The Best Wellness Retreats for 2020: Hot Spots to Have on Your Radar

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We are heading towards a New Year and a brand New Decade! What a wonderful opportunity to bring change to our lives and open the doors to new opportunities. It’s not too early to begin thinking your lifestyle objectives for 2020.

Perhaps it’s the year to get serious about learning for better ways to manage that stressful situation you’ve been dealing with, maybe it’s time to achieve that healthy weight goal. It could be that you have promised yourself to spend less time online and more time in nature. Regardless of your goals and whatever your intention for 2020, getting away to help kick-start the process might be the way to go.

So if you have already begun thinking about where to enjoy your 2020 Wellness Vacation or hosted Wellness Retreat, we’ve got you covered.  The following list of companies are all members of the Wellness Tourism Association, so you can be assured that they have each met basic criteria of membership. When it comes to wellness travel, the WTA logo is a badge of credibility.  

This list of Wellness Travel Hot Spots includes properties that help you kick-start a general overall reboot, help you learn about and develop long-lasting healthy habits, allow you to take your fitness on the road, cultivate your inner creativity, learn new ways to manage stress, find your flow with yoga, let yourself simply “be” and so much more. There really is something here for everyone looking to nourish and/or balance mind, body, and soul. In alphabetical order, here’s our list of the best for Wellness Retreats and Wellness Vacations for 2020 and the new decade ahead.   

wellness retreat 2019
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The Art of Living Retreat Center

Nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Art of Living Retreat Center is the newest outgrowth of The Art of Living Foundation’s 30+ year global commitment to health, happiness, and Ayurveda. The center offers immersive wellness experiences inspired by authentic traditions that include yoga, meditation, and philosophy workshops, as well as holistic and Ayurvedic spa treatments, nature trails, and a wide variety of spaces for you to rest, learn, and explore on your own. From signature workshops in the life-transforming power of breath and meditation, exploring your creativity in the pottery studio, to cleanses that have been practised for thousands of years, the programs and experiences at the Center and its on-site Shankara Ayurveda Spa provide timeless tools that help guests tap into their potential for lasting health and happiness. The Art of Living Retreat Center also grows a variety of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables. Their garden is as much a place for nourishment for the body as it is a place of nourishment for the soul. 

BodyHoliday

Built on the cornerstones of relaxation, restorative beauty, exercise and diet, BodyHoliday, on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, is an all-inclusive beachfront resort that offers guests a place to recharge and feel energized. It offers healthy cuisine with five restaurants to choose from, plus provides guests the opportunity to customize their own diets with the help of a nutritionist, The Wellness Centre at Body Holiday houses a team of skilled therapists who offer an endless list of treatments such as Ayurvedic treatments and programs related to meditation and stress management.  The resort also offers a wide range of activities for those interested in fitness including daily walks, cycling tours, kayaking, T’ai Chi, Pilates and Zumba. For the more sports-oriented guest, BodyHoliday offers scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, tennis, golf and archery.

California Health & Longevity Institute

California Health & Longevity Institute is the comprehensive wellness component of Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Their approach is simple: they believe that individual vitality and long life are best achieved through proactive measures that promote wellness. They focus on delivering exactly what guests need, so that they can focus on living well by providing evaluations and therapies, conducting pioneering research, as well as offering training and education to serve individuals, corporations and communities worldwide. California Health & Longevity Institute offers lifestyle retreats, corporate retreats, comprehensive health assessments, wellness packages, and individual health consultations. Their signature wellness retreat includes a delicious and healthy culinary experience plus lifestyle workshops and cooking classes that focus on subjects including “How to Manage Stress for Better Health”, “Sustainable Nutrition”, and “Secrets to Your Metabolism.” They also offer activities including mindfulness session, yoga classes, guided hiking, and daily workouts that encourage enjoyable exercise to promote health for the body and soul. 

Canyon Ranch Tucson

Through four decades of innovation, Canyon Ranch has gone beyond the “destination spa” evolved into a highly acclaimed Wellness Resort.  At their resort in Tucson, Arizona, you’ll find a place to decompress, take a deep breath, and truly focus on yourself. You’ll find the relaxation and renewal experience you desire at Canyon Ranch that goes beyond health and beauty. They offer expertly guided programs and activities that uplift the spirit and have the potential to spark true change in your life. Here you can truly get away from it all, and give yourself the time and space to concentrate on what’s really important—your health and happiness. This beautiful Arizona resort is the perfect setting for relaxed exploration, inviting you to evolve to an enhanced life with programs including “Gotta Dance At The Ranch™”, Healing Power Of Horses”, “Women’s Wellness Week”,  “Gratitude, Creativity & Spirit” and a full panoply of a-la-cart offerings.  

Eden Roc Cap Cana

A Relais & Châteaux property set within a 30,000-acre gated community in the Dominican Republic, Eden Roc Cap Cana & Beach Club recently opened a 20,000 square-foot Wellness & Spa Center that goes beyond being a full-service spa. The facility includes a hydrotherapy section, healthy juice bar, a dedicated 1,200-sqft. anti-gravity yoga area with 12 individual aero yoga structures, an indoor and outdoor Aqua Garden with freshwater pool, and a 3,000-sqft. state-of-the-art fitness center with daily complimentary classes such as meditation, yoga, and stretching. Cycling tours are also offered. These facilities sit alongside the spa’s Swedish sauna, Hammam, rainfall showers, and exterior Jacuzzi for the ultimate relaxation experience, and guests will be able to enjoy treatments from the comfort of their suites or in a private beach-side cabana overlooking the lapping waves.

Eupepsia Wellness Center

Whether you are looking to completely rejuvenate and heal from certain conditions, need to de-stress, detox, lose weight, or get fit, plus relax and enjoy the mountains, head to Eupepsia Wellness Center. Set on 256 acres of farm and woodland in Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, bordering the Jefferson National Forest, this wellness sanctuary, a unique destination for health and wellness retreats, is designed to help people reconnect with themselves and align with nature. Founded on the science and philosophy of Ayurveda, Eupepsia offers personalized retreats that are tailored to your needs, combining advanced health screenings with traditional and progressive therapies that will deepen your understanding of your own body, mind, and emotions; improve inner balance; revitalize; and encourage positive energy gain. Guests dine on “farm to table” nutrition, have access to a high-end wellness spa, a state-of-the-art functional training gym, and many outdoor spaces to immerse themselves in the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a unique year-round luxury wellness resort located in the heart of Banff National Park in Alberta. The iconic resort is the first wellness destination in a national park in Canada and has been offering all-inclusive wellness retreats since 2011. The resort has a long history in promoting well-being through connection with the pristine, natural environment. From retreats led by world-renowned facilitators that include many types of Mindfulness & Yoga to immersive outdoor activities available as part of the Mountain Adventure Program, the experiences at the property inspire guests to embrace whole-body wellness and reignite their zest for life.

Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing

Located in the town of Bancroft about a three hour drive from Toronto is Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing, often voted “best wellness retreat in Canada.” With a developed holistic approach to well-being, its focus is to inspire and renew the body, mind, and spirit through lifestyle experiences and education. Surrounded by one of the most beautiful lakeside settings in Ontario, individuals learn how to manage stress with daily yoga and meditation, enjoy spa therapies, eat healthfully, and connect with nature through daily hikes and a unique equine meditation program. Guests have the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective, and leave with take-home tools. All stays include healthy plant-based meals, daily yoga, meditation, use of saunas, mineral tubs, healing installations, a labyrinth, hundreds of acres of pristine forest,  evening talks and an alkaline spring-fed lake. 

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Surrounded by the golden Riviera Nayarit coastline and the lush Sierra Madre Mountains, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit celebrates health and wellness of mind, body, and spirit by offering personalized wellness menus, healthy spa cuisine, and activities including oceanfront yoga, meditation, customized fitness programs, healthy cooking lessons, and SE Spa’s signature seven-step Water Ceremony. Two-floor Wellness Suites each offer a Jacuzzi and massage terrace, Nikken Kenko pillow and comforter, inclusive spa treatments, nutritional consultation, and more. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit also hosts an annual Wellness Getaway featuring a range of conferences and workshops by special guests. Grand Velas Riviera Maya and Grand Velas Los Cabos also feature wellness offerings.    

Hilton Head Health

Are such things as extra weight, personal challenges, or premature aging causing you stress and concern? No matter your struggle, you are not alone at Hilton Head Health. A long-time leader under the umbrella of weight loss retreats, Hilton Head Health offers guests step by step guidance on achieving an ideal weight, overall wellness as well as longevity goals in an elegant facility surrounded by all the natural beauty of Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. Hilton Head Health’s community of supportive dieticians, psychologists, wellness educators, fitness trainers, chefs, and spa therapists draws upon H3’s decades of experience to create personalized medically-based weight loss programs designed to help guests achieve real results and set out on a path towards sustained health and wellness. 

JOALI

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean and located on Muravandhoo Island in The Maldives, JOALI sits on one of the world’s largest and deepest ring-shaped coral reefs. A 40-minute seaplane journey from the city of Malé, the luxury resort is home to 73 villas built with sustainable materials, and all with private pools. Guests find themselves relaxing at the full-service Spa by ESPA or dining at one of their four restaurants serving healthy cuisine to suit any palate and dietary restriction. Other offerings include personalized culinary classes educating guests on how to learn to cook local dishes, tennis, water activities, and excursions to immerse yourself with local communities.

Kamalaya

Kamalaya is a multi-award-winning Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa located on the tropical southern coastline of Koh Samui, Thailand. Centered around a cave that once served Buddhist monks as a place of meditation and retreat, Kamalaya promotes wellness as a harmonious integration of body, heart, mind, and spirit. The resort offers a holistic wellness experience integrating healing therapies from East and West including Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, and other holistic therapies. There are multi-day programs for detox, stress and burnout, sleep enhancement, weight loss and emotional balance.  Daily holistic fitness classes are offered in Pilates, yoga, chi gong, tai chi as well as meditation, plus  personal one-on-one sessions are also available. 

Le Monastère des Augustines

A health and wellness facility dating way back to the 1600s, Le Monastère des Augustines in Quebec City, Canada, invites guests to immerse themselves in a location dedicated to healing and serenity for nearly four centuries. The renewal experience offered at Le Monastère includes accommodation in a 17th-century cloister, healthy cuisine highlighting local products, immersive museology, daily activities such as meditation and yoga classes, spa treatments, soothing concerts, and personalized two- to seven-day retreats. Le Monastère is a non-profit organization, and by staying with them guests contribute to the many local initiatives as well as their “sustainable tourism” efforts.

Lifeworks

Leave the ordinary behind while learning to improve your brain’s health and fitness. At Lifeworks Mountain Lodge in Montana, you’ll find a 21st-century neuroscience-based program dedicated to improving brain health. Here they believe that living through ease, not dis-ease, will help prevent or delay brain health decline. Once you are settled into this comfortable Montana lodge you’ll dine on tasty brain-healthy cuisine, and participate in daily neurofeedback training. The premise of Lifeworks’ four-night, three-day program is their trademarked 7 Platforms to Better Brain Health: Cognitive and Brain Training, Physical Conditioning, Enhanced MIND Diet, Outdoor Adventures, Yoga and Mindfulness, Sleep Improvement and Stress Reduction.  Everything about their guided wellness retreats for solos or groups are all about brain health.  

New Life Hiking Spa & Wellness Retreats

The award winning New Life Hiking Spa is located in the glorious Green Mountains of Vermont  Open each year from May to October when hiking is at its peak, New Life Hiking Spa offers multi-level hikes along the Appalachian Trail and beautiful Vermont countryside. Their non-clinical approach uses mountains, clean air and lush greenery instead of a treadmill, along with wholesome natural food instead of a diet. From nature walks for the beginner hiker, classic hikes that range anywhere from 4-6 miles on wooded trails, to advanced hikes that cover steeper more challenging terrain and longer distances at a more vigorous pace, there is something for everyone at New Life Hiking Spa. The healthy cuisine focuses on weight loss or weight maintenance.  

Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa

Located in Miami, Florida, Pritikin is world-renowned for their scientifically proven medical and wellness program, plus healthy dining options and luxury accommodations. But for the point of distinction, since 1975, Pritikin has been one of the very few medically supervised, all-inclusive resort-based program to provide scientifically proven and consistent results. The program’s pillars are safe and effective exercise, a healthy eating plan, and a healthy mindset. Pritikin’s physicians and experts teach guests how to make sustainable lifestyle changes to help prevent and reverse the progression of conditions including coronary heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, and help them lose weight. For some who choose Pritiki, the primary goal is losing weight. Others want to prevent or address health issues. 

Red Mountain Resort

Blended into the red rock landscape of southern Utah, Red Mountain Resort the rocky terrain is the point of distinction for anyone wanting their wellness retreat to allow for the rediscovery of their passion for adventure. The resort has been offering travelers a blend of adventure and solace for over 20 years. Their Essential Retreat package includes three healthy meals daily, guided morning hikes, and invigorating fitness and wellness classes. Outdoor adventures include an e-bike tour of Snow Canyon or a day trip to nearby Zion National Park. Nature-inspired treatments are available at the resort’s award-winning Sagestone Spa & Salon. Guests can choose to be as active or relaxed, social or private as they wish. 

Richmondnua Wellness-Spa

Located about an hour’s drive from Istanbul, Richmondnua Wellness-Spa, Turkey’s first and so far only wellness retreat (as of 2019), pioneered the concept of wellness in Turkey. Where the forest and lake views intersect at Lake Sapanca the 2,700-square-meter Richmondnua Wellness Spa offers water therapies (including sauna and steam rooms with temperatures ranging between 40°C and 100°C), healthy meals via the Beautyfood menu, and self-discovery under the guidance of expert therapists through customized programs. Along with many prestigious awards received over the last decade, Richmondnua has been selected as Best Luxury Destination Spa at the World Luxury Spa Awards for seven consecutive years.

Spa Eastman Health & Wellness Retreat

Spa Eastman Health & Wellness Retreat, located on 326 acres and with an incredible view of Mont Orford, is just an hour’s drive from Montreal, Quebec. Spa Eastman is one of Canada’s oldest and best known wellness retreats. Facilities include seven pavilions for accommodation, miles of hiking trails, pristine gardens for relaxing, Nordic baths, a gym for daily fitness and yoga classes, customized seven- or fourteen-night Health Immersion packages, and daily workshops and conferences. The on-property restaurant offers their signature Tonic Cuisine, a unique gastronomy experience based on current scientific research that food can be one’s medicine. Food is not only beautifully presented and delicious but wholesome and nutritious.

We’ll continue to add to this list of hot spots for your next Wellness Vacation or Wellness Retreats.  Not sure how the two differ?  Check out the first industry glossary courtesy of the Wellness Tourism Association.