The Top Spas of Old Hollywood

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There’s something about awards season that spikes up nostalgia for all things old Hollywood. The bright lights, the big names, the glamour. These historic and well-preserved spas once played host to some of Tinseltown’s finest and still offer some of the best treatments around. Click through to see which locations should be added to your spa must list. 

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Names like Paul Newman, Fred Astaire and Alfred Hitchcock passed through the doors of Jamaica’s Round Hill Hotels and Villas. This luxe spot, however, will always be known as the place where John and Jackie Kennedy honeymooned. Today, the spa hangs its hat on being the real-deal in eco-friendly resorts, with unique touches like Ralph Lauren–designed guest rooms and signature therapies that incorporate ingredients from the sea and local essential oils. 

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Spa Ojai at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa’s location in Southern has a storied history with guests like Jane Mansfield, Audrey Hepburn and the Rat Pack. Nicknamed “Shangri-La,” the Ojai experience has often been termed “magical” by Hollywood A-listers. Today, the award-winning 31,000-square-foot luxury spa still exudes that legendary charm through customized therapies and indulgent treatments that reel in the red carpet regulars. 

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Coined “the jewel of the desert,” and located only minutes from major attractions in Phoenix, the Arizona Biltmore opened in 1929. Every U.S. president from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush has stayed at the hotel, its legendary pool a favorite of Marilyn Monroe. Its owners preserved the hotel’s elegant architecture for more than 75 years with newly added luxury expansions—a 22,000-square-foot spa—and enhancements, such as an extensive list of treatments and therapies from countries worldwide.

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Upon its opening in 1954, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach was once the largest and most luxurious hotel in South Florida. Stars like Lucille Ball and Elvis Presley have walked through the doors, making the hotel so well known that armed guards were hired to protect A-list guests. The property expanded throughout the years, adding a two-story 40,000-square-foot Lapis Spa in 2008, housing an impressive number of 30 private treatment rooms. Today, the hotel’s amenities behold the original vision of architect Morris Lapidus, consisting of original design, art, music and fashion. 

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Nestled high in the California hills, Belmond El Encanto Hotel is surrounded by lush gardens on seven acres of land and has remained iconic since the 1920s. The hotel stayed true to its original California style architectural features that welcomed notable guests such as Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Situated between the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara’s wine country, the spa’s treatments are highly influenced by the surrounding landscape, such as the Vitamin Sea Signature Facial, Pinot and Cabernet Crush Sugar Scrub. 

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Parknasilla Resort and Spa in Kerry Ireland has hosted many recognizable names such as George Bernard Shaw and Charlie Chaplin during its 120 years of history. Most notably, Royal Princess Grace of Monaco and Prince Rainer hid away in the Princess Grace Suite, masked with French chandeliers and antique furnishings. Located near the Wild Atlantic Way—Ireland’s first long-distance scenic driving route—the Parknasilla Spa is inspired by nature, with hand cut stone and honeyed tones of wood in the treatment rooms. The spa incorporates the natural beauty of the woodlands, ocean and mountains through the use of natural ingredients in their treatments. 

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The era of luxurious resort travel to Hawaii began with the opening of The Royal Hawaiian in 1927. The “Pink Palace of the Pacific “ has played host to many well-known celebrities such as Shirley Temple, Bette Davis and honeymooners Tony Martin and Alice Faye. Today, the classical elegance of this historic landmark has been preserved through renovations and modernized accommodations. One of the most notable additions is The Abhasa Spa, where treatments like cocoon body wraps are offered under tropical trees and plants. 

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