Since the dawn of time, Asheville’s stunning outdoors have made it a hotspot for travelers seeking rest and relaxation. Of course, somewhere along the line spas entered the mix—and why shouldn’t they? After a long day of hiking a visit to a spa is just the thing to loosen up one’s muscles. Plenty of spas in Asheville endeavor to answer our need for hot soaks and therapeutic massage, but to narrow down your search, here I’ve collected a list five of the top contenders. I invite you to peruse the options and choose whichever pairs best with your own visit to Asheville, NC.
Have you ever been sprinkling salt on some mashed potatoes and wondered what would happen if you inhaled the saltshaker? No? Well I haven’t considered that either. But as it turns out, salty air has all kinds of reinvigorating qualities, mainly linked to improved respiration.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Does this mean I should become a salt miner and spend the rest of my days down in those well-seasoned depths?” Yet again, the answer is no. Asheville’s own Salt Cave and Spa replicates the therapeutic properties of salt mines while also offering a slew of massage selections. Located just south of Biltmore Village, Asheville Salt Cave offers a unique take on the spa experience, perfect for those seeking something just a little bit different.
Moreover, rumor tells that the Salt Cave is working on installing a Turkish style hammam steam bath. Certainly something to keep your eye on.
The Cost: Entry to the salt cave starts at $22, while a one-hour massage starts at $60. By my analysis, this puts Asheville Salt Cave and Spa at the mid-to-low tier of spas in Asheville, in terms of expenditure.
A self-described Nordic-style bathhouse, Sauna House combines relaxation with socialization in a spacious environment I can only describe as “resort-chique.”
Before researching Sauna House, I had no idea how involved steam-based rejuvenation could be. You’ve got your ice-plunges, your cold showers, your all-important rehydration, and at Sauna House specifically, you have access to rich cups of organic tea. Surely, a visit to this Asheville spa will refresh the spirit as surely as the washing machine refreshes my spaghetti-stained shirts.
Uniquely among spas in Asheville, Sauna House sits at the foot of the South Slope brewing district. While the spa’s management has yet to respond to my proposal for a beer-based sauna, I think the link between these two phenomena is obvious.
The Cost: $32 for a single visit to the sauna, $70 for a bundle of three.
This entry may come off as deceptively short but mind you, do not underestimate Sensibilities South. Whereas the other spas in Asheville that I’ve gone over are somewhat specialized, Sensibilities goes with a more generalist approach. This may not win them as much attention, but from waxes to pedicures, Sensibilities offers most any spa-feature you can think of, and they do them well. Combined with their location in Biltmore Park—which provides easy access to downtown-style shopping and dining, with far less bustle—Sensibilities may be my top recommendation if you’re aiming for a simple, down-to-earth massage in Asheville
The Cost: Massages start at $55 for a half hour, or $85 for an hour. This range well-reflects Sensibility’s other offerings.
If the name did not give it away, this entry seems lifted straight out of Japan. Its about the last thing I would have expected to find in Asheville’s humble southeast, but life is all about surprises. Hidden in an unassuming, tree-filled corner of town, Shoji offers hot salt soaks and massages ranging from Swedish to Shiatsu. If that is not enough, for a little added cost you can enjoy tub-side tea curated by Dobra, a local favorite.
Quiet, secluded relaxation is the name of the game at Shoji and my informants tell me these qualities are emboldened during a good winter snow. If you’re planning to visit Asheville during those chilly months, Shoji is well worth working into your schedule.
The Cost: Massages start at $125 for an hour, soaks at $60.
This is it. The crème-de-la-crème. The spa out of all the spas in Asheville that’ll make you say, “Well, that’s one heck of a spa.” Spanning twenty water features including but not limited to man-made waterfalls and subterranean pools, the spa at the Grove Park Inn is Asheville’s benchmark for splendorous relaxation.
Their expansive menu offers a selection of the highest-brow massages in Asheville you can find. And after enjoying all the spa-ness you can shake a stick at, visitors may enjoy hot tea on fire-warmed patios, overlooking the inn’s grounds. It’s a monument, really. Read on though; as you’ll see below, expect monumental prices.
The Cost: Overnight guests can purchase day-passes for the spa for $90 and are encouraged to make reservations well ahead of time. Massages start at $200 and most run for an hour plus.
Asheville Salt Cave and Spa
16 N Liberty St, Asheville, NC 28801
230 Short Coxe Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Sensibilities Day Spa (South)
43 Town Square Blvd #100, Asheville, NC 28803
Shoji Spa and Lounge
96 Avondale Heights Rd, Asheville, NC 28803
The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804