Holidays used to be the ultimate excuse for ditching diets and workouts. But as wellness tourism booms, so too has the offering of wellness retreats grounded in holistic experiences.
Lifestyle trends are being discussed more than ever in the aftermath of the pandemic, with many holidaymakers keen to maintain their good habits abroad – and maybe even pick up a few more to bring back home.
From the iconic VIVAMAYR Medical Health Resort in Austria to California’s best and brightest wellbeing programmes, these are some of the most unique and inspiring wellness retreats from across the globe, each designed to nurture the mind, body and soul while giving you a radiant glow.
The Asha Urban Baths, Sacramento, California, USA
Known for being ahead of the curve, California knows wellness. Asha Urban Baths in Sacramento lives up to its Golden State title offering signature sound-immersion therapy accompanied by an impressive array of amenities; namely a salt lounge, sauna, and cold plunge experiences. The practice uses headphones and cushions that reverberate sounds using the body, with vibroacoustics that are both restorative and sleep-inducing promising a blissful state of reverie. Possessing all the mental benefits of regular meditation, this ritual has an immediate effect and is designed to soothe the nervous system.
Irene Forte Spa, Italy
Part of the Rocco Forte Hotel group, this dream-like Italian sanctuary is situated on the Adriatic coast among ancient olive trees and sweet-scented orange blossom and, even outside of the spa, there is always the opportunity to indulge the senses. Spoil yourself with a sensual experience from the expansive treatment menu at the Irene Forte Spa – it fuses the regenerative powers of nature and science and promises to ease and align the mind and body. Facial and body treatments are carried out by trained therapists, and range from private yoga and Pilates classes to personal training.
Naviva®, A Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita, Mexico
It’s hard to imagine an environment quite as uniquely wellness-focused as Naviva®, a Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico. Submerging guests into nature as soon as they arrive, here it’s impossible to escape Mexico’s natural beauty which forms part of the restorative wellness experience. Unlike typical Four Seasons resorts and hotels, this one is entirely tented; guests can lust over the resort’s 48 acres of awe-inspiring jungle greenery from an open-air tent, ideal for star-gazing. All tents feature an outdoor shower, accompanied by a plunge pool and hammock. During your stay, take part in a cliffside yoga class that blends mindfulness and mysticism, or sample the ‘seacuterie’ made of produce freshly caught from the nearby Pacific. Delicious.
Fahrenheit Body Spas, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Aspen is perhaps best known for ski resorts, but visitors are equally hungry for wellness treatments and therapies to unwind after hitting the slopes. Floating therapy, as found at Fahrenheit Body Spas, is the ultimate remedy for stress as it boosts the chemicals in the brain responsible for mood, creating a lasting sense of calm. Also known as sensory deprivation, this wellness routine uses a floatation tank filled with Epsom salt water that is heated to skin temperature and devoid of light and sound. Intended to rejuvenate the mind and body, floatation therapy allows for a meditative state that will leave you feeling balanced and aligned. Additional treatments here include cryotherapy, infrared sauna treatments, massages and yoga.
VIVAMAYR Medical Health Resort, Austria
VIVAMAYR Medical Health Resort, one of Europe’s leading wellness spots, is exactly what one hopes for when planning a wellness trip abroad: the overwhelmingly beautiful lakeside views that engulf this Austrian retreat will leave you feeling mentally and spiritually revived. Guests receive bespoke treatments adapted to their needs from a range of on-site professionals, including doctors and therapists. There is also the option to roam the resort’s private beach or take advantage of the spacious wellness complex which is made up of various pools, saunas and infrared cabins, as well as a fitness studio. Equally, you can indulge in wellness-orientated activities outside of the resort such as hiking, paddle boarding and cycling – each enabling you to absorb the rich surroundings.
COMO Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos
COMO Parrot Cay is the epitome of luxury Caribbean wellness, given its unparalleled facilities paired with overwhelmingly beautiful views. The ideal getaway to de-stress, this wellness-led resort is secluded on its own private island and offers a wellness program – COMO Shambhala – designed to promote healthy lifestyle choices. Offerings include complimentary yoga and Pilates sessions led by renowned yogis and instructors, as well as holistic therapies such as reflexology and Ayurveda, paired with an enzyme-rich cuisine. But it doesn’t stop there – there are plenty of opportunities for more active and adventurous souls, including windsurfing lessons, fishing and diving trips and biking excursions.
Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, Maldives
Spoil yourself to a luxury Maldivian getaway at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort. Following nine months of renovation, the resort has finally reopened its doors – and it was worth the wait. Offering a reimagined adult-only experience set amid crystalline lagoon waters, the resort perfectly balances guilt-free indulgence and wellness. Having established its own wellness-centric identity, here you can book a customised Wellness Villa experience that will have you feeling clear-headed in no time. The experience combines Ayurvedic spa amenities, an earthing mat for meditation, and a wellness minibar. All stays include a wellness consultation on arrival, a daily yoga or personal training session, a healthy cooking class, and 20% savings on treatments at Balance Wellness by Anantara.
Clinique La Prairie, Switzerland
Adopting a holistic mentality towards healing and prevention – one that encourages harmony and balance – the award-winning Clinique La Prairie is well and truly ahead of the game. Every tailored programme here aims to boost immunity using the four pillars of longevity: medical insight, nutrition, well-being and movement. Advanced screenings are available to map a personalised health plan for each guest, as well as a plan for preventative medicines, supplements, longevity diets and insight into the effects of environmental factors such as pollution. All share the same intention: to create an information-backed awareness of how best to boost your health and enable you to reach your full potential.
SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain
SHA Wellness Clinic is the ultimate detox retreat. Overlooking the bay of Altea in Spain, where you can enjoy the full beauty and extent of Spain’s climate and surroundings, the clinic features a host of natural therapies dedicated to improving your nutrition and overall quality of life. The programs on offer include Advanced Detox, Healthy Aging, Weight Loss and Rebalance, all of which are carried out by knowledgeable professionals and rely on state-of-the-art technologies. That means you can lose weight, boost your energy, recuperate from stress or tackle another key wellness concern both safely and effectively. To keep on track of your wellness journey, you’ll even be able to download a personalised SHA Wellness app.
Rush Creek Lodge, Yosemite, California, USA
Overlooking the beauty of Yosemite National Park, Rush Creek Lodge only recently opened its doors to wellness enthusiasts and offers varied spa amenities. Taking inspiration from the great Yosemite outdoors, this is a spot for those who are eager to experiment with varied wellness treatments: the Cool Mist Room and Warm Waterfall Coves are designed to mimic the feeling of nearby natural waterfalls, and the Himalayan Salt Block Sauna embodies all the goodness of a warm summer’s day. The purple butterfly pea flower – said to have healing and health benefits including blood sugar control, weight loss, and hair and skin development – is an inspiration throughout the hotel, find it in custom blends of tea, a mineral foot soak, and even in a signature cocktail in the hotel’s bar.
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