pool at kamalaya resort koh samui thailand

wellness holidays

What is a wellness holiday?

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.

Dedicated wellness hotels

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.

outdoor pool at chiva som resort thailand

This is a highly professional destination spa set on a long stretch of sandy beach with excellent tailored health programmes and international visiting consultants. The grounds...

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Garden Pool Suite View at kamalaya resort koh samui thailand

This holistic island wellness retreat is a wonderful place of sanctuary where you can do as much or as little as you want. Set away from...

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resort wide view at absolute sanctuary resort thailand

Absolute Sanctuary offers excellent healthy food, lux spa treatments and yoga in a peaceful away-from-it all setting. World class experiences at excellent prices. Once you’ve adjusted...

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Infinity pool with mountain backdrop at SHA Wellness Spain

Immaculately-designed, bright white and gleaming, SHA is Europe’s first luxury clinic dedicated to macrobiotics, a holistic system of health that focuses on rebalancing your system,...

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Pool Day at shanti som hotel spain

Shanti Som is a delightful little slice of south east Asia in the hills 20 minutes north of Marbella. Once you step through the doors of...

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Situated on a UNESCO World Heritage site, Euphoria retreat is a luxurious escape for those seeking an exceptional wellness holiday in the stunning Greek countryside. Opening...

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aerial view of the body holiday resort st lucia

The Body Holiday is a lively resort tucked away on the pretty Cariblue Beach on the northern tip of the island of Saint Lucia.  It...

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central pool at dusk at rancho la puerta spa retreat mexico

Founded in 1940, Rancho La Puerta has grown into a world-renowned wellness resort with an extraordinarily high percentage of repeat guests. Perfect for a healthy...

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Group wellness holidays

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.

Family wellness hotels

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.

Massage at Marbella Beach Club Spain

Originally the private beach residence of Prince Alfonso von Hohenlohe and set in a Mediterranean paradise of sub-tropical gardens at the heart of what has...

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Waterfall at vilara thalassa resort portugal

The experts at Longevity have found a beautiful new beach-side home at Vilalara Thalassa Resort for their highly regarded wellness programmes. Vilalara Thalassa Resort is located...

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Lobby at Epic Sana Portugal

Epic Sana offers an excellent selection of wellness programmes from its beautiful cliff top location overlooking the spectacular Praia de Falésia beach. Epic Sana sits in...

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Lefay Resort & Spa is set high on a hill above Lake Garda, in the heart of the beautiful Italian Lakes.  The nearby village of...

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Sharing from: £959
Infinity pool with mountain backdrop at SHA Wellness Spain

Immaculately-designed, bright white and gleaming, SHA is Europe’s first luxury clinic dedicated to macrobiotics, a holistic system of health that focuses on rebalancing your system,...

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Sharing from: £1228
heated olympic pool at playitas resort canary islands

Playitas is Europe's largest sports and fitness resort and a brilliant year-round destination for those looking to stay fit or get fitter. This exceptional 4* health...

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view from the lobby at amatara wellness resort thailand

Tucked away in a peaceful corner of Cape Panwa on the southeastern tip of Phuket Island, this fabulous luxury resort offers a selection of comprehensive...

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zukra pool villa at Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort

Set on the shores of the Arabian sea, just 8 kms away from the world famous backwaters of Alappuzha, the luxurious all-villa Carnoustie Ayurveda &...

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pool at como shambhala estate bali

This is a sophisticated health retreat in a simply spectacular wilderness setting with access to talented health consultants and genuinely holistic health programmes. It’s set above...

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view from the spa at fusion maia resort vietnam

An all-inclusive specialist spa retreat located only 20 minutes from the ancient town of Hoi An (a UNESCO World Heritage site) and located on one...

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Wellness holiday through activities

You don’t need to rely on the hotel to make your holiday a ‘wellness holiday’. The setting can give you the opportunity to indulge in your favourite outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, surfing, swimming. Head to these pages for some inspiration.

Current wellness trends

Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical 

Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical 

Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical 

Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical 
Express versus Wellbeing Sabbatical 
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.

 

Digital Detoxing showing no signs of ‘switching off’

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.

 

Raw Food Revolution on both sides of the Indian Ocean

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.

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