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5 wellness retreats to find your zen

These days hotels need to do more than just pamper you, today with wellness and self-care becoming increasingly important to luxury travellers when aboard, hotels need to be equipped to enrich and maintain a well and healthy lifestyle. These are our favourite hotels where wellness is ingrained in their ethos, hotels that you come away from feeling rejuvenated or even transformed in some way. Read on to discover our pick of luxury wellness retreats. Chablé Resort & Spa, Mexico If you’re worried that going on a retreat means sentencing yourself to nothing but yoga and raw food, think again. This lush resort within a modernised 19th-century hacienda in Mexico’s myth-rich Yucatan manages to achieve the perfect equilibrium between wellness haven and indulgent escape. Choose between Temazcal ceremonies or premium Tequila tastings; recline in the spa formed around a natural azure-hued cenote, or unwind in the cigar lounge; mediate every morning in your lavish villa, or find your zen on the white sand beaches of Celestun, alongside flocks of flamboyant flamingos. It’s all of Mexico’s best bits in microcosm. Santani, Sri Lanka Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the hottest wellness meccas and this eco-retreat is raising the bar. It’s just moments from the island’s spiritual centre, Kandy, but still retains a blissfully secluded position tickling the clouds in the jungle-clad Knuckles Mountains. But it’s the chic, minimal design and dedicated ayurvedic wellness programs (the first in the country) that really elevates the experience. Wellbeing also extends to the kitchen of the glasshouse restaurant, where you can savour delicious raw, vegan or ayurvedic-approved fare whilst looking out over the tree-tops sipping a biodynamic wine. This is a next-gen wellness retreat. La Selva Eco-Lodge, Ecuador You arrive by canoe, floating past monkeys, tapirs and giant otters, to find 19 luxurious bamboo-built suites waiting for you in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon – and the tone is set for your wellness retreat. La Selva is a sustainable lake-side eco-retreat that has brilliantly re-imagined the concept of an amazon spa retreat and is the perfect setting for both unwinding and uncovering the secrets of the unique Amazonian wildlife. Spend days pampering, hiking and canoeing, and nights taking in the unbelievable stars. Nekupe Resort, Nicaragua The five unique villas that make up this retreat set within a 1,300-acre nature reserve are all filled with an edit of sustainable furnishings and local artisan designs. The perfect base for you to then fill your lungs with the fresh mountain air horse-riding or enjoying some mountaintop yoga. Or if you prefer a slower pace, nourish your taste buds with a lesson in organic gardening and cooking. All against the soul-inspiring backdrop of Nicaragua’s remote countryside. Amandari, Bali Bali has long cemented itself as a wellness destination. A place where incense fragrances the air and shrines pepper mountainsides lush with swaying palms. And there’s nowhere better to hole-up in this spiritual capital than Amandari. Meaning ‘Peaceful Spirit’, its five pavilions perch on sacred ground 129 steps above a Hindu shrine encircled by rice fields and offers a masterclass in holistic living. Try guided meditation soundtracked by the soft flow of the Ayung River and Balinese massages and treatments to soothe both limb and mind. Tom Marchant is Co-founder of Black Tomato. Black Tomato is an award-winning luxury travel agent and part of The Black Tomato Group, with partner brands including Studio Black Tomato, The Black Tomato Agency and Epic Tomato. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Tom Marchant

Tom Marchant is a co-founder of the award-winning tour operator Black Tomato, a luxury tailor-made travel company organising bespoke experiences round the world. Part of the Black Tomato Group, Black Tomato is an award-winning luxury travel company that delivers imaginative and cutting-edge travel experiences around the world. We create inspiring itineraries in up and coming and remote destinations, providing clients with the inside track. Whilst our group and prize incentive agency, The Black Tomato Agency , produce creative, award-winning incentives, prizes and events, Studio Black Tomato, was born as the in-house marketing and content creation agency. From initial clients including tourist boards and hotel groups, we now produce internationally acclaimed content and media campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world.

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  1. A retreat with tequila tastings sounds just up my street and more my idea of relaxing. Chamble sounds like the perfect place to try Mexico out. I also love the sound of le selva for getting in touch with nature. Being surrounded by wildlife like that must be so relaxing and good for your soul. I think I would have trouble leaving when it is time to go home.

  2. I think one of the reasons why these hotels, temples to calm and serenity, are flourishing is that we need them. So many of us are “time poor”.

    What is so great about these places is that they remind of us other cultures and civilisations – I doubt that ancient peoples in Sri Lanka, Bali or Ecuador had agendas and plans.

    When I visit a place like this I even take something from the minimalist decor. As soon as I get back I declutter and see my own home in a new light.

  3. There’s no doubt that I need to rediscover my zen, that’s if I ever had it to start with. My problem is that I don’t know where to go. It’s so long since I had a luxurious trip away that I don’t feel in the least bit guilty in putting aside a decent budget for the trip. As ever my husband has put me in charge of finding somewhere brilliant so this short list is incredibly helpful. Many thanks.

  4. So many of my friends have done wellness retreats that I thought that maybe it is time that I got in on the act. I’m beginning to think that my wild-time party holidays may be a thing of the past.

    Some of my friends have come back positively glowing with health and I want to get some of that too.

    But I have noticed a split. There’s a group who come back with a real Zen thing, a new inner calmness and tranquillity, but it only lasts to about Thursday of their first week back. It fades faster than the tan.

    Then there are those who seem to have learned some useful lessons and are working hard to make long-term changes across the board. Like changing diet, exercise plans and sleep patterns.

    That’s why I’m doing my background reading. I want a Wellness retreat that will change me for the better.

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