These Luxury Wellness Vacations Are the Perfect Opportunity to Relax and Renew
Sometimes a trip can be the perfect jumpstart to a new exercise or wellness plan that sets up good habits for you to follow when you get back home. And you get a chance to travel and explore a new place at the same time.
Lots of resorts, hotels, and just destinations offer fitness and wellness packages to allow travelers to try new forms of exercise, do a diet cleanse, or practice meditation and yoga.
Related: The Best Places to Travel in 2018
These vacations set you on a different course from what can be too common during travel — lots of restaurant splurges and not enough activity.
Book a three-day wellness package in Cancún, Mexico
The NIZUC Resort and Spa in Cancún offers a three-day “Be Well” package that balances exercise with relaxation and clean eating. The full package includes yoga, meditation, paddle boarding, stretching workshops, personal training, massages, hydrotherapy and fresh juices daily, for $435 (room rate not included).
The resort itself faces the Caribbean Sea and has reflection pools, indoor/outdoor treatment rooms with ocean views, a fitness center and salon, hydrotherapy facilities and a meditation garden.
Get holistic in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head Health offers a holistic program that incorporates healthy eating, fitness, mindfulness and wellness education on Hilton Head island. Guests can try the new program called “Healthy Getaway,” a three- or four-day retreat with spa, fitness, healthy eating and wellness activities.
During their stay, guests can eat healthy meals that use fresh, local ingredients and low-calorie, high fiber, nutritious ingredients, including lobster tacos and pistachio macaroons. Rates start at $525/night in 2018.
Train for a triathlon in Kona, Hawaii
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai runs an annual “Triathlon Camp.” Six-time Hawaii Ironman winner and coach Dave Scott runs clinics for triathletes of all abilities and fitness levels. The five-day programs include personalized coaching on every part of a triathlon, including swim, bike, run, nutrition, strength and flexibility. Rates start at $2,000, in addition to the room rate.
The coaching is personalized with video analysis, phone consultations before camp starts and a and post-camp personalized training program. The program also includes group meals and a welcome gift of triathlon apparel, shoes and gear.
Move at your own speed in Mexico
The luxury resorts Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Casa Velas and the new Grand Velas Los Cabos each have dedicated Wellness Suites with in-room exercise kits so you have your own yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, and an exercise bike. The rooms also have Alchimia Apothecary Aromatherapy Kits with scents ranging from cedar and lavender to tangerine and myrrh so you can relax at night.
The resorts feature healthy menus and a minibar with carrots, cucumber, jicama, celery, beetroot and pineapple. Rooms also come with a Vitamin C Sprinkler that lightly spritzes guests on command with a warm bath of vitamin C essential oils.
Get more self-aware in Italy
The Adler Spa Resorts offer annual yoga retreats where you can practice yoga surrounded by the scenery of snow covered mountains.
One spa is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Dolomites mountain range, and the other is in Tuscany. Each has yoga retreats, either Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga or “A Goddess Whisper,” designed specifically for women to rediscover their female energy and enhance their self-awareness.
Retreats include yoga instruction, massage, sauna and meditation sessions. Rates vary depending on the location, time of year, and chosen activities.
Go back in time in Calistoga, California
The Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa looks like a throwback highway motel, but it’s designed with a spa experience in mind. The property’s MoonAcre spa is modeled after classic bathhouses to create a more social experience and features seven treatment rooms, a bathing room with mint green claw-foot bathtubs, a steam room and relaxation garden. The outdoor area has three mineral pools that originate from geothermal hot springs below the property.
Room rates start at $209 a night; massages start at $120 and facials start at $130.
Get artsy in Denver, Colorado
The ART Hotel in Denver offers art-inspired fitness programming. It has an ART Run, a curated map of Denver’s best public art pieces that runners can use to explore downtown. The hotel also has custom-designed bikes painted by local student artists from Denver’s Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design that guests can borrow. For those who want to do yoga, the hotel offers free classes through a partnership with CorePower Yoga’s Denver studio, as well as rooftop yoga on the property.
Room rates start at $225 a night.
Upgrade your health in Aruba
Any guest at the Aruba Marriott Resort can request a Wellness Upgrade to their room, which includes a yoga mat, healthy snacks, Aruba Aloe products and a zen coloring book. The resort also offers a Wellness Retreat Package (starting at $328 a night) with a private healthy cooking class and a private yoga class on the beach.
The resort also offers fitness classes around the property and on the beach, including tennis, step, aqua zumba or yoga. Nearby guests can also try out stand up paddleboard yoga, snorkeling, snuba, kayaking, beach tennis, kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Immerse yourself in healthy practices in New Delhi, India
The ITC Grand Bharat hotel just launched an immersive wellness program that offers consultations with resident Ayurveda doctors. The sessions will assess guests’ doshas and offer recommendations on treatments and dietary needs. The program also includes personalized yoga, fitness and meditation practice.
Also at the retreat, guests can try guided nature hikes, cycling, and golf.
Get help from celebrity trainers in Miami Beach, Florida
Guests at W South Beach can arrange for private tennis or basketball lessons on the rooftop courts at this hotel, which also overlook the ocean. There are professional tennis and basketball coaches on staff for lessons.
The hotel also has a newly launched wellness program with classes led by celebrity trainers. On the beachfront and oceanfront lawn, guests can take classes including Genius Body Work, Beach Boot Camp and Sunrise Yoga.
Go to adult summer camp in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel Valley Ranch, a summer camp-inspired resort, covers 500 acres on California’s coast and takes full advantage of the space, offering indoor-outdoor guest suites, treetop suites, pools, an infinity hot tub, a spa and a growing farmstead with a four-acre vineyard.
The River Ranch activity complex has sports and gym facilities, along with planned activities including group hikes, golf, tennis, beekeeping classes, archery and kite building and flying workshops. The gym facilities include indoor cycling, TRX, battle rope, barre strength, BodyPump, Core Fit, cardio tennis and tennis clinics, hatha and restorative yoga, H20 Flow, Pilates, stretching and foam rolling, circuit training, golf clinics and meditation.
Practice yoga and horse riding in Clark, Colorado
The Home Ranch, a small 14-room luxury guest ranch in Colorado, has a program you won’t find too many other places. It offers a yearly “Experience Yoga and Horses Retreat” for women.
The week includes horseback riding, horsemanship instruction, gentle yoga, massage, deep relaxation techniques and healthy dining. You don’t need experience with either horseback riding or yoga to attend — the program will teach you.
Embrace the outdoors in Texas
The Inn at Dos Brisas, a nine-room retreat in the foothills of the Texas Hill Country, offers lots of outdoor activities for relaxation and exercise. It sits on 313 acres of tranquil meadows that guests can explore. They can also join in planned activities, including horseback riding, carriage rides, clay target shooting, fishing, hunting, tennis, golf, star gazing, bike riding, trail running, indoor yoga and private plunge pools for swimming.
Train at high altitude in Colorado Springs, Colorado
If you want to give your running a boost, try the CTS Running Camp. Ultrarunner Jason Koop coaches runners at the camp to help trail runners put in a big block of training and learn tips and techniques at high altitude in Colorado Springs. At this year’s Memorial Day camp, the last day will be a 50K run around Pikes Peak.
CTS also hosts triathlon and cycling camps with training sessions and one-on-one coaching. As you ride, support vehicles keep you supplied and motivated.
Explore Alaska by cruise and by foot
This Alaskan running cruise allows you to explore multiple locations on foot. A cruise ship takes guests from city to city along the Alaskan coast, and then they disembark for running and walking excursions on the trails.
The cruise stops in Anchorage, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. It also provides coaching and a 5K race to kick off the excursion. Reservations start at $2,146 per person.
Relax and get moving in Baja California
Combine a relaxing spa vacation with a fitness workout at Rancho La Puerta, about an hour's drive from San Diego. The program begins with an in depth fitness assessment, then follows a weekly schedule of hiking, yoga, swimming and pool workouts, dance, games and meditation.
The ranch sits on 3,000 acres including 32 acres of gardens, hiking trails, an organic farm, pools, and a spa. Weekly rates start at $4,050.
Retreat to Pahoa, Hawaii
Kalani Yoga Retreats, a nonprofit organization, presents programs that focus on sustainability and education and also hosts regular yoga retreats. Beginners to experts are welcome at the retreats, which cover a range of yoga practices from restorative yoga to more intense hot yoga classes. Six-day retreats start at $1,810. Spa treatments start at $109 (for 60 minutes).
The facilities themselves include multiple pools, hot tubs, massage space, and offer therapeutic bodywork and wellness treatments. Plus, the location above the ocean doesn’t hurt either.
Get back to nature in St. George, Utah
Red Mountain Resort, in the red rock cliffs of Utah, has a blend of relaxation activities and challenging physical workouts. You can explore nearby Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks with hiking and rock climbing activities, or relax in the spa and salon.
Also offered are specific retreats that focus on weight loss, weekend warriors, or emotional healing and personal discovery.
Go on an adventure
Tour company Adventure Women Trips operates adventure trips exclusively for women, including Mt. Kilimanjaro, Montana skiing, Yellowstone National Park, Mongolia and New Zealand.
The trips focus on promoting a healthy lifestyle, including being active, healthy eating and setting challenges and goals while traveling.
Journey through the Canadian Rockies
Mountain Trek takes you on a journey through trails in the mountains of Canada. Each day includes planned outdoor hikes, plus fitness classes, strength training, meditation, yoga and healthy eating.
It also includes a strict schedule to help you regulate hormones like cortisol and melatonin and cutting out sugars, alcohol and processed food.