Where to Be Well: Top 10 Revitalizing Destinations
by Marlene Ridgway
Coming away from a vacation feeling overindulged and overtired is never the goal when planning a much-needed break from the daily stresses of work and life. Unfortunately, this is a reality that too many of us can relate to. What’s more, is that those elusive breaks seem to vanish the moment we get back to the grind.
If you’re looking for a vacation that will have a lasting effect on your mood, health, and overall wellbeing, these 10 wellness resorts and spas around the world are an excellent place to start. Luckily, the industry is vastly expanding. Healthier options when it comes to food, spa treatments, even the materials used in your accommodations are becoming a necessity in the hospitality industry.
Soneva Jani — Manadhoo, Maldives
Set in the gorgeous Maldives, on a 5.6-kilometer private lagoon with turquoise waters, this luxury resort brings restoration and encourages meaningful and sustainable results. “The core purpose of Soneva is to always offer our guests luxuries while at the same time minimizing the impact on the planet and enhancing our health,” says Bryan Hoare, area director of wellness at Soneva. “We are in the business of caring for others, of enabling changes and helping people enhance their lifestyle.”
The resort embraces philosophies that help guests come away with a sense of renewal and energy. The new Spa Unlimited is a remarkable option that grants guests limitless wellness therapies and spa treatments at the Soneva Spa. “Guests can choose from a selection of massage therapies, Ayurvedic rituals, Amala facials, or any of our targeted wellness programs plus daily yoga and meditation sessions, personal training, and consultations with our resident Ayurvedic doctor,” says Hoare.
SHA Wellness Clinic — Alicante, Spain
Settled on the shores of the stunning Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by greenery, and waterfalls, is the SHA Wellness Clinic — aholistic wellness center — that is within reach of the warm, rejuvenating sea spray. “The clinic opened in 2018, with goals to create a global reference in health and wellness,” says a member of SHA’s managing team. SHA was born out of the personal experiences of the founder, Alfredo Bataller Parietti, who was dealing with his own critical health issues. Stemming from his own personal journey, there became a need and commitment to share his discoveries.
A combination of proven natural therapies and highly therapeutic nutrition came to be the pillars of SHA. A realm of programs are offered with balance at the epicenter. “We have over 300 professionals, 35 medical doctors, and around 100 therapists,” according to management. “SHA is focused not only in the short term.”
Rancho La Puerta — Tecate, Mexico
The expert combination of luxury spas, an organic farm, and nature trails, on 4,000 acres at the base of Mt. Kuchumaa, make up this revitalizing destination. Unmatched fitness programs are offered, and over 20 full-time instructors in-residence are the best of the best,” says Roberto Arjona, CEO of Rancho La Puerta. Arjona explains that “people need to take a step back, hit pause, and focus on selfcare and their overall wellness to live a long, healthy life.”
The resort was founded in 1940 and was one of the first fitness resorts and spas in North America, according to Arjona. Guests are encouraged to relish in the private acres of gardens, mountains, and meadows. Through this and carefully curated programs, “we take an approach to wellness that strikes a true mind, body, and spirit balance,” notes Arjona.
Calabash Cove Resort and Spa — Marisule Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Feeling well is easy in this Caribbean paradise. Since welcoming their first guests, they have integrated the Ti Spa to be a seamless part of the Calabash Cove experience. “The spa is an extension of the relaxing romantic atmosphere throughout the resort,” says Konrad F Wagner, the managing director. “From the moment you arrive, you experience a personal and unrushed hospitality that continues throughout the visit.” The resort functions on an all-inclusive promise to ensure true relaxation and help promote the lasting effects of Calabash Cove, even after guests leave.
The many soothing spa treatments with homemade ingredients continue even after the spa experience. A gingerly walk through the garden surrounded by flowers, a dip into the Caribbean at sunset, followed by a peaceful dinner prepared from fresh ingredients while in a genuine Caribbean environment, helps extend that sense of peace, according to Wagner.
The Pritikin Longevity Center — Miami, Florida
The Pritikin Longevity Center is a wellness resort that is based on the balancing of three pillars. Exercise, a healthy diet, and a healthy mindset work together to create lasting benefits and a sustainable lifestyle. “The environment inspires healthy living through delicious cuisine, a series of educational lectures that are based on science, a variety of motivating fitness activities, and excursions,” explains Michael J. Malo, MBA, the president of the center. “All of this is done under the medical supervision of leading board certified physicians.”
The key to sustainability is the tailored wellness packages that are individual to each guest. “The Pritikin Longevity Center has been clinically proven, with beneficial results published in over 100 peer-reviewed scientific journals,” says Malo. Adds Dr. Maria Teresa Anton, MD, an endocrinologist at the center: “By investing even in this short period of time in yourself, you could potentially add years to your life.”
Rock House — Turks and Caicos
The natural beauty of Turks and Caicos is medicine for the soul already, but this hillside luxury resort is the future of wellness and hospitality. Fourteen acres of oceanfront property, 600 feet of frontage on the coast of the Providenciales is Rock House Grace Bay Resorts. Committed to wellness, the resort offers a plethora of serene spa treatments, an invigorating fitness center, tennis courts, and a picturesque jogging trail, all of which allow guests to connect with nature and rejuvenate their senses.
Ojai Valley Inn — Ojai, California
The Ojai Valley Inn can be found within a notable coastal valley on 220 acres with everything a vacation requires, including the 31,000-squarefoot Spa Village. “From our on-site apiaries and gardens that supply each restaurant, to crystal and reiki energy healing, our mission is to provide a holistic approach to wellness that will create memories and energy that will remain with our guests beyond their stay,” says Kate Morrison, director of wellness and sustainability “The natural setting and beautiful vistas evoke a sense of wellness even as you travel through the property to Spa Ojai,” explains Morrison. Surrounded by the Topatopa Mountains there is also geocaching to inspire curiosity and hiking to relax the mind and connect with nature.
The Resort at Paws Up & The Green O — Greenough, Montana
“Intimate, highly remote, fiercely independent, and an unparalleled level of outdoor adventure — offering 50-plus outdoor pursuits,” describes the co-owner of The Resort at Paws Up & The Green O, Laurence Lipson. The Green O is the sister property of The Resort at Paws Up, which was at the forefront of glamping in 2004. After the great success of the first nature inspired hideaway, The Green O was an extension of the brand, but was designed to be a more sophisticated destination for adults only.
“Wellness resorts allow guests to breathe, relax and rejuvenate. In the case of The Green O, they can breathe an intoxicating tonic of clean, fresh Montana air and an abundance of wild fauna,” explains Lipson. “The mix of The Green O’s serenity and adventure reboots and refreshes the mind and body.” The jaw-dropping scenic atmosphere, as well as the creativity behind the cuisine, leaves guests feeling inspired.
ADLER Lodge RITTEN — Südtirol, Italy
“The location is for sure a singularity that you cannot easily find somewhere else,” notes Alexandra Mayr, the general manager at ADLER Lodge RITTEN. This hideaway is tucked within a forest clearing and boasts breathtaking views of the Dolomites mountains, creating a sense that guests are one with nature. The spa specifically is tied to the natural environment, which is a crucial part of the journey toward wellness.
“The saunas in the woods seem to grow with the trees and do not seem abstract. They go hand in hand with the forest. Also, when you swim in the infinity sole pool, it seems like you are amongst the fields and swimming towards the mountains,” says Mayr. Even though guests will be tempted to spend all of their time outdoors, the indoors are equally as luxurious. “The open architecture with floor-to-ceiling glass facades, wooden floors, and walls, and natural materials gives you a feeling of coziness, wellbeing, and relaxation.”
Exhale at The Ritz Carlton — Bal Harbour, Florida
More than a spa, Exhale is a total wellbeing experience and another example of how guests are craving that wellness factor in the hospitality industry. The goal is “to improve and transform lives through authentic fitness, spa, healing, and relaxation programs,” says Jackie Tamminga, the national director of sales for Exhale. The atmosphere reflects the goals of Exhale, which is settled on Miami water frontage and boasts 10,000 square feet that encourage a balanced sense of exhilaration and peace.
Founded in 2002, the overall mission was to deliver transformational results through mind, body and fitness, according to Tamminga. “After one of the many exhilarating fitness classes, guests can enjoy advanced spa treatments from detox facials, massages and body scrubs, to reiki sessions, acupuncture healing, and more.”