Wellness Travel Hot Spots to Have on Your Radar for 2021

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When all this is behind us and we are able to travel once again, our personal health and safety will be a top priority. It’s not too early to start thinking about where your Wellness Travels, Wellness Vacations and Wellness Retreat might take you later this year and in 2021. Here is a collection of places that are reopening and welcoming guests once again.

One day, hopefully soon, the challenges brought about by the global crisis of 2020 will have been resolved. Our anxieties will be reduced, and we will all be able to move forward guided by a new normal. Perhaps 2021 will be the year to get truly serious about self-care. We might be ready to learn about ways to be proactive managing stress and anxiety, maybe it’s time to achieve that healthy weight goal, or take up a new fitness practice. It could be that you have promised yourself to spend less time in front of a screen and more time in nature. Regardless of your specific goals and whatever your intention may be, as we move past this crises, 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 2021 Wellness Vacation or hosted Wellness Retreat, we’ve got you covered.  The vast majority of the following list of hotels, resorts, retreats and geographic destinations are members of the Wellness Tourism Association. Each member has met the basic standards of membership, and when it comes to Wellness Travel, the WTA logo has become 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 while surrounded by nature, 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 Travel  2021 and the decade ahead. Something to think about. Smile about. Hope for. And, plan for.  Read on and be inspired.    (* denotes members of the WTA) 

Wellness travel 2021

Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences *

Located on Singer Island, Florida and scheduled to open in Q4, 2020, Amrit Ocean Resort & Residences is the next generation destination wellness resort combining both Eastern wellbeing philosophies and Western technology. The wellness facilities span over 100,000+ square feet and include a 40,000 square foot hydrothermal circuit, 25 treatment rooms, hammam, plant-based spa restaurant with a demo kitchen, flotation tanks, IV infusion lounge, sound & light therapies, TCM, personalized wellness coaching, an array of fitness and mediation classes and a sophisticated, spa-centered Ayurvedic and yoga program. Standouts also include their “scalp spa” hair fitness program and their sophisticated sleep solutions program.  Three, five and seven-night personalized packages will also be available year-round. 

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.

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.  Travel to Wellness visited for this story on Canyon Ranch Tucson.

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.    

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.

Meliá Punta Cana *

Meliá Punta Cana, an adults-only, wellness-inclusive, beach resort in the Dominican Republic, offers a collection of wellness experiences and rituals designed to guide and inspire guests into conscious and personalized physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, social and environmental journeys through five signature Well-Spaces – Social, Silent, Sensory, Culinary and Personal. Activities include yoga, bike tours, painting, sound healing, meditation and spiral labyrinth rituals. There are also opportunities to develop a respect for the natural habitat, and participate in running tours exploring the land, local traditions, food, communities and natural wonders of the region. The resort also offers organic, vegan, vegetarian-inspired meal options. Travel to Wellness visited for this story on Melia Punta Cana

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 specific health issues.  Travel to Wellness visited for this story on Pritikin.

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. 

Richmond Nua 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.

SANGHA Retreat *

SANGHA Retreat is an integrative wellness retreat steeped in ancient Chinese practices and culture, and bringing together Eastern wisdom and Western science. Located west of Shanghai in the culturally and historically rich city of Suzhou, China, SANGHA Retreat is an innovative health and wellness facility located on 47-acres and including 68 guest suites and villas; a comprehensive medical and wellness clinic offering assessments by an international team of experts; a 65,000-square-foot subterranean spa; a health-focused restaurant overseen by Michelin-trained chef Paul Then; and daily group activities and classes taking place in the fully-equipped gym, movement studios and the sound meditation dome.

Sedona, Arizona *

With its stunning red rock landscape, Sedona, Arizona is a nature lover’s paradise. With 400+ miles of trails, visitors have easy access to some of the country’s best hiking and biking, and, at night, stargazers marvel at the star-scape. Sedona is also considered a place of vortexes believed to unleash powerful energy. As Native Americans did centuries before, the local spas use indigenous materials for relaxation and healing. As an art mecca for artists and collectors, Sedona’s dramatic landscape and ever-changing light inspires artists of all levels, and the world-renowned art galleries are the perfect enclave to showcase their works. More from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

Sensei Lāna‘i, A Four Seasons Resort *

Sensei Lāna‘i, A Four Seasons Resort is an ultra all-inclusive wellness enclave on the secluded Hawaiian island of Lanai. Unmatched hospitality, reputable experts and natural beauty combine to offer a completely customized experience to discover well-being. Surrounded by pine-covered mountains and fresh tropical breezes, guests enjoy the luxury of limitless options to create a personalized itinerary for each journey. Always included is round-trip airfare from Honolulu on Lāna‘i Air, private wellness consultations, spa treatments, fitness and yoga classes, dining by Nobu (including wines, beers and spirits), and island activities in pursuit of movement, nourishment and rest.

Sky Lagoon, Iceland  

An Alberta-based attractions and hospitality company, Pursuit has announced plans to open Sky Lagoon in Iceland in the spring of 2021.  Located in Kársnes Harbour, Kópavogur, just a short drive from the city of Reykjavik, the geothermal lagoon will afford guests an expansive ocean vistas along with the Northern Lights and dark sky views.

The lagoon’s design draws inspiration from Iceland’s cinematic landscapes, while its infinity-edge will produce a visual effect that will blend into the ocean vista. Further design elements are influenced by Icelandic culture, creating a distinctive guest experience modeled after Icelandic turf houses and its restorative spa-like ritual rooted in Icelandic tradition.

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.

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence *

Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence, a year-round health concept hotel, located 3,600 plus feet (1,100 m) above sea level in one of Switzerland’s most prominent alpine retreats – the Buergenstock Resort – combines the themes of holistic health retreat and medical care sanctuary in an exclusive, 136-unit, five-star hotel environment. High above Lake Lucerne and a 50-minute drive of train ride from Zurich International Airport, Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence introduces guests to the holistic ‘Healthy by Nature’ concept that is typical of the southern Swiss mountain region.

The wellness retreat’s Waldhotel’s tailor-made programs can include holistic medical treatments combined with validated medical therapy methods and the latest scientific researches, plus sports, fitness activities, spa facilities plus other wellness offerings all surrounded by untouched nature. The hotel brings a new approach of customer care that focuses on the highest Swiss medical quality and wellness expertise combined with luxury accommodations.

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We’ll continue to add to this list of hot spots for your Wellness Travels 2021. Not sure where to begin planning?  Start thinking about your intention for planning your future wellness travels. If you goal is weight loss or to get fit check out this list of top spas and fitness retreats