Wellness Resorts to Awaken Transformation
By: Danielle Winston
January 15, 2022
Anais Nin might have been talking about meditation when she said, “We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.” Nin's words illustrate how a new view can shift perspective in untold ways. Whether it’s a physical or metaphysical change, one of the best methods to gain insight, is by visiting a different environment. Invigorate your spirit in an outdoor rain shower, dine on superfoods, and invite creativity through open sky meditation.
From New York to Finland, posh or pared-down, whatever you crave, these retreats offer the ultimate surroundings to recharge your internal batteries.
Banyan Tree Mayakoba - Mexico
If being around water fills you with tranquility, Banyan Tree is the oasis of calm of your dreams. Set in the exotic Mexican Caribbean, choose between a private beachfront villa or suite with an infinity pool. Go for a sunset stroll along the river, take a dip in the reflecting pool, or meditate by the ocean. Come nightfall, set sail on a sunset cruise and dine on Spanish tapas. When you want to lie back and just feel beautiful, visit the Banyan Tree Spa with an array of hydrothermal options. Continue the self-care theme with private in-villa meals, or explore an array of dining options. There’s Sands Beach Club, Saffron - a flagship restaurant with authentic Thai cuisine, Cello - Italian cuisine, La Copa Raw Bar, or the Reflections Pool Bar.
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health - Stockbridge, MA
Kripalu's retreat, known as the R&R experience, “designed just for this moment of healing and renewal,” is not about staying in luxury accommodation, but focusing on self-growth and inner harmony. A spectacular range of mindfulness-based education workshops awaits, with classes led by world-renowned authors and thought leaders. Do a deep dive into the yoga sutras, study the meaning of chakras, mindfulness, or immerse yourself in Ayurvedic wisdom. Work out your mind, stretch your body, all the while communing with nature, over roughly 100 acres of lush wooded paths, and private lakefront trails.
Sensei Lanai Four Seasons retreat - Lanai, Hawaii
What could be more tranquil than a holistic getaway, located on a secluded island in Hawaii, with luminous turquoise waters, and palm trees blowing in the breeze. Begin your journey with a complimentary, semi-private flight from Honolulu to the island of Lanai. Nestled in the mountains, this wellness resort has 96 rooms, decorated in a sleek minimalist design with gourmet meals served-up by Nobu. Sensei offers a customized experience, designed just for you. Partake in sea activities, like snorkeling, and marvel at underwater creatures, large and small. Amble through the garden, enjoy outdoor tai chi, or vinyasa to unclutter your mind.
Canyon Ranch - Four locations, Lenox MA, Tucson AZ, Woodside CA, Las Vegas NV
Canyon Ranch is Zen at its swankiest. The Lenox location is housed in the 19th century landmark Bellefontaine Mansion, complete with climate controlled glass-enclosed walkways that link to the rooms. Luscious meals are prepared by culinary wizards, with a focus on health, sourced from local produce and seasonal ingredients. Allow your imagination to soar with countless classes and activities. Visit the health and performance center, where you can consult with wellness gurus, ready to assist you with your health, dietary, emotional, and self-care needs. Get your heart rate pumping in the 100,000 square foot fitness center, with tennis courts, a track, cardio, weight rooms, and rejuvenate with the latest cutting-edge beauty and skin care treatments. Finally, relax in the pool or take one of the many aquatic classes on offer.
Chez Zen Gascony - Southwest France
Talk about tranquil vibes... Chez Zen is located on a hill in the French countryside, near the Pyrenees, with mesmerizing views of vineyards, a lake, and expansive sunflower fields. The wellness center consists of three buildings, along with eight peaceful terraces, ideal for yoga, meditation, or simply to sip a herbal infusion and daydream. Soothe your body in a chemical-free, saltwater pool. Unwind in front of a crackling fireplace. Envelope yourself in the warmth of a wood-burning outdoor sauna, encouraging quiet contemplation. There's even an orchard and organic vegetable garden, from which much of the retreat's vegetarian cuisine is sourced. Children are welcome, and encouraged for certain classes and workshops. With a philosophy of giving back and compassion, Chez Zen donates a percentage of its income to various charitable causes, such as a social welfare project, and animal protection groups.
YOI Health Resort – Catskills, New York
Just a short 2-hour jaunt from Manhattan, lies a luxury retreat that stretches across thousands of treed acres, nestled in the Catskill mountains. This is a sanctuary centered around your desires with myriad options. Reduce stress with acupuncture, reiki, massage, and mindfulness techniques. Discover your dosha, and focus on healthy eating with nutritious gourmet meals, programs on digestive health, detox, and weight management advice.
SuperShe Island – Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland
Celebrate the divine feminine in this posh, 8.4-acre island, designed only for women. This is the first retreat of its kind, where you can release the outside world and become fully-centered. Soak in a restorative Finnish sauna, explore cooking, meditation, exercise classes, and nature-based activities. Nurture your body and soul with farm-to-table dining, and group-bonding sessions. In the words of Kristina Roth, SuperShe Founder and CEO, “Women need to spend time with other women. Being on vacation with men can cause women to become sidetracked, whether it’s to put on a swipe of lipstick or grab for a cover-up. We want SuperShe Island to be rejuvenating and a safe space where women can reinvent themselves and their desires.”
Gaige House + Ryokan/a Four Sisters Inn - Sonoma Valley, CA
No need to give up alcohol when your retreat is smack dab in the middle of California wine country. The inn's 23 rooms are decorated in an eclectic victorian-modern mix. Instead of teatime, every afternoon you'll partake in a customary wine and cheese tasting, with nibbles and warm home-made cookies. Afterwards, take in fresh oxygen during a walking meditation in the vineyards or Zen gardens, aka “shinrin-yoku”, or forest bathing. Take a dip in the pool or hot tub and before falling asleep, enjoy a glass of Merlot on the Moon Deck, while gazing into the granite fire pit, contemplating life's deeper meaning.