Waiting to Exfoliate

Miraval, in Tucson, Ariz., has been voted Top Destination Spa by the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine for three consecutive years.
Miraval, in Tucson, Ariz., has been voted Top Destination Spa by the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine for three consecutive years. (Miraval)

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By Kim O'Donnel
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 7, 2006; 4:03 PM

Let's face it, a week at a destination spa is not for the budget traveler. You're paying the big bucks to be pampered, pruned, primped and pleasured. Understanding the financial reality, let's say you can still go. Our picks are all located in warm climates, but with varying price tags, scenery and philosophies.

Oaks at Ojai, just outside Santa Barbara, Calif.

WHY GO

Because you want to lose weight and have someone else keep track of the calories for several days.

WHAT'S COOL

Sixteen different kinds of exercise classes are conducted daily with different levels of hiking classes and ongoing specials throughout the year. It's relatively affordable in the spa world as an all-inclusive, five-day, midweek stress break package starts at $875.

GETTING THERE

Fly to either Santa Barbara or Los Angeles (90 minutes south).

Rancho La Puerta, Baja California, Mexico

WHY GO

Established in 1940, so they've had a long time to get things right. Property is set on 3,000 acres amid mountains, an unheard-of amount of free space to roam and explore independently.

WHAT'S COOL

Fruits and vegetables prepared at meals come from the resort's five-acre organic farm. Lacto-ovo-vegetarian menus are featured (fish served). There are 11 gyms to choose from, three pools, five hot tubs and a nude sunbathing area to unwind with after engaging in a substantial menu of exercise options, including extended hiking, tennis and pilates.

HOW MUCH


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© 2006 The Washington Post Company


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