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How These 14 Retreats Can Help You Achieve Your Wellness Goals

Jan. 08, 2019
10 min read
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Between the eggnog, big family feasts, parties and decorative cookies, we all know the holidays are about indulging. Thankfully, there are New Year’s resolutions, so we can wipe the slate clean and think about deliberate, positive ways we can grow and change in the next 365 days. Whether it’s getting back in shape, eating better or reducing stress, we all have wellness goals we want to tackle. The challenge is finding the will to get started. The solution? Traveling to a retreat where you can jumpstart your resolutions and learn the best ways to accomplish the personal growth you’re craving. Fortunately, there are programs for every imaginable type of wellness goal.

Become More Mindful

There may be no better place to learn how to be more mindful than India. It's here, at the Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa in New Chandigarh, where you can partake in the property's new Upavasa (a Sanskrit word which translates "to be near oneself") program. While they have itineraries that feature diverse wellness experiences, their seven-day mindfulness one is particularly interesting. It's customized to your specific needs, but has the goal of helping you be present and connect with your inner self. This is done by having a weeklong schedule of daily spa treatments, yoga and meditation classes and forest bathing.

(Photo courtesy of Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa)
(Photo courtesy of Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa)

Start a Yoga Practice

It's hard to travel to the mystical country of Bhutan and not feel rejuvenated, but luxury safari outfitter and tour operator andBeyond is kicking that up a notch by hosting a Bhutan Yoga Retreat. The 10-day journey will include yoga and meditation surrounded by Bhutan's magical scenery, hiking Tiger's Nest monastery in Paro and exploring the fortresses and temples of Thimphu and Punakha, all led by an expert guide and specialist healing facilitator to help guests find a balance of the mind, body and soul.

Nurture Your Finances

You might not initially think of getting your finances in order as a wellness resolution, but studies have shown that worrying about money leads to above average stress levels. So, a healthy financial status means a healthier life. That’s precisely why the Don CeSar resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida is hosting the Beautiful Money Retreat+ Healing Detox with holistic wealth expert and author of “Beautiful Money,” Leanne Jacobs. She’ll be leading a two-day wealth and wellbeing event in March in which guests will participate in yoga classes, go on a detox and eat clean while learning seven-figure wealth strategies.

(Photo courtesy of Don CeSar Resort)
(Photo courtesy of Don CeSar Resort)

Get in Shape

BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia is known year-round as the place to go to get in shape. In fact, for 25, years the resort has been dedicated to health, fitness and wellbeing. While they do offer bespoke retreats to accomplish any health goal you may have, this April they will be hosting WellFit. The retreat is an intensive, week-long training program aimed at transforming your body through activities such as archery, Spoga (spinning and yoga), Tai Chi, water sports, golf, tennis and more. Expert fitness instructors are there to guide you along and make sure you leave with a workout regimen you can use back home.

Lose Weight

You might not think of Germany as the spot to go to start shedding those pounds, but Villa Stéphanie, in the famed spa resort town Baden-Baden, is the preeminent destination for your weight loss goals. Why? Well, their 10-day program pairs you with an expert who leads you through a personalized medical body analysis and metabolism study. From there, you’ll get coaching and personal training sessions in addition to spa services and healthy meals throughout your stay. Once your time is up, you’ll leave with an individual training plan and a tailor-made menu plan including recipes for you to take home.

(Photo courtesy of Villa Stéphanie Baden-Baden)

Learn to Meditate

Make 2019 the year you will start a meditation practice, and let Collective Retreats and Outdoor Voices help. The experiential travel company teamed up with the leading activewear brand to launch Collective Renewal: a three-day yoga and meditation retreat in Texas Hill Country. The retreat will take place from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27, and will be led by Texas-based yoga and meditation instructor Kate Waitzkin for a weekend of self-reflection, cleansing practices, open hearts and farm-to-table meals. Highlights include a crystal bowl sound bath, reflection workshops and vinyasa practice.

Cleanse Your Body

To get on track with your wellness goals, you first want to detox from any bad habits. To do that, head to historic Chewton Glen in bucolic Hampshire, England, which will host a "Treetox" experience next year. The five-day health break is focused on cleansing, both physically and psychologically, through a one-day juice cleanse followed by an alkaline breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, three private one-hour training sessions, three spa treatments and a "daily greatest" journal all while staying in a treehouse suite perched above the wooded valley. If nothing else, you’ll feel renewed in the new year.

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(Photo courtesy of Chewton Glen)
(Photo courtesy of Chewton Glen)

Improve Your Diet

The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in the Berkshires has plenty of options to help you out when it comes to your 2019 resolutions. But a favorite is their integrative dieting program. Over five nights, you will work with doctors, nutritionists, life coaches and yoga teachers to find "your optimal, healthy weight, and ways to maintain it." You’ll attend workshops where you’ll learn strategies to boost your metabolism and fundamental nutrition techniques for learning a sustainable health plan. Their goal is to have you walk away with a newfound knowledge of how to eat better and perpetuate a healthy lifestyle.

Find Balance 

Posture might not be at the forefront of your consciousness, but even small misalignments can lead to tightness, tension, discomfort and even pain if untreated. To combat the problem, Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa on the Thai island of Koh Samui just announced a new program called "Structural Revival," designed to realign the body. You’ll receive a comprehensive assessment by a team of physiotherapists, naturopaths and other health professionals over the course of five nights to identify and then address the underlying causes of any structural imbalances. You’ll learn exercises to strengthen the body and stabilize the joints while getting therapeutic spa treatments to relieve built up tension and soreness. That’s in conjunction, of course, with a healthy cuisine regimen geared toward managing inflammation.

(Photo courtesy of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary)
(Photo courtesy of Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary)

Feel More Connected

Although we're in an age of digital connectivity, we're losing that innate relationship with ourselves. There’s no better way to fix that detachment than by throwing yourself into nature. Luxury travel specialist Roar Africa is hosting their second annual Roar and Restore Retreat: Finding Wellness in the Wild. It was built upon the principles of a concept called rewilding, whereby guests are completely immersed in nature to restore balance and reconnect. The itinerary includes listening to a selection of inspired speakers, as well as visits to an elephant orphanage, yoga sessions and a game drive.

Unlock Happiness

Who doesn’t want 2019 to be the happiest year yet? The folks over at Red Mountain Resort in St. George, Utah certainly do. That’s why they’re hosting the Sacred Sisterhood Retreat, led by shamanic spirit guide Betina Lindsey. During the four-night program, guests will examine their current lifestyle and determine what changes need to be made to achieve complete happiness through mindful journaling, poetry, medicine wheel walks (also known as sacred hoops) and earth, fire and water ceremonies to unlock intuition. That’s in addition to daily guided hikes and gourmet meals. The goal is for guests to return home with a more clear vision of who they are, what they love and how to best serve themselves throughout 2019 with daily acts of self-care.

(Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort)
(Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort)

Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the most significant factors that leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives wants to fix that by hosting a Transformational Breath Retreat. Next May, internationally-renowned breath coach Rebecca Dennis will host a five-day retreat during which guests will take part in four group breathing sessions and one private breathing session. The purpose? According to Dennis, by harnessing the power of conscious breathing, you can release tension and learn to deal with stress in a positive manner. Guests are invited to further switch off by indulging in sunrise yoga sessions and treatments at the over-water Meera spa. There will also be a snorkeling trip and a vegan dinner prepared by the onsite chef.

Detox From Technology

The Ranch Malibu attracts celebrities and wellness seekers alike all year with their top-notch health program. Their regular retreats include an intense fitness and wellness regimen (think: eight hours of low impact activity and a 1,400 calorie-per-day, organic vegan diet), and it’s all completed without a cellphone in sight. The property does not have cell reception, and guests are asked to unplug from their daily lives, including phones and yes, even email. The result? A healthier mind and body.

(Photo courtesy of The Ranch Malibu)
(Photo courtesy of The Ranch Malibu)

Sleep Better

Lack of sleep might be one of the most significant health problems facing Americans today. Logging too few zzz’s can lead to mental and physical fatigue. Make it your mission to finally catch some serious shut-eye by heading to Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. There, you can sign up for their "Optimal You" personalized retreat with a focus on sleep issues. You’ll partake in an overnight study performed by a certified technician in the on-site Canyon Ranch sleep lab and have the results reviewed by a specialist to determine the best course of treatment. That could include spa treatments, sessions with a licensed therapist, an examination of your diet and sleep-promoting physical activities. The whole process is individualized to address your unique sleep needs. It’s an amazing way to start 2019 feeling rested and restored.

Be sure to consult with your doctor or other healthcare professionals before taking part in any diet or exercise program.