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.
Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf - St. Barth’s
Nestled on the hillside with sweeping sea views, the pristine Hotel Barriere Le Carl Gustaf offers its guests a chance to fully embrace elevated island living in St. Barth’s with ultra-luxe wellness treatments at Spa Diane Barrière. The spa boasts an expansive menu of advanced regenerative, holistic, and restorative services. Each guest can begin their transformative wellness experience with exclusive diagnostic treatments such as the Skin Instant Lab and Biological Care search that uses unique technology designed to gauge possible skin deficiencies. The Biological Care search is a full body diagnostic session providing guests with insight on the state of their internal and external health. The spa also invites guests to enjoy three massage rooms and the fitness and yoga studio. Aquabiking and electric bikes are also available upon request to explore the beautiful island.
To take the hassle out of booking, the resort’s ‘Relaxing Getaway’ offer starts at $1,665 and includes some of the top wellness services and treatments:
Six Senses Vana - India
Six Senses Vana is a dedicated wellness retreat that serves as a sanctuary for rebalancing, healing, and learning in Dehradun, India. Under the Six Senses umbrella, the property brings Six Senses' cutting-edge wellness technology together with Vana’s expertise in Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and Sowa Rigpa (Tibetan medicine and therapies that trace back to the 8th century). A true prototype for the modern day ashram, Six Senses Vana is an authentic wellness reboot without sacrificing creature comforts - it is essentially the glamping version of a traditional ashram. This summer, enjoy significant savings at Six Senses Vana, with 25% off property stays during monsoon season. Monsoon season in Northern India runs from June to August and is a beneficial time for an Ayurvedic retreat. The hotter, humid weather acts as a natural sauna that enhances the cleansing and detoxing process. Please find details below on the seasonal sale and benefits of travel during monsoon season:
NoMo SoHo - New York
Located at 9 Crosby Street, NoMo SoHo is a 26-story, 264-room hotel set in the heart of New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Operating with wellness top of mind, NoMo SoHo recently launched a personalized wellness series where hotel guests and locals are invited to experience NoMo SoHo’s Rooftop Wellness Series at The Penthouse in conjunction with sstudioss.co. From power and yin yoga to HIIT cardio paired with vibrant music, locals and travelers alike can treat themselves to a stimulating class nestled within Manhattan's unforgettable skyline. The hotel’s ongoing Wellness Series offers weekly classes with top wellness instructors in the New York City fitness industry. Located on the 26th floor with unrivaled Downtown and Midtown views, guests can experience an array of classes suited to their personal interests on the weekly calendar. The August Wellness Series includes:
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa - Hawaii
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa offers wellness experiences for those looking to focus on their physical and mental health. Nothing says relaxation quite like beautiful Hawaii, travelers can embrace the lush beaches of Ka‘anapali this National Wellness Month with the new sunrise yoga and meditation class, available by request only. The Ka Lā Hiki Ola Sunrise Yoga & Meditation Experience begins before dawn at the beachfront Ocean Hale (cabana) just footsteps from the beach. The private class starts with a quiet moment to set your intentions, followed by a gentle yoga flow to awaken all five senses as the sun rises. In Hawaiian, ka lā hiki ola translates to “the dawning of a new day”, but the deeper interpretation of the phrase encourages starting anew. At the end of class, a light healthy breakfast and locally made wellness elixirs will be offered. Guests may enhance their experience by upgrading to a full day of relaxation in the Ocean Hale until 5:00pm, which will also include a choice of two entrees off the resort’s vegan menu highlighting healthy bites. The morning movement only package starts at $375 for two people. Upgraded full-day relaxation package starts at $875. Guests may also request ocean-side chair massage upgrades for an additional fee starting at $90 per person. Minimum one week advanced booking is required and is based on availability.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino - Aruba
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino is home to the newly renovated ZoiA Spa. Dedicated to helping travelers find balance through an emphasis on energy, purity, serenity, and devotion, the spa uses local ingredients for its services and offers outdoor treatments. One of the most relaxing treatments offered at ZoiA Spa is performed in the pool; the Massage den Awa is a gentle form of body therapy that creates deep relaxation by combining elements of massage, shiatsu, and muscle stretching. During their stay, guests can connect with a full-time Wellness and Wellbeing Ambassador who focuses on working with visitors on three key areas: feel, fuel and function. The Ambassador creates and enhances experiences related to wellness and mindfulness such as beach yoga and pool exercise classes. Additionally, guests are invited to participate in Aerial yoga, meditation and Tai Chi, which are all part of the “Rise and Shine” program consisting of various daily classes to help unwind & recharge.
New offerings perfect for National Wellness Month include:
The Elms Hotel and Spa - Missouri
Located just outside of Kansas City in Excelsior Springs, MO, The Elms Hotel and Spa is surrounded by 46 mineral water springs with five different varieties of water, each with unique healing properties. For this reason, The Elms has been a sanctuary for travelers looking to leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed since 1888. One of the most sought-after features of the hotel is its 25,000-square-foot spa, which is equipped with a steam room, sauna, hot tub, indoor lap pool, fitness room, and a modern take on a Roman bathhouse called The Grotto. The extensive spa menu includes a CBD-infused massage during which the massage therapist uses a mixture of Deep Tissue and Swedish techniques to allow the CBD to penetrate and alleviate muscle, joint, and nerve pain while reducing inflammation. In the fitness room, wellness travelers are invited to relax and reconnect with themselves through complimentary yoga classes. The outdoor pool is also a big draw for visitors looking to get some much-needed R&R. To elevate the guest experience travelers can escape the sun in one of our cabanas, all cabana rentals include a personal host, bottled water, chilled peppermint washcloths, frozen treats, hydrating eye gels, and three reserved pool loungers bringing everything they may need within arm’s reach. Upon their departure, travelers will leave feeling rested and restored.
The Art of Living Retreat Center - North Carolina
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, situated at a height of 3,700 feet and spread over 380 sprawling acres, the Art of Living Retreat Center is devoted to nurturing and reawakening human values. Year round, the retreat center offers wellness programs and retreats that are curated to happiness, group travel, men’s wellness, Ayurveda and more. The Silent Retreat combines aspects of the signature Happiness Retreat and silent meditation practices to help guests feel recharged and refreshed. With options to “step” or “dive” into silence, retreat experiences can be catered to each guest’s goals and experience with meditation. The Rejuvenating Bliss Solo Escape provides pampering Ayurveda treatments and amenities that promote relaxation, rejuvenation, and renewal from the inside-out. Enjoy mind and body nurturement with a deep sense of peace massage, yoga, and R&R workshops. Specifically geared to men, the Men’s Wellness Escape provides a complete mind and body reset for guests who wish to disconnect from the noise of daily life with meditation, yoga, cooking, pottery and chanting sessions. Art of Living offers a variety of curated wellness programming for all guests during the month of August.