10 Life-changing Wellness Trips to Take in 2020
Routines are an important part of daily life — from ensuring we’re properly caffeinated before work to making sure we stay in shape, have clean clothes, and get to work on time. But when life gets busy and there’s too much to do in one day, habits like exercise, cooking in, self care, and getting enough sleep may take a backseat… for far too long.
This is where wellness trips come in — health and self-focused vacations that are designed to shake up your routine, get you back on track, and leave you feeling refreshed. These trips can jump start new habits and set you on a long term wellness plan that reprioritizes the important stuff: sleep, exercise, diet, and the relationship you have with yourself.
And the best part is that you can do it from stunning destinations all over the world. From custom retreats in New York to the leading medical health resort in Europe, these programs and properties specialize in resetting old habits and routines to keep you rejuvenated and refreshed throughout the year.
Shou Sugi Ban House in New York
Just 90 miles east of New York City, weary travelers will find Shou Sugi Ban House, a Japanese-inspired retreat property in the Hamptons. The brand-new property offers multi-day custom retreats that are perfectly tailored to you — with experiences like sound baths, nutrition workshops, tea ceremonies, fitness classes, guided beach walks, and live music.
There are four Signature Reset Retreats in 2020, with each session offering plant-based meals planned by Michelin-star chef, Mads Refslund; a daily signature massage; access to the spa (think: thermal suite, hydrotherapy plunge pools, and Watsu pool); and a private guest studio with your own fireplace, soaking tub, and garden patio.
Trip dates: April 9-12, May 14-17, June 25-28, July 26- 29, 2020
The Belmond Good Living Self-Care Retreat in Anguilla
You’ll want to drop your post Fourth of July plans for this once-in-a-lifetime retreat with sisters Nadia and Katia Narain from July 5-9, 2020. The authors of Self-Care for the Real World have curated an exclusive four-night retreat at Belmond Cap Juluca on the Caribbean island of Anguilla that includes activities like sunrise yoga, snorkeling with sea turtles, and kayaking.
In addition, the weekend will include an oceanside self-care workshop, meditation, and a gratitude and intention ceremony that will help guide internal work and help guests “remember to pause, pay attention, set our intentions and create lasting memories.”
The retreat package includes accommodation at the beachside Belmond Cap Juluca, a daily buffet breakfast, and a private sunset cruise with hors d'oeuvres.
Trip dates: July 5-9, 2020
The Ranch in California
A typical day is peppered with decisions — to read or watch Netflix before bed, to wake up for a morning run or sleep in, to eat or not eat that second brownie. As small as they are, these decisions can be exhausting. And when you’re tired, overcommitted, and overworked, chances are the decisions you’re making, aren’t the healthiest ones.
That’s the goal behind The Ranch, California’s iconic property in the hills of Malibu. There, you can relinquish responsibility, unplug from daily life, and refresh the mind and body. The property’s signature 7-day program is limited to 18 people and ensures weight and inches are lost safely and sustainably. Each day includes 8 hours of exercise and plenty of rest. Stretching and breakfast is followed by a 4-hour hike, nap time, fitness class, and massage. The fitness plan is complemented by a 1,400 calorie-a-day organic, plant-based diet.
Trip dates: ongoing
PalmaÏa – The House of AÏA in Mexico
Located on the coast of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, this newly constructed retreat offers guests the jungle-to-beach experience from the comfort of their suite. (There is a vegan suite option that is free from animal-tested items and animal by products.)
Through the Architect of Life program, the property’s in-house shaman, curates weekly rituals and practices that the resort bills as “the most comprehensive personal growth program ever offered before at any resort on earth.” The transformative wellness experiences include sound healing, gravity control, multi-musical vibration, Vipassana, sungazing, and various practices of yoga.
Guests at PalmaÏa enjoy complimentary access to 24-hour room service, the resort’s four restaurants on property, and a personal butler. PalmaÏa prides itself on being plastic free and will pay the carbon offset for guests’ flights if they book their stay directly through the website.
Trip dates: ongoing
Vegan Food Europe Explorer through Europe
If you’re vegan — or just find the idea of eating amazing food in eight European countries — look no further. On Contiki’s Vegan Food Europe Explorer excursion, travelers eat their way (responsibly) through popular cities like Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.
The trip is guided by vegan social media influencers, and experiences include a cooking class in Budapest, a dinner cruise along the Danube river in Berlin, and a night of classical music in Vienna. Alongside the trip’s food-heavy itinerary, guests will enjoy wellness experiences like morning yoga, a trip to the Széchenyi traditional thermal baths in Budapest, and a day biking through Prague with a local guide.
Trip dates: August 16-23, 2020
MycoMeditations at Bluefields Bay Villas in Jamaica
A new type of retreat has been emerging in the world of wellness travel: psychedelic mushroom retreats. MycoMeditations, an upscale retreat program, is designed to help people deal with addiction, overcome depression and anxiety, revisit and heal from traumatic events, and release negative experiences.
These claims are based off of research from institutions like Boston University, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard Medical School, who report that psychedelics have the capacity to curb addiction and that participants often report positive changes to their mental well-being and behavior months after taking a dose of psychedelic mushrooms, according to reporting by Psychology Today.
To maintain an intimate, safe experience, MycoMeditations retreats are small — usually 12 to 16 people — and are held at properties like southern Jamaica’s luxurious Bluefields Bay Villas. Utilizing the property’s private villas on the Caribbean coast, MycoMeditations retreats help people find happiness while providing them with the comforting services of a private chef and butler, and endless ocean activities, including snorkeling, diving, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, and hiking.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in Florida
This five-star property located in the heart of Miami’s North Beach says to “come as you are and leave as you’ve never been.” It’s a slogan that is well supported by the property’s 70,000 square foot spa (the largest spa and wellness facility on the east coast).
At the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, your day starts with fresh juices and ends with an oceanfront meal. During the day, you have access to classes like boxing, rock climbing, yoga, and spinning, and spa experiences like thermal hydrotherapy, purifying herbal laconium, a crystal steam room, and Miami's only igloo. Spa treatments can range from IV therapy to acupuncture and cryoskin toning to salt float therapy.
For next level self-care, guests can work with the team of doctors and wellness experts, including a cosmetic plastic surgeon, an executive coach and life strategist, and anti-aging service providers.
The resort’s 3-day wellness retreats include offerings like DNA deep dives with a genetics specialist and self-care workshops for women.
Trip dates: various 3-day retreats from April to November
Castle Hot Springs in Arizona
Established in 1896, this hot spring hotel has housed Rockefellers, Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, and Kennedys — including JFK, who spent three months recovering in the property’s 120-fahrenheit spring water.
Today, the property has been restored and reopened, offering a remote hot spring retreat along with horseback riding, hiking, meditation, and massage. Guests are served three meals a day from the resort’s on-site farm. You can create your own wellness getaway, or have the experts plan your days for you by booking the Castle Hot Springs wellness retreat.
Trip dates: ongoing
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz in Switzerland
Billing itself as the “leading wellbeing and medical health resort in Europe,” the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is long accustomed to providing top-notch wellness and medical services. The resort’s thermal-spring water has provided a bathing and spa tradition that spans hundreds of years and the onsite Medical Center, has a highly-trained team of doctors and therapists who use the thermal water for various therapies, including nutrition and training, dermatological and beauty treatments, and to assist with rehabilitation.
When you need a break from the resort’s healing waters, head to one of the two golf courses, casino, walkable village, or dine in one of the property’s first-class restaurants.
Trip dates: ongoing
The Mermaid Sisterhood Retreat at Casas de Agua in Costa Rica
This fall, mermaids will flock to Casas de Agua, a luxury retreat where the Costa Rican jungle meets the beach. At the Mermaid Sisterhood Retreat, women gather to reset and build community under the guidance of Emily Pereira, a certified yoga teacher, author, writing teacher, and life coach who specializes in helping women manifest their dreams.
You’ll participate in daily writing workshops using the Gateless Writing method, practice yoga, surf, and enjoy the property’s bungalow accommodations, pools, and tropical gardens. Building lifelong, female-supported friendships is a key part of the retreat, as is helping you return to “your core essence, that glowing easeful self that brings the world to you, rather than you having to reach for it,” according to Pereira’s website.
Trip dates: October 24-29, 2020