When it's cold out, a soak in a hot tub and a massage can be just the thing to warm you to your core. Western North Carolina is home to a variety of spa facilities. Below are just a small sampling. Check in internet for a spa close to you. They're all over the area.

The top of the line, all around best spa experience in the area – and perhaps in the entire Southeast – would have to the Grove Park Inn. It's dug into the side of Sunset Mountain, just a few miles northeast of downtown Asheville. The interior boasts timber and stone construction, with gardens and waterfalls built in. The artwork, mostly local, helps set the tone. The pool has an ocean theme and is exquisite. Spend some time in the inhalation rooms, the steam rooms or sauna. Massage spaces and services are just a few steps away. The GPI 290 Macon Ave.,, and 252-2711.

Another great escape in the Asheville area is Shoji Spa & Lodge, a Japanese-style retreat with a beautiful mountain setting, hot tubs, a dry cedar sauna, cold plunge pool and more. There are over 20 world-classed professional massage artists on site to knead your worries away, featuring couple's massages, deep tissue, swedish, warm stone, herbal body wraps and more. Shoji Retreat is at 90 Avondale Heights Road, and 299-0999.

Further west, Sylva's Fusion Spa and Wellness offers a relaxing escape and innovative wellness techniques. Their Signature Experiences and Therapies bring you transformational wellness in a serene, relaxing atmosphere. Their stated mission is to help you to discover personal solutions for optimal well-being that you can continue at home with recommended treatments, products and lifestyle changes. Fusions is at 714 W. Main Street in downtown Sylva, and 631-0232.

Even further west of Asheville is Harrah’s Cherokee Mandara Spa. Discover an exotic Balinese menu of results-focused face and body treatments. Mandara offers a face and body treatments using herbs from the Native American Pharmacopeia celebrating the native heritage of the resort. There are specific treatments and packages for men, and couples can also share the experience. There is also a salon, offering a hair and nail treatment menu. Mandara is at 777 Casino Drive in Cherokee, 497-8550 and

Other spa options in the mountains include:

  • Asia Bed and Spa, a B&B retreat in Asheville: 255-0051.
  • The Spa at Biltmore Village, 18 Brook Street, Suite 104, Asheville: 277-2639.
  • Relax & Rejuvenate of Asheville, 5 Regent Park Blvd., Suite 105: 250-9077.
  • La Petite Spa, 33 Rosman Highway, Brevard: 883-2238.
  • The Spa at Lakeview at Fontana, Bryson City: 800-742-6482
  • Old Edwards Inn and Spa, 445 Main Street, Highlands: 866-526-8008.
  • Hot Springs Resort & Spa: 315 Bridge Street, 622-7676.
  • Spa at Rumbling Bald Resort, 112 Mountains Boulevard, Lake Lure: 800-419-3854.
  • The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa: 2771 Memorial Highway, Lake Lure, 625-2525.
  • The Greystone Inn & Spa: Greystone Lane, Lake Toxaway: 800-824-5766.
  • The Waynesville Inn Golf Resort & Spa, 176 Country Club Drive: 800-627-6250.

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