Oprah Winfrey’s star-studded visit to Palazzo Fiuggi this month has thrust the world of wellness retreats into the international spotlight, but she’s not the only celebrity to hop on the trend. From Gwyneth Paltrow’s infamous Goop brand, to the exclusive retreats responsible for maintaining the physiques of models and movie stars, here are all the health and wellness retreats that have gained the celebrity seal of approval.
A cutting edge medical spa with the elegance of a grand old hotel, Palazzo Fiuggi is a firm favourite of the Health Travel team, and one of Europe’s leading destinations for a health kick. Their scientifically supported, medically-proven programmes cover everything from longevity and healthy ageing, to weight loss and detoxes, with each one tailored to suit your individual needs.
With Oprah, a lifelong lover of spas and retreats, declaring “never have I ever experienced anything like this”, you can guarantee a truly transformative stay. Besides high-tech treatments, a personalised itinerary, and Michelin-star meals, “the biggest dose of anything you’ll get there is attention and care”, which teaches the importance of nurturing the mind, body, and soul.
One of the most recognisable health resorts in the world, SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain is almost as well-known for celeb spotting as it is for its wellness retreats. The likes of Naomi Campbell, Kylie Minogue, and Kate Moss have all graced these hallowed marble floors, so you can rest assured you’re in the very best hands with SHA’s expert team.
Spa treatments and natural therapies combine with medical expertise and SHA’s unique take on nutrition to form the foundations of a range of bespoke retreats, including healthy ageing, weight loss, and stress relief. Whatever your concern, SHA’s unparalleled technology and expertise can guide you towards your goals.
One of the original health and wellness resorts, Chiva Som in Thailand has been in the game longer than almost anywhere else, setting the global precedent for dedicated wellness retreats. No wonder then that it’s played host to a number of A-listers over the years, including David and Victoria Beckham, Elizabeth Hurley, and Hugh Grant.
This ‘Haven of Life’ aims to restore balance of body and mind through holistic therapies and transformative experiences, including a Watsu pool, yoga and meditation, and Muay Thai. They’ve recently added genomic testing to their extensive choice of treatments, for a truly personalised stay.
The actress Rebel Wilson caused headlines after her dramatic weight transformation, and the cult Austrian resort Vivamayr is credited with helping her achieve this new, healthy lifestyle. With two clinics in Austria, Vivamayr Altaussee and Vivamayr Maria Wörth, both featuring the innovative Mayr Cure Method, it’s become a go to institution for a health overhaul.
The Mayr Cure recognises the gut as the centre of the immune system, and focuses on transforming your relationship with food and nutrition to help your body work more efficiently. Besides weight loss, the Mayr Cure has helped Rebel Wilson, along with thousands of others, redefine their relationship with food, discover healthy habits, and boost their immune system.
Is Ananda in the Himalayas a wellness resort fit for a king? King Charles certainly seems to think so, as he and Queen Consort Camilla stayed at the hotel’s elegant Viceregal Suite during their tour of India a few years ago. As well as experiencing the traditional luxury of this award-winning spa hotel, the royal couple enjoyed one of the resort’s signature experiences; an Aarti ceremony on the banks of the sacred Ganges river, which sets the tone for your spiritual immersion at Ananda.
Offering a richly varied choice of programmes built around the ancient wellness practises of yoga and Ayurveda, Ananda in the Himalayas guides its guests towards peace and enlightenment. This world renowned spa is a spiritual centre for mental and physical rest and recovery, and the perfect escape from a busy life.
Hosting more celebrities than a red carpet event, Amangiri, set among Utah’s otherworldly rocky landscapes, is a veritable who’s who of Hollywood. Frequented by the Kardashian/Jenner clan, it’s also a favourite vacation spot for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
Offering the chance to truly get away from it all, this breathtaking resort is surrounded by rugged panoramas, perfect for outdoor exploration including, horse riding, hiking, and a thrilling Via Ferrata. The star of the show though is the luxurious Aman spa; a 25,000 square foot space with treatments inspired by the healing traditions of the Navajo.
Another Rebel Wilson favourite, The Ranch Malibu’s tried and tested formula sees guests undertake a challenging programme of daily hikes fuelled by their now infamous ‘six almonds’ snack. While it may be tough, it works wonders, and its list of famous clientele are the proof. Nicole Scherzinger, Lea Michele and Mandy Moore are also fans, and the retreat has gained cult status as a celebrity bootcamp.
Besides a rigorous exercise routine, The Ranch Malibu also offers an unbeatable opportunity for mental rest and recuperation – when else do you get the chance to escape in nature for four hours a day? The group activities and communal dining create a motivating community atmosphere, allowing you to support one another on your journey to better health.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Celebrity Cruises
As the founder of Goop, and Hollywood’s most famous wellness guru, it was only a matter of time before Gwyneth Paltrow branched out into hosting her own wellness retreats. Developing Goop’s partnership with Celebrity Cruises, Gwyneth brought her brand of wellness to the healing powers of the endless ocean with the launch of Goop at Sea.
This luxury cruise featured expert-led sessions and tasters of massages, products, and food, for a healing combination of discovery and restoration through France and Italy, and sold out within minutes.
The Dreaming by Charlotte Church
Another famous face to make the leap into the wellness industry, singer Charlotte Church spent years as a vocal activist on issues such as climate change and politics before opening her own retreat in Wales in 2022, driven by the desire to create a positive change in people’s lives. She bought and lovingly restored Rhydoldog House in Rhayader, Wales with the aim of creating a space that would reflect her own values, and named it The Dreaming.
Linked to her passionate stance against climate change, nature is a pivotal theme throughout the retreat: “By slowing down and allowing ourselves to witness the rhythms and complexity of the natural world we can arrive at a peace that has become virtually impossible to achieve with the incessant and often exhausting pace of modern life.”