If you often feel like you need another break to recover from your holiday, it might be time to think about swapping your beach break or city weekender for a wellness retreat. Wellness tourism is on the up, which means there are more options than ever for when you want to spend your holidays finding some headspace. From yoga retreats to mindfulness breaks and a little reiki and forest bathing thrown in for good measure, check out our round-up of the best wellness retreats for the new season…
Best Wellness Retreats 2019
Body Camp Mallorca, Sencelles
After the immense success of the Body Camp Ibiza, founder Kate Whale and her team have added a second location to their portfolio, a permanent site in Mallorca. This hotel is like no other, offering a life-changing stay, full 360 mind body and soul overhaul, with guests leaving with a more positive outlook on life as well as a new group of best friends. Body Camp Mallorca is set in Sencelles, just 30 minutes north of Palma, a 12-bedroomed hotel set in the rustic countryside with lush panoramic views. The retreat runs a full schedule every morning for fitness and mind goals including yoga, life coaching, weights, circuits, dynamic stretching, reiki, hiking, biking and breath workshops. The afternoons, meanwhile, allow for a more flexible approach: guests can choose either to exercise, relax around the hotel, or head to the treatment room for a massage. Body Camp have gone 100 per cent plant based this year, with head chef and nutritionist Ben Whale on hand to teach guests how to recreate his famously delicious dishes back at home.
Book it: Prices for a week’s stay start from £950 (programme runs Friday – Friday), which includes the programme, accommodation and all food and drink. Shorter stays of three nights (long weekend Fri – Mon) or four nights (midweek Mon – Fri) are from £600. Day passes are also available for £150; thebodycamp.com. Both EasyJet and BA fly regularly to Ibiza and Mallorca.
Azura Benguerra & Azura Quilalea, Mozambique
Azura Retreats ‘Sounds of Africa’ wellness programme is all about ‘nurture hyperconsciousness’, designed to encourage guests to experience the current moment by cultivating a single point of focus. The wellness programme will include a range of activities that acutely direct attention, encourage nonattachment to distractions and cultivate a new way of thinking to care for mind and body. Including walking mediations around the island, African Drumming sessions, silent white sand breakfasts and tribal traditions massages.
Book it: From $675 per person sharing per night. www.azura-retreats.com
Coral Reef Club, Barbados
How does a week in the Caribbean sound to reset and recharge? Coral Reef Club Barbados is running three wellness retreats for 2019, incorporating a range of spa treatments and exercise classes. Think warm Bajan sunshine, Caribbean cuisine and tropical breezes, with tailor-made programmes to help guests achieve their personal goals.
Book it: The Spa Wellness Package is £290 per person and includes 50 Minute Muscle Melt, Detox or Aroma Fusion Massage, 60 Minute Citrus Appeal Facial, 50 Minute Mojito Magic or Lemongrass & Ginger Body Scrub and a Manicure or Pedicure (Elements/Rejuvenation or Revival). Various exercise options are available for guests to add onto the spa wellness package, these include: Platinum Package, 10 classes, approx. £155 and Single Sessions from £17. The 2019 Wellness Retreats will run on the following dates: 9 – 16 March, 27 July – 3 August and 9 – 16 November. Carrier (0161 492 1354, www.carrier.co.uk) offers 7 nights from £3,465 per person based on 2 adults sharing a Garden Room including breakfast, return flights from London Gatwick with British Airways and return private transfers. Based on departures 9 March 2019. coralreefbarbados.com
Bodhimaya at Joali, Maldives
Since launching at the end of 2018 on the tiny island of Muravandhoo, Joali has fast made a name for itself as an expert in all things relaxation, but with the announcement of a new wellness residency with the award-winning mind and body retreat Bodhimaya, the resort will become even more of a sanctuary. Bodhimaya’s founder has curated an expert mindfulness and meditation programme which couldn’t find a better home than the pearly shores, iridescent seas and over-water villas of Joali.
Book it: The first retreat at Joali will take place between 28 April – 11 May. The retreat is price on asking, with rooms at Joali Maldives starting from £1,456 per night for a one-bed Beach Villa with pool, and breakfast included. joali.com
Lefay Resort and Spa, Gargano, Italy
It’s a paradox that finding your inner balance can be aided so admirably gazing into infinity across the magnificent ‘Riviera dei Limoni’ and sweeping Lake Garda. But such is the power of this heavenly vista that every room is afforded it, and each meal is enjoyed with it as its backdrop. Sustainable to its core, Lefay rests peacefully high up on a hillside into which the spa has been carved – a rich seam of wellness – cavernous, begging to be explored, not used. ‘La Luna nel Lago’, the moon suspended above an indoor salt pool, is an ethereal experience. Treatments are personalised after an initial assessment to target blockages using a refreshing hybrid of Western and classical Chinese medicine. Simply explained and expertly administered by compassionate practitioners, it is a chance to broaden your own knowledge into a different way of understanding the body. The guided walk through the natural beauty of the property isn’t mandatory but should be. Unblocked, energy flows and nourishes you long after you depart. Your mind will return here often, and where the mind goes the body tends to follow.
Book it: Health and Fitness Travel offers 7 nights at Lefay from £1,580pp or £2,265 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a wellness programme and return private transfers; 0203 397 8891 healthandfitnesstravel.com
St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort
It’s an age-old question but just how do celebrities get those bodies? The answer, for some of them at least, is Matt Roberts. The celebrity trainer and one of the UK’s premier fitness experts is letting us in on the secret with his luxury wellness retreat at The St Regis Maldives Vomulli. Uber-exclusive, the retreat is limited to just 10 guests to ensure everyone gets the attention required. Guests will undergo personal training sessions as well as yoga, meditation and treatments at the resort’s heavenly Idrium Spa. Food is, of course, of the health-conscious sort but rest assured, also delicious. When you’re not sweating, relax at the resort’s Whale Bar; protruding from the azure waters of the St Regis’ private coral reef, it’ll be the most beautiful setting for an aperitif you’ve ever experienced. With the option to extend, you’ll definitely want to tack on an extra week in paradise.
Book it: The Matt Roberts Retreat at the St Regis Maldives runs for five nights from 20 – 25 September from $16,700 for couples or $1,670 per person, per day) and includes accommodation in your chosen villa category, all meals, five spa treatments per person, return seaplane transfer from Male airport, fitness and wellness sessions with Matt each day, and VIP arrival amenity; marriott.com
Head to the Miraggio to experience their 3-5 day luxury wellness retreat packages, made up of therapies from the Myrthia Thermal Spa at Miraggio. Choose from packages including ‘The Stress Antidote’, ‘The Family Programme’ and ‘The Greek-Mythology Immersion’ and find a package to suit your needs. The spa features both sea and thermal waters across four different pools, which are unique to the region and famous for their healing properties.
Book it: Prices at Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort start from £150 per night for a double room. Wellness Retreat packages start from £300 on a 3 day basis. miraggio.gr
COMO Uma Bhutan Eight-Day Film & Photography Expedition
Teaming up with Natural World Safaris and British-American photographer and Kodak Ambassador Michael Turek, COMO’s two lodges in Bhutan, COMO Uma Paro and COMO Uma Punakha launch Bhutan’s first ever Film and Photography Expedition, set to run from 2 to 9 June this year. The trip will encourage guests to remain ‘in the moment’ as they capture their surroundings on film, with thought and intention.
Book it: The ‘Eight Day Film & Photography Expedition’ runs from 2 to 9 June 2019 and starts from USD 7,600 per person for single accommodation or USD 5,800 per person for twin share accommodation. The package includes: accommodation for five nights at COMO Uma Paro and two nights at COMO Uma Punakha on a full board basis, including picnic lunches during excursion days (excluding beverages), six-and-a-half days of privately guided excursions, taking in the highlights of the Paro, Thimphu and Punakha Valleys, the private services of an experienced English-speaking Bhutanese guide, one 60-minute COMO Shambhala body treatment, private airport transfers and transport around Bhutan, all Bhutanese government visa and royalty fees, service charge and sales tax, all museum and visitor centre entry fees and road permits, a complimentary one-hour daily yoga class whilst at COMO Uma Paro (except Sundays). comohotels.com
Mountain Beach Fitness Retreats, Verbier
Perhaps more accurately described as a fitness retreat, this type of wellness trades in sound baths and facials for plyometric training, systematic stretching and high insensitivity training at even higher altitudes. While the retreats are run across a number of beautiful locations (Sri Lanka, Iceland, and Cornwall included), we’ve found the perfect antidote to sitting in front at a desk from 9-5 is their Winter Ski Touring mini-retreat which will get the blood pumping, muscles burning and mind cleared. Guided ski tours with a qualified professional is followed by ski specific fitness training and active recovery sessions, with bodyweight sessions, HIIT and yoga giving some variety to your days. This high-tempo fitness retreat may not be wellness in its traditional sense, but you’ll definitely come away feeling reinvigorated and stronger than before.
Book it: A one night stay from 550CHF per person, with overnight cabane stay and all activities included. Additional 1-to-1 personal training and private fitness training with an in-chalet service is also available to book from 100CHF. mountainbeachfitnessretreats.com
ADLER Spa Resort, Dolomiti
What better place to work on your wellbeing than in the spectacular mountain scenery of the Dolomites, the UNESCO World Heritage Site? Book in for a Yoga & Nature workshop to experience the beautiful autumnal colours and participate in an intensive yoga programme. There’s also the option to get involved with the latest wellness trend of forest bathing, as the hotel offers a Shinrin Yoku “forest bathing” experience every Tuesday, and participation is free to all hotel guests.
Book it: Three to seven nights, from €456 per person for 3 nights, from €1248 per person for a week both on half-board basis. adler-dolomiti.com
Cap Maison, Saint Lucia
There’s nothing more restorative than a good night’s sleep, but between work angst, family activities and general life, they can be hard to come by – enter Cap Maison’s Sleep Retreat. The luxury Caribbean hotel is a relaxation haven in itself but for those really struggling to get some z’s, the Sleep Retreat provides an idyllic setting for optimum rest. Guests on the programme are accommodated in rooms where you’ll be lulled to sleep by the distant sound of waves and woken up by the gentle call of tree frogs and birdsong. A whole host of specialised experiences like one-to-one sessions with a ‘sleep expert’, sunset breathing workshop, Reiki healing, aromatherapy massage, reflexology, meditation and a personal menu will soothe the mind and help you let go. When you’re not doing your best to relax, the hotel also offers nature-based activities to tire the body; hike the volcanic mountains, amble around the botanical gardens, or go for a run along the rugged Atlantic coast. By the time you leave, insomnia will be but a bad dream.
Book it: The Sleep Retreat package costs £215 per night and rooms start from approx. £295 per night; capmaison.com
Formentera Yoga, Formentera
Treat yourself this Easter with a yoga and meditation retreat in the wildflower-strewn, beach laden region of Formentera. The five-night retreat is ideal for those seeking a quick dose of rejuvenation and relaxation. Days are framed with sunrise and sunset yoga nidras on the beach, while fitness at the gym, pampering at the spa, and exploring the nearby boutiques and restaurants make up the rest of your time. To give yourself that extra oomph of luxury, opt for a Japanese Kobido facial. If sport is more your thing, you can try out the newest in fitness trends like E-Foiling and Rolfing (we had to google what they were too…)
Book it: From £1295 per person, based on 2 people sharing a room. Add-ons such as E-Foiling, Japanese Kobido facial and Rolfing come at an additional fee. formenterayoga.com
Grotta Giusti, Tuscany
What’s more spiritual than a yoga retreat? A yoga retreat in an ancient thermal cave, of course. Grotta Giusti, Tuscany is the place to go for thermal yoga in its vast, ancient thermal cave. Grotta Giusti is the only hotel in the world to have an underground thermal cave and hot spring lake as part of its spa. Yoga practised in the natural warmth of this underground labyrinth amplifies sensations, aids concentration and raises body temperature, while participants experience the therapeutic effects of the cave’s thermal vapours. The water running through the Grotto is rich in salt, sulphate, and alkaline earth and comes out of the ground at around 34°C. Its vapours generate a steam bath that provides effective treatment for respiratory, circulatory, osteo-muscular, nervous, and skin complaints. Namaste.
Book it: The two-night thermal spa package starts from €664 (£597) per person based on double-occupancy. Rates include two nights B&B, one a la carte dinner at the newly refurbished La Veranda restaurant, one tasting dinner, thermal swimming pool and bioaquam circuit, a 50-minute thermal yoga class, 90-minute scuba diving or spa floating and a 50-minute Ayurveda massage. For further information or to book please email [email protected] or call +39 0572 90771. grottagiustispa.com
Baobab Suites Yoga, Tenerife
Improve your daily practice with a week-long retreat at Baobab Suites in Tenerife. On the 7-day trip you’ll enjoy indoor and outdoor Hatha yoga, a dynamic or power session in the privacy of your own suite. Deep tissue massages will help you to recover from your practice, while the tranquil views of the Atlantic Ocean will help you find your inner calm.
Book it: Health and Fitness Travel offers 7 nights at Baobab Suites from £720pp or £1,205 for single occupancy. Price includes breakfast, a yoga programme and return private transfers. healthandfitnesstravel.com
Chateau St Pierre de Serjac, France
Looking for a mixture of adventure and relaxing? Beautiful vineyard estate Château St Pierre de Serjac are launching a series of road biking weekends this spring from their prime position in the Mediterranean countryside. Guests will have access to premium road bike hire, with three days of guided rides through the picturesque vineyards and rolling hills of Languedoc. Fuel your rides with three-course dinners in the hotel restaurant, and spend your evenings relaxing in the spa or swimming in the outdoor pool before residing to your gorgeous château bedroom.
Book it: From £975.00 per person including 3 nights in a luxury château hotel room on a half-board basis (full breakfast to fuel you for the days riding, evening 3 course dinner with wine), access to the spa with a 50 minute massage, access to the all of the hotels other facilities. serjac.com
Yoga & Wellness Retreat, Tuscany
What better place to relax than in a beautiful Italian village? On this idyllic retreat you’ll reside in a boho-chic villa in Pienza, Tuscany, and spend your days doing yoga, cycling, swimming and eating freshly prepared organic meals. Daily holistic treatments such as reiki are also included, as well as a visit to the thermal waters at Bagno Vignoni, where waters reach up to 42 degrees and are believed to have healing properties.
Book it: From £850pp for 5 nights accommodation including brunches and dinners, a spa treatment, winery tour, yoga, trip to Bagno Vignoni and access to the villa facilities. Book here.
Yoga, Fitness & Vitamin Sea, Ibiza
A rare slice of peace and tranquility in a city notorious for champagne-popping and table-top dancing, This summer boutique brand, Our Retreat is offering luxury, transformational retreats that’ll leave you rejeuvenated and glowing – sans the Ibiza hangover. Hosted by world-class fitness experts determined to whip you into shape, you can expect days alternating between pilates, meditation, SUP paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, hiking, and oceanside fitness – punctuated, of course, by freshly cooked nutritional meals. Taking place in sumptuous villas, all needs will be tended to and guests will be surrounded by like-minded people so that you can focus on what you’re there for. When the sun sets, however, guests can relax with live music nights, open-air cinema screenings or simply lounging in this beautiful slice of heaven.
Book it: Our Retreat Ibiza retreats start from £1,450 on an all-inclusive basis, including all meals, accommodation, fitness classes, activities and airport transfers. 6- 12 & 13 – 19 October 2019. Book here.
BodyHoliday, St Lucia
As the leading health and wellness resort n St Lucia, BodyHoliday is the go-to for holidayers to trade in their daiquiris for downward dog. Things are getting even more flexi with the appointment of renowned yoga instructor Alisha Smith as the resort’s yoga specialist. You can expect a range of yoga styles suitable for all levels, as well as more innovative forms of yoga such as SUP Yoga. Nestled in the tropical gardens on the beachfront, you couldn’t pick a better place to unwind and get bendy. Book onto a retreat and you’ll see that BodyHoliday truly deliver on their promise of ‘give us your body for a week and we’ll give you back your mind’.
Book it: BodyHoliday rates start from $500 pp/per night. Book here.
Dolce Vitality at Le Sirenuse, Positano, Italy
Why not subvert the norm of wining and dining in Positano (and smugly Instagramming those views), and experience a transformative week-long fitness and detox retreat at one of the Italian village’s most coveted hotels instead. Indulge your mind, body and soul through hiking, meditation, massages and more, while surrounded by the beauty of Southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Not to mention, Le Sirenuse’s Michelin starred chef, Gennaro Russo is in charge of the retreat’s plant-based, Mediterranean and health-inspired menu, while world-class wellness experts from renowned yoga teacher Elena Brower to leading nutritionist Dr Paolo Toniolo will be on hand to educate and inspire.
Book it: Dolce Vitality rates start from £6000 pp/per six nights (Sunday to Saturday). Book here.
Hike Caribbean, Dominica
Whether you’re looking to practice yoga overlooking the Caribbean Sea, or gearing up for an adventurous vacation filled with snorkelling and hill hiking, Dominica is a destination that caters to both desires. Hike Caribbean’s new yoga and hiking retreat, launched in collaboration with holistic healer, nutritionist and yoga expert Petra Rakebrandt, places emphasis on reconnecting with the self and nature through an array of relaxing and rejuvenating exercises and activities including mindfulness and meditation. Located at the newly reopened Jungle Bay Eco Resort, which played victim to Storm Erika in 2015, there will also be plenty of time for spa treatments and resting poolside, as well as getting out to explore the island’s waterfalls, hot water pools, and idyllic Ti Tou Gorge.
Book it: Hike Caribbean Dominica rates start from £1999 pp/per double room for seven nights between 26 October to 2 November. Book here.