Top 3 luxury wellness escapes

Discerning spa aficionados are increasingly looking for more complete retreats offering an all-encompassing wellness escape. Here are three of my favourite resorts, each with something unique to offer – whether that be working with specialist practitioners, training en famille on a beautiful white sand beach or getting back to nature in tropical island jungle surroundings.

Specialist focus

Amanzo’e, Porto Heli, Greece

Aman Resorts are renowned for their understated yet luxe approach; they provide sublimely private and cosseting environs to relax and unwind. This is never truer than at their latest bolthole in the Peloponnese, Amanzo’e. The coast here offers an idyllic environment in which to focus on health, wellness and relaxation, and is the setting for their exclusive Alignment & Movement Retreat.

Amanzoe

Three renowned specialists work together to tailor-make a programme of realignment based around the principles of Pilates, Cranial Osteopathy and Watsu to correct your posture. Ivana Daniell, who curates Aman’s Pilates programme is joined by John Loftus, who specialises in the gentle manipulation of osteopathy, and Steve Karle, who coaches on the subtle energies and nurturing benefits of Watsu.

The spa at the hotel is a tranquil sanctuary within a scented herb-filled walled garden. The extensive facilities enable guests to fuse the benefits of the retreat programme with superlative treatments to truly unwind.

Family focus

The BodyHoliday, St Lucia

I last had the pleasure of joining the owners of this resort a couple of years ago, and remember it like yesterday. It is a world-class destination for those looking to combine health, wellness and fun. I recall their ethos: we all know what we need to do to stay mentally and physically fit and The BodyHoliday provides a place to give you the time and space to do just that. So alongside a dizzying array of activities, treatments and facilities, there is also a distinct appreciation of good food and wine and a relaxing, rather than medicated, strict or starched, environment. This summer sees the return of the innovative ‘WellFit Families’ weeks, a programme giving everyone aged 12 and above the chance to connect and bond whilst they prepare for the team Beach-Athlon at the end of the course. A range of activities including bike rides, jungle abseiling, Yoga Flow and Hobie Cat sailing lessons offer a unique way of spending quality time together.

TheBodyHoliday

A daily spa treatment is always included at The BodyHoliday but don’t be surprised if you end up arranging for even more treatments or consultations – most guests do – as you really can’t help but get ‘in the zone’ when you’re here! The spa is set high above the resort for spectacular views and has hydrotherapy and Ayurvedic areas plus a myriad of treatment rooms. Another pièce de résistance is the exclusive facial treatment devised by renowned London-based cosmetic doctor Dr Michael Prager – his first collaboration outside of Europe. Pollution and sun-parched skin is infused with a cocktail of Vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and minerals via electrophoretic mesotherapy.

Holistic focus

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Bali is an island suffused with spirituality and Ubud – its cultural heart – is arguably the world capital of wellness retreats. Enter COMO Shambala Estate – the brand’s flagship spa hotel stands head and relaxed shoulders above the rest. Shambhala means ‘a place of bliss and tranquillity’ in Sanskrit and this private estate is its tropical epitome – a dedicated wellness retreat with a true focus on holistic well-being.

COMO Shambala Estate Bali

Immersed in Balinese jungle, it is no surprise that the specialist programmes have a back-to-nature approach. Whatever the end aim of your retreat, a team of therapists will recommend treatments to match your needs; sunrise yoga next to a gently cascading waterfall means that the start of your day is rooted in relaxation and rejuvenation. An Ayurvedic massage in the Ojas spa followed by a stress management class will ensure that you have reached your nirvana by the end of the day. The cuisine is delicious and healthy, however, if you would like your diet to be tailor-made to your specific requirements, a resident nutritionist is on hand for dietary consultations.

Maxine Roberts is Head of Marketing at Carrier.

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