No parabens, no synthetics, no glamour? No way. Get with the program: Some of the most chic spas are the so-called "green" ones, meaning the architecture, health of the environment, and selection of products used in the spa all reflect a do-good philosophy. Here are some of the ground-breakers in the green-is-gorgeous spa movement.
Six Senses Destination Spa — Phuket, Thailand
This spa is like a green Canyon Ranch. Everyone participate in the well-being programs—and the “no shoes, no news” philosophy. The design is rigorously eco, from building materials to plants on the property. And the spa treatments by Sodashi, an organic Australian brand, are incredibly luxe. Both the choreography of the spa treatments—with dry brushing, warm crystals, and loads of massage—and the composition of the lush beauty products prove just how gorgeous green can be.
Post Ranch Inn — Big Sur, California
Conceived by architect and Dwell Magazine darling Mickey Meunning, this spa merges environmental design and modernity in a breathtaking way. Treehouse-style structures, Hobbit-like rooms covered in grass and wildflowers, and a slew of rustic-luxe cabins coalesce to form a chic yet earthy resort. All the better to appreciate the natural cliff ridge setting 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean. The spa follows suit: yoga is done in a yurt, a Shaman offers a spiritual tune-up sessions, and mind-body spa treatments like the Big Sur Jade Stone Therapy combines the skill of the area’s great massage therapists with the energy of warmed jade stones.
The Ritz-Carlton — Charlotte, North Carolina
This is the first Ritz-Carlton to achieve LEED Gold Certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a multi-category green building rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. What makes it so green? Site sustainability, water efficiency, energy use, and materials and resources, to name a few—all of which are challenges for a hotel and a spa. Think of the water and towels alone! The Spa uses the organic aromatherapy line called Lab of Flowers. Its therapeutic grade essential oils do double duty by working the stress out of your skin and your mind thanks to the olfactory benefit. Yet another instance of conservation at work.