Image: Resort at Pelican Hill
If your senses have become senseless from too much partying, refresh at the Palladian style spa at the über chic Resort at Pelican Hill, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, in Newport Coast, Calif.
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updated 1/19/2009 10:21:07 AM ET 2009-01-19T15:21:07

At the European spas, they politely refer to post-partying damage control as a vacation prescription, and justifiably so.

“The combination of dehydration and sleep deprivation that goes hand in hand with holiday partying can be a deadly mix for the skin. The result are larger pores, puffy under-eyes and blotchiness,” observes Richard Foxx, M.D., Director of the Medical and Skin Spa at the Hyatt Grand Champions in Indian Wells, Calif.

If that isn’t enough to turn the tables on fashionistas, there is the aftermath of weight acquired from consuming all of those irresistible party desserts. Calories and carbs aside, there are retreats hidden away along seashores, mountain canyons, silent islands and even penthouses in urban hotels that hold the key to responsible recovery.

Stylish havens with compressed spa menus are one solution, while those who prefer pampered privacy offer an equally effective alternative. Whether you chill out with healing Ayurvedic spa treatments at the Vida Spa tucked away at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle, Wash., or slip away to the chic Spa Solage in Calistoga, Calif., where the mantra is “refresh, relax, repeat,” the tradition of mud treatments have eased the aches and pains of spagoers for more than a hundred years.

The “cure” takes the place of cocktail and “taking the waters” means more than a tonic to tone down your martini.

Spa Solage symbolizes the New Age in well-being for those who appreciate the blending of vintage with vanguard remedies. Consider the NASA-inspired Sound Chair where you are covered with a down blanket and prompted to gently fall asleep. What better way to eradicate — or at the least reduce — those telltale bags under your eyes?

Moving down to California’s undulating coast, there is a new haven for the overpartied. Kasia Mays the Spa Director at the lavish Pelican Hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean on the Newport, Calif., coast has bolstered their spa program with activities a world away from the star-studded parties prefaced by red carpet drama: “We offer tide pool exploration and bird-watching, ” she says.

While that may not draw the major partiers, once you factor in skin elixirs heightened with figs and pomegranate extracts, you may feel a lot better. The 23,000-square-foot Palladian-inspired spa is wedded to the lush flora grown in the surrounding hills, so expect the fragrance of lavender to sweep you off your feet, at the very least.

The Hotel Del Coronado in Coronado, Calif., offers its own brand of revitalization options. Where “Some Like It Hot” was filmed a half century ago, this haven promises a wave of recovery if you are smart enough to stay in one of the new beach cottages. From the infinity-edge pool, a burst of renewal is certain to stir your recovery.

Steps away is the resort’s new spa with treatments designed to energize you gently, such as the Revival 1888 facial fortified with fruit enzymes and acids. If you must sip a glass of wine to get through the day, adjacent to the spa is the avant-garde Enology, a wine bar with pairings that explore chocolate and cheese — but that’s another story.

A two-hour ride from New York delivers you to the threshold of The Mayflower Inn, a 58-acre hideaway stylish estate that is an undeniably elegant hangover haven where you can hang out in plush privacy. As you luxuriate in the mosaic-domed whirlpool, sip fresh fruit juice concoctions instead of cocktails, your healing of mind, body and spirit will officially began its journey. A bracing blast of a New England chill should kick start it all.

Although most studies show that plain water, which hydrates the body, is the best hangover medicine, these spa treatments or just utter relaxation do their part as well. Sheila Cluff, owner of the Oaks at Ojai in Ojai, Calif., is a firm believer in well-being. “Plan your holiday recovery in advance, taking care of yourself should be your number one priority in the new year.”

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