Top 10 Health & Wellness Resorts
Overindulgence while on holiday used to be the no-guilt norm. But today’s more health-conscious traveler is seeking time off work to recharge body, mind, and spirit, get in better shape, and actually learn how to eat better while on vacation. Here are 10 ideal getaways that offer special programs, activities, instruction and extras that go above and beyond health and wellness.
The Wickaninnish Inn
Tofino, British Columbia is renowned for its stunning natural wilderness and The Wickaninnish Inn on pristine Clayoquot Sound offers world-weary travelers the chance to escape to a rugged, wild and untamed destination. There are a number of ways to revitalize body, mind, and spirit without giving up any creature comforts at this spa, where wellness programs are front and center, like the Ancient Cedars Active Health Package with yoga, massage, personalized fitness training a certified personal trainer, and more. Organic, locally-sourced gourmet cuisine complements the experience, while guided nature hikes of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve add to the allure of this unique boutique resort.
The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu
This wellness retreat in Malibu’s Santa Monica Mountains is famous for their “luxury boot camps”. The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, formerly silent film star Hop-Along Cassidy’s farm, offers intensive 7-day programs guaranteed to get you in shape. For those with less time to spare, they also offer The Ranch 4.0, a 4-day program held at nearby Four Seasons Westlake Village in partnership with the California Health and Longevity Institute. Both programs are designed to help guests gain physical endurance, shed unwanted pounds, improve nutritional habits and detoxify in a healthy and sustainable way.
Boasting the natural hot springs caldera called the Homestead Crater on site, Swiss-style Zermatt Resort is located in Midway, Utah just minutes from world famous downhill skiing at Deer Valley and Park City’s Sundance Film Festival. The Wasatch Mountains provide a perfect backdrop for hiking, while Zermatt’s wellness centre and full service spa made unwinding a cinch. But it’s their comprehensive packages offered by in-house experts and founders of the National Institute of Health and Fitness, Dr. Marc Sorenson and Vicki Sorenson, that really set this spot apart, focusing on improved health, anti-aging and nutrition.
Zoëtry Aqua Resort & Spa
Far removed from the main resort strip lining Punta Cana’s beaches in the Dominican Republic, Zoëtry’s upscale all-inclusive resort is designed to offer total rejuvenation through the healing powers of water. Swim-out suites and dipping pools lead to serpentine infinity pools, hot tubs, and a glorious stretch of secluded sea. Their full-service spa is also a haven of hydrotherapy options and unique energizing treatments, which employ indigenous natural products. Overall wellbeing is foremost at this swank spa retreat, with calorie counts on menus, home-grown organic produce, and a full spectrum of healthy enrichment activities including a complimentary wellness consultation.
Gansevoort Turks + Caicos
Though all Gansevoort hotels offer the signature CORE® workout, health and wellness plans, this resort on the island of Providenciales cresting Grace Bay Beach – one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the world – offers the additional allure of getting fit by the sea. Their full-service Exhale Spa offers restorative mind and body programs that run the gamut from intensive yoga to cardio training and fitness boot camp. You can also take advantage of additional active water pursuits such as snorkeling, diving, sailing, kiteboarding, and windsurfing in warm and crystal clear Caribbean waters.
Sprawled along the base of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito, California, the Cavallo Point complex originally served as military barracks. It has since lost its Spartan vibe, yet the architectural heritage still remains an important part of this luxury resort. Surrounded by nature, the setting is an ideal base for hiking, and guests are provided with comprehensive packages designed to improve wellbeing. Acupuncture, nutritional and dietary counselling, fitness and body awareness programs, yoga, martial arts, mind-body relaxation techniques and energy work programs are all available. There’s also a full service spa and meditation pool if it’s relaxation you’re after.
After a $20 million renovation, The BodyHoliday, an all-inclusive seaside St. Lucia resort, continues to revolve around physical rejuvenation. Beyond on-site programs like BodyAware, they also offer special fitness-themed retreats year-round including yoga months, and training with former Olympian athletes. There’s also a wellness centre, a new spin studio, and an expanded water sports centre. Rates also include daily spa treatments, fencing, archery, Pilates, tai chi and more. The BodyHoliday is also part of “Elevate Yourself”, an annual island-wide health and wellness workshop that attracts celebrity fitness, food and health gurus from around the world, like Cat Cora and New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein.
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa
Located north of San Diego in scenic Vista, California, Cal-a-Vie Spa combines European spa philosophies with a California concept of fitness, health and nutrition. They are a small boutique property with spa vacation packages that include gourmet health cuisine, fitness classes, beauty and spa treatments, weight training, Zumba, Pilates, yoga, mind-body awareness programs, health and nutrition lectures and more. Workout clothing is even supplied for guests, who are free to follow their daily regime, or have a personalized itinerary customized for individual needs. There’s also a golf course, while the mountainous surroundings offer optimal hiking.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club
Long a favourite of golfers and sun-seekers, Sarasota’s The Resort at Longboat Key Club crests a stellar Gulf Coast beach and has recently ramped up wellness offerings. Guests can now enjoy Wellness Weekend Workshops filled with spirituality and nutrition classes, lunches with certified health experts, active group adventure days to the mangroves, and even waist-watcher classes. They also have tennis courts, a comprehensive fitness centre, a Mind and Motion studio with Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and spinning classes and therapeutic treatments at their Island House Spa. Healthy vegetarian, organic and gluten-free fare are also on offer at their six on-site restaurants.
Named for the quirky rock formations that surround this resort in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, Waldorf Astoria’s The Boulders has long been known as a celebrity favourite for golf and spa retreats. But now they offer even more for the health and wellness traveler. Challenging mountain bike trails, rock climbing, horseback riding, tennis, Pilates, yoga, tai chi and other physical activities pair particularly well with their home-grown organic culinary offerings and nutritional counselling. Shamanic journeys, astrological soul readings, and even a Hopi Indian medicine wheel add to this unique experiences designed to promote a perfectly holistic balance of mind, body and spirit.