We work too hard, smoke too much and think those weekend drunken binges count as R&R. Pretty soon, our bodies are screaming for a break.
If you’ve got money (and time) to spend, make like the rich and bored and check yourself into one of these wellness resorts.
Sha Wellness Clinic, Spain
Unlike other wellness clinics, Sha has a very structured regimen for its visitors, including a strict diet and a strong emphasis on veganism, Ayurveda and herbs and teas. Caffeine, alcohol and sugar of any kind are all strictly prohibited here. Their hydrotherapy treatment rooms are unparalleled, and some of the treatments offered are incredible, albeit pricy.
You can have your blood oxygenated at the oxygen bar while waiting for your appointment with the doctor, and watch your stress and fatigue melt away. The view from the rooms is breathtaking, and if you think the treatments are too much for you, you could always laze around the pool, spend a morning trekking or book a personal training session.
Bodyholiday, St Lucia
The best all-inclusive resort in St Lucia, Jamaica is Body Holiday. Only a stone’s throw from the richest playground of the Caribbean where A-listers come to party, it’s the best place get some sun and watch the marine life. You can personalize your experience to give you the best of both worlds: the Caribbean resort experience combined with the best health practitioners, naturopaths and chefs in the world. And with all the activities available, you can choose to be as busy or lazy as you like.
What to expect: water sports, yoga classes, archery, scuba diving, golf and more. Food at each of the four restaurants is healthy, organic and fresh, so you can eat without abandon. And, good news for the non-teetotalers, you can relax with a cocktail post your workout, because BodyHoliday serves alcohol.
Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Bengaluru
Located on a farm a few hours from Bengaluru lies this oasis that promises healing from the inside out. The Satvik food served here, community-style, is wholesome and delicious. The spa is absolutely fabulous, particularly the traditional Ayurvedic rituals, as well as the Jacuzzi. The staff are very attentive, including providing “ashwagandha” in one’s milk every night to promote relaxation and restful sleep. In particular, the morning sound meditation and yoga classes will transform your days. You can thank us later.
Four Seasons, Paris
Strategically located near the iconic Champs-Élysées, The Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris is absolutely stunning and a must on every Parisian itinerary. Le Spa offers incredibly indulgent rituals and treatments: The “Stroll Through Versailles”, for example, will leave you feeling like French royalty, for the price of 450 Euros. But if you’re pressed for time and don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, try the Hammam, Sodashi exfoliation and scrub followed by the experiential shower.
Como Shambhala, Bali
Situated in the scintillating town of Ubud, with views of the Ayung river, is Bali’s most iconic wellness resort. It’s got state-of-the-art rooms overlooking the Balinese rainforest, nutritionists and Ayurvedic doctors on call and morning yoga and meditation classes. This isn’t a cheap holiday spot by any means, but it’s well worth every rupee if you’re looking for some TLC. The spa is absolutely incredible, with the deep tissue massage post an arduous trek the perfect remedy for sore muscles. The menus at both of its restaurants take into account dietary intolerances, and there’s plenty of raw and vegan options, as well as juices and smoothies to choose from for a detox ritual. Recommended: the mulberry sorbet and cashew nut mousse.
Four Seasons Hotel, Landaa Giravaaru, Maldives
This property is newer than the Kudaa Hurra in the Maldives, but has won just as many awards for travel and wellness. Accessible only by seaplane from Malé, the remote island resort is designed to spoil you rotten. It’s a longevity centre that combines the best of Ayurvedic and western treatments, and includes such things as Ila Chakra balancing rituals to help you feel grounded and alleviate all stress, anxiety and dissonance. Yoga lovers can also rejoice, because the Landaa is the first resort in Asia to offer AntiGravity yoga in breathtakingly beautiful settings.
Cocoa Island by Como Hotels, Maldives
Nobody understands wellness as well as Como Hotels. This resort’s got a 360-degree approach to wellness, and its numerous activities in the Maldives’ azure blue waters are bound to take your breath away. Australian chef Amanda Gale, who trained under Celebrity Chef Neil Perry, has painstakingly created menus that are dairy-free, grain-free and include no added sugars – but the food’s absolutely incredible, and you still get to eat dessert at every meal and lose weight too. The open-air pavilion for group and private yoga is extremely popular, and you’ll see guests waking up at the crack of dawn to twist and stretch those muscles.
Per Aquum Resorts Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
Situated in Baa Atoll, about a 30-minute speedboat ride from Malé airport, lies a gorgeous resort with a spa that every spa enthusiast should experience at least once in their life: Imagine being able to ogle at Maldivian marine life as you soak away your stresses and worries, and indulge in some TLC. The Lime Spa is fitted with state-of-the-art technology, all the latest fittings, and customizes rituals to your liking. During treatments, when you’re lying face up, you can see manta rays, sharks, sea turtles up close. Their restaurant, called Raw, also has a comprehensive healthy menu with cold soups, Buddha salad bowls, vegan desserts and healthy mains. And they’re happy to whip up a smoothie or a protein shake for you post your workout.
Niraamaya Retreats, Kovalam
This gorgeous property nestled on a quiet stretch of Kovalam beach is paradise for wellness warriors, Yoginis and those looking for a place to recharge. They offer such activities as morning yoga on the cliff and in the pavilion, and Chef Prakash Nayak whips up delicious gluten-free, grain-free and added-sugar-free treats using raw honey, coconut flour, coconut sugar and other premium ingredients. A Relais and Chateaux property, Niraamaya is also famous for its high-tech spa, which offers, among other things, padh-abhyangam and udwartanam massages. Expect to leave feeling invigorated, refreshed and well looked after.
Alternative: If you’re sick of the beach and want some privacy and seclusion in the jungles of Kerala, head to the resort’s cardamom plantation in Thekkady. It’s a much smaller property, but the quiet, peaceful spa there will do you a whole world of good.