City Sanctuary

Business travelers: you owe it to yourselves to slow the hectic pace for at least a few hours and unwind with some “me time.” And don’t just settle for a hot bath — these spas are institutions unto themselves, well worth the pleasure of a dedicated afternoon.

While we’re not likely to return to the era of three-martini lunches and unlimited expense accounts, in these times of always-connected 24-hour availability, business travelers are rediscovering the benefits of unplugging and decompressing. After a long day of meetings in a hectic city, there’s personal and professional value in escaping the bustle and getting recharged. And not just settling for a hot bath either — the hotel spas featured below are institutions unto themselves, offering the true sanctuary you need.

And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that all of these are Tablet Plus hotels, meaning they’re especially great for business travelers, as they provide Tablet Plus members with VIP privileges like room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, flexible check-in/out, or, perhaps most importantly, spa vouchers.

Andaz Tokyo


Andaz Tokyo - boutique hotel in Tokyo

Strange as it may seem to situate serenity within Tokyo’s hyper-futuristic skyline — aren’t those opposites? — trust Hyatt’s Andaz line to do honor to the notion. Here, of course, there have always been oases of serenity; the 37th-floor view of the Imperial Palace gives AO Spa an electric sense of place. And with a menu spanning apothecary-chic, haute-skincare, and sustainable herbology, a return visit is clearly merited.


Faena Hotel Miami Beach


Faena Hotel Miami Beach - boutique hotel in Miami

Somehow Mr. Faena got his hands on eight blocks of prime Miami beachfront, and turned the design reins over to masters of excess Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin. Tierra Santa Healing House, the on-site spa, also aims to overwhelm, sporting sizable hammam facilities and shaman-developed South American treatments. In a word, it’s beautiful; in a phrase, you’ll be, too.


Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière


Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière - boutique hotel in Paris

This close to the Champs-Elysées, nothing but a grand statement would do. A five-star palace of a hotel demands an equally performative spa package in the impeccable U Spa Barrière Shiseido. Believe-it-or-not features include world-class shiatsu massage, balneotherapy, an aqua trail, and a suite of holistic Eastern treatment regimens. Yes, you’ve got to return to your room when it’s over…


Rosewood London


Rosewood London - boutique hotel in London

Just as its Edwardian façade sets a stately tone, the Rosewood London remains absolutely serious about its relaxation game indoors. In addition to the rooms’ Italian bedding and the cozy armchair ambience at Scarfes Bar, Sense Spa anchors the hotel amidst Holborn’s swelling bustle with a flawlessly tranquil touch. Matthew Curtis flexes his celebrity stylist muscles here, if that’s your bag, though you’ll have to plan ahead for a chair.


The Greenwich Hotel

New York

Blackberry Farm - boutique hotel in the Great Smoky Mountains

Tribeca’s glass-meets-cement street aesthetic doesn’t always feel easy on the overworked body, true, but duck into Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel and you’ll change your tune. The design weaves together discretion and fastidious care, each a critical component in the downtown escapist’s playbook, and Shibui Spa only builds on that recipe. “Back to nature” is an ethos here, informing every aspect of the materials, consumables, fitness programs, and expert treatments.


Sunset Tower Hotel

Los Angeles

Sunset Tower Hotel - boutique hotel in Los Angeles

Some of us prefer classic Hollywood’s sun-kissed elegance, and Sunset Tower’s mid-century mystique takes you straight to the source. Cure Salon & Spa concentrates that glamour with a longing backwards gaze at the beauty ritual of yesteryear, blending medically vetted products and procedures with easy oceanside charm. Feeling one’s best should always come this painlessly.


The Peninsula Chicago


The Peninsula Chicago - boutique hotel in Chicago

The Windy City working assignment is its own animal, one that calls for a unique balance of Midwestern hospitality and global business acumen; a Peninsula on the Magnificent Mile, in other words. The spa here delivers accordingly, serving up showstoppers like a half-Olympic pool encased in floor-to-ceiling windows or an immersive, whole-body Ayurvedic program. Head upstairs to elevate yourself, both literally and figuratively.


The Hazelton Hotel


The Hazelton Hotel - boutique hotel in Toronto

Toronto’s clearly on the up, a hotel scene in that sweet spot where boutique philosophy, room to grow, and buzz-below-the-radar coalesce. The Hazelton occupies a Goldilocks position within that milieu, fostering an insta-success spa and health club that may well be worth the trip on its own. Facial treatments come highly recommended.


Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Camp Comfort - boutique hotel in Comfort

This is the Grand Hyatt, in case you were wondering, granddaddy of an entire fleet of ostentatious megahotels where an expense spared is an opportunity squandered. For the business traveler, that means a slew of more-than-adequate conference facilities, enough food and beverage outlets to eat something new for every meal, and what can only be described as a spa complex. They even describe themselves as “result-oriented.”

Chateau Monfort


Chateau Monfort - boutique hotel in Milan

High Italian fashion with decidedly French overtones: as you can imagine, they’re sweating the details here. Small wonder so much effort went into the spa at this neo-Romantic, see-and-be-seen fixture; it goes by Amore e Psiche, a reference to a particularly intense episode from ancient Greek myth. Meanwhile Pañpuri products signify a grounding in Thai ritual, reinforced by the saltwater pool and aquatic therapies of all varieties.


URSO Hotel & Spa


URSO Hotel & Spa - boutique hotel in Madrid

Entering URSO’s spa may feel like walking into a club — a warm, wood-forward club — but such is the nature of this underground temple to decadent well-being. Think of this as the reward for a particularly grueling work week, a sophisticated and sexy chamber wherein Nature Bissé’s signature skincare products take center stage. If you’re looking to milk the expense account, we hear there’s a diamond-dust facial…


Hotel Zaza Houston


Hotel Zaza Houston - boutique hotel in Houston

It means just a bit more to step outside the business-hotel status quo in Houston’s cars-and-sprawl culture, especially when it comes to self-care. Thus we release you to Hotel Zaza’s delightfully cheeky and hedonistic suite concepts, and more importantly, to ZaSpa’s extensive themed treatment menu. Customizable to any mood, these inventive sessions patiently disintegrate stress in all its nefarious forms, no matter where it tries to hide.


Hotel de Rome


Hotel de Rome - boutique hotel in Berlin

This was the East German central bank once upon a time, a sober pedigree that’s in ample evidence when one considers that they’ve situated the spa in the erstwhile vaults. These days, your health is the precious jewel, sustained and pampered and rejuvenated with expert German seriousness; expert training, bespoke preparations, and extensive facilities should leave nothing at all wanting. A spa for those tough-minded decision makers.


Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam


Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam - boutique hotel in Amsterdam

Everything about this place screams (or rather, whispers) dignified contentment, luxury’s eternal answer to the contemporary businessperson’s manic, plugged-in style. Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre operates on the same wavelength, rescuing your inner peace of mind with a deft combination of indulgence and motivation. Here, soulful minimalism embraces state-of-the-art tech, proving there’s no real argument between a massage table and a treadmill.