A Wellness Dream Travel List
By Melissa Berman
January 3, 2021
After a year spent staying at home, it’s time we gave you some healing get away ideas. We have curated bespoke, wellness-focused destinations in unforgettable, off-the-beaten-path locations to help you revive, restore and rejuvenate.
At the foot of the fabled Atlas Mountains, a mere hour from Marrakesh, Richard Branson’s palatial Moroccan Kasbah Tamadot is reminiscent of 1001 Arabian Nights. Indeed, each of the 28 rooms, suites and lusciously appointed Berber ‘tents’, has their own opulent color palette, and collection of perfectly appointed antiques and furnishings. The sprawling property is abloom with Morocco’s famous roses in a series of gardens, poolside and rooftop outdoor lounging areas, perfect for treating your lungs to the tonic of pure mountain air.
The details of your vacation experience are as carefully executed as the surroundings.
You can explore the property, take in the views and relax with a purifying traditional hammam at the on-site spa. The ancient ritual of the hammam thoroughly detoxes both skin and spirit, with a series of hot steam treatments and the most thorough body scrub you’ve ever had, followed by a special massage. All this is part of an ancient ritual designed to release tension and toxins, remove impurities, and reveal baby soft, fresh skin and supple muscles.
There’s also opportunity for plenty of pool and relaxation time, either at the outdoor pool with 360° views of the mountains, or the indoor heated pool with a wonderful lounge area. The Asmoun Lounge is the gathering spot of the Kasbah, where guests meet for pre-dinner cocktails and conversation. It is the perfect place to relax and listen to music, or engage in the very Moroccan tradition of storytelling.
The cuisine at Kasbah Tamadot is bright and nourishing, bringing together local produce, and traditional Moroccan spices and flavors to meals served at the romantic rooftop dining area, the elegant restaurant, poolside, or privately at your suite. One can enjoy a traditional Berber feast or dine a la carte, and there are plenty of fine Moroccan and international wines to imbibe. You can even learn to prepare your own Berber meal, with a trek through the valley to a Berber village for tea, and a cooking and bread baking lesson at a Berber residence. Moroccan spices are not only colorful and flavorful, they also have many healing and immune boosting qualities as well. The Kasbah is committed to sharing Berber traditions, while also supporting the local community through the Eve Branson foundation. A visit here will take you back in time, and back to yourself.
The word vacation immediately conjures visions of calm turquoise seas, tropical fruit, and palm trees swaying in the warm breeze. And while you will find all of these at Jake’s in Treasure Beach, Jamaica, the rest of the cliché resort style scenes do not exist here. At the largely untouristed shores of the fishing village, Treasure Beach, Jake’s is one of those rare island spots where locals and guests come together, and share true island life and all the health affirming goodness that comes with it.
Forget Negril or Montego Bay, Treasure Beach is located along Jamaica’s drier, more rugged, rockier, but nonetheless postcard-perfect, South shore. The lapping crystalline waters, and island time vibe, envelop an enclave of boho chic suites, villas and rooms, built and run with the utmost eco-consciousness. Before you even arrive at Jake’s, you will experience the community spirit, as the hotel participates in a program called Pack for a Purpose. Guests are asked to spare a bit of their luggage space to bring needed items for the community. Fear not – at this down-to-earth spot, you really don’t need more than a sundress or shorts and sandals, and this ensures you arrive with extra good karma! Once you are there you will also find opportunities to volunteer and help the local community, which provides a surefire feel-good factor and is a proven stress reducer.
If you are not in the zone yet, you can sink further into the rhythm of island joy, mingling with the locals at the Pelican Bar – located at the nearby sandbar. Yes, that’s a bar you reach by boat that is actually in the water. This coolest bar in the world, put together with scrap wood by a local fisherman, is your place to chill, enjoy freshly-caught fish that could very well have been recently swimming under your stool, and a cold beer, while practicing your domino game before a quick dip.
New friends, new tan, fresh food and the ultimate chill – you may never leave….
Awaroa Lodge, New Zealand.
Nature is at the root of all wellness, and Abel Tasman National Park, in the South Island of New Zealand, is one of this planet’s finest displays of natural beauty and bounty. Awaroa Lodge is nestled right in the heart of the park, allowing you the opportunity to immerse yourself where forest meets the sea, and enjoy all manner of outdoor, healthy and super fun adventures, while staying in modern, minimalist chic accommodation.
There’s no place quite like New Zealand. This outward bound / inward healing trip is worth every mile it takes to get there.
The Sleep program draws on the wisdom of renowned sleep experts, and uses the latest technology to track, analyze and adjust your sleeping habits for ultimate health effects. The hotel is stocked with sleep-enhancing pillows, linens, mattress toppers, lighting controls and even bamboo pajamas. A personal consultation adds nutritional elements such as an ancient practice of Yoga Nidra and other wellness modalities to equip you for lifelong sleep improvements, that can dramatically boost your health.
An immersion into this unique European getaway is surely a trip to dream about.