Any holiday that brings about an improvement in your physical and or mental health can be described as a wellness holiday. The options for a ‘wellness holiday’ therefore are vast in number. On one end of the spectrum is the more serious and more goal-oriented break or retreat, such as an intensive detox programme, immersive yoga retreat, an anti stress programme or fitness bootcamp and this is most likely to take place in a dedicated wellness hotel or clinic, a destination spa or a retreat setting.
However, you may not want something as intensive as this but you may want to include your favourite sports or activities into your holiday, such as tennis, surfing, hiking and or spa treatments. Your regular summer holiday can become a wellness holiday if you add in some activity and some healthy food choices, rest and relaxation and it boosts your physical or mental health, then consider it a ‘wellness holiday’. Hotels are responding to the huge rise in demand for ‘wellness’ and so in general they are providing more and more fitness and activity options as well as healthier food choices.
If you’re serious about a wellness holiday, that is, you have a specific goal in mind – be it improving fitness, losing weight, reducing stress, then the recommended option is to travel to a dedicated wellness hotel, or ‘destination spa’. The benefit of travelling to a specialist hotel is that there will be a specialist expert team (spa, fitness, nutrition, yoga etc) plus for the guests, there are minimal distractions or temptations to lure them away from the goal they are there for. Other guests are also there for wellness and so guests are serious about why they’re there and what they want to achieve with their time.
These hotels suit the solo traveller perfectly as they can focus entirely on themselves and their own wellness goals for the duration of their stay without any distraction.
For a fully-focussed wellness immersion, you may also be interested in a retreat experience, where you join others in a group, which helps motivate you and provides ready company, particularly if you’re travelling on your own. in:spa is an award-winning all-round wellness retreat, which includes fitness, yoga, hiking, a delicious detox, nutrition advice and massage. Destination Yoga offers yoga retreats to beautiful destinations with wonderful teachers.
In the most part, the options above however only cater for adults, which makes it less easy to have a dedicated wellness holiday if you are travelling with your family. However the hotels below provide serious wellness options, such as fitness and detox programmes and lots of activities but are either very family friendly, or will happily accommodate children in some areas. We expect to see more and more wellness programmes emerge at 4 and 5 star family-friendly hotels, so choices should increase. Equally we expect to see more wellness focussed hotels start to offer accommodation for families over the next few years.
Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical
Short and sharp wellbeing trips are favoured by those who are time poor and see a shorter option better than not being able to take a trip at all. With that in mind in:spa, luxury health and detox retreats has launched an Express option where you pack a full week’s activities into the shorter stay. The wellbeing hotels above all offer the option of 3-5 night programmes, so your wellness trip can be packed into a long weekend.
At the other end of the spectrum there is an increased appetite to book an extended wellbeing trip as a chance to make a radical healthy lifestyle change. The ‘Wellbeing Sabbatical’ is a 30, 60 or even 90 day healthy holiday.
In line with this trend, wellness resort Absolute Sanctuary, located on Thailand’s Koh Samui has just introduced a 30 or 60 day Lifestyle Change programme which takes guests through three phases. First, a week long cleanse, ridding the body of toxins and releasing the old energy followed by goal setting, nutritional coaching, fitness sessions including yoga and Pilates, as well as a host of rejuvenating treatments including oxygenating facials, massage, wraps and relaxation techniques such as meditation. Participants will learn the foundations of new practices and return home glowing and set to make the change for good.
In today’s 24/7 connected world, like a tired muscle, our brain needs time to rest and recover and for 2017 the appetite to discover different ways to help us ‘digital detox’ is set to continue. Santani in Sri Lanka has absolutely no wifi, unless guests specifically request it. Swap screen time for an immersive stay in nature, surrounded by 47 acres of rainforest, access to the country’s first fully-fledged spa, yoga classes, meditation sessions and healthy cooking workshops; all with Ayurvedic influences.
With many healthy eating regimes raving about the benefits of raw food we have seen raw food bars popping up in some unexpected locations – from a new hotel in the Maldives to a Safari Spa Lodge in South Africa.
Located on an idyllic island in the middle of an expansive blue lagoon on the South Malé Atoll, OZEN Maadhoo opened in July 2016. Guests enjoy access to an all-inclusive plan, which includes unlimited snorkelling trips, watersports and spa treatments, plus full access to the sport & wellbeing centre and its very own Raw Food Bar. Back on dry land, Karkloof Safari Spa, located in South Africa’s lush Kwazulu Natal is a safari like no other. This spa-focused wellbeing retreat is surrounded savannah plains, Acacia trees, waterfalls and rivers and home to rhino, giraffe and zebra. Unlimited spa treatments, the very best organic gourmet raw food, a range of wellbeing classes and the chance to take part in game drives, mountain biking, bush walks and fly-fishing are included in the price.
With over 15 years experience, we’re travel experts
Fully tailored holidays, exactly as you want them.
All of our holidays are financially protected by the ATOL scheme and Protected Trust Services.
Our experienced team at your destination will look after you every step of the way.