The most famous men’s health week in recent American history took place in New Hampshire in 1979 under the direction of Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer. Eight frail old men from a nursing home were transported to a monastery, not to meditate or to pray, but to step back in time twenty years, to 1959. Everything at the monastery—from the black-and-white tv shows to the vintage radio to the magazines, food, and drink—was designed to conjure 1959. The experiment, described in Langer’s book Counterclockwise, was an attempt to discover if changing men’s environment and their thinking would make their bodies young again—and it worked: The men arrived needing help with their bags and left a week later after playing a game of touch football.
Something equally powerful and a lot more fun happens six times a year during the Golden Door’s perpetually sold-out Men’s Week. The 40 men who show up for the $10,000 week are typically healthy, wealthy, and accomplished. Unlike Langer’s old folks, these men don’t need anything—and some men (including the guys in the photo above) have come more than 100 times. What they get is the chance to be boys again. Everything is taken care of: Endless supplies of clean t-shirts for myriad games and activities; Japanese robes and sandals for more formal lounging; 600 acres with 30 miles of trails; pools and gyms; daily in-room massages; farm-to-table food; access to topnotch sports trainers, as well as manicures, pedicures, and facials.
They have great conversations and come back knowing people. Says Kathy Van Ness, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager, “We have men who arrive feeling isolated at the top of the chain. By the time they walk away, they’ve played hard. They’re scrubbed and steamed and massaged, with their skin bright and glowing, feet and nails cleaned up. They’re quieter, calmer, ready to take on their families and businesses. Where else can a man do that?”
10 More Great Spa Getaways for Guys
Signature treatments geared toward men are most definitely on the menu at the Spa at Sea Island. There’s the Heavy-Hitter, “for the man or woman who doesn’t tiptoe around.” This deep-tissue massage is designed to relieve deep tension in muscles and connective tissue. The Handsome, Not Rugged men’s facial (60 or 90 minutes) appeals to guys who’ve been active outside all day. It focuses on replenishment and will leave you “fresh-faced for wherever the evening takes you.” Shares Dana Reitz, Director of Spa & Fitness, “In addition to our signature men’s treatments, we also have Cryotherapy and a Modern Men’s Pedicure that are very popular.”
At Lake Austin Spa Resort, sports guys who may suffer from temporary or long-lasting pain from injuries are opting for the Aqua Stretch | Myofascial Release treatment. Great for those with limited range of motion, the “myofascial release in water” can work wonders. The one-on-one assisted stretching session is performed in the warm, soothing waters of the Pool Barn. Choose from a 25-minute partial body session, or the 50-minute full-body session.
The Bukit Gantang Warrior Treatment by Spa Village Pangkor Laut is so unique and well-thought-out that it won the AsiaSpa Award 2014 for Men’s Treatment of the Year. The three-hour treatment takes inspiration from the ancient traditional Malay wedding ceremony wherein the couple is holistically (mind, body, spirit) prepared. The Bukit Gantang Warrior Treatment includes a series of special, ancient Malay wedding traditions and is as follows: It begins with the Urutan Panglima, or Warrior Massage, a deep-tissue massage that’s followed by the Ikal-Ikal, or Herbal Hair Roots Treatment. This is a simple hair wash and conditioning treatment. The Boros Akar (Herbal Roots Scrub) follows and uses “deep rubbing strokes on the muscles” with an herbal root combination of galangal and ground turmeric. Next is the Mandian Rempah Ratus, or Herbal Spices Bath, that includes an infusion of kaffir lime and fenugreek—a natural remedy and age-old custom to restore body strength and muscle firmness. An herbal oil steam bath called the Mandi Wap follows and is meant to “lift the spirit to complete relaxation.” The treatment concludes with the Akar Periok, or Herbal Roots Tonic Drink—a special herbal roots concoction brewed in an earthen pot and sweetened with pure jungle honey. The Malay tonic is renowned for anti-aging for men.
Recommended treatments for men at Civana include the Civana Lifestyle Facial, Gentlemen’s Cleanse & Mask (60 or 75 minutes) that includes detoxifying lymphatic brushing and relaxing aromatherapy, as well as the ever-popular Sports Massage that uses compression and stretching techniques (60, 75, or 90 minutes). All guests are encouraged to begin their spa journey with the Aqua Therapy Circuit Pre-Service Ritual. Spending 30 minutes in the hydrotherapy circuit, dancing between hot and cold elements—Sanarium, Kneipp Wall cold pool, Kneipp Walk hot pool, Tepidarium pool, and Cold Deluge Shower—is a great way to ground your body and lift your spirits.
“While of course Red Mountain has the traditional men’s facial and a list of treatments than men prefer, our adventure programming is what truly attracts men to Red Mountain,” shares Tracey Welsh, General Manager. “The pumping of adrenaline and immersion into nature is the perfect combination for those looking to relieve stress and feel alive!” A few of those adrenaline-pumping options include the half-day Canyoneering trip, a Challenge Plus level, four-mile excursion, and the Canyoneering II Adventure to Water Canyon with more hiking and longer rappels. Half-day Rock Climbing on world-class cliffs is also on the menu for all levels of experience, as are E Bike Adventures that offer tours of nearby Snow Canyon.
The only destination spa that includes an 18-hole golf course (The Vista Valley Country Club, spread out over 240 acres), Cal-a-Vie Health Spa offers four- and seven-night Golf Getaways (think golf, nutrition, and spa) that draw the guys to its gorgeous par 71 course. The spa menu includes a customized Men’s Facial that includes a skin-brightening peel, as well as Deep Tissue Massage that uses a Hypervolt massage device.
At Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Catherine Sinclair, Vice President of Spa Operations, worked with Michael Bruggeman of OM4 Organic Male to create the 50-minute Body Booster for Men Vichy. The spa service uses OM4’s organic aromatherapy oils, and begins with the fellow choosing one of four oils that appeals most. A lime-ginger exfoliating body scrub ensues, followed by an invigorating Vichy shower. The treatment ends with an application of moisturizer and soothing scalp massage.
The Farmhouse Inn just introduced two new treatments for men. A Man’s Massage and Mini Facial (60 or 90 minutes) offers a “no-nonsense” massage followed by an organic mini facial, also using OM4 Organic Male bio-nutrient products. The other new treatment is A Man’s Turn (60 or 90 minutes), a dedicated men’s facial that also uses OM4 products and offers tips for shaving concerns that impact the skin.
While we’re on the topic of facials, men are opting for the Gentlemen’s Facial at Canyon Ranch in Tucson. The spa uses Environ skincare products. Guys who visit are also opting for the Gentlemen’s Manicure and Pedicure; the hydrating manicure includes paraffin. In addition to these treatments, something called the Sole Rejuvenation is proving to be quite popular among male spa-goers. “It’s an exfoliation and leg and foot massage that’s great after lots of activity and hiking,” says Tania McCorkle, Spa Director. “It also uses a rosemary-mint scrub and lotion which is a male-friendly scent.”
At Adler Spa in Tuscany, one of the most popular men’s services is the Adler Man Energy, a 50-minute anti-aging facial using sea water, algae, and hyaluronic acid to intensely hydrate the skin. The Adler Rasage with Warm Towels also ranks high with the guys. This 50-minute treatment includes a relaxing shave, and “face-lift massage.” Guys who want a specific spa program during their stay often opt for the For Man Program. The package includes: an Adler Man Energy facial; a Tension Relief Massage; an Anti-Stress Water Massage; and the Adler Tuscany Massage. New treatments for men introduced in 2020: an Aquamassage, an Adler Intense Sport Massage, and an Intense Back Massage.
Men who need to shed some pounds will appreciate Adler’s Weight Loss for Man program that includes the following: Specialized medical examination with determination of the state of health and evaluation of the metabolic system and elaboration of a personalized food plan; PPG stress check; a Blood Test Man profile; medical report; private coaching session; a high- intensive interval training; an Adler Scrub Water massage; a Foot Reflexology massage; two LPG Flat Belly treatments; an Adler Body Thalasso; two Tension Relief massages; a Functional massage; an Adler Water Thalasso; a Pressotherapy treatmemt; three group fitness sessions, and a final medical consultation.