7 of the world’s best luxury wellness retreats
These sublime wellness retreats offer the ultimate in pampering in a luxurious setting, writes Julie Miller.
1. Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, New Zealand
Located in one of the planet’s most sublime mountain locations, Aro Hā (Maori for “in the presence of divine breath”) focuses on achieving optimal living practices, utilising results-oriented fitness, permaculture-based self-sufficiency and eco-accommodation. The vision is “zen-inspired luxury”, with programs including nutrient-dense vegetarian cuisine, healing bodywork and a daily mindfulness program. The facility is designed for group interaction, as well as finding a connection with body, mind, spirit and nature. The Aro Hā philosophy is that movement is the cornerstone of health, so getting out into the mountain environment is a key feature of the program.
ALL IMAGES © ARO HA
2. Schloss Elmau, Germany
This multi-award-winning spa resort located in the Bavarian Alps was chosen as the location for the G7 summit in 2015. The extensive family-owned property includes an Oriental Hammam, the Badehaus adults-only spa, the Turtle Spa dedicated to traditional Chinese medicine and a 24-hour Family Spa, complete with indoor and outdoor pools and several saunas. Add to that a restaurant helmed by a two-Michelin starred chef, a yoga centre and cultural programs, and you have a truly indulgent experience.
ALL IMAGES © SCHLOSS ELMAU
3. REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort, Bali, Indonesia
Meaning “I’ll live again”, REVĪVŌ in Nusa Dua, Bali aims to “soothe the spirit, rejuvenate the body and enrich the mind” via a fusion of holistic spa treatments, relaxation activities and a personalised diet. The resort also offers a schedule of three-day immersive programs to suit individual goals, including detox and weight loss, anti-aging and de-stressing. Balinese style, grace and design is integrated into this lush, teak-forested property, with divine villa and suite accommodation.
ALL IMAGES © REVIVO
4. Gaia Retreat & Spa, Byron Bay, Australia
Arguably Australia’s premier luxury spa, this award-winning retreat located in the lush hinterland of Byron Bay taps into the spirit of Mother Earth, drawing on her beauty and healing qualities presented in a range of bespoke holistic spa experiences. From short breaks to mother/daughter retreats and honeymoon specials, Gaia packages – which include accommodation and all meals – are designed to nurture, restore, revitalise and rebalance, with activities such as yoga, meditation, clay sculpture, organic cooking classes and nature walks complementing indulgent treatments.
ALL IMAGES © GAIA RETREAT & SPA
5. Ananda, India
Yogis are naturally drawn to the birthplace of the practice, and Ananda, located in the foothills of the Himalayas near the spiritual town of Rishikesh, India, is the ideal place to seek nirvana. India’s premier health and wellness centre occupies a former palace, featuring a 7,300 square foot spa with 24 treatment rooms, hydrotherapy facilities, an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Traditional Ayurvedic therapies and Western spa treatments are on offer, while yoga – practised in the resort’s signature white pyjamas – is traditional Hatha style, with one-on-one sessions as well as classes.
ALL IMAGES © ANANDA
6. Amatara Wellness Resort, Phuket, Thailand
No-one does wellness quite like the Thais, and this wellness retreat at Cape Panwa on the south eastern tip of Phuket sets the benchmark for tropical elegance. Personalised therapies and activities are tailored to meet health goals, with programs including detox, weight management, yoga and holistic anti-aging. The signature treatment is the world’s only Thai Hammam experience, combining traditional Thai wisdom and gentleness with Turkish/ Moroccan bathing practices.
ALL IMAGES © AMATARA WELLNESS RESORT & LUISA BRIMBLE
7. Sukhavati Ayurvedic Retreat & Spa, Bali, Indonesia
Ancient healing techniques are the basis of the Panchakarma treatment programs at this lush jungle estate in Mengwi, half an hour inland from Seminyak. Restore balance and relieve stress through a personalised plan of spa treatments, yoga, Ayurvedic cuisine, meditation, daily health consultations and lifestyle seminars. Programs on offer range from a one-day taster to a full 21-day Complete Rejuvenation and Wellness regimen. With just eight villas on the estate (four with private pools), Sukhavati guarantees its guests a tranquil, restorative experience.
ALL IMAGES © SAKHUVATI AYURVEDIC RETREAT
This article originally appeared in volume 30 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.
MAIN IMAGE © SCHLOSS ELMAU