Booking the right hotel can make a huge difference to your holiday. So much more than just a place to rest your head: a hotel’s food, ambience and services can play a massive part in how much you enjoy your trip. If you’re looking to improve your wellness while you’re away, this is of particular importance.
With that in mind, we’ve had a look for some of the world’s best and most awe-inspiring wellness retreats to help get your planning underway.
Floating Leaf Eco-Luxury Retreat, Indonesia
Bali’s Ubud has become a centre of wellbeing and spirituality. Nowhere is that more evident than at Floating Leaf Resort. You can choose from a number of retreat options here – such as the Yoga Restore Getaway or the Shamanic Healing Package – to make your troubles float away.
If you don’t feel that’s intense enough for you, there are three- and five-day transformational healing retreats that may be more to your liking.
Samadhi Retreat, Australia
You don’t necessarily have to go overseas to get away from it all. Victoria’s spa town of Daylesford has made a name for itself as a centre of peace and tranquillity.
Book yourself into the Samadhi for a life-changing experience. The retreat promises that you’ll discover new sources of energy and return to everyday life a a better person. Get personal tuition in meditation, qi gong, yoga and other forms of exercise, as well as inner reflection, that you can take back into your daily routine.
The Rockhouse, Jamaica
The Rockhouse is one of the most awarded hotels on this list, with prizes from a litany of sources, and for good reason.
With just 34 cottages set in eight acres of lush tropical gardens, the feeling of nature surrounds you like a blanket. Meals are cooked onsite using local ingredients and every day you have the chance to take part in yoga, get a massage or sit back and enjoy the live reggae music.
Red Mountain Resort, USA
Wellness comes in many forms and shapes. While Red Mountain Resort, named because of the rich colour of the soil found in the area, has plenty of yoga retreat options – from weekends to week-long retreats – it mixes this with more physical exercise, such as guided hikes into the nearby desert national parks.
Elephant Nature Park, Thailand
If you find yourself at your best when you’re helping others, a trip to Elephant Nature Park in northern Thailand may be more up your alley. The park allows visitors to volunteer for a week to help look after rescued elephants that have been injured or abused elsewhere in the country.
Volunteers work to make sure the park runs smoothly – mucking out shelters and preparing food – but there’s plenty of time to get up close and personal with the trunked animals.
Another one for animal lovers: &Beyond offers high-end glamping, private jet transfers and guided safari trips all included in your room rate.
Spend the days on outings, where you’ll have the chance to come up close with Africa’s big five then return to the camp where you’re safe, secure and isolated. Spend the nights in the open-air dining tent, by the campfire with fellow guests or in your own glamorous accommodation.
Be Tulum, Mexico
Just as Ubud has become a centre of spiritualism in Bali, Tulum in Mexico has earned a reputation as must-see destination for wellness seekers.
In among the ancient ruins, you’ll find hotels such as Be Tulum that specialise in wellness. Enjoy modern spa treatments or those rooted in Mayan tradition, which often require the moon in the right phase. Be Tulum also has a yoga studio with jungle-top views for a serene way to practise.
Hidden Beach Resort, Mexico
Sometimes the best way to rebuild and repair is to strip everything right back. At the Hidden Beach Resort, just up the road from Tulum, they take the mantra literally and make you leave everything, including your clothing, by the front door.
Enjoy your stay the way you came into the world and join onsite activities such as volleyball, coconut painting and foam parties – or just stay in your suite and make useof the hot tub. If you want to get dressed up, don your best outfit and head to the resort next door for a meal.
Onsen have long been a form of relaxation in Japan; the hot spring baths at Chojukan date back to at least 1875. There are three areas for communal bathing, with the choice between indoor and open-air bathing as well as gender-mixed bathing or male/female-only bathing.
Like the relaxation and cleansing method, the entire hotel sticks strongly to Japanese culture. You’ll sleep on tatami mats and eat only local cuisine, but Wi-Fi has recently been installed.
Landaa Giraavaru, Maldives
Nothing says relaxation and wellness like a stay in the Maldives. With nothing to do but take your time, appreciate the finer things in life and give yourself what you deserve, you can’t help but come out of a trip there feeling a little better about yourself. Landaa Giraaavaru offers daily fresh fruit and yoga classes, as well as the chance to speak to doctors or listen to health speakers throughout your stay.
The Retreat, Costa Rica
If your wellness trip is to start a new healthy lifestyle, The Retreat in Costa Rica might be for you. The resort operates under six guiding premises: reducing stress, being physically active, clean eating, spiritual connectedness, cultural involvement and self-care. If this sounds like something you need to learn about, what better way than with panoramic ocean views?
Lorien Hotel & Spa, USA
Although there are many steps to wellness – healthy eating and an active lifestyle play a big part – if you don’t get enough sleep then you’re going to have a bad time. The Lorien near Washington DC has a range of amenities to help you get a good night’s sleep including relaxing scents, a lullaby library and the option to order milk and biscuits.