Move over, goat yoga and sake soaks. We’ve got the new trendiest spa packages. Whether it’s a girls’ night in Sonoma County for enzyme bathing or a destination trip to Japan to experience the birthplace of forest bathing, these seven spa experiences will renew your mind, body, and spirit—in untraditional ways.
Volcanic sand bathing in New Jersey
Start your crazy spa escapade in a decidedly tame location—Edgewater, New Jersey. The city’s SoJo Spa Club offers a volcanic sand bath that uses mineral-rich, volcano-warmed sand to detoxify your skin. Volcanic sand bathing started in Ibusuki, Japan, where underground springs warmed by nearby volcanoes result in heated, naturally alkaline sand. This mineral-rich sand boasts anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for skin, and being covered in it raises body temperature, resulting in sauna-like detoxification.
SoJo seeks to make the experience as similar to the one you’d have in Ibusuki as possible. When you arrive, you put on a traditional Japanese yukata (cotton robe) and lie down in a large, multi-person pit of sand. (The sand is shipped in from Ibusuki.) An attendant covers your body in the sand and places a parasol by your head to protect your face from the sun. The bathing occurs indoors but there are a lot of windows, so the parasol is actually really helpful. For 10 to 15 minutes, you close your eyes and enjoy the warmth and quiet of the beach-like atmosphere. Afterward, you can enjoy a soak in one of the spa’s therapeutic baths—the Edgewater version of an Ibusuki hot spring soak.