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Top 10 health retreats worldwide

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Kamalaya Koh Samui

At the start of each new year, it's traditional for most people to make a resolution to get healthy and stay healthy. With these luxurious retreats, it's easy to keep your promise to yourself all the way through to December. Each property on our list of Top 10 Health Retreats goes beyond the usual "resort with a spa," offering programs designed to cultivate a healthy lifestyle in unique, enjoyable and permanent ways. Along with classic treatments such as massages, the spas feature regimens that fall under the heading of "wellness" and focus on overall health and longevity — all the while keeping, of course, with the latest in style and luxurious comfort.

Westlake Village, California
California Health & Longevity Institute

Located in Westlake Village, northwest of Los Angeles, this world-class wellness facility is a leader in what's known as science-based lifestyle rejuvenation. After a certified lifestyle consultant helps you create a personalized health strategy for accomplishing your goals, you'll be advised by a team of experts — physicians, licensed dieticians, exercise physiologists, fitness trainers, stress management experts, therapists and healthy-living chefs. The institute includes a complete medical clinic with a full range of diagnostic testing and medical assessments. Adding a level of high-end luxury is the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California, which has partnered with the institute to offer combined services at its 40,000-square-foot spa. For more information, read the California Health & Longevity Institute review.

Miami Beach, Florida
Canyon Ranch Miami Beach

This Miami Beach addition to the Canyon Ranch stable blends spectacular ocean views and lavish accommodations with a 70,000-square-foot health and wellness facility. The range of pampering and rejuvenating activities is seemingly unlimited, from decadent massages and facials to a European-style thermal suite with a rooftop hydro-spa, experiential rains room and herbal laconium. Energetic endeavors include Pilates and even rock climbing at the indoor fitness center overlooking the Atlantic. Wellness services range from private consultations or workshops in stress management, disease prevention, weight loss and smoking cessation to classes on healthy cooking and nutrition. If you want sun, sand and serenity while you treat yourself to a health-enhancing escape, this is definitely the place to be. For more information, read the Canyon Ranch Miami Beach review.

Bali, Indonesia
Golden Rock Retreat

Bali has long been a coveted destination for seekers of rejuvenation. Beyond its tourist enclaves, its landscapes are a balm, and it offers some exceptional healthy-living sanctuaries, among the best of which is Golden Rock. Set against a backdrop of traditional Balinese life on a beach overlooking a bay, this detox and healing center offers a wealth of programs to help you cleanse your body and reenergize your spirit. The purpose-built property with just four beachfront accommodations provides a soothing environment for yoga, meditation, fasting and more. Better yet, programs are integrated with local activities — you might take a sunrise outing with a fisherman or attend ceremonies in the nearby village of Amed. Along with cleanses (the retreat's specialty), guests will find infrared and herbal steam saunas, massage treatments and ozone, oxygen and bio-magnetic therapies. For more information, visit www.theretreatbali.com.

Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island Health Retreat

The Kangaroo Island Health Retreat has been designed for no more than six people at a time. That means the utmost in personalized service from founder Sue McCarthy, whose expertise in anatomy and nutrition informs all aspects of the five-day programs on offer. Programs are labeled "Moderate" and "Dynamic," and are designed to address specific issues such as allergies, anxiety, fitness and smoking or alcohol addiction. Featuring two therapies a day, they include massages, infrared sauna sessions, culinary classes, yoga and Pilates, anatomy instruction, reflexology and much more. With its organic gardens and fresh sea breezes, this intimate health escape promises to balance your body, mind and spirit. For more information, visit www.kihealthretreat.com.

Martillac, Bordeaux, France
Les Sources de Caudalie

A retreat for all of the senses, Les Sources de Caudalie blends unique vinotherapie treatments designed to slow the aging process with an idyllic locale among vineyards near Bordeaux. Rich in minerals, the property's warm underground spring water is great for soaking away what ails you. Wraps and massages use grape extracts called polyphenols, which strengthen blood vessels and enhance micro-circulation, while slimming programs combine techniques that break down cellulite with special dietary menus and varietal treatments such as a Cabernet scrub or Merlot wrap. Because the benefits of grape extract aren't just skin deep, you're also invited to savor the fruits of the vine with tasting courses at The Cellar. For more information, visit www.sources-caudalie.com.

Tecate, Baja California, Mexico
Rancho La Puerta

Considered to be the granddaddy of destination fitness resorts and spas, Rancho La Puerta dates back to 1940. Just an hour's drive from San Diego, California, it feels a world apart, set on 3,000 acres that include a celebrated cooking school and miles of hiking trails through meadows and mountainsides. The idea here is to give you a base for healthy living habits once you return home, and you can get started with nearly any kind of activity imaginable: Pilates, tennis, bar method, cooking, dream interpretation ... you name it, you'll probably find it here. Depending on your needs, you might take a nutrition class focused on reducing stress or attend a session on sleeping well. Balancing this out are classic spa treatments and seasonal cuisine showcasing ingredients from the resort's organic farm. For more information, visit www.rancholapuerta.com.

Monsummano Terme, Tuscany, Italy
Grotta Giusti

The natural springs at this small, luxury Italian retreat may be age-old, but the wellness center is positively avant-garde. Along with traditional massages, peels and body scrubs, you will find nutrition programs designed for weight loss or detoxification and unique programs such as osteopathy, which focuses on the body's muscles and bones, and inhalation treatments for respiratory and sinus problems. Of course, taking the healing waters in the thermal grotta is a must. This natural cave with an underground hot lake is the perfect antidote for stress. As for the mud therapies offered here, they will take you back to your carefree childhood days. For more information, visit www.grottagiustispa.com.

Nelson, South Island, New Zealand
Pujjis Wellness Retreat

Less than ten minutes from Nelson on New Zealand's South Island, the Pujjis Wellness Retreat is run by Arvind Pujji. Pujji is an experienced and trained bodyworks practitioner and yoga teacher, and he uses his skills to provide calm, cleansing and comfort. With just four guest rooms, this property guarantees serenity and a personalized escape. You can customize your stay with yoga sessions, massage and meditation, and even an organic juice fast. Or opt for no program whatsoever and simply laze in a hammock on the deck or enjoy long walks in the surrounding hills accompanied by the sound of the river rushing past. For more information, visit www.pujjis.co.nz.

Na Muang, Koh Samui, Thailand
Kamalaya Koh Samui

Situated on the island of Koh Samui, this wellness retreat and holistic spa enjoys a truly unique location, based around a cave temple once used by Buddhist monks for meditation. Kamalaya means "lotus realm," and you will find plenty of time to practice your yoga lotus pose here. You can also unwind by exploring your surroundings — an idyllic lagoon, white sand beaches, cascading streams and tropical gardens. Customized treatments combine both Eastern and Western healing and include holistic medicine, spa therapies and programs for detoxification and fitness. The best part of your stay: no matter what you choose to do, each activity promises to leave you feeling refreshed, revived and ready to return to the rat race. For more information, visit www.kamalaya.com.

Davutlar, Aydin, Turkey
Natur-Med Thermal Springs and Health Resort

Anti-aging treatments, weight loss programs and pain relief — you will find all of this and more in a soothing environment on the Aegean Coast. Surrounded by pine and olive trees, Turkey's first health center offers magnetic field therapy for restoring damaged joints, muscles and nerves. Ozone therapy, blood pressure relaxation therapy and acupuncture are also available, and colon hydrotherapy is used as a preventative for dozens of disorders. All treatments are conducted under the supervision of a professional medical team. In addition, attention is paid to diet, as guests are guided away from unhealthy items such as red meat, and toward seafood, fruit, grains and vegetables. Down-time activities include yoga, facials and nature walks. For more information, visit www.naturmed.biz.

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