14 Best Vacation Retreats to Balance Mind and Body
By: Jordan Hicks
Near, far, expensive or cost-efficient, we’ve put together a list of fourteen of the best vacation retreats for balancing mind and body.
Near, far, expensive or cost-efficient, we’ve put together a list of fourteen of the best vacation retreats for balancing mind and body. Whether you’re looking to detox with yoga, health based diets, and cleansing spa treatments, to take action to the next level with biking, water sports, and martial arts, or simply to be out of touch from the rest of the world and its technology for a while, we’ve selected some of the top locations around the world and right here in the United States to visit to find your center and get your body and mind back to equilibrium.
Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur
If you’re searching for something in touch with nature and surrounded with some of the most beautiful natural forest, Big Sur’s Post Ranch Inn is the spot for you. Set into the surroundings with organic architecture that makes it feel as though the spacious eco-sensitive rooms have grown right out of the giant redwoods. Each room offers ocean or mountain views from private decks and interior wood-burning fireplaces. Enjoy yoga and stargazing, or visit the acclaimed spa for shamanistic services including soul retrieval, divination, illumination, and fire and drum ceremonies. Prices vary depending on season and package, so check the site for deals.
Haramara Retreat, Sayulita, Mexico
Arguably one of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico, Haramara is a yoga retreat located on 12 seaside acres of wild vegetation outside the city of Sayulita. The structures are designed and built using traditional construction techniques from the area intended to minimize environmental impact. Be prepared to get a little native here, there is no electricity in the rooms or anywhere on the resort except in the restaurant and the yoga studio. That means no A/C, no TV, no tech at all. More so, each private standalone thatch hut has no window panes or screens; your bed is separated from the surrounding jungle by four walls, gauze curtains, and mosquito nets (to keep out the bugs and other critters). Geared toward detox and relaxation, enjoy the yoga and mediation classes, the open-air spa, the untouched jungle surroundings with ample walking paths, the vegetarian and seafood restaurant, and best of all limited cell phone service for a truly relaxing get-away. Prices vary by season and length of stay, so check the site for more details.
The Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, Scottsdale
If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, consider the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale, Arizona. Possibly the most desirable location in Scottsdale, this resort overlooks Praying Monk Rock and the desert as opposed to the region’s urban sprawl. Enjoy the impressive cuisine, extensive spa offerings, expansive grounds offering five tennis courts, various hiking and biking trails, and a movement studio, as well as gorgeous suites. Expect to pay around $700 a week per person when booking several months in advance, check the site for more details and deals on packages.
Hidden Pond, Maine
Sprawling over 60 acres, the Hidden Pond resort is designed to resemble a tree house with suite-like bungalows and cozy two-bedroom cottages. Guests have access to the garden where they are invited to pick flowers or veggies at their leisure, stroll the nature walks, or break a sweat at the yoga classes or on a kayak tour. At the end of the day, relax in the restaurant serving organic local cuisine from an acclaimed chef or visit the Sand Bar, an outdoor bar and grill with chairs circling fire pits. Perfect for a couple’s private escape or a family vacation. And be sure to take advantage of the free shuttle to the beach, just a five minute drive up the road. Plan well in advance and expect to pay between four and six hundred for a one week accommodation for one.
Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel and Spa, Dominican Republic
Imagine stone-walled, thatch-roof bungalows in a lush coastal surrounding with no TV’s and A/C to distract from the gorgeous rustic environs. Nature Cabanas offers a crowd-free private beach, 90-minute yoga classes free to guests, a fabulous spa and delicious fresh food at remarkably fair prices. Expect to pay just $180 a night for one or two people.
Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia
Anse Chastanet Resort is a small 49-room location in St. Lucia offering a technology free escape from reality, no TV, telephones, or A/C (except the latter in the Beach Deluxe rooms). One of the first resorts in the area to focus on eco-luxury design, this resort has access to two beaches, with five dining options, a beachfront spa, and an organic farm about 20 minutes away. Take advantage of the extensive water sport options, and the wrap-around terraces on each room with views of the Pitons. Rates vary based on dates of attendance, see site for details. Be sure to check out their add-on packages for the best deal. And make sure you select their 2017 rates as the 2016 rates are currently the primary link when you click the Rates menu.
Six Senses Yao Noi, Thailand
Six Senses Yao Noi is set on an island boasting miles upon miles of rice fields, free roaming monkeys and even wild pigs where farmers still gather coconuts from the trees for fresh juice. the resort itself offers a wide range of energized adventure activities including one-on-one Mauy Thai kickboxing lessons in the traditional Thai boxing ring on the beach front, floating yoga in a pavilion in the rainforest, and private training sessions in the fitness center. You can cool off after those fast paced activities with a leisurely bike ride through the hilly countryside to take in all the unspoiled scenery and end the day with a spa treatment from one of the visiting practitioners including recently a message therapist for the Kuwaiti royal family. More costly than some of our other options, you can expect to spend about $920 per night at this luxury retreat.
Sea Island Resort, Georgia
This is one for our highbrow detox-minded guests or those tech-fascinated sci-fi minds. While Sea Island Resort in Georgia offers five miles of private beach and high end restaurants, many are making a bee-line straight to the Performance Therapy Center for the cryotherapy treatment recently so popular amongst star athletes and celebrities. This whole-body treatment takes place in a standing-only sauna wrapping you in nitrogen-iced, negative-220-degree Fahrenheit air intended to send signals to the brain to activate natural healing processes. The treatment is said to improve sleep quality, invigorate endorphins, reduce inflammation, and speed muscle recovery among other things. If you’re looking to spend your time on the beach, expect rooms starting at $395 per night, but if you’re looking to get chilled, your session in the cryotherapy sauna will cost an extra $60.
One & Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
This resort set amid the sun, sand, and surf of the Maldives encourages active living and offers more than just surf lessons. Check out Club One for the high-tech rock-climbing wall, tennis courts, golf simulator, and volleyball or get wet with water skiing and windsurfing or a swim in the 100-foot lap pool. Experienced trainers will design a signature Clean & Lean program for you, intended to maximize fitness goals and help you make the best use of the indoor and outdoor gyms and sports activities. And don’t worry, they’ll tailor your plan for high impact or reward based post-workout cocktails on request. If that’s too much activity for your vacation, you can always spend your visit relaxing in your overwater villa soaking up the scenery, working on your tan, and giggling over others breaking a sweat, and don’t forget to visit the award-winning ESPA spa. Expect to pay around 2,$100 per night per villa for one or two people.
The Resort at Predregal, Los Cabos, Mexico
Luna Y Mar Spa located at The Resort at Pedregal is a welcome blast from the past featuring not only traditional Mexican hospitality, but centuries-old healing techniques. Before spa treatments, guests a treated to a food massage with a candle-lit nook where therapists make use of local herbs and lemon juice to draw out negative energy. Throughout the spa, you’ll experience sound therapy knows to balance energy levels, but don’t let that keep you from the Four Hands Sound Therapy massage where two therapists take turns softly ringing a chime to encourage healing. The Indigenous Herbal Detox wraps guests in native anti-inflammatory sauco before a pain-relieving cupping treatment to stimulate myofascial release. And don’t miss the Moon and the Stones massage and facial employeeng moon stones, volcanic stones, and marble at various temperatures to soothe tense muscles. Experience this meditative and relaxing environment starting at just $716 per night.
Veravia at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, Carlsbad, California
Our most expensive getaway and most favored by athletes and CEOs alike, VeraVia offers fitness fanatics seeking a complete body overhaul personally tailored activities designed to offer long-term wellness. A team of professionals including personal trainers, naturopaths, physiologists, and behavioral counselors will develop a program for structured mental and emotional health improvement including activities ranging from power hikes to strength training to aquatic fitness classes. There’s no worry your every need will be accounted for with a clinician-to-guest ratio of one to one. The four day all-inclusive program costs just south of $3000 for accommodation, health consultation, meals, and activities.
Paresa, Phuket, Thailand
When you visit Paresa (translated as heaven of all heavens), located in the Millionaire Mile of Phuket sublime coast, you’ll be sure to marvel at the panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Guests are treated by a ringing of the large gong in the resort’s temple designed lobby. Treatments here make use of the fresh ingredients from the onsite hydroponic garden. You can experience a reiki session led by a former Buddhist monk, or take a dip in the spa’s crystal energy pool where a 9-pound raw-quartz rose crystal hangs from a tree branch dipping into the water, said to deliver soft, yet powerful energy of compassion and healing in the traditions of the Egyptian and Roman cultures. These cultures believed the rose quartz had the ability to clean complexions, comfort the grieving, and treat trauma. Experience your release for just $550 per night in this zen haven far from the bustle and noise of Phuket’s main streets.
Gaia Retreat & Spra, Byron Bay, New South Wales
Relax with the typical spa treatments or spring for the multiway wellness program at the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, co-owned by Olivia Newton-John. The Detox Focus includes a tailored diet, breathing sessions, a lymphatic massage, and other alternative medical treatments intended to cleanse the body of environmental toxins. The standard package requires a minimum five-night stay at $490, the Detox Focus and other packages are an additional fee. As always check the site for deals and special offers.
Boni Tree Yoga Resort, Nosara, Costa Rica
The plan for the day at this tiny Pacific coastal town is surf surf surf, chill with some yoga an then hang with your roommates at the Bali-style bungalow. Practice your yoga at the Bodhi Tree’s open-air yoga pavilion with 360-degree views of the forest where local howler monkeys and sloths might drop in for a visit. The Yoga Vacation Package includes accommodations and one daily class at a cost effective price, just $104 a night for the two-person shared room and bathroom bungalow.
Be sure to check sites for Special offers and deals, and to clarify costs as prices are subject to variances based on resort location, length of stay, and time of season. Prices offered in this article are based on a single person stay, while some locations offer deals for two or more in a group. However you travel, and whomever you choose to travel with, remember the reason of a retreat for mind and body is to recenter, find balance, and restore your personal energy. So leave the stress of your daily grind far behind and embrace the relaxation.