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10 of the best wellness retreats (for when this is all over)

With modern life (and our current lockdown predicament) leaving us more likely to be sat in a chair surrounded by screens, rather than getting active surrounded by nature, it’s no surprise that more and more travellers are choosing to get away on a luxury wellness retreat. Whether it’s a digital or culinary detox, immersing yourself into nature or super-charging your fitness routine, a wellness retreat can help you achieve your mental and physical health goals while taking you to some of the most beautiful locations on earth. If you feel like you deserve an escape from the trappings of modern life and to recentre your body and mind after the doom and gloom of coronavirus, here are the top wellness retreats for 2020, all unique in their approaches to revitalizing your body and mind, but sharing the goal of sending you home completely relaxed and refreshed. BodyHoliday Considered the world’s first destination spa, BodyHoliday delivers on their tantalizing promise: “give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind.” Complimentary 50-minute spa treatments are included, along with delicious healthy food and drink, and thrilling activities to quench your thirst for adventure including PADI certified diving courses and world-class dive sites. The BodyScience Clinic team use modern biochemical techniques to create a tailor-made programme of activities including meditation, yoga, diet plans and exercise routines, that are designed to help you awaken your body and mind. Gocheganas in Namibia Located on a stunning 6,000-hectare nature reserve, this unique lodge offers a dramatic combination of wellness, wildlife and nature. Immerse yourself in the serenity of the landscape and watch distant herds grazing as you enjoy mind and body-conscious activities in the dedicated wellness village. Boasting an indoor heated pool, cave sauna, gym facilities and a programme of massages and treatments, your relaxation is ensured. Even more than that, you can get to know the beautiful Namibian landscape on fascinating and exciting game drives, mountain biking expeditions and bush walks. SHA Wellness Clinic Discover holistic wellness on a majestic Spanish mountainside overlooking the endless Mediterranean. The renowned SHA method incorporates a fusion of natural traditional therapies, nutritious dining, and the latest advances in preventive medicines and anti-ageing. This is the cutting edge of wellness and it beckons to all travellers looking for personal improvement. Choose from a variety of different health programmes, each designed to promote a different aspect of wellbeing. Whether you would like to detoxify your body, revolutionise your nutrition, improve your fitness or relieve stress by finding a tranquil escape, SHA Wellness has everything you need to reach optimum mental and physical wellbeing. Sanctuary at Bay of Islands The Sanctuary at Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand allows guests to focus entirely on wellness and savouring the natural beauty of the stunning location, so yoga, outdoor massage and admiring the views are all part of the experience. As there are only four luxury suites available at the lodge you are guaranteed peace and personal service in equal measure. Guests here can enjoy yoga out in the rolling hills, massages on the deck of their accommodation, peaceful boat trips spotting majestic Dolphins and Orca or maybe even wine tasting tours along the Northland Wine Trail. Chiva Som International Health Resort What could be more relaxing than looking out over the breathtaking Gulf of Thailand from a serene private beachfront? Well, how about delicious, health-conscious wellness cuisine served three times a day? Then, fuelled up on delightful meals, you will curate a personalised wellness plan consisting of treatments and activities specifically aimed at achieving your unique health and wellbeing goals. Every wellness need is catered for at this resort, with an incredible choice of spa, fitness, holistic health, physiotherapy and aesthetic beauty facilities and treatments available to indulge in. Ayurvedic immersion at Landaa Giraavaru If hearing the sound of waves breaking upon sugary sands is your idea of a relaxing paradise, then this resort is for you. Located in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this resort effortlessly blends world-class luxury with a heartfelt connection to the breathtaking lagoons and stunning beaches that surround it. With tremendous facilities, watersports and a three-acre Spa & Ayurvedic Retreat offering ayurvedic treatments, calming chakra blessings and even anti-gravity yoga, this is the perfect place to unwind. Or, if you’re motivated by the notion of tuning up your fitness regime you could sign up to the expert-led boot camp. Bushmans Kloof Wellness Retreat This incredible natural retreat is nestled away in the idyllic foothills of the Cederberg Mountains and offers a carefully crafted wilderness experience with a distinctive wellness twist. Located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the surroundings are magnificent. Guests can become one with the tranquil landscape on nature drives, hiking trails, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, and swimming in shimmering rock pools. Whilst the surroundings themselves feel like a form of therapy, The Spa harnesses traditional healing energies and has been awarded the accolade of Best Spa in Africa & Indian Ocean at the Global Spa & Wellness Awards. Marry Oneself Journey at Rosewood Mayakoba Surrounded by the lush mangroves, calm lagoons and white sand beaches of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, Rosewood Mayakoba completes the quintessential notion of escaping to paradise. For a perfect voyage into self-discovery designed to improve your connection to your inner self and the wider world around you, this resort offers the one-of-a-kind Marry Oneself Journey. This course encourages you to challenge your negative lifestyle patterns and habits and aims to bestow you with a deeper sense of self-love and acceptance. Over four days, a Shaman will guide you through a series of one-on-one experiences inspired by ancient wisdom and an appreciation for the surrounding nature. Spa Complex at Six Senses Kaplankaya This spa exists at the cutting edge of wellness facilities with state-of-the-art hammams, a dedicated massage parlour and both an indoor pool and a hydrotherapy pool. All of this comes alongside an eager team of experts in meditation, nutrition and fitness who are on hand to ensure you achieve every one of your wellness goals. Using smart technology to measure your health, movement and sleep patterns allows staff to personalise your treatments and tailor their advice to your specific needs. More than just its glittering spa complex, excursions and activities here are designed to immerse you in the surrounding nature and culture including watersports and local day trips. Grantley Hall, UK Much closer to home than it’s international counterparts, Grantley Hall proves that you don’t need to leave the UK for a world-class wellness retreat. Set across two floors you will find a spacious wellness area with traditional gym equipment and futuristic innovations including a 3D body scanner, an underwater treadmill, an altitude training room and an EMS suit that makes your workout more effective by sending electric pulses through your body. You will also find the Three Graces spa, named for Zeus’ daughters, and as you’re lounging in the hydrotherapy pool bathed in soft ambient lighting and surrounded by tall stone columns and Grecian sculptures, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a mythological paradise. Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destinations across the globe. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts is a Director of Inspiring Travel Company, part of the ITC Travel Group. The Inspiring Travel Company focus on building bespoke luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most incredible resorts, hotels and destinations across the globe. Sarah started working in the luxury Sports travel team before moving to ITC Travel Group’s Chester based travel agency Deva Travel. After three years, she progressed to Head of Sales at Inspiring Travel Company and then Director. She has travelled all over the world but includes Italy, Iceland, India, Bali, Vietnam, USA and Cambodia in her Top 10 destinations.

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  1. Thank you for this. It will occupy me for an hour or two this afternoon visiting the websites so that I can make myself a shortlist. Some very tempting resorts here.

    1. So glad you found it useful Sue – certainly perusing fabulous hotels in amazing places takes you out of our current predicament that we are facing.

  2. I’m all about location when it comes to feeling good about my surroundings. For these options, I’d have to choose the Gulf of Thailand for the North Island of New Zealand. I’ve been to these places and they brought me the most joy through feeling at peace with my surroundings.

    1. Glad to hear that you found the Gulf of Thailand and New Zealand peaceful places with which to relax. Location is key, you are absolutely right!

  3. My friend actually did a wellness retreat as a short weekend break for her hen do before she got married two years ago. I’d never been to one before and I was a bit sceptical that it wouldn’t be my kind of thing but it was actually pretty good. I don’t t think we were there for long enough now, I would have liked maybe 3 or 4 days minimum because I find with the hassle of travel and getting settled in it takes me some time to switch off, and before I knew it we were packing up to come back again. Taking the experience somewhere a little more remote where you’re surrounded by nature and where you’ll get good weather would be lovely. I think you’d be more inclined towards self care and nourishment in the Spanish hills or New Zealand when you’re in environments like that. I’ve been feeling rather frazzled lately so a wellness retreat is sounding very, very tempting.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right – if you are going to looking to completely switch off you need enough time to do that. And somewhere like New Zealand where the scenery is so inviting will certainly help!

  4. These are the type of places I want to go to when I need some rejuvenation. I do a lot of yoga and I am very thankful that I was introduced to it by my cousin. Since then, I’ve never felt so good and refreshed after each session. I couldn’t go a week without yoga and these days I’ve been doing it a lot more because in these times of crisis, we should know how to calm ourselves and keep our body and mind healthy. Now more than ever, the saying ‘health is wealth’ rings so true. Although, I am looking forward to having an end in this outbreak so we can all enjoy the outside world again. My feet are itching so bad because it had not felt the streets in a while. I am sure that I would not be the only one whose perspective about the world and everyday living will change. And I know people will now be looking to keep healthy and these wellness retreats are perfect for “when this is all over.”

    1. Yep, I’m sure lots of people are jotting down ideas and bucket list adventures for ‘when this is all over’ and wellness retreats will be high on the agenda. This is a stressful and anxious time and wellness needs to be practiced right now but there will come a time when people will need to retreat and take stock of what has happened.

  5. This post struck a chord with me and stayed in my mind. Now that “this” looks to have just about burned itself out I thought I’d take another look to get some inspiration.

  6. I don’t think “this” is all over. From where I’m standing “this” is getting bigger and bigger.

    I had COVID last week and rising inflation is now part of “this” too.

    I think we need to forget it and get on with the pampering and care for ourselves that we all desperately need.

  7. Even though my neighbour is entering her third nasty week of a dose of COVID I think this is largely all over. I’ve done some European trips without too much trouble and am now up for a wellness escape further afield. Any updates to your helpful pointers here?

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