Entering the ‘Land of Nod’ can sometimes feel like a mission far too impossible – who has time for that? But with research increasingly indicating how important sleep is for our health, it should no longer feel like an indulgence that’s too easily pushed aside by endless to-do lists, social calendars and so much more. After all, hospitality group Accor revealed that 86% of Europeans struggle to sleep.
Luckily, the notion of sleep tourism is rapidly on the rise. With this in mind, hotels globally are now offering sleep-specific retreats and specialist-backed sleep tourism programmes for those seeking somewhere soothing to lay their head, providing a holiday with rest at its core to let you properly recharge. Over and above pillow menus and white-noise machines, for uninterrupted REM and a top-quality sleep experience that will leave you feeling revived, this is our go-to list of hotels with the ‘dream’ set up, if you will. Trust us, sleeping in is the new going out.
WHAT TO PACK
Longevity Hotel, Algarve
The latest programme to join the impressive wellness roster at the Longevity Hotel in the Algarve (which, as the name, suggests is all about the science of preventing ageing) is a week-long Sleep Optimisation retreat. What sets it apart is that it doesn’t just focus on techniques that encourage sleep, but it more thoroughly aims to get to the root cause of your insomnia or even just slightly bad habits. That’s why it includes a sleep apnea screening, as well as medical and nutritional consultations to ensure your better sleep regime is totally tailored to your lifestyle. If stress is causing you to have restless nights – which is incredibly common – you will also enjoy a week filled with stress-relief massages, guided meditation, yoga, and Epsom salt flotations, alongside getting advice from leading experts in mindfulness, energetic healing and emotional detoxing. The programme gives you access to the hotel’s gorgeous rooftop pool and extensive water relaxation circuit too, which includes an infra-red sauna and hammam.
Heckfield Place, Hampshire UK
Heckfield Place’s new rebalancing retreats (launching in January 2024) are all about grounding you in the rhythms of the natural world, and the setting couldn’t be more apt; you’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautifully cultivated Hampshire countryside. Focusing more holistically on taking the time to heal your mind and body (but with an important emphasis on the restorative nature of sleep), the two programmes, Reconnect and Paths, offer a range of therapies to tackle stress, insomnia and a brain fog, including naturopathy, osteopathy, nature therapy, massage, and myofascial release. If the support of others appeals to you, Reconnect is a four-day retreat experience hosted in small groups of up to four, while Paths is an individualised retreat, which could last for a single day or a week. Whichever you choose, you will benefit from a programme that has been tailored via conversations with a psychologist; enjoy unique classes such as the nervous system-calming Slow Time technique (which is amazing for a good night’s sleep); and enjoy curated menus at the Green Michelin-starred restaurant Marle. Plus, the phone-free policy will finally help you break up with your devices before bed.
Buchinger Wilhelmi, Lake Constance
Buchinger Wilhelmi is a no-nonsense wellness clinic in Lake Constance, founded by Dr. Otto Buchinger who was a medical doctor, philosopher, and pioneer of medical fasting. Europe’s original fasting clinic, it promises to restore and revive body, mind and soul with mounting evidence that the health benefits of calorie restriction and fasting extend beyond weight loss, also lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol. Studies were carried out where guests at Buchinger Wilhelmi were asked about their sleep: around 20% answered that when they fasted, they noticed that their sleep patterns were different. Despite the fact that in the first few days of fasting guests typically slept less, they tended to wake up feeling far more refreshed. For an all-round nutritious body overhaul, with the benefit of better sleep, this is a 10-day reset programme you’ll want to visit every year.
The Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
Last year, The Peninsula Hotels launched a comprehensive wellness programme called Life Lived Best, an initiative to provide all guests with unprecedented opportunities to pursue their fitness, mindfulness and nutritional goals. It includes a partnership with Breethe, a meditation app featuring guided meditations, relaxing bedtime stories and soothing music, available on guests’ personal devices or streamed to their in-room TVs. Guests are also able to experience a special “Sleep Well, Wake Up Well” aromatherapy experience, featuring Ayurvedic essences from Subtle Energies that promote evening rest and morning energy. Each Peninsula hotel offers relaxing or invigorating spa-style baths drawn by wellness experts in ensuite bathrooms, using mineral-rich salts and aromatic or therapeutic essential oils from Subtle Energies and VOYA. The Peninsula Bangkok even offers guests an added experience in their holistic spa with the Subtle Energies Sleep Support Therapy treatment. This 120-minute clinical therapy, including a full-body massage and a yoga nidra session (a traditional sleep-inducing meditation) is based on ancient practices to assist sleep concerns and insomnia, resulting in emotional and hormonal balance.
The Marbella Club, Marbella, Spain
Marbella Club, A Leading Hotel of the World, is one of Europe’s most sought-after beach resorts, known for carefree, slow living – but with the addition of the most extensive Kids’ Club in Europe and plentiful food and beverage offerings. The hotel’s progressive approach to holistic wellness brings facilities and therapeutic offerings designed for ultimate relaxation and healing. The Tranquility and Sleep Enhancing Programme is one of them and, using evidence-based techniques proven to improve sleep, the gentle programme includes an extensive variety of therapeutics including: a sleep-inducing ritual using Tibetan singing bowl vibrational massage; hydramemory facials; stress-reducing rituals; marine magnesium or calcium wraps; personal guided meditation or yoga sessions; and lifestyle and a nutrition consultation with Quest.
Pennyhill Park, Surrey UK
A new 80 minute treatment, multiple pools in which to take a soothing dip, and a gift to help extend your sleep once home, Pennyhill Park’s Surrey-based Pro-Sleep Spa Retreat is a chance to pamper yourself to a better night’s rest. Focusing on resetting your circadian rhythms (which control your sleep cycle), the star of the one-night retreat is the Tranquillity Pro-Sleep Treatment, which uses [comfort zone] skincare, aromatherapy, music and unique massage techniques to act on three different sensorial pathways, promoting a really deep feeling of calm. The addition of a Booster Facial treatment is also on hand to leave your skin feeling more awake and refreshed. Then, when you get back to your room in a sleepy haze after your time in the award-winning 45,000 sq ft spa, you can enjoy a special ‘Sleep Well Tea’ from London-based brand Camellias’s Tea House, and more [comfort zone] Tranquillity products to try. A similar experience is also available at South Lodge in Sussex too, as both spas are part of the Exclusive Collection Group.
Banyan Tree Veya Phuket, Thailand
Banyan Tree Veya Phuket is a wellbeing-centred resort that offers bespoke programs with an emphasis on what the brand calls ’embodiment therapies’, built on Banyan Tree’s proprietary eight pillars of wellbeing. The Veya journey begins with a private consultation with the wellbeing hosts, who are certified and trained in eastern medicine, naturopathy and coaching. Then, after assessment, a personalised itinerary is created aligned to each guest’s needs and priorities, centering on embodiment therapies and somatic practices. Veya’s Sleep Regeneration programme comprises sleep-inducing therapeutic massages, meditation rituals, and a practical sleep workshop. The layout of the 23 villas is designed for optimal rest and restoration: the ‘For Your Rest’ category bedrooms include organic cotton bed linen, a pillow selection, black-out curtains, nightly aromatherapy, sleep light and music, while the ‘For Your Restoration’ bedrooms feature a private swimming pool, outdoor jet pool with practice deck, wellbeing mini bar, yoga mat, meditation singing bowl, and exercise stretch bands. You will leave well-rested, energised, and empowered with the skills and knowledge to continue improving your sleep at home.
Post Ranch Inn, California
Make a beeline for Post Ranch Inn, perched on a cliff on the coastline of Big Sur for a focus on wellness and relaxation, through exercise, healthy eating and reconnecting with nature. Partnering with The Sleep Doctor™ – Dr. Michael Breus, one of the country’s most renowned sleep experts – for The Post Ranch Sleep Program, they provide guests a comprehensive approach to improve the way you sleep. With guestrooms designed to naturally promote rest and relaxation (free of televisions and alarm clocks, and using an organic mattress and bedding without any chemicals or dyes) this is a great starting point to embark on a journey to a better night’s rest. The spa’s Sleep Menu also offers two categories of treatments; “Healing Guided Journeys” with treatments including yoga nidre and Mindful Meditation or; “Interactive Wellness Experiences” with offerings ranging from Sound Sleep to Heartful Mindfulness and Ayurvedic Sleep Nutrition.
Six Senses Ibiza
If the wellness-focused oasis of Ibiza appeals, book a three-to-seven night sleep treatment at the Six Senses Ibiza. Designed to restore mood, memory, and energy levels; while reducing stress, the signature wellness programmes aim to help you establish a sleep routine that’s actually sustainable. You start with an initial consultation with the property’s resident sleep doctor, followed by a 45-minute general wellness screening. A bounty of sleep-inducing activities then follow: yoga nidra, regular massages, classes such as Pilates, or personal training, sleep amenities, and sleep tracking throughout the duration of your stay. The steam room, hammam, and cutting-edge fitness centre, as well as a juice bar, are also available for your enjoyment. You can also visit one of the spa’s organic gardens – which provide ingredients for its botanical products – and get involved with an Alchemy workshop, where you’ll have the chance to make your own potions and aromatherapy scrubs.
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