Rather than simply seeking sun, sea, and sand, many modern vacationers desire transformative experiences to reduce stress, revitalize their body, or turn back the hands of time. From Thailand to France, we look at eight wellness retreats and the life-enhancing experiences they offer.
1. Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa — Portugal
Located in Southern Portugal, the Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa provides comprehensive mindful programming via an intensive workshop curated by the esteemed teacher Shantidevi Morton. With a heavy emphasis on meditation, the destination helps guests leave their stresses behind, better equipping them to assess their lifestyle, habits, and any negative thought patterns that could be impacting their ability to achieve inner happiness. Leading onto a secluded beach of golden sand, the resort offers a variety of different wellness and fitness programs, including those tailored toward weight loss, anti-aging, and detox.
2. Tea Huntress Ritual & Renewal Retreat — Iceland
Under the guidance of Sarah Scarborough, guests at the Tea Huntress are led through various healing botanical tea ceremonies, meditative practices that are meant to restore harmony and balance. Split between two luxury boutique hotels, the retreat offers both the urban vigor of downtown Reykjavik and the tranquil splendor of Thingvellir National Park. Guests are treated to meditation sessions in a variety of settings, allowing them to marvel at some of the most spectacular sights on Earth, most notably the Blue Lagoon and Golden Circle.
3. FORESTIS Dolomites — Italy
Nestled amid the pine forests and craggy mountains of the Dolomites, this unique spa hotel taps into the healing powers of nature through an assortment of mystical rituals, taking wellness therapies to new heights and helping to rebalance the unconscious and conscious mind through energy and frequency. Tree circle ceremonies were a prominent feature in ancient Celtic culture, having originated in various parts of Europe, including Northern Italy. Participants use intuition to choose healing stones and larch, pine, or spruce, and their chosen stones and wood are incorporated in wrapping techniques designed to cleanse and reenergize the body.
4. Kamalaya — Thailand
Perched on the hillside in Koh Samui, Kamalaya has earned a global reputation as one of the finest wellness retreats in the whole of Asia. The resort offers a variety of holistic treatments grounded in traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, and ayurveda in stunning surroundings, with its palm-lined beach presenting the perfect spot to relax in between treatments and enjoy some of the best sunsets on the island. Kamalaya offers a variety of wellness packages, including detox, emotional balance, yoga, stress and burnout, structural revival, ideal weight, optimal fitness, and sleep retreat, as well as tailormade options. Boasting excellent food, Kamalaya treats guests to delicious, nutritionally optimized meals, although meat, coffee, and alcohol options are also available.
5. Homefield Grange — England
Situated near the town of Kettering in Northamptonshire, this converted sheep and dairy farm provides guests with a unique opportunity to delve into understanding their body, diet, and nutrition, fostering positive behavioral changes to support the attainment and sustenance of a healthy lifestyle. There are a variety of different packages to choose from, including the weekend body detox, which follows up a rasul mud therapy session with a relaxing massage. Meanwhile, the mind-body restorer is specially designed to help boost the immune system while building resilience against anxiety and stress. Other options include nutritional consultations, lifestyle and wellness coaching, neuro-linguistic programming, and hypnotherapy.
6. Banyan Tree Mayakoba — Mexico
Located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, Banyan Tree Mayakoba provides the ultimate in five-star luxury. The idyllic location is surrounded by nature and boasts top-notch hospitality, in addition to villas with private infinity pools. The resort is renowned for its hydrothermal facilities, as well as its world-class dining and wellness program, offering a true sanctuary for the senses and a place for relaxation and rejuvenation. Recognized with AAA Five Diamond and Five-Star Forbes resort ratings, Banyan Tree Mayakoba is located within a private gated community, offering complete privacy.
7. SHA Rejuvenation — Spain
Located on Marbella’s world-famous golden mile, SHA Rejuvenation invites guests to enjoy a total transformation in a world-leading anti-aging destination that combines personal fitness sessions with therapeutic spa treatments to help guests not only feel younger but look younger too. The ultimate in luxury wellness breaks, SHA Rejuvenation fuses ancient doctrines of health from the East and West with the latest innovative wellness technology.
8. Le Meurice — France
Situated in the heart of Paris, Le Meurice offers breathtaking views across the city, encompassing the Tuileries Garden and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. This esteemed 19th-century hotel is renowned for its two-Michelin-starred restaurant, led by a cutting-edge conscious culinary team. Known for predicting guests’ favorite in-room foods and offering luxuries such as lavender pillow sprays, Le Meurice distinguishes itself with unparalleled service and attention to detail. The hotel is also home to the only Valmont spa in Paris, setting the standard in Swiss beauty treatments. This spa expertly combines science and natural ingredients to deliver noticeable anti-aging results.