From running alongside a glacier-fed lagoon in Iceland, to treatments in an ancient forest in the Himalayan foothills, these 25 wellbeing experiences are the epitome of transformative travel. Which will you choose?
In the commotion of everyday life, it can be challenging to find time to take care of yourself. Whether you’re seeking a private island spa day, an action-packed wellness retreat, or an inner-city sanctuary, we have just the cure for your anxieties and ailments. No matter your wellness journey, these wellbeing experiences are sure to nourish your body and feed your soul.
Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti
Could wellness goals get any better than a temple in the heart of Trentino, northern Italy? Lefay Resort & Spa Dolomiti is nestled in the Dolomite mountains. The complex spreads across 5,000 square metres and four levels, making it one of the largest spas in the Alps. Hugged by alpine trees, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed site has a pool that organically blends into the landscape. In winter the salt grotto and glass wall sauna overlook the snow-capped trees.
Choose ‘The Scents Of The Forest’ package for a full immersion in the location. The package uses products from the forest, its waters and minerals, mud and medicinal plants from Trentino-Alto Adige. Treatments blend an East and West philosophy of beauty with an à la carte menu using the in-house Lefay SPA Cosmetic Line, Tra Suoni e Colori. Lie back in one of 20 ‘cabins’ and let the wellness begin.
Immersive wellbeing experiences with Butterfield & Robinson
Tap into inner healing in Estonia with sauna rituals and a shaman. Or practice yoga under the Tuscan sun, followed by a soak in thermal hot springs beloved by the Medici family. Meet Butterfield & Robinson, Experience Designers who will curate your journeys with insider knowledge from local contacts.
Choose the latest small-group itinerary travelling the scenic path of the English Lakes and Yorkshire. You’ll explore the region’s rich heritage while indulging at the UK’s top health spa hotels. And dining on farm-to-table and Michelin-starred cuisine, naturally.
Other active wellbeing experiences include biking across the Cotswolds and hiking Italy’s hidden gems of the Amalfi Coast. Or visiting three spa hotels in Portugal – including the extraordinary Six Senses – with plenty of time for yoga, meditation, massages and nature walks across the Douro Valley.
Le Spa at Royal Mansour
Uncover time-honoured Moroccan beauty secrets at Le Spa at Royal Mansour, an oasis of calm in the heart of Marrakech. Enter the hammam via a citrus garden where you’ll be plunged into a sensory temple of traditional wellbeing and beauty treatments and experiences, all wrapped up in murmuring fountains, pearly marble floors and lace-like mashrabiya.
Indulge in a body wrap with orange blossom, argan and saffron from the southern region of Taliouine. An intoxicating cocktail of steam, exfoliation, beauty rituals, ceremonial massages and essential oils will soothe the skin and calm the mind.
Aman New York
Seeking a menu of world-class, inner-city wellbeing experiences? Aman’s first urban outpost in the United States has generous rooms overlooking the heart of New York. Its enourmous spa straddles three floors and guests can expect cryotherapy, infrared chambers and two ‘Spa Houses’.
Your journey here is completely bespoke, whether you’re being buffed in the marbled hammam, steamed in the wood-clad banya sauna or soothed by a masseuse, perhaps using anti-inflammatory CBD oils.
COMO Le Montrachet
COMO Le Montrachet sits in a 19th-century inn in the French countryside. The design is calming dusty greens and eggshell blues with ample light and natural materials.
When you’re not enjoying a dose of antioxidants via sommelier-guided wine tastings, join a healthy cooking class or feel your spirit soar on hikes or bike tours. There are few places prettier to improve your fitness.
Wellbeing walking experiences in Tasmania
If hiking through spectacular scenery and staying in luxurious lodgings sounds like your kind of wellness holiday, this is it. Walk into Luxury curates small-group itineraries in some of Australia and New Zealand’s most beautiful locations. Consider the six-day Cradle Mountain Huts Walk on Tasmania’s Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair. Or, in New Zealand, the Blanket Bay Walk. It includes a guided walk on the famed Milford Track to Giant’s Gate Waterfall.
Where a cerulean sea blends into a cloudless sky on a private island fringed with white-sand beaches and pristine reefs, you’ll find Amanpulo Philippines. Wellness is at the heart of this five-star retreat in the Cuyo Archipelago of northern Palawan. And this year two exclusive new wellness initiatives will take centre stage.
The Extreme Water Sports Retreat will see you take on multiple challenges that test your physical limits. For those who prefer a gentler approach, holistic health coach, yoga instructor and healthy lifestyle educator Tania Balasch will explore how nutrition can support natural healing.
Enjoy a wellbeing experience where aristocracy and equestrianism meet. The elegant British estate, Coworth Park, has been hosting Kings and Queens, Lords and Earls for centuries. Indulge in ‘The Spa’ set over 240 acres of picturesque parkland by Ascot. Think facial and Swedish massages – with an elegant indoor swimming pool and steam rooms.
Six Senses Ibiza
Sitting on the northern tip of Ibiza, freshly minted Six Senses Ibiza offers everything from injectables to hypnotherapy. Sign up for a multi-day retreat like the ‘Sanctum Awaken’. This transformative experience that includes biohacking, Roman bathing, yoga, sound healing, nourishing food, and a good dose of natural wellness thanks to the glorious setting within Xarraca Bay.
Underwater retreat at Amanwana
Those looking to take their wellbeing experience to new depths need look no further than Amanwana, a secluded coastal hideaway on Indonesia’s Moyo island. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the resort will host a pioneering underwater wellness retreat in the protected waters of Amanwana Bay.
The first of its kind, this exhilarating six-day retreat will empower and transform guests with underwater meditation, breathwork and free diving. Sunkissed and salty, bed down in one of 15 tented suites planted between tropical jungle and the Flores Sea.
Indigenous awakening with Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness
Welcome to Gulaga/Mount Dromedary in southern New South Wales, where Ngaran Ngaran Culture Awareness hosts multi-day ‘Yuin Retreats’. These unique retreats connect you to the land while you learn about ancient customs – a way of healing through storytelling. You’re miles from the nearest town, and in the absence of neon and streetlights, it’s all about Southern Hemisphere stargazing.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon
It’s no secret that the mineral-rich waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon are on the top of every discerning traveller’s wellness bucket list. Check in to The Retreat at Blue Lagoon and you’ll have exclusive access to the healing waters with a few added luxuries like a steam cave, cold plunge well and a host of bioactive skin treatments. Stay overnight to savour Michelin-recommended dining, and dream in modern suites that champion soothing Scandinavian design.
Sensei Porcupine Creek
In the foothills of Palm Springs, this former private Rancho Mirage estate-turned-wellness-retreat boasts lush spa gardens across a sun-kissed sanctuary of 93 hectares in the Coachella Valley.
With a state-of-the-art Diagnostic Centre, highly trained Sensei guides create bespoke packages focusing on mindset, nutrition, yoga and fitness. Treatments like the four-handed full-body massage performed by two therapists working in a synchronised rhythm bring 3,000-year-old Ayurvedic practices to the Hollywood set, who flock to Sensei for good reason.
A jewel in the crown of the Adriatic, the palatial One&Only Portonovi sits beside the pristine waters of Montenegro’s Boka Bay. Following an exclusive partnership with renowned Chenot Spa, Portonovi is the first One&Only property to offer Chenot Espace.
Here, each wellbeing programme is expertly tailored and utterly bespoke, and your experiences are woven together with medical consultations, nutritional menus, fitness schedules and targeted spa experiences designed to detox and reset your body and mind. What’s more, you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge to ensure you lead a healthier, more mindful life long after you leave.
The Farm at San Benito
Feel your stress slip away the moment you check into The Farm at San Benito. Ensconced in 51 hectares of verdant jungle just 90 minutes south of Manila, this medical wellness resort is a sanctuary for the soul.
No matter your anxiety or ailment, choose from an expertly curated portfolio of holistic programs ranging from postnatal care to long-COVID recovery. You’ll also find programs for smoking cessation, beauty and longevity and mental health retreats. During your stay, you’ll take part in science-backed wellness workshops, enjoy nature walks and sound healing. You’ll also nourish your body with organic produce grown on site. There’s no doubt you’ll leave feeling transformed.
Himalayan bliss at Six Senses Vana
Surrounded by holy Sal trees in the Himalayan foothills of India is Six Senses Vana. Here, curated ancient and cutting-edge treatments are tailored to ensure you leave feeling as calm, nurtured and protected as the forest around you. Your days are spent with a team of Ayurvedic doctors and chefs, yoga teachers, Tibetan healers, fitness experts, acupuncturists, reflexologists, and therapists. Treatments are bespoke and your itinerary flexible, ensuring you leave feeling as light as the breeze that carries the hypnotic sounds of the flute each day.
Crane Lodge forest bathing
Immerse in nature with guided forest bathing at Sydney eco-retreat Crane Lodge. With the help of a Certified Forest Therapy Guide, guests at the lodge in Sydney’s Palm Beach can take a slow, meandering walk in leafy gardens concluding with a Japanese tea ceremony. The goal? To make you feel at one with nature. From lilting birdsong to the scent of the trees and sunlight, it’s not hard to see how.
Run Wild Retreats in Iceland
This seven-day, womens-only running retreat through the wild volcanic landscapes of Iceland will get you out in the crisp Arctic air. On this Run Wild Retreats journey, each day brings with it a new set of vistas. Jog past steaming valleys and black sand beaches, visit the otherworldly Diamond Beach and glide across a serene, glacier-fed lagoon. All before soothing your muscles and joints in geothermal hot springs.
Six Senses Shaharut
Three hours south of Tel Aviv, high above Israel’s dramatic Arava Valley, Six Senses Shaharut delivers a heady blend of ancient healing practices and modern luxuries. Wellness here is grounded in freedom and you’ll have the chance to choose from a range of locally inspired treatments. Expect sacred sound therapy journeys and aerial yoga workshops. There’s also a fitness centre, saunas and hammam. Visit the Alchemy Bar, where you can create your own concoction of local botanicals.
Zulal Wellness Retreat
On the northern tip of Qatar, Zulal Wellness Resort rises from the arid landscape to unlock a new and immersive dimension of well-being. The Middle Eastern branch of Thailand’s celebrated Chiva Som retreat, Zulal’s appeal lies in its embrace of Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM). And those soaring views of the Arabian Gulf. Here you are guided by a chorus of practitioners specialising in family psychology, medicine, naturopathy, acupuncture and so much more.
The Datai Langkawi
The Datai Langkawi is a place where wildlife roams and nature abounds. The picturesque resort sits on the lush tropical island of Langkawi off the coast of West Malaysia. This year, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, it has launched Serenity – The Datai Wellbeing Series. Each month a new wellbeing expert will host a series of sessions and experiences. Expect everything from a session on ‘A Peaceful Mind’ aiding you to release stress and anxiety, to singing bowl sound healing.
Dior Spa on board The Royal Scotsman
Slip into complete serenity while your luxury sleeper train snakes through Scotland’s awe-inspiring peaks and dramatic valleys. Belmond’s Royal Scotsman – one of the world’s most opulent sleeper trains – now has its own Dior Spa. The Dior Spa carriage is entirely dedicated to wellness. The new spa will boast two treatment rooms, restyled with Dior’s iconic burgundy toile de Jouy motif.
Retreat by Raffles Singapore
Slip behind the walls of Raffles Singapore and you’ll feel nothing but complete rejuvenation. The new ‘Retreat by Raffles’ will see you indulging in spa treatments and rituals, dining on healthy cuisine and moving mindfully in nature. Soak in the on-site vitality pool filled with mineral-rich Peruvian pink salt. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Spa Safari at Nihi Sumba
Step out of your comfort zone and into a Spa Safari. At exclusive resort Nihi Sumba, on the Indonesian island of Sumba, you compose your own wellness concerto. The adventure begins with a decision on how you’d like to arrive at Nihioka spa, comprising a series of intimate cliffside treatment huts overlooking the sea. Arrive on horseback, take a sunrise trek through rolling hills, or jump in a safari jeep. Trail rides and sunset beach rides are also on offer.
Culture meets calm in New Zealand
After five years of planning, luxury wellness spa Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa is about to open its doors in the wondrous region of Rotorua. There will be two main spa areas and everything here (including the building) is influenced by Maori culture. Treatments are based on centuries-old practices of the local Ngāti Whakaue tribe. You’ll leave feeling like you’re walking on a cloud.
This article originally appeared in volume 44 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.
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