(Luxury Self-Care)

These Spectacular Resorts Put Wellbeing At The Forefront

Vacation mode reimagined.

@comoshambhalaestate
best wellness resorts 2024
Well Traveled

Wellness is not a fleeting trend. Over the last few years, the concept of self-care has finally cemented itself into the mainstream consciousness in a breadth of tangible and important ways, from a new wave of holistic membership spaces sweeping major cities to a more open dialogue about mental health. That intentionality extends to vacations, too. While cultural immersion, sightseeing, and seeking out thrilling adventures remain key drivers, one of the biggest motivations for a growing segment of travelers is health and well-being. According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is expected to hit $817 billion this year. And reservations at wellness-focused properties of the Leading Hotels of the World, a luxury hotel booking platform, are pacing 14% above 2023.

It wasn’t too long ago that a wellness-minded retreat or experience consisted of pilgrimaging to exclusive health spas in Budapest or the Évian region of France. Today, wellness resorts are as varied as the guests who visit them. Whether you’re interested in body scrubs in Bali or forest bathing at an agritourism site in South Africa, there’s a self-care sanctuary to suit. “Travelers are prioritizing creative and innovative approaches to wellness, which makes offerings such as forest bathing, art therapy, and biohacking increasingly desirable experiences,” says Shannon Knapp, president and CEO of the Leading Hotels of the World.

In need of a vacation that will leave you rested, nourished, and refreshed? Scroll on for the best wellness resorts in the world.

Best Spas

Joali Being, Bodufushi Island, Maldives

@joalibeing

The first and only “well-being island in the Maldives,” Joali Being is a holistic haven that emphasizes joy and truly enjoying the process of rejuvenation. Staying at this tropical paradise means getting to experience Watsu therapy (a type of aquatic bodywork), salt inhalation (breathwork in a salt room), and sound healing at one of the best destination spas in the world. Creativity-spurring sculpture-making at the art studio, herbalist-led workshops that range from gardening to tea tastings, yoga in the oceanfront pavilion, and nutritionist-curated Earth-to-table fare are also highlights.

Chablé Yucatán, Chocholá, Mexico

@chableyucatan

A vastly different vacation than partying in Cancún, Chablé Yucatán reflects a more conscious, tranquil, nature-steeped side of the Yucatán Peninsula. Shrouded by the thick jungle, this wellness-forward getaway supplies the ideal setting to recharge. Ancestral Mayan healing traditions and state-of-the-art facilities come together at the magnificent spa centered on a sacred cenote where volcanic clay wrap, shaman-led temescal ceremonies, and the three-hour Fountain of Youth bathing journey ignite the mind, body, and soul.

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

@resortragaz

Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, a massive and storied wellness one-stop shop in the Swiss Alps, boasts an unsurprisingly spectacular spa with a plethora of exclusive experiences. Want to combat the effects of stress and jetlag? Book the signature fitness facial — the equivalent of a gym session for your face, it promises to lift, tighten, and tone. Keen to try something a bit different? Opt for chi nei tsang, a therapeutic abdominal massage aimed at clearing energetic and physical blockages. Be sure to carve out some time to enjoy the thermal pools and sauna.

Most Unique Programming & Activities

Six Senses Vana, Dehradun, India

@sixsensesvana

The Six Senses portfolio is full of resorts with superb spas and wellness offerings. The brand’s first full-scale wellness retreat, Six Senses Vana, goes all-in on well-being. Here, visitors can be diagnosed and treated by graduates of the Men-Tess-Khang, a charitable Tibetan medicine-based health institute, within the 82-key hideaway nestled in the peaceful Himalayan foothills. They can also partake in yoga, Ayurveda, the ancient Tibetan medicine of sowa rigpa, and healing therapies like reflexology and acupuncture. It’s worth changing out of the provided linen pajamas for a few hours to visit Rishikesh Aarti, a spiritual ceremony on the banks of the Ganges River, or go hiking in the Mussoorie foothills.

Miraval Austin Resort & Spa, Austin, Texas

@miravalaustin

The Texas offshoot of the beloved Arizona wellness O.G., Miraval Austin Resort & Spa has quickly gained a following of devotees. With gorgeous weather year-round and a lakeside setting, it’s picture perfect for spending time outside. Guests have the opportunity to take part in everything from outdoor aerial yoga at the farm and stand-up paddleboarding to tarot card workshops and floating meditation to astro forecast lectures and the Hill Country challenge ropes course. Even with hundreds of activities to choose from, a stay never feels hurried. And, of course, there’s always plenty of time for river flower body treatments and glow-boosting facials at the spa.

Mii Amo, Sedona, Arizona

@mii_amo_spa

Located in one of Sedona’s powerful energy vortexes and framed by stunning red rock scenery, Mii Amo is the perfect place for healing and holistic pampering. Guided journeys (what the resort calls its programs) are filled with connection-fostering experiences such as integrative breathing and compassionate communication, manifestation massages, hypnosis, watercolor painting, sound escapes, energy clearing, sound healing, and sunset hikes. At the end of the day, guests get to go stargazing before retiring to luxurious accommodations with fireplaces, tubs, and private patios.

Best Culinary Offerings

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia

@comoshambhalaestate

Favored by celebs like Chrissy Teigen, COMO Shambhala Estate is a luxurious wellness resort nestled in the lush Balinese jungle. Among the things that make this transformative escape so special are the Ayurvedic treatments, stress-melting massages, swimming in natural rock pools down by the river, and quad-torching hikes up Mount Abang. Particularly noteworthy, however, is the food. The all-day dining venue, aptly called Glow, serves nutritious COMO Shambhala Kitchen fare, while the property’s second eatery, Kudus House, cooks up flavorful Indonesian cuisine.

Lily Of The Valley, La Croix-Valmer, France

@lilyofthevalleyhotel

Situated in La Croix-Valmer, not far from Saint Tropez, Lily of the Valley, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, isn’t a stringent retreat but rather a well-being-focused hotel that very much feels like a South of France holiday — one in which green juice and crisp rosé are both up for grabs. Travelers can opt into detox, better aging, weight loss, and sports programs that incorporate movement, spa treatments, and healthy food. The locally sourced, organic cuisine — including plenty of fresh-caught Mediterranean seafood as well as vegan and vegetarian options — at restaurant Vista nourishes guests’ bodies while the sea views fuel the soul.

Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico

@rancholapuerta

All too often, food at a wellness resort means tiny portions of raw vegetables and flavorless protein. That couldn’t be further from the menu offering at Rancho La Puerta. Dining is a full-blown experience that tastes delicious and connects guests to the land. A point of pride for the resort, the lacto-ovo cuisine spotlights produce grown in the on-site organic gardens and produced locally and features recipes perfected over the past 80 years. Renowned chefs lead cooking classes at La Cocina.

Best Fitness Programming

Lanserhof Sylt, List, Germany

@lanserhof

Nestled between dunes and the sea on the island known as “the Hamptons of Germany,” Lanserhof Sylt stays true to its “live better for longer” philosophy. Exercise is an important part of the holistic concept. The property offers yoga, Pilates, aquafit, Nordic walking, cycling tours, mobility training, and a two-story gym with a boulder wall. Sports scientists and physiotherapists are also on hand to create individualized programs. After sweating it out, guests can soothe sore muscles with a massage and go for a dip in the large indoor-outdoor saltwater pool.

The Ranch Malibu, Malibu, California

@theranch.life

When the goal is getting in shape, there’s nowhere better (or, frankly, more beautiful) to do it than The Ranch Malibu, a transformative escape in one of the prettiest parts of Southern California. The multi-day resets really focus on fitness, with everything from morning stretches and hikes through jaw-dropping coastal scenery to strength training classes and restorative yoga. In addition to many forms of exercise, nutrition, mindfulness, pampering, and ample downtime to decompress are part of the package.

Ananda In The Himalayas, Uttarakhand, India

@anandainthehimalayas

Yogis will tell you that asana (physical movement) is a small part of the practice. While that might be true, there’s no better place to bend like a pretzel and go deeper in downward-facing dog than Ananda in the Himalayas, a royal palace turned integrated health retreat in the mountains of North India. Aside from yoga, the Activ-Fitness program incorporates indoor and outdoor fitness activities ranging from interval training to guided hikes. The personalized regimen also covers physiotherapy consultations, pranayama, and use of the hydrotherapy facilities.

Most Epic Natural Backdrop

Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, Lanai City, Hawaii

@sensei

Surrounded by towering palms, pine trees, and mountain peaks, Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort looks like a postcard for Hawaii. The setting is so specular it almost overshadows the first-class facilities and activities. Of course, it’s virtually impossible to outshine the extraordinary wellness experiences that await. The personalized approach to well-being means guests recalibrate courtesy of morning meditations, garden walks, forest bathing, bespoke spa treatments, and Koloiki Ridge hikes. The adults-only policy promises quietude and a lagoon-style pool to float in sans splashing kiddos.

Sterrekopje Farm, Franschhoek, South Africa

@sterrekopjefarm

Agritourism meets a therapeutic retreat in the foothills of the Franschhoek mountains. Sterrekopje Farm is a biodiverse sanctuary rooted in getting back to nature. Immersive outdoor experiences include harvesting fruits and vegetables with the chef, biking around the vineyards, and walking through the medicinal garden. It’s also very much a place for simple pleasures such as learning to bake artisanal bread, spa rituals, and moonlit meditation. And unlike many health-oriented hotels, indulgence is very much on the menu — whether that’s ordering a second glass of local wine or a decadent dessert.

Amanemu, Shima, Japan

@amanemu_resort

Tucked away in the peaceful forested hills of Ise Shima overlooking Ago Bay, Amanemu epitomizes a Zen escape that’s steeped in the tranquility of nature. Inspired by traditional ryokans, Japan’s most time-honored ancient well-being practices, and its serene surroundings, the luxury onsen resort is well known for its spa that’s crowned by a large hot springs bath. The elegantly simple suites all have private spots to soak as well. Besides steeping in the restorative, mineral-rich waters, guests are invited to restore balance through herbal healing rituals, outdoor yoga, lounging in the garden, and leafy walks.