Insider's Guide to Spas

About Us

Insiders Guide to Spas is a celebration of the people, the places, and the very fundamentals that make up the wonderful world of Spa. Our mission is simple—to keep Spa Culture alive. Think of Insider’s as a watering hole where we gather to share our experiences and ideas and to learn about new treatments and new places to visit. After all, spas grew up around bodies of water—hot springs and lakes and rivers—places where people laid down their weapons to take the waters. Spas have always been places of refuge. Step inside, and let us gently guide you.

About Our Founder

Mary Bemis, Editor and Founder of Insider's Guide to Spas

Mary Bemis, Editorial Director and Founder of
Insider’s Guide to Spas

A true spa advocate, Mary Bemis is a major voice in the spa industry. Her mission is to educate the consumer about healthy lifestyle choices and to make modern spas less about industry and more about healing. She is a pioneer of the green spa and natural beauty movement, and in 2013, Mary was honored by the International Spa Association (ISPA) with the distinguished Dedicated Contributor Award—presented in recognition of her tremendous success as a founder and editor in chief of both American Spa and Organic Spa magazines.

A sought-after spa expert, she judges numerous spa and wellness awards, most recently serving as a judge for the first-ever Wellness Travel Awards from SpaFinder Wellness 365, and for the Green Carpet Awards, the Green Spa Network’s annual sustainability awards.

Mary believes that spa is not trivial—that its meaning and mission are ancient and real. “Spas give us back our humanity,” she says. “They encourage us to explore our senses, to take a step back and a deep breath in—to take the time to question and to reflect—and to be a better person in the world at large.” Her passion has taken her to Washington, where, as a founder of the DC-based Washington Spa Alliance (WSPA), she is Chair of WSPA’s highly respected Symposium. The annual event is held at the prestigious National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Very active in the industry, Mary has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Shape, Spirituality & Health, and Premier Spas magazines and now serves as the Editorial Advisor to the Balneology Association of North America (BANA) and on the Board of the Advanced Spa Therapy Education Certification Council (ASTECC). She is a past Director of the International Spa Association (ISPA) and the New York Spa Alliance (NYSPA).

Always ready to spread the spa word, Mary has appeared on national radio and television programs and has presented at a variety of consumer and trade shows, including the Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism, sponsored by the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) and Stanford University; LOHAS; Natural Products Expo East and West; Be Healthy Boston; ISPA; the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conference; NYSPA, and more. In 2002, she co-created the American Spa Expo.

Her work has appeared in national and international publications, including Allure,, Glamour South Africa,, The Huffington Post, Luxe, Luxury SpaFinder, Marie Claire Germany, New Beauty, PBS’s, Robb Report, Self, Shape, Spa, Spa Asia, Spirituality & Health, VIV, and others. Mary writes a regular wellness column for Ker & Downey’s Quest, The Luxury Magazine for World Travelers.

Contact:, Mobile: 917-568-0246

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