Whether you’re into meditation, massages or maybe you just need a margarita—these are the wellness retreats to transform you into the most zen version of yourself in 2019. New mindset, new tan… new you.
If you’re not able to jet off this year, bring a little relaxation into your home with soothing candles, heavenly bath salts and skincare to give you a natural, healthy glow. My top tip is these soy wax candles. Just one smell is a mood-reviving wonder to match a weekend-long retreat.
Sardinia is one of the world’s “Blue Zones”, where people live longer than anywhere else. Surrounded by azure Mediterranean Sea and bathing in over 300 days of sunshine each year, we can certainly see why.
One of the secrets to living longer is the Sardinian diet. Goat’s milk, barley, a glass of Cannonau red wine each day and the freshest pecorino cheese. Journey to the seaside village of Pittulongu to soak up all that salty-aired goodness and try it for yourself. Here, your only daily to-dos are skinny-dipping in the ocean and tackling your reading list.
La Prairie, Switzerland
If you want to cleanse your body of urban pollutants then fresh mountain air is a good place to start. Switzerland’s alpine breeze will transport you to a million miles away from buzzing (and smoggy) city life.
While many rely on Clinique for their eye cream, 2019 is the year you’ll rely on them for your detox destination. Set in a hushed hillside overlooking Lake Geneva, La Prairie is a destination to cleanse. Toxins, be gone! When you’re not in the treatment room having an immune-boosting therapy or rejuvenating massage—you can wander outside to experience the fresh air in the gem-like gardens. Breathe in, and breathe out…ahhhh.
Wellness is all about balance. So we say indulge your nice and naughty sides with meditation and margaritas in Cancun, Mexico. This paradise on earth is the perfect place to experience mindful ocean meditation. Breath in with the tide and breathe out as the waves wash away by the shore. Go with the flow, get it?!
Entrepreneur-turned-spiritual-guru, Kelsey Patel hosts a retreat where you can bronze and beach yoga. Be sure to visit in April–December to avoid the crowds and still leave with a healthy glow. Here, you can tick tanning of your getaway wishlist then add reiki and laidback relaxation. Oh, and did we mention margaritas?
Costa Rica, Central America
Fitness addicts, we haven’t forgotten about you. If the thought of sitting still and struggling to meditate sounds like your idea of a nightmare holiday then head to Costa Rica. Lush with tropical forests and beaches boasting with wildlife, it would be a crime to stay inside.
Pointe Break will help you find your balance. After a healthy breakfast you’ll ride Nosara’s choppy waves, chill in a hammock and unwind with a candlelit, sunset ballet class in their open-air studio. Surfing + ballet = our kind of wellness retreat.
If legacy is what you want from your wellness retreat, then the otherworldly beauty of north of India is the place for you. At the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, you can find your Zen awakening at the birthplace of yoga and meditation. You’ll have no phone reception and the perfect excuse to detox your mind, body and even your Instagram feed for a few days.
The Ananda resort uses the ancient form of healing, Ayurveda, to melt away your stresses. Their retreat aims to restore balance and harmonise energy so you’ll leave with a newfound self-awareness. Be warned: your colleagues may tire of hearing about the ‘new you’.
When winter’s inky darkness begins to feel a bit too bleak, venture to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. Shrouded in steam, the turquoise water offers deep nourishment for skin and is the top of many bucket-lists as one of the 25 Wonders of the World.
It may be a tourist trap but there’s nothing else quite like it. Stay at The Retreat to feel utterly at one with nature and even get a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Nestled in the lava rock, the hotel has its own lagoon so you can soak away your worries in peace and privacy. Treat yourself to a Pure Salt Glow to leave your skin feeling polished and rejuvenated by the Blue Lagoon minerals. You’ll leave feeling recharged to 100%.
Joshua Tree, United States
Welcome to desert bliss. Here, sunset (and sunrise) hikes await on the cactus-studded desert of Joshua Tree National Park. After an afternoon of walking with the sun beating on your back you’ll be rewarded with unobstructed views of the Sawtooth Wilderness and San Gorgonio mountain.
Let the night sky be your therapist and tell your worries to the stars. Journey to Skull Rock or The Ocotillo Patch for stargazing and prepare to see glittering domes of constellations.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is South-East Asia’s creative capital. It’s the gateway to Thailand’s tropical and mountainous north and a must-see destination for travellers in search of real Thai culture. Once you’ve finished exploring and wellness calls, travel to Dhara Dhevi.
Modelled on a traditional Thai village with city walls, temples and wooden walkways over watery rice paddies, every corner you turn evokes a real sense of old Thailand. It’s so big there are golf carts to get you around the lush hotel grounds! It wouldn’t be a retreat without some poolside unwinding and there are plenty of opportunities here. Sip Thai ice coffees with a view of rice paddies from the infinity pool before entering a tranquil treatment room for a Kathi Basti massage.
Wellness retreats should really include a digital detox but with a resort this Insta-worthy… it would be rude not to. Flowing rivers, chirping birds and rustling rainforests in the hustle and bustle of Ubud will awaken your senses but it’s the Balinese beauty treatments that really bring them to life.
Bali is home to a plethora of wellness retreats so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Five Elements is a sanctuary of soothing rituals and sustainability. Fly through the air on their coconut-tree bolstered swing, nourish your soul with Balinese food and bathe in their open-air tub. Soaking in oils and a kaleidoscopic array of petals will leave you smelling—and feeling—as fresh as a rose.