Health Travel Magazine - Digest 2024

6 Types of Wellness Retreats to Discover

Find your perfect wellness retreat

Making the decision to embark on a wellness holiday or retreat is a monumental stride towards your own transformation. Whether you hope to transition away from old habits, inspire new change, or simply give life a good shake up and try something new – these rewarding experiences are designed to inspire.

First thing’s first – choosing the type of wellness retreat that fits in with your personal goals and interests. Simple, right? Well with a world of options at your fingertips, it can often feel overwhelming finding what and where to choose. To guide you to the best retreat for your unique self, we’ve broken it down into the six categories of wellness holiday.

Adventure holidays that Reconnect with Nature

Adventure holidays may come as a surprise in the common perception of wellness retreats, but they are perfect to recharge, re-energise and disconnect. We often spend most of our day looking down, completely engulfed in our phones, all while creating a detachment to our world and the people within it.

La Pura Vida Adventure, Private Tour in Costa Rica

Escaping the digital world and surrounding yourself with nature has been discovered to greatly improve mood and physical health. In fact, many luxury wellness holidays can incorporate private guided tours with experts in marine biology, botany or even wilderness survival specialists showing you the ropes. Besides, nothing beats getting your body moving and your blood flowing like an invigorating activity, where you can reconnect with yourself and the natural world.

For those wishing to rediscover nature, the rich biodiversity of Costa Rica is just the remedy. Deep in the rainforest and out to rugged coastlines, La Pura Vida Adventure promises a tropical escape for travellers of all ages. Expect hidden waterfalls, wildlife exploration with private guides, relaxation in cliffside hideaways and white water rafting to remote jungle lodges.

If you’re aiming to physically challenge yourself and get off the grid, then check out our highly intrepid Chilean Patagonian expedition for multi-day trekking and kayaking through untouched landscapes in Torres del Paine and beyond. Nights are balanced between wild camping and rewarding recovery nights in our favourite Chilean hotels, including stargazing in a private hot tub next to a secluded luxury cabin.

Trek and Kayak across Chile’s Patagonia

Health & Beauty Retreats at Luxury Wellness Hotels

Health and beauty wellness retreats target a wide spectrum of health goals that aim to rejuvenate and transform the body (and mind) through holistic approaches and often with the use of innovative technology.

Aesthetic treatments vary from anti-ageing skin rejuvenation to targeting cellulite, meanwhile internal health programmes target long-term health conditions as well as preventative care. From chronic pain management and improving the effectiveness of the immune system to gut health analysis and even reducing inflammation within the body.

Health and Beauty Retreats at Clinique la Prairie, Switzerland

Some programmes offer a hybrid of both traditional and modern treatments for a well-rounded holistic retreat. Clinique La Prairie in Switzerland presents an array of leading treatments for mental and physical health. Innovative medical treatments for the face and body are intertwined with the healing massages and private jacuzzi suites.

The Healthy Aging Retreat at SHA Wellness in Spain is a top-pick for skin renewal and overall health, through identifying, reversing and delaying the effects of ageing. Led by specialists in genetics, anti-aging and regenerative medicine, the programme uses innovative technology such as body scans to determine your biological age and health concerns, guiding your personal wellness journey.

Healthy Ageing Retreat at SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain

Active Holidays and Fitness Retreats

Active holidays vary in intensity, from gentle movement to dust off the cobwebs and bring air into the lungs to the physically intense activity, where challenge meets high reward. Many of our luxury wellness hotel partners host expertly crafted studios that overlook jungles and sweeping valleys for yoga and personal training with a view. But the real intrigue in active holidays are the awe-inspiring experiences out in nature.

The 3-night Kick-Start Retreat at Grantely Hall in the UK’s Yorkshire Dales is geared towards fitness and toning. The luxury retreat combines body composition, dietary plans pairing with personal training sessions and even a cryotherapy chamber session to boost metabolism.

Meanwhile, more holistic active holidays and retreats such as Euphoria Retreat in Greece hosts a variety of its activities out in its private pine forest that surrounds the wellness resort.

Fitness and Active Holidays at Euphoria Retreat, Greece

The Outdoor Escape retreat at Canyon Ranch Lenox focuses on endorphin boosting hikes, wall climbing, kayaking and even archery. For an easier outdoor experience, try Shin Rin Yoku – the Japanese practice of taking a slow, guided walk in the forest to reconnect with nature and your inner mind.

BodyHoliday St Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s leading wellness retreats, with a dedication to fitness, yoga and other holistic wellbeing programmes. Your Wellness Journey is flexible retreat that includes a daily 50-minute massage in between tennis, bike rides, pilates and scuba diving in the kaleidoscopic reefs.

Active holidays at BodyHoliday St Lucia

Yoga and Meditation Retreats by the Beach, Mountains & Vineyards

Yoga and meditation holidays focus on holistic healing of the mind, body and soul through ancient eastern practices. The combination of yoga, meditation, therapies, and nutrition harmoniously creates the perfect wellness retreat, allowing you to unwind and find balance in your life.

For a more traditional approach to a yoga retreat or meditation retreat, Ananda in the Himalayas is one of the leading luxury spa hotels in the world, with 360-degree wellness experiences tailored specifically to you. This resort is known for their incorporation of Ayurveda – a holistic way of life that uses medicines, diets and therapies from nature and ancient traditions.

Spiritual Retreat at Eremito, Italy

For something sensationally unique, Eremito is a monastery-inspired retreat in Italy, hidden remotely in the thick forests of Umbria. This stripped-back experience offers profound insight through meditation, mindful walks, silent dinners and a digital detox.

For beachside yoga holidays and spiritual retreats with a twist, Chablé Maroma in Mexico presents a luxury bohemian hideaway with a refined spa and mezcal cocktails served at sunset on ocean-facing rooftops. The Spiritual Retreat is one for the adventurists and the soul-seekers to discover.

Another playful, modern twist to luxury yoga and meditation retreats is Six Senses Douro Valley. Set among Portugal’s hillside vineyards and overlooking the meandering River Douro, this world-class wellness resort combines vineyard yoga with alchemy workshops and wine tasting river cruises.

Vineyard Yoga at Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal

Luxury Spa Breaks for Total Relaxation

If you’re feeling weighed down from your daily routine, or you simply need some time dedicated to your wellbeing, then a luxury spa retreat may be just what the doctor ordered. Some luxury hotels offer multi-experience spa facilities with a plethora of steam rooms, saunas and pools to dip in and out of each day. The jawdropping views of the lakes and mountains from Lefay Resort and Spa Lago di Garda is enough to put anyone in a state of ecstasy.

Lefay Hotel and Spa Lago di Garda, Italy

On the flip side, other wellness hotels encompass a more intimate approach, with treatment rooms overlooking turquoise lagoons or with the natural soundtracks of rainforests and rivers. For a culturally enriched spa experience, we offer the highly rated Japanese luxury retreat at Amanemu, which has an initial health consultation upon arrival followed by traditional wellbeing practices with guided movement sessions, zazen meditation, therapeutic spas, and healing massages. You can unwind in the resort’s natural (and fully private) hot springs, all while overlooking the views of the surrounding forest.

For Michelin-star dining and private lakeside lodges with exclusive ensuite spas, the Gilpin Hotel and Lakehouse in the UK’s Lake District is idyllic for late nights with champagne in the hot tub under a star-studded sky.

The Gilpin Lakehouse, Lake District, UK

Detox & Weight-loss Retreats that Transform & Renew

Most of us spend at least 5 days a week sitting at a desk, and it comes as no surprise that chronic health problems such as diabetes or heart disease are interlinked with inactive lifestyles. Long periods of staying seated have also been the cause of many mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety. Sometimes the body needs that extra push to get back on track, and what better way to do that than with a detox and weight-loss retreat?

If you’re ready to shift to healthier way of life, BodyHoliday in St Lucia offers a holistic approach to a detox retreat. This tropical resort aims to awaken the body through activities tailored to you, allowing you to reconnect with your mental, physical and spiritual self. Embracing this positive transformation during your holiday will bring on a happier, calmer, and more balanced version of yourself long after you return home.

Over in Europe, Switzerland’s Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is a deep breath filled with pure mountain air. Once inside this elegant resort, your healing experience begins, with weight-loss programmes or even medical procedures for the skin and body. Float your troubles away in the showstopping mineral-enriched thermal spa that surrounds the hotel. It is certainly a wellness retreat with world-leading health treatments to support your journey.

Thermal spa at Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

The experts at Health Travel carefully design bespoke wellness retreats that teach and inspire. We are dedicated to holistic healing through our hand-picked hotel partners and tailored programmes. Now you know what type of wellness retreat or holiday you are searching for, get in touch and let us create something truly unforgettable for your time away.

Your retreat, your way.