There are certain ‘wellness destinations’ around the world known for their rich wellness history, secluded, peaceful locations and modern therapies designed to connect and revitalise the body and soul.
They allow for the rest and relaxation you seek, while also offering new knowledge you can apply to your daily life at home. Certain places such as Hawaii or Bali might be known for their wellness destination allure but there are many other destinations that offer wellness on a very different level.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your next or some new wellness destinations keep reading for my top 10 places to visit around the world for wellness travel.
These destinations are perfect to head to both for their luxury resorts and budget-friendly boutique hotels, spas and restaurants because wellness doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive.
While wellness retreats do come at a particular price point and generally are considered expensive, we have included some more affordable options too.
We always recommend, that if you are on a real budget to try a DIY retreat in a stunning and peaceful location making use of local yoga/meditation classes and local spas as well as healthy cafes and restaurants.
Before booking a wellness experience, it’s essential to understand what your goals are.
There are many different retreats out there that offer different focuses and approaches to wellness from yoga focused retreats to weight-loss retreats, from Ayurveda retreats to running retreats. Ask yourself what it is that you’re looking for, what you want to learn or achieve and where your interests lie. This really is key for determining the wellness destinations and retreat focus that fit your needs.
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Read more: 11 Best Yoga Retreats in Mexico
TOP 10 WELLNESS DESTINATIONS AROUND THE WORLD
Yes, the United States is one of the best wellness destinations around the world, proving you don’t have to travel far to relax and escape from it all.
The travel industry is well developed in the United States, catering to every kind of travel you could possibly imagine, including wellness travel.
The US has some of the best all-inclusive wellness-focused resorts as well as smaller more affordable setups with healthy food options nearby making it one of the easiest places for a health-friendly stay-cation.
Here are some of the best states in the US for wellness travel in general even though you can still find places to indulge in wellness travel all over the country.
It’s sure to say that California has some amazing wellness resorts and spa hotels but it’s not only that which make it one of the best places in the US for all budgets of wellness travel.
Los Angeles and San Francisco have some of the best plant-based, healthy restaurants and cafes that you can find, you’ve got endless coastlines and stunning national parks to lose yourself in.
Wellness is just easy in California. Even if you don’t quite have the budget for an all-inclusive spa stay, California is the perfect place to rent a cottage not far from the beach, indulge in your own meditation and yoga practise, outdoor activities and sports and fuel your body with some of the best foods around.
Some of my favourite California wellness destinations are:
Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista, San Diego – this French-inspired all-inclusive will transport you straight to France sans cheese. The focus is wellness here and their three, four and seven-day packages are filled with hiking, yoga, tennis as well as both familiar and not-so-familiar spa treatments and delicious, nutritious foods to support your body.
Two Bunch Palms, Desert Hot Spring– is the perfect place that really doesn’t require anything from you and allows you to indulge in your definition of wellness. Located in the middle of the desert this oasis is all about the healing pools of mineral-rich waters, heated by nearby aquifers which you can soak in for hours on end. Indulge in their long list of exquisite spa therapies which include sound vibration healing, therapeutic massages and even water shiatsu.
Shasta Abbey, Mount Shasta – This beautiful Buddhist Monastery of the Soto Zen tradition welcomes visitors for retreats to practise self-reflection and meditations. In the three-day Introductory retreat you can learn more about Serene Reflection as well as participate in guided meditation, dharma talks and discussions.
Just like California, when it comes to wellness Hawaii is paradise.
There’s something about the Hawaiian lifestyle that attracts thousands of people to the islands every year looking for rest, relaxation and spiritual fulfilment. Once again, even if an all-inclusive wellness resort isn’t your thing you can quite easily rent your own Airbnb beach shack and make your own wellness stay-cay filled with surf, hikes and açai bowls.
Hawaii offers something for everyone and there are so many options in terms of fitness, adventure, outdoors, sports, detox activities and delicious healthy food.
Some of my favourite Hawaii wellness spots are:
Travaasa Hana, Maui – for an off-the-grid experience without actually going off the grid, this tranquil yet luxurious hideaway at the end of the Road to Hana is the perfect place for the more adventurous traveller. Guests can choose different ‘pathways’ or focuses for their stays which include fitness, culture, spa and wellness, culinary or adventure and enjoy spa treatments, yoga, sports and of course hiking and surfing.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai – This luxurious, secluded resort is everything you might expect from the Four Seasons and more. Perched high up on a cliff surrounded by lush greenery, waterfalls and birdsong, this idyllic property will leave you rested, relaxed and rejuvenated.
Arizona recently became one of my favourite states in the US for outdoors and wellness. There are so many parts of Arizona that beautifully bring together nature, spirituality and wellness, notably Sedona and Scottsdale.
Spend your days hiking around the mind-blowing red rock scenery of Sedona before retreating to your resort for a delicious dinner and a massage and enjoy the many amazing local cafes and juice bars in town.
In Scottsdale, escape the winter blues of the north, check into one of the best wellness resorts in the country and let the experts truly take care of you.
Some of my favourite Arizona wellness spots are:
Civana Wellness Resort and Spa – Recently voted Top 5 Destination Spa Resort in the World by Conde Nast, Civana is a one-of-a-kind wellness resort. With personalised wellness experiences and award-winning hospitality surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert, you can’t really go wrong here.
Enchantment Resort- Located right in Boynton Canyon in Sedona, this exclusive beautiful resort is one of my favourite wellness stays in Sedona. Located right next to many top hiking paths, make the most of the red rock scenery during the day before heading back to the beautiful resort in the evening.
Japan probably doesn’t come to mind straight away when thinking about places to go for a wellness retreat or a wellness destination for that matter.
Japan, however, is the centre of Zen Buddhism, longevity and health and if you’re looking to go somewhere a little off-the-wellness-beaten track, Japan might work for you.
Japan, much like the United States, has something for everyone, city retreats, mountain retreats, hiking and outdoor sports and of course nutrition-focused experiences and reiki too.
If you’re a fan of soaking in thermal heated, mineral-rich pools and unique wellness experiences such as engaging in minimalism, zen and mindfulness then Japan awaits as one of the most interesting wellness destinations there is.
If you’re on a budget then Japan is one of the only places you probably don’t need to consider going on a retreat. There is so much peace and wellness deep-rooted in Japanese culture that finding it is inevitable.
Staying in a traditional ryokan, exploring and meditating in a zen Buddhist temple and visiting an onsen are just usual parts of Japanese culture that are already filled with intention, mindfulness and calm. You don’t need to go out of your way to find it.
Read more: The Definitive Japan Bucket List | 30 Ideas For Your Trip
Some of my favourite Japan wellness spots are:
Mount Fuji Seiyoen– This beautiful retreat located in the mountains around Mount Fuji is the perfect little place to reconnect with nature and relax. You have the opportunity to take holistic remedy making classes, get treated to massages and experience the Japanese onsen. Programs here all include medicinal teas and macrobiotic vegan meals allowing you rest and realign the body and the mind.
Enoshima Island Spa – Your primary reason for being in Japan might not be wellness but if you are looking to take a day or two out from your itinerary Enoshima Island is one of my favourite places to go. This island is just 80 minutes from Tokyo but it feels like a world away.
This modern spa offers many onsen-style bathing pools, outdoor pools overlooking Mount Fuji on a clear day and the spa also has several facial and body treatments on their menu. The entrance fee allows you unlimited access to the onsen, pools and relaxation rooms but treatments need to be booked in advance.
A firm favourite for wellness travellers Costa Rica is the perfect year-round destination for wellness and nature lovers who really want to relax, recharge and get their share of nature.
Costa Rica’s lush jungles, pristine white sand beaches and world-class yoga, spas and surfing really make it the perfect getaway.
Costa Ricans or Ticos, live by the phrase ‘Pura Vida’, a super-healthy life based around healthy foods, self-care and being at one with nature. You can enjoy jungle treks led by keen naturalists, early morning surfs, nutritious, fresh, local food including heavenly tropical fruit as well as yoga, kayaking and waterfall chasing.
Costa Rica is perfect for either relaxing and doing nothing or the ideal active retreat. It’s also a brilliant place to head to if you’re planning your own wellness vacation on a budget. The best places to head to are Nosara and Santa Teresa on the Pacific Coast.
Both these towns are slowly booming as the ‘wellness centres’ of the country and are filled with healthy food options, surf, yog