Published January 17, 2014
Top 10 health retreats worldwide
Top 10 health retreats worldwide
A visit to one of these luxurious retreats will help you to feel better for the rest of the year -- and maybe the rest of your life.
Les Sources de Caudalie, France
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. The spa boasts antioxidant-based "cures" recommended for two days or more; these curative treatments promote natural beauty, slimming and energizing, and post-pregnancy health and fitness. 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.
Jiva Grande Spa at Vivanta by Taj, India
It sits atop the hills of a subtropical rainforest in the southern state of Karnataka, India, and a five-hour drive from the major city of Bangalore gets you there. At an altitude of 4,000 feet, with treatments inspired by the rich, local culture, Jiva Grande Spa at Vivanta by Taj in Madikeri, Coorg is the ultimate in all-natural rejuvenation.
The retreat’s ancient Indian Ayurveda Panchakarma Therapy cleanses the body of toxins, while rejuvenating the spirit and relaxing the mind for long-term health and wellness. The spa’s three floors boast breathtaking treetop views and private treatment suites, each with a steam room and shower. Jiva’s signature offering, a wood-fired Gudda bath (hot water poured over the body in a picturesque outdoor pavilion), is a traditional healing practice in Coorg households. We suggest taking the full fourteen-day journey, which includes consultation with an Ayurvedic physician and rituals of yoga, chanting and meditation.
COMO Shambhala Estate, Indonesia
The COMO Shambhala group is known for delivering nirvana (Shambhala is Sanskrit for "peace"). At their lush Balinese jungle retreat, located by a sacred spring near Ubud, health seekers will find an all-immersive healing experience amid serene scenery. Choose from six holistic wellness programs such as Cleanse, Stress Management, Ayurveda or their latest, Traditional Oriental Medicine. The latter diagnosis-based, personalized approach features nutritional therapy, Qigong, acupuncture, meditation and herbal medicine. Guests can also indulge in Javanese Royal Lulur Bath or Taksu Massage at the spa, lounge in the water garden or by the pools, hike, climb and participate in a biathlon and more.
We love that they attract all types of travelers, from solo trekkers to couples, families and groups in airy accommodations featuring lots of wood and clean, beautiful design accents. Indonesian cuisine is served at Kudus House, but the in-house nutritionist can cater to specific dietary restrictions.
Maya Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Quintana Roo
Sitting pretty on the Riviera Maya, among white-sand beaches, pristine waters and tropical jungles, Maya Tulum boasts a transformative atmosphere in which guests can relax and focus on cultivating healthy lifestyles. Rightly touted for its world-class yoga events, the resort also hosts classes in life management, personal growth, weight loss, dance, meditation and a host of other modalities — all designed to foster good habits and nurture your wellbeing. If you seek relaxation, we recommend the revitalizing spa. An 80-minute "neurosedative" rubdown should unwind and de-stress even the most overwhelmed souls, but in case that does not do the trick, Maya Tulum has dipped into Mexico's rich cultural heritage to offer hot-stone therapies and Mayan clay massages.
Pujjis Wellness Retreat, New Zealand
Nelson, South Island
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 three guest rooms, this property guarantees serenity and a personalized escape. Choose between a safe and detoxifying fasting retreat, or the luxury of carefully prepared nourishing meals. You can customize your stay with yoga sessions, massage and meditation, and even an organic juice fast. In your downtime, laze in a hammock on the deck or enjoy long walks in the surrounding hills accompanied by the sound of the river rushing past.
Wellness at the Backstage Hotel Vernissage, Switzerland
Wellness at Backstage Hotel goes back to the beginning — of the Old Testament, that is — with wellness treatments inspired by the biblical story of Genesis. Sitting in the shadow of the Matterhorn, this destination spa is nestled in the Swiss Alps, encircled by snowy peaks in winter. Artist/architect/hotelier Heinz Julen (a Zermatt native known for solo art exhibitions across Europe and unique architectural collaborations in Switzerland) has crafted a narrative spa experience with seven room treatments, called therapy cubes, themed after each of the days of Creation. The cubes marry visceral and visual components, utilizing lights, images, temperatures and sensations meant to cleanse and relax the body and soul. One method features video projections of images from the Hubble Space Telescope to promote the practice of “cosmic silence,” supporting the ability to focus and resist distraction.
Multiple spaces focus on the use of heat to inspire the feeling of well-being and are linked to the natural healing properties associated with sauna-induced detoxification, which can be used to treat joint pain, asthma, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Kamalaya Koh Samui, Thailand
Na Muang, 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 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.
Natur-Med Thermal Springs and Health Resort, Turkey
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 regulation 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.
Canyon Ranch Miami Beach, U.S.
Miami Beach, FL
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.
California Health & Longevity Institute, U.S.
Westlake Village, CA
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.
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