The 18 Best Wellness Retreats

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. Here, we have rounded up our favorite wellness retreats, each with their own emphasis—from spiritual to intellectual.

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to a spa hotel. Our specialists can match you with the perfect property. 

Best Retreat for Spiritual Exploration: Mii amo, Arizona

Related: Mii amo: An Addiction

Best Retreat for a Far-Flung Escape: Ananda, India

Those interested in a spiritual, off-the-grid wellness experience should journey to this award-winning spa in India’s Himalayan foothills. Located in a 100-acre palace estate in the picturesque and remote Rishikesh Valley, Ananda 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 excellent yoga and meditation programs, complemented by more fast-paced activities such as white-water rafting and a jungle safari.

Related: Top Travel Trends of 2019

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 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 property with cozy, stylish rooms and villas, a great culinary program and a daily schedule of excellent 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 excellent 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.

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

Located a 90-minute drive southeast of Munich, surrounded by the beautiful Bavarian Alps, this fairytale 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 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 7-14 days), which target such areas as weight loss and fitness, quitting smoking, managing stress and optimizing health and life expectancy.

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. Melissa Biggs Bradley praises the ranch, admitting 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). The ranch offers a 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.

Related: Top 10 Cities for Foodies

Contact Indagare for assistance planning a trip to a spa hotel. Our specialists can match you with the perfect property. 

– Blair West on January 15, 2020


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