WELLNESS GETAWAYS 2017 – our top picks!

Want to know some of the wellness retreats I visited over the past year? When on a wellness retreat what I most appreciate a pristine location, sustainable architecture, organic slow cuisine, heartfelt service, and real wellness. Here are my top 10 recommendations of wellness retreats that really deliver!

COMO SHAMBHALA ESTATE, BALI
COMO is the destination you check into when you need secluded luxury privacy with personalized wellness care. Their serene Retreat Villas are my favorite retreat accommodation in the world and come with steam room and onsen pool. Work your way through the delicious COMO Shambhala Cuisine during your stress-management and rejuvenation retreats. Yoga and Pilates are centric to the COMO brand with the spa offering excellent Ayurveda and TCM therapies.
www.comohotels.com/comoshambhalaestate

FIVELEMENTS, BALI
A luxe rustic wellness retreat for spiritual healing, Fivelements is all about raw food cuisine and features one of the most astounding bamboo yoga spaces in the world! The spa treatments I tried here felt very nourishing and they are big on Balinese healing. Unique offerings include their Agni Hotra fire ceremony to help you let go of the past and move forward with clarity.
www.fivelements.org

FOUR SEASONS LANDAA GIRAAVARU, MALDIVES
For those seeking an Ayurvedic Panchakarma in off-the-charts surrounds. Reached only by seaplane, gorgeous bungalows overlooking pristine waters makes this a ‘wow’ wellness getaway. The Ayurvedic Retreat is out of this world and consists of ten open-air pavilions set in a lush garden with world-class therapies. This resort was also the first in the region to offer Anti-gravity ‘flying’ yoga.
www.fourseasons.com/maldiveslg

GAIA RETREAT AND SPA, AUSTRALIA
This boutique wellness retreat destination set in the hills of Byron Bay offers quietude for those seeking me-time. What I love about Gaia is you can check in for a couple of nights and pick and choose your wellness activities. The spa is central to the retreat with therapies deliverd by the most experienced healers in the region. Partake in daily yoga, fitness and dine on exceptional organic cuisine and you’ll feel recharged in no time.
www.gaiaretreat.com.au

GWINGANNA LIFESTYLE RETREAT, AUSTRALIA
I can’t say enough about this ecotourism-certified wellness retreat set on 200 hectares of Australiana bush. Gwinganna is a class of its own when it comes to facilitators and practitioners alongside five-star service and care. Not to mention the daily bush hiking and 100% organic food philosophy that is arguably the most delicious wellness cuisine ever! While the seven-day Gwinganna Detox always delivers also check out scheduled retreats led by renowned doctors and wellness experts.
www.gwinganna.com

KAMALAYA, THAILAND
Set on a private cove on the island of Koh Samui, this wellness retreat destination works for those who need salt water healing! I love the natural villa accommodation and how the spa is carved into the natural surrounds (their steam cave in a boulder rock is spa design at its best). The wellness cuisine is exceptional as is the focus on integrated Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kamalaya offers results-orientated detox, stress & burnout and yoga retreats all year round!
www.kamalaya.com

NIHIWATU, SUBMA ISLAND, INDONESIA
This luxe resort set on one of the world’s best left-hand breaks makes this destination sought-after by surfers with a penchant for yoga and wellness – but there’s nothing wrong with sunset drinks either! Villas and the yoga spaces are beyond this world as is the spa. In fact, their Spa Safari is one of the best concepts I've experienced - trek for an hour to a breathtaking cliff on the edge of the wildness and indulge in unlimited spa therapies with superfood breakfast and lunch plus optional yoga – for the entire day!
www.nihiwatu.com

ONEWORLD RETREATS, BALI
These guys have been running wellness retreats for over a decade now and know what they are doing! Accommodation is quintessential Balinese and what’s distinct is the inclusions of authentic Balinese cultural experiences. Added to this, spa treatments are nicely affordable yet of an exceptional standard (the 2.5 hour Chakra Dhara is mind-blowing). Don’t miss a yoga class with Wayan Partaawan who will lead you through a beautifully slow yet strong practice - your body will love you forever!
www.oneworldretreats.com

RADIANCE RETREATS, WORLDWIDE
Who doesn’t want to combine yoga with hiking and healing? Jessie Chapman is one of Australia’s best-known yoga authors and has been hosting wellness retreats in all corners of the earth for over a decade now (she has strong and loyal following). Food is organic vegetarian and yoga is offered twice a day! This year I feel partial to the October Tuscany & Walking Retreat. Other Radiance Retreats are held in Byron Bay, France and Bali.
www.radianceretreats.com

SIX SENSES SPAS, WORLDWIDE
It’s all about breathe, stretch and sleep at the luxury Six Senses resorts around the globe. While some locations are more resort than retreat, Six Senses have a great reputation for wellness, on-site organic gardens and were all over sustainable architecture years ago! Six Senses now offer several types of Yogic Programs including Yogic Sleep. Check out their menu of wellness retreat offerings at properties in Oman, Thailand, Maldives and China to name a few.
www.sixsenses.com

Okay so I haven’t checked out all the retreat destinations around the world (yet) and here’s a few must-visit on my bucket list!

AMANKORA, BHUTAN
I haven't met anyone yet who doesn’t want to embark on this famous Aman offering where you trek to and stay in different Aman lodges each day as part of your wellness retreat journey. The Aman brand is moving forward in leaps and bounds and now attracts high-calibre healers and practitioners so keep an eye out on wellness retreats held throughout the year at their various properties.
www.aman.com

ARO-HA, NEW ZEALAND
Colleagues in the know are raving about this adventure-centric wellness retreat destination where you can mix it up with yoga, vegetarian food, healing and hiking in breathtaking surrounds. Stay in eco accommodation and embark on their scheduled 5, 6 and 7 night retreats that include spa and healing. New Zealand is one of the most pristine places on earth.
www.aro-ha.com

SHA WELLNESS CLINIC, SPAIN
How beautiful is the SHA Wellness Clinic situated in stunning Spain! It’s all about detox, fitness and regeneration and part of the appeal for me is that their food philosophy is based on macrobiotic principles. SHA offers a great selection of detox, weight-loss and sleep recovery programs.
www.shawellnessclinic.com

LANSERHOF, AUSTRIA
A high-end wellness retreat destination in Austria for seekers of world-class medical wellness care and cure. With programs centered on holistic medicine, enduring regeneration, prevention and longevity - well, my bags are packed! Lansherhof is still scooping up all the big awards and have recently opened destinations in Germany and Hamburg.
www.lanserhof.com
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THE FARM AT SAN BENITO, PHILIPPINES
I’ve been threatening to visit this detox medical holistic retreat for over a decade now. Situated in the Philippines, The Farm is known for their medical wellness offerings as well as vegan organic food grown on-site. Spa therapies are all pure and organic as well. The good news is that friends and colleagues continue to return back from their famous raw detox retreats glowing inside and out!
www.thefarmatsanbenito.com

VANA RETREATS, INDIA
This wellness retreat brand is getting lots of press at the moment and it’s easy to see why. Situated in the Indian State of Uttarakhand, the place looks stunning. They seem to have everything sorted - from serene wellness spaces to a Tibetan healing clinic, yoga shala, state-of-the art gymnasium and wellness center of course. Food is nutritious and organic and based on wellness and Ayurveda.
www.vanaretreats.com

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