August is National Wellness Month and while stress can be unavoidable in the day to day, there are many ways to help manage it. Here are a few experiences from hotels and resorts around the world that focus on wellness ideal in August and for years to come.
Las Catalinas, Costa Rica
Exercise in Nature: Ditch the indoor gym
Numerous studies have shown that exercise and time in the outdoors reduces stress, improves memory and attention, and promotes feelings of calm. Exercise boosts endorphins, which can reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression.
Exercise in the great outdoors is beneficial for so many reasons and with its ideal setting in a tropical dry forest bordering the Pacific Ocean, Las Catalinas in Guanacaste, Costa Rica offers many wellness pursuits. CORE by ChakFitness is a unique outdoor gym located on the beach (adjacent to Pura Vida Ride) offering a beautifully designed Flinstones-esque strength building experience with all weights and machines made almost entirely of wood, as well as a full schedule of classes led by owner and renowned longtime Miami trainer Chakiris Menafacio. The Center of Joy is a new wellness retreat center with a variety of stunning spaces in the heart of Beach Town offering regular yoga classes, sound baths and more, all with a focus on mindfulness. Many individuals and organizations use this extraordinary space for larger group retreats, though residents and guests also benefit from its ongoing programming and rotating offerings. Private rooms can also be booked for special therapies and services as well. There is a wide range of fantastic accommodation options in town at the boutique Santarena Hotel or any of their villa offerings at Beach Town Travel.
An outdoor paradise for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, yogis, and water enthusiasts, Las Catalinas has an exciting array of activities for all ability levels. With over 26 miles of world-class, single-track trails that feature stunning views of the coastline and valley vistas, Las Catalinas is the most prominent mountain biking destination in the American tropics. All hiking and running trails feature spectacular viewpoints and opportunities to get a glimpse of some of the area’s amazing local wildlife, including monkeys, peccaries, and coatis, not to mention a wide variety of exotic birds. Trails vary in difficulty and length, from high-intensity hills to low-impact flatter tracks. The town is flanked by two of the best beaches on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Sheltered just enough from the southern swell, Las Catalinas is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, and consistent moderate waves make it ideal for body surfing and boogie boarding as well as standup paddle-boarding and sea kayaking. For more information, visit www.lascatalinascr.com.
Calabash Cove Resort and Spa, Saint Lucia
Ocean Therapy: Head to the beach
It’s known that there are numerous health and psychological benefits to being close to the ocean. For more than just beautiful ocean views and vistas, travelers continue to choose trips and vacations that bring them up close and personal with the ocean. The feel of salt water on the skin, the smell of the ocean in the air, the soothing sound of the waves lapping in the distance, the ocean is not only meditative, but reduces stress and allows for self-reflection and discovery.
Where beachfront really means RIGHT THERE. Calabash Cove Resort and Spa is one of the most popular all-inclusive, adults-only boutique hotels in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean gem offering seclusion, beauty, and mesmerizing views at every turn. Its 26 villas feature old Caribbean charm coupled with luxurious resort amenities of today. From the heavenly Windsong restaurant and lively C-Bar overlooking the infinity pool to the peaceful Ti Spa, guests have everything at their fingertips when vacationing at Calabash Cove. Ti Spa offers a wide range of treatments that combine European technique with St. Lucia’s storied tradition of using plant- and food-based curatives. Each and every treatment is expertly designed to cleanse the body of stress, rejuvenate the spirit, and relax the mind. The exfoliation products are all organic made from local products that are in some case directly from the resort. Their therapists will be happy to demonstrate the different benefits between a coffee or papaya scrub, and more.
Try their signature Spa Sampler (80 minutes/$140USD), a blend of holistic spa treatments fused together to create the ultimate spa experience. Melt away the stress and tension from the back with a hot stone massage followed by deep tissue massage on the back of legs. To the front of body Swedish massage techniques are used with a mix of counter stretching. Aromatherapy facial massage is then performed to rebalance and to induce even deeper relaxation and we end this blissful experience with a revitalizing foot scrub. The resort’s outdoor gazebo is perched on a hill overlooking the ocean and is the perfect spot for a spa treatment while listening to the waves down below. For more information, visit www.calabashcove.com.
Ananda in the Himalayas, India (pictured)
Invest in Self-care: Go on a wellness retreat
In a world that is constantly changing, pulling us in different directions and creating a collective culture of chasing dreams, how do we find our inner peace? With the pandemic and other life stressors, self-care is more important than ever and wellness offerings around the world are focusing more on improving your mental and emotional wellbeing.
For anyone who is seeking inner peace and self-acceptance, Ananda in the Himalayas just announced its first ever The Ananda Soul Detox Retreat – A Himalayan Retreat for Inner Healing and Self Discovery (October 30 – November 6, 2022). By helping people release past toxic or traumatic impressions, this retreat aims to rediscover one’s true self, while allowing you to invest in and connect with yourself. In this beautiful week together in the heart of the Himalayas, participants will revisit and release some of their biggest emotional blocks and rediscover their own energy through powerful processes that combine Spiritual Hypnotherapy, Regression, Yoga, Meditation and Energy Healing. In a serene setting conducive to healing and transformation, the experience will combine profound Eastern Spirituality with Western behavioral sciences to help participants facilitate the ultimate journey - to their inner self.
Retreat includes luxury accommodations, wellness meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at the restaurant, daily group sessions (morning and evening), one personal session on Emotional Healing per person (once during the retreat), airport transfers, two vouchers per person offering a 15% discount on spa treatments and early check in and late check out. Located on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate, Ananda in the Himalayas is a multi-award-winning luxury wellness retreat in the Himalayan foothills, surrounded by the majestic Himalayan Mountains, the birthplace of India’s ancient practices of yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda. More information is here. For more information, visit www.anandaspa.com.
Joali Being, Maldives
Holistic Wellness: Where the experts are going
Travel planning company Origin puts together trips all in one app and has seen the emphasis on wellness more than ever. People's understanding of wellness now goes well beyond a fancy spa and an infinity pool. It’s now a need to re-center post-pandemic; an all-encompassing theme that explores the healing elements of physical and mental treatments, as well as spirituality, using methods that spill into even cuisine and art therapy. In the world of wellness travel, this new understanding translates to a revamped set of properties with wellness programs that suit the needs of pandemic-affected travelers. Here’s one recommendation from Origin’s travel curators – contact Origin’s team for more recommendations on holistic wellness retreats around the world from Italy to Mexico – with offerings from mental coaching to ancient spring water rituals – designed to soothe travelers, heal their senses and get inspired to tackle the “new normal” with a strong sense of self. For more information, visit www.origin.me.
JOALI BEING is the first island retreat in the Maldives that is completely focused on wellbeing and not as an add-on amenity. On this white sand beach paradise of Bodufushi in the Indian Ocean, every guest goes through a comprehensive reservations process to be assigned their very own naturopath, therapist, movement specialist and nutritionist. This team of experts helps the guest reach their wellbeing goals with access to some of the world’s most advanced scientific therapies, diagnostic services and alternative treatments, based on scientific approach concentrating on the four pillars of Mind, Skin, Energy and Microbiome. The intention is that her guests take what they’ve experienced at JOALI BEING and incorporate them into their daily lives for a balanced and full life.