm skin; layer upon layer of oils, creams, and hydrosols; detoxifying facial steams; and more. There’s a second location in Northeast Portland.
Tierra Santa Healing House3201 Collins Ave., Mid-Beach | 786.655.5570
The Faena Hotel's Tierra Santa is a burst of color: A rainbow-striped rug runs through the spa’s lobby, which is outfitted with bright Juan Gatti artwork and floral-printed poufs. Inspired by an array of South American (and some South Asian) healing traditions, Tierra Santa has a gorgeous Turkish-style hammam and offers a full wet spa experience (waterfall shower, herbal steam room, wet scrub, sauna, and ice parlor); many of the treatments include ritualistic wellness aspects. The Hammam Rose Ritual is one highlight: During the treatment, as you lie on top of a warm marble slab, a therapist will scrub your entire body for what is likely to be the most thorough exfoliation of your life. Following this, you’ll be covered in ridiculously soft foam and then a soothing clay and later treated to a massage. The Tree of Life Vibrations treatment takes place on a heated sand bed and incorporates handmade Himalayan singing bowls into another supremely relaxing massage. Other massage options are more conventional, as are the facials—the Triple Lift Advanced Facial concludes with the Remodeling Face Machine from French brand Biologique Recherche. The Hyper-Customized Facial uses Naturopathica, one our favorite clean, nontoxic brands, and begins with facial steaming and gentle extractions, followed by lymphatic drainage, a congestion-soothing calendula mask, and a glycolic peel. The glow you leave with is…unreal. Led by two doctors, Tierra Santa also has a holistic, preventive medicine program that includes digestion-focused health therapies.
ON & ON5-5161 Kuhio Hwy., #210, Hanalei | 808.826.4444
ON & ON specializes in head-to-toe skincare; in a single visit, you can have a botanical facial, spend three tension-easing minutes in a cryo sauna, and get a skin-boosting LED treatment. They also offer curated gift sets for anyone in your crew, from the hair-obsessed to the healthy epicurean.
Balans Organic Spa216 Newbury St, Back Bay | 617.424.1500
The only 100 percent organic spa in Boston (on pretty Newbury Street, no less), Balans specializes in plant-based treatments. This is a full-service outfit with an adjacent wellness center for nutrition, meditation, and exercise needs. The facials are customized entirely to your skin and accompanied by a complimentary nutrition and health consultation (if you like). Aside from the aesthetic treatments, Balans has a flotation tank to help fully relax the mind, the idea being to remove any kind of stimulant—unless you want to listen to music or a guided meditation. This water is Dead Sea–level salty by way of Epsom salts, to permeate the skin with essential minerals, so floating isn’t something you need to think about—it just happens. The massages can be boosted with body brushing, too.
Sanctuary Spa1701 S Shepherd Dr., Montrose | 713.622.7722
This spa's holistic energy approach combines traditional Japanese and Egyptian treatments with a little bit of Southern hospitality. The menu isn't so expansive that you'd lose valuable time picking a treatment, but if you need a real quickie, the thirty-minute massage is a revelation. (And it's the only place in Houston offering yoni steams, at least that we know of.) The seaweed wrap for dry, flaky skin cocoons the body in a layer of kombu, aloe, and green tea for some light exfoliation. And the Off-the-Menu facial customizes products to your skin type.
Shankara Ayurveda Spa639 Whispering Hills Rd., Boone, NC | 828.264.8382
This super authentic Ayurvedic spa and retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains is both rustic and luxe. Everything here, from the cooking classes to the yoga sessions, aligns with Ayurvedic principles. The beyond amazing, recently renovated spa has tons of different treatments, but we like the Signature Facial. All of the nourishing products are made on the premises and work to bring harmony to your doshas. Bonus: You can add on a warm-oil scalp massage to any treatment.
Thermae Yu1-1-2, Kabukicho | +81.3.5285.1726
This onsen in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo sources its pristine waters daily from Naikazu in the Izu Peninsula. Pure soaking pools aside, there's an infrared sauna, as well as bedrock baths. The latter involve lying on beds made of rock salt, said to release energizing negative ions. The massages here are completely worth it, rigorous in a hurt-so-good kind of way.
The Standard Spa40 Island Ave., Venetian Islands, Miami, FL | 305.673.1717
Whether you’re lounging on the heated marble steps of the enormous, coed Turkish-style hammam, sipping fresh-pressed green juice while the ocean glitters before you, doing serious yoga or Pilates—or all three plus an astrology reading and a pedicure—a few hours here takes you far, far away from everyday stress. Located inside the Standard, the spa is a sleekly modern ashram combined with a sybaritic retreat. The incredible facials include crystal-infused masks, essential oils, lymphatic drainage massages, and more.
Villa StephanieSchillerstraße 4/6, Baden-Baden | +49.7221.900602
This gorgeous villa in the picturesque spa town of Baden-Baden has only fifteen suites and is the ultimate place to detox in private. The nine-day program starts with a medical examination, followed by a custom regimen of ninety-one treatments created by Dr. Harry Konig that range from bracing lymphatic massages and fitness classes to relaxing mud baths and meditations. If you’re interested in a less-immersive path, you can stay in town and instead purchase a day pass for spa treatments and, if you prefer, simply lounging on the perfectly manicured lawns.