Increase in calls from men to Spa Finder, a spa-travel-and-marketing company, between 1998 and 2001
8. Rio Caliente
La Primavera, Mexico
THE VIBE: Some of us design vacations as jam-packed and stressful as our daily routines. Luckily, there's Mexico. Rio Caliente, tucked into a pine-oak-and-mesquite forest an hour northwest of Guadalajara, has done away with sweaty weight rooms, Jacuzzis, and loud aerobics studios in favor of au naturel surroundings in the Primavera Mountains. These days, Rio Caliente emphasizes fresh food, spa treatments, water aerobics, yoga, and tai chi. But the main attractions on the 24-acre resort are the four pools, fed with 120-degree water captured from the nearby Rio Caliente, a near-boiling river. Most guests lounge around the two coed plunges or bask in the men's or women's pool. Or they hike along the Rio Caliente to add one of the area's 100 bird species, like the Inca dove, to their life lists. Rio's guests stay in cottages decorated with handmade tiles and locally crafted furniture.
GUEST LIST: For a spa, Rio is inexpensive, attracting gringo bargain hunters.
AWE FACTOR: Chill in the underground natural steam room, scented with eucalyptus leaves, which is open 24 hours a day.
TO-DIE-FOR TREATMENT: Plug yourself in to bioresonance therapy, a popular European treatment that sends electromagnetic oscillations through the body to purge organs of harmful magnetic fields.
MENU: Some of the ingredients for Rio's all-vegetarian menu are grown on-site. The buffet-style meals include homemade tortillas, scrambled eggs, and vegetable soup with rice.
HE-MAN RATING: One grunt-this spa is about taking it easy. The outdoor program is relaxed and optional.
PRICE: From $120 per person per night, double occupancy, meals included
CONTACT: 800-200-2927, www.riocaliente.com