OUR 5 ALL-TIME FAVORITE WELLNESS RESORTS
Kickstart your health at one of these world-class wellness retreats.
By Kamala Kirk
5. Oaks at Ojai
The Oaks at Ojai is a unique spa retreat tucked away in the charming town of Ojai, California that includes overnight accommodations, freshly prepared healthy meals to promote weight loss, a choice of 15 fitness classes per day, along with evening seminars developed to help guests maintain their newly acquired healthy habits when they get back home.
Three types of fitness classes are offered: Cardio, Tone & Strength, and Flexibility. Three daily meals are prepared by experienced chefs and are low in salt and sugar, incorporating fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein into each tasty dish. End your day (or start, if you prefer) with a relaxing treatment at the Oaks at Ojai Spa, which offers a variety of skin treatments and body therapies designed to pamper and restore.
Whether you’re here for the weekend or an entire month, there is never a shortage of things to do at the Oaks at Ojai. Their monthly calendar boasts a range of fun daily activities, including the “All About Ojai” Town History Stroll, workshops about Feng Shui and meditation, Bingo night, and various cooking classes and demonstrations.
Photo by: Courtesy of the Oaks at Ojai
This stunning all-inclusive resort is located along the Puerto Vallarta coast, offering a “Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” experience that includes world-class dining, luxurious wellness suites, and incredible personalized service. Guests are treated to stunning views of the ocean and Sierra Madre Mountains while rejoicing in the relaxing privacy of their luxurious wellness suites.
Wellness Suites at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit come with in-suite exercise kits that include a yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, and an exercise bike. Guests are also treated to a special aromatherapy kit, a Nikken Kenko pillow, and a LED lamp with a clock and timer that gradually brightens and dims, simulating dawn and dusk, to help guests fall asleep and wake up more naturally. Each suite also comes with a Vitamin C Sprinkler that lightly spritzes guests with essential oils that provide antioxidant and regenerative properties.
The curated menus at each of the resort’s restaurants include vegan-friendly ingredients and new cooking techniques, serving up a variety of tasty fare that entertains the palate while allowing one to stick to their personal health goals. To round out the experience, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit debuts new weekly aromatherapy classes, offers group fitness classes in Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba, and offers a variety of relaxing and healing treatments such as the Tequila Cream Massage and the Citrus Body Wrap in its signature spa.
Photo by: Courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Trisara—which means “The Garden in the Third Heaven” in Sanskrit—is a luxury resort in Phuket, Thailand that offers different wellness experiences including a holistic spa concept and farm-to-table dining. Located among tropical forests and exotic gardens, this unique retreat is the perfect escape offering an element of privacy for guests.
The resort features 39 hotel villas and 20 larger residences that overlook an exclusive beach and the Andaman Sea, while a dedicated Thai service staff prepares meals and tends to guests’ needs.
The newly renovated Jara Spa is built upon a philosophy of balanced well-being with a keen focus on rejuvenation, physical renewal, anti-aging, mindfulness and the power of pleasure. A treatment to experience is the “Jara Local Discovery”, which includes a Thai massage lesson, a thermal massage, an exfoliating scrub, an herbal wrap, deep stretching topped off with a walking meditation traditionally practiced by Buddhist monks.
PRU is a new dining experience at Trisara that promotes the farm-to-table movement and serves as an homage to the unique Andaman region. All of the ingredients are sourced locally or through a community of local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors to offer guests the healthiest and freshest fare.
Photo By: Courtesy of Trisara
This award-winning luxury destination spa is located on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. Surrounded by stunning forests and overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganges river valley, Ananda combines traditional Ayurveda, Yoga, and Vedanta along with international wellness experiences, fitness, and healthy organic cuisine.
Ananda’s signature all-inclusive packages are tailor-made for individual health goals and are guided by a team of expert ayurvedic doctors, skilled therapists, nutritionists, yogis and spa cuisine chefs. Packages range from four nights to two weeks and include everything from detox therapies and meditation to outdoor treks and Reiki healing.
One of the most impressive features at Ananda is the 25,000 square foot spa with 24 treatment rooms, an outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pool, gymnasium, and luxurious hydrotherapy facilities. Other wellness activities include healing with crystals, Reflexology, aromatherapy, and Vedanta Talks, which answer the fundamental questions of life via ancient Indian philosophy.
Photo by: Courtesy of Ananda Himalayas
1. Gaia Retreat
The multi-award winning Gaia Retreat & Spa is nestled on 25 acres on the highest point in the Bundjalung Country hinterland of Australia’s Byron Bay. Founded in 2005 by a foursome that includes actress Olivia Newton-John, Gaia means “spirit of Mother Earth” and offers stunning views of endless vistas and the clear blue water.
Gaia offers various wellness packages, depending on what guests’ individual goals are. From weight loss to detoxification, Gaia’s specialized packages include all activities, four retreat accommodation styles to choose from, gourmet cuisine services that feature organic, locally-sourced produce, and healing treatments at Gaia Day Spa.
From villas to private suites, the accommodations at Gaia provide peace and quiet for those looking to take a break from the day’s activities and retreat to their relaxing personal space. Additional facilities include the communal Kukura House, where guests can mingle and meditate, the Samira Yoga lookout, and an onsite naturopathic clinic where experts help address guests’ individual concerns by prescribing integrative complementary medicine and analytical tools.
Photo by: Courtesy of Gaia Retreat