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Best Wellness Retreats in the World

We could all use more wellness in our lives. Whether we seek to disconnect from the outside world, challenge ourselves or relax in style (or all of the above), a restorative getaway to a rejuvenating resort is often the perfect way to revive the mind, body and soul. And as the world reopens, we’re once again considering getaways to help improve our well-being.

Here, we have rounded up our favorite wellness retreats, each with their own emphasis—from spiritual to intellectual. Some of these resorts and spas are close to home. Others are further afield. All of these, however, are properties we love and cannot wait to revisit—be it in 2022 or beyond.

Contact your Indagare Trip Designer or Indagare if you are not yet a member to start planning these ultimate wellness resort getaways—this year and beyond. Our team can match you with the accommodations and activities that are right for you.

Best Retreat for a Curative Costa Rican Escape: Hacienda AltaGracia

Hacienda AltaGracia, a retreat in Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains, reopened at the end of last year following a total overhaul from Auberge Resorts Collection. The renovations—a full wellness makeover, if you will—brought wellbeing to the forefront of guest experience. AltaGracia partnered with THE WELL for its stunning spa and signature holistic treatments, which range from massages and morning mindful movement classes near a burbling stream to an immersive river bath experience along with energy work and reiki led by industry experts. THE WELL also regularly brings in outside healers for a month at a time as part of its Visiting Master program. A major theme of staying here is the balance of relaxation with adventure, often at the same time. Climbing a 100-foot-tall tree, only to rest in a canopy-level hammock, for example. Other activities include horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking through the bucolic region’s rolling hills. Dining, of course, is another highlight. Expect a delicious array of sustainable, health-minded dishes that use seasonal, locally grown produce.

Best Retreat for a Customizable Wellness Experience: Blackberry Mountain, Tennessee

The sister property to the acclaimed Blackberry Farm hotel, the all-inclusive Blackberry Mountain is a smaller, more health-focused wellness resort with cozy, stylish rooms and villas, a great culinary program and a daily schedule of fitness classes. The mountain-top hotel could be used for a long weekend away that doesn’t feel health-focused at all, should you wish to skip the workout classes and opt for meals of pizza and steak (the ingredients, of course, are top-quality), but those who want to reset will enjoy getting outdoors and going hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing, as well as partaking in complimentary fitness classes like spin, hot yoga and HIIT and TRX workouts. The restaurants serve options that are diet-friendly but don’t feel restrictive, such as sweet potato hash with avocado yogurt, crispy grains, a sunny side–up egg and fermented hot sauce for breakfast and tuna poké or warm brassica grain bowls for lunch. Head to Nest Spa for Nest Spa holistic treatments, including acupuncture and aromatherapy massages, as well as a nail salon. Should you wish to really overhaul your wellness regimen at Blackberry Mountain, the spa also offers programs like the four-hour Forage experience, which includes an 80-minute hike, herbal remedy session with the hotel’s Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and an herbal poultice massage.

Related: Our Favorite U.S. Hotels with Private Cottages

Best Retreat for a New England Reboot: Canyon Ranch, Lenox

Set in an historic 19th-century Berkshires mansion, Canyon Ranch Lenox is a highly goal-oriented destination spa. Its campus, comprising the Bellefontaine Mansion and two interconnecting contemporary wings, house 126 rooms plus a show kitchen and 100,000-square-foot spa complex. Stays here, booked as all-inclusive, multiple-night packages, consist of a set number of meals, treatments activities and classes. Private sessions with doctors and expert healers help each guest customize their own journey, in which a day’s agenda could include hiking, boxing, health lectures, kayaking, aerobics and muscle conditioning. At meal times, food is unlimited—a rarity for a wellness retreat—and there’s a judgement-free aspect to the dining here. That freedom makes a few days at Canyon Ranch feel less like a boot camp and more like a holistic escape.

Best Retreat for Southern Comfort: Lake Austin Spa Resort, Texas

While there are many lovely attributes of this gorgeous destination property—the pretty flower gardens, the two outdoor pools, the gorgeous spa—the real coup de grace is the location right on Lake Austin. Arranged in a strip along the shoreline with views of hills shrouded in oaks, sycamores and maples, Lake Austin Spa has just 40 rooms and feels delightfully intimate, peaceful and secluded. Days are spent savoring spa treatments at the 25,000-square-foot spa, with hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas and multiple treatment rooms, and partaking in everything from spin classes to Tai Chi, drumming and forest bathing. But breezy Southern charm pervades daily life. Everything is optional. If you want to spend your day lounging by the lake and having spa treatments, there is no social pressure to do anything. In the evenings, there are often special speakers arranged to talk on subjects around wellness and finding balance.

Best Retreat for a Physical Challenge: The Ranch Malibu, California

As tough as the Ashram but with beautiful rooms and gourmet vegan food, this butt-kicking spa hotel offers the ultimate physical challenge. Guests are awakened at 5:30 a.m. each morning for yoga before heading out on arduous (albeit stunning) hikes; meals are vegan and gluten-free; and visitors receive daily massages. Indagare CEO and founder Melissa Biggs Bradley says it gave her “a renewed appreciation for living in the present moment and gratitude for the unexpected opportunities that open new ways of thinking.” Rigorous and strict, the resort is ideal for those who are looking for new challenges and a healthier perspective on nutrition and fitness, but want to do so in a hardcore way (and in a spectacular setting). In 2022, the Ranch Malibu is set to relaunch its special ‘4.0’ four-day program (based at the Four Seasons Westlake), an abridged version of the seven-day stay, which can provide rejuvenation and healing over a long weekend.

Best Retreat for a Mystical Haven: Chablé Yucatan, Mexico

Located in the Yucatan Peninsula, surrounded by sleepy towns and lush jungle, Chablé is a secluded resort combining modern luxury with Maya mysticism. The core of the Chablé Yucatan experience is the spa, which is built into a cenote, a natural sinkhole considered by the Mayans to be a sacred spiritual gateway. Upon arrival, visitors are welcomed with a traditional ceremony conducted by the resort’s resident shaman who, together with the spa director, plans a customized program for each guest. This can mean morning yoga in the cenote, walking meditation, chakra treatments, astrology consultations and detoxifying massages, all of which (in typical Chablé fashion) are deeply rooted in ancient techniques.

Related: Mexico’s Best Beach Resort Destinations

Best Retreat for a Castaway Paradise: COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos

Nothing says “escape” quite like a stay on a private island, particularly for those whose ideal state of well-being is lying on a beach with nothing but a good book and the sun’s rays as company. A castaway beach paradise, COMO Parrot Cay is a favorite with high-profile celebrities for its pristine, secluded location that is more readily associated with resorts in the Maldives or Seychelles. Here, luxury is about unplugging and lounging on muslin-draped daybeds, or getting hooked on daily yoga lessons and snacking on ultra-fresh seafood seaside. The spa alone is worth the trip, and the property emphasizes a wellness philosophy through excellent fitness offerings, a delicious health-focused menu and indulgent beauty and relaxation treatments.

Related: Indagare Caribbean Islands Matchmaker: The Best Caribbean Islands for Every Traveler

Best Retreat for California Rejuvenation: Cal-a-Vie, California

Located in the mountains near San Diego, Cal-a-Vie is a classic California wellness retreat where top-notch service, fitness classes and food come together in an elegant, intimate setting. Cal-a-Vie is ideal for wellness seekers of all levels, as guests are encouraged to push their limits in a safe, supportive atmosphere during their three-, four- or seven-night stays.

Days at Cal-a-Vie consist of hikes through the 200-acre property, sensational meals (plates are individually prepared in accordance with guests’ chosen calorie count), fitness classes like yoga or kickboxing and spa treatments such as massages and reflexology. At night, visitors are treated to cooking demonstrations, live music and guest lectures. The resort is a favorite of Indagare COO Eliza Harris‘, who explains that “Cal-a-Vie makes an ambitious program so enjoyable that it eases you in the gentlest possible way into a different lifestyle.”

Related: Just Back From… Cal-a-Vie Spa

Best Retreat For an Active Escape: Six Senses Botanique, Brazil

In the the forested Mantiqueira Mountains a few hours outside of São Paulo, the new Six Senses Botanique is a haven-like escape with an emphasis on local gastronomy. Its 20 discreetly hidden villas have wall-to-wall windows, sprawling terraces and outdoor soaking tubs to maximize the woodsy views, but it’s the resort’s extensive activities that make it a true draw. Horseback riding or mountain biking through lush valleys and hills to nearby waterfalls and hiking through mountain trails (some of which run directly through the property) let guests explore this under-the-radar region of Brazil at their own pace—and allow access to fabulous spa treatments and locavore dining. Six Senses’ first outpost in the Americas makes for a restorative warm-up or cool-down to a Brazilian adventure, as it’s just two hours from São Paulo’s Guarulhos airport, the hub for most international flights.

Best Retreat for a Friend’s Getaway: Miraval Arizona

Spread across 400 acres in the Arizona desert, about a one-hour drive north of Tucson, Arizona and adjacent to Catalina State Park, Miraval Arizona practically invented the notion of the “destination spa” back in the 1990s. Today, it remains serene and transformative, easygoing and fun. Stays here emphasize a holistic take on feeling good over more rigid stateside spas, making it uniquely suited for friend groups seeking  a laid-back wellness weekend. That’s not to say it’s a lazy experience—far from it. A given day at Miraval sees upwards of 40 activities, including morning hikes, desert bike rides and yoga. And in between sessions, friends can linger over the resort’s delicious–and actually plentiful!—food. Another reason friends love it here: wine is available.

Best Retreat for a Far-Flung Spa Experience: Ananda in the Himalayas, India

Those interested in a spiritual, off-the-grid wellness experience can add this award-winning spa in India’s Himalayan foothills to their bucket list. Located in a 100-acre palace estate in the picturesque and remote Rishikesh Valley, Ananda in the Himalayas offers an all-inclusive wellness program based on Ayurvedic principles of physical and mental wellness. Guests have a choice between several highly specialized programs, from Stress Management, which promotes emotional balance and renewal through Aromatherapy and Reiki massages, to Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, which aims to improve metabolism and immunity with a specific diet and yoga classes. The resort also offers yoga and meditation programs, complemented by more fast-paced activities such as white-water rafting and a jungle safari.

Related: How to Build a Bucket List for Life

Best Retreat for Healing, Hawaii-Style: Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Miles inland from the beaches of Lanai (one of the least-visited, yet most beautiful islands in the archipelago), Sensei Lanai is anything but your typical Hawaiian resort. The adults-only wellness resort’s 96 suites invite guests to experience the Aloha State at its most serene. Guests here can create a customized journey during their stay, with a range of fitness classes, spa programming (often in an outdoor hale), guided wellness sessions and island explorations. The latter showcase Sensei’s rainforest setting, where temperatures drop from balmy to blissfully cool (usually it’s about 10 degrees cooler here than at its sister-property Four Seasons Resort Lanai, the only other hotel on the island). Meals are another highlight, with Sensei by Nobu serving signature Japanese-Peruvian fusion food that highlights local Hawaiian produce, like Kona lobster and Sensei’s own-grown vegetables.

Best Retreat for Family-Friendly Wellness: Schloss Elmau, Germany

Located a 90-minute drive southeast of Munich, surrounded by the beautiful Bavarian Alps, this fairy-tale castle estate is a perfect fit for families and couples passionate about spa-going, culture and the great outdoors. Several sumptuous spas dot the property, from a beautiful Turkish Hammam in the cellar of the castle to the 32,000-square-foot Badehaus Spa with its striking rooftop infinity pool. The menus include everything from extensive body and facial offerings to Thai and Ayurvedic treatments, and Thai Chi, yoga and Pilates are taught in light-filled, wood-paneled rooms. When not savoring spa treatments, guests can hike in the spectacular Bavarian alps and enjoy meals at the resort’s several impressive restaurants. Indagare tip: Don’t miss the two-hour hike from Elmau to Mittenwald, a charming village.

Best Retreat for Pool Lovers: One&Only Mandarina, Mexico

Barely 30 minutes north of the golf courses at Punta Mita, One&Only Mandarina feels worlds away from its jungle perch along bluff overlooking the Pacific. The property became one of Indagare members’ most booked resorts after it opened at the end of 2020, welcoming sun-seekers and wellness warriors to its glass-walled treehouses suspended in the air and Bali-chic villas. Every accommodation has its own plunge pool (and some of the larger villas have full-scale pools). Plus, there are five resort pools: two oceanfront ones by the two beach clubs, two hilltop ones overlooking the sea and sands below, and–the most serene—the jungle pool at One&Only Mandarina’s dreamy, open-air spa. The takeaway: even at full capacity (which the resort often is), it’s always easy to find a prime seat. Beyond Pool Time, guests can enjoy signature massages and facials in one of eight treatment casitas and DIY mud baths under the trees. The property’s resident healer is a highlight for many visitors, who love her daily small-group classes and private consultations (horse therapy and astrology are both popular).

Related: Spotlight: One&Only Mandarina’s Grand Villas

Best Retreat for a Classic European Spa: SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain

This medical spa on Spain’s southeastern coast touts a detoxing—and delicious—macrobiotic menu and provides a wide array of treatments, from the scientific (sleep disorder treatments, genetic and preventative medicine) to the healthful (Reiki, massage). Championed by SHA’s founder, who credits his lifestyle change to curing his cancer, the resort’s treatments and methods are designed to encourage guests to re-evaluate and re-center their minds and bodies through daily fitness classes and information sessions covering topics like emotional intelligence and detoxing. Plus, the facilities are world-class: there is a state-of-the-art, 28-station hydrotherapy circuit that includes Roman and Turkish baths, bio-thermal showers, therapeutic water jets, a sauna and more. Those with a particular goal can enroll in one of the special programs (recommended for 7 to 14 days), which target such areas as weight loss and fitness, quitting smoking, managing stress and optimizing health and life expectancy.

– Blair West on June 15, 2022

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