There’s something inherently relaxing in even the term European Spa Bathing Ritual; an ancient healing custom of a hot whirlpool bath, cool shower, aromatherapy, cedar sauna and cool shower that comes optional with every visit to elegant Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain’s Mountain Grand Lodge. And it’s not the only treatment—or spa trend—dedicated toward health.

Three Destination Spas in Michigan

Michigan’s trio of destination spas are increasingly emphasizing wellness in an ever-broader sense of the word.

There’s plenty of pampering, of course, in treatments like decadent facials and the hot rock massage that uses Petoskey stones to soak up (and share) the warmth. But offerings at Solace and the two other spas in Boyne’s trio of Northern Michigan destination spas reflect industry trends toward health and relaxation in fitness classes like strength training and water aerobics, meditation and guided nature hikes.

At the Inn at Bay Harbor, a visitor can take a yoga class on the shore of Little Traverse Bay; at Boyne Highlands, atop a mountain peak. “We’re really trying to address the physical, mental and whole body,” says Wendie Keen, Boyne’s Vice President of Michigan spa operations. Also healing is social fun, such as you’ll find at spa happy hour, painting classes and more.


Especially popular with men (a growing percentage of the spa clientele), Thursday happy hour at the Spa at the Inn at Bay Harbor is a truly social event that allows guests to socialize with a cocktail of their choice and nibbles, all while enjoying a mani, pedi, “gentleman’s hot towel facial” or hair treatment from the new Oribe line.


At the Mountain Grand Lodge, spa memberships offer full use of the fitness facility and more than 35 classes a week, the European ritual and use of resort pools and hot tubs. The frequent massage card is good at all spas; buy in groups of four, eight or 12, with discount increasing by number purchased.


All three spas will help you coordinate a retreat for couples or friends, classes on yoga and healthy cooking or other topic of choice with wine tasting, maybe paired with a painting class.


Day spa “journeys” offer the ultimate relaxation; the Northern Escape’s a good place to start with its 50-minute Swedish massage, customized facial like from the French line Sothys and the Cherry Blossom Melt body treatment that features shea butter and a soothing foot massage.


Hearthside Grove is the perfect place to hang your hat after a long day of experiencing all that relaxing Michigan has to offer.