Spring break is around the corner, we’re here to share with you our top picks for wellness destinations to consider for your vacation.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is booming banking $639 Billion in 2017 and is estimated to reach $919 Billion by 2022. When it comes to spring break, a “break” should have some element of rest and restoration. making wellness destinations a healthier alternative to the party spring breaks of the 80s and 90s (thankfully).
As a wellness advisor and consultant for resorts, and a former retreat leader myself, I know a thing or two about what to look for in a wellness destination. There are, however, so many options out there for wellness retreats and locations, so we had to set some standards. For compiling this curated list of top destinations for bettering your well-being, we based our selection on the following requirements:
- ACCESSIBILITY direct flights from the U.S.
- RESTORATIVE wellness-oriented, no 24/7 parties
- EDUCATIONAL experiential travel opportunities of the local culture or natural surroundings
- REMOTE outside the United States borders
- RESPONSIBILITY not over-touristed (at time of publication)
All this talk about travel, get ready to pack your bags and grab your passport. Here are my top 7 wellness travel destinations to consider for spring break:
#1) THE RETREAT | ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA
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Love is an intense emotional feeling, a core human need that takes many forms. Self-love is equally important as love for others and to truly love others we must love ourselves first. On your next holiday nourish yourself, listen to your body and make self-care and self-love a priority. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Vida Mia, our new spa and healing center is now open. Come and experience the nourishing power of our crystal mountain. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #theretreatcostarica#vidamia#love#strength#retreat#costarica#puravida#ecolodge#yogaretreats#ecolodge#slowliving#slowlifestyle#boutiquehotels#healinghotels#yogaeveryday#travel#simpleliving#healthylifestyle#thisiscostarica#luxuryboutiquehotels#nyc#toronto#edmonton#organicfarming #organic #rawfood #rawveganrecipes#hotelboutique
An adult-only resort, The Retreat Costa is “designed to strengthen, nourish, and renew you — carrying you from wherever you are to wherever you wish to be.”
I came across The Retreat Costa Rica in an online search for wellness destinations in Costa Rica. Knowing so many other yoga getaways and teachers that lead retreats there, I wanted to offer a recommendation of a place that was a bit more upscale than the typical yoga shala. The Retreat is just that.
Located 30 minutes outside San Juan International Airport, The Retreat Costa Rica is a luxury wellness boutique resort and spa that immerses you in the healing powers of nature and the jungle. Featuring 13 unique luxury rooms, the resort is based on a 50-acre mountain that overlooks the Pacific Ocean, you’re surrounded in nature’s healing elements of endless plush jungle greens and vibrant sunsets.
With a world-class Healing Center and Spa, two Farm-to-table restaurants, an organic coffee plantation, two saltwater pools, jungle, and river paths and a view of the Gulf of Nicoya. Go on your own, or sign up for one of their retreat packages or specialized wellness journeys available.
Direct flights leave out of New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, to name a few.
#2) CASA TARA, LA VENTANA | BAJA SUR, MEX
I visited Casa Tara back in 2016 right before their grand opening, invited for my previous days as a yoga retreat leader. Marcela Ley, the founder, and vision behind Casa Tara have a genuine love and passion for her guests and property that instantly connects you to your “Segunda casita” (Spanish for second little home) for break and restoration.
Casa Tara is located in La Ventana, Baja California, Mexico. This beachfront property has gorgeous views north and south of the coastline and the Sea of Cortez, offering respite for the weary and adventure for the explorer. Secluded and safe, there are exclusively 12 rooms total at Casa Tara. The entire project is inspired by the Mediterranean-style architecture, Asian furnishings, and careful interior design added the finishing touches to create a vibrant, strongly energetic mood.
You can join a retreat or visit on your own, taking advantage of their on-site full wellness spa, two yoga studios (one indoor and one open-air palapa) with daily yoga classes, kite surfing, sup, and SUP yoga, mountain biking, hiking, free diving, scuba, private yoga, fishing, swim with the sharks, and nearby island excursions.
Direct flights to Los Cabos leave out of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, San Diego, Dallas, to name a few. You can fly to La Paz, which is closer to Casa Tara; however, the majority of flights have a connector through Mexico.
#3) OLAS TULUM | QUINTANA ROO, MEX
I experienced Olas Tulum for Thanksgiving and my birthday this past year and was warmly greeted and sang to celebrate. Olas Tulum is the only 100% sustainable resort, it is located as furthest south legally possible before hitting the Sian Khan National Park.
Olas Tulum, formerly called "Casa de las Olas", is an intimate eco-friendly destination where you quickly become family to the staff. The food is stunning, artwork that is visually pleasing for the eye and the palette. It is one of the oldest locations on Tulum beach, designed and founded over 40 years ago by its owner, an Austrian engineer seeking a quiet place in the world to restore on the ocean shores while hosting his guests and family.
Olas Tulum is dedicated to pursuing its mission of sustainability. There is no air conditioning, 100% powered by the sun, greywater filtration system, environmentally conscious cleaning products, no plastics on-site, and focusing on the three R's to reduce, reuse and recycle. Olas Tulum is the only Platinum LEED Certified hotel in Mexico and a leader in sustainability and preservation. If you’re not familiar with LEED Certifications, just know this is a BIG deal when it comes to protecting mother Earth and promoting authentic sustainability.
Direct flights to Cancun Airport are daily leaving out New York, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Miami, and Atlanta, to name a few.
#4) SANGHA RETREAT BY OCTAVE INSTITUTE | SHANGHAI, CHINA
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Poor sleep habits can greatly affect our performance, energy levels and emotional state. With our Sleep Recovery program, our skilled practitioners can help you discover the roots of sleep disruptions and share healthy life habits to improve your overall health. Tag someone you know who could greatly benefit from this program! #LivingOCTAVE
SANGHA Retreat by OCTAVE Institute is an innovative health and wellness retreat in Suzhou, China, just outside of Shanghai. Like a little wellness wonderland situated on Yangcheng Lake, Sangha features over 47-acres and hosts 68 goes suites and villa. Their holistic approach to well-being brings together Eastern wisdom and Western science, sure to accommodate or interest a variety of wellness seeking travelers.
Personalization is key. Your stay starts with a comprehensive medical assessment by an accomplished team of international doctors and medical professionals. You’re then provided a personalized wellness plan designed to help achieve whatever your personalized health goal is in life at the moment or during this break.
One Healing is a world-class spa featuring all the typical hydrotherapy spa treatments (sauna, steam, indoor pool), treatment rooms, a Himalayan Sea Salt Cave, and a full list of Ayurvedic treatments to choose from. For more activity, there’s also a gym, pilates and yoga classes, in addition to meditation and sound-healing courses to learn from.
Direct flights leave out of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas into Shanghai Pudong International Airport with drop off from a 45-minute bullet train ride or a 2-hour car ride.
#5) AMANYARA | TURKS & CAICOS
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Our team is the heart of #Amanyara, and it is our pleasure to attend to every detail of your stay in a stunning private villa. No request is too great, and no detail is too small. We start planning your itinerary even before your arrival. Once you land, your villa host is on call to ensure you have everything you need, every moment of the day. Start your #AmanJourney via the link in bio. #AmanResort #TurksandCaicos
Amanyara is a part of the Amanresorts luxury group, so there is no shortage of luxury here. Amanyara features 38 Asia-inspired pavilions in total with private balconies and quite the ocean view. From my experience, Turks & Caicos feature some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve witnessed in the world.
Nature healing is everywhere, with pools, ocean blue hues, water activities (including snorkeling, diving, paddleboards, kayaks, boating, or just floating), and daily morning yoga classes.
The Spa at Amanyara features a variety of Asian-inspired treatments, from body wraps to water therapies (as if the ocean wasn’t enough to heal a soul, we’ll take a back-up source). My recommendation, walk the beaches early in the morning for a meditative experience grounding in the soft sands and breathing with the ocean waves.
Turks & Caicos is a closer paradise than one may think. It’s only a 1-hour & 45-minute plane ride from Miami or 3 hours 30-minutes from New York.
#6) SANCTUARY CAP CANA | PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Sanctuary Cap Cana is an all-inclusive, adults-only resort privately located about 20 minutes from Punta Cana International Airport.
The hotel is set into three main parts: a Spanish-style Castle (properly called a “Castillo”), the Spanish Colonial area with the main hotel rooms, and the villas lining the ocean shores. Elegantly decoded rooms and villas run throughout the property, with 5 pools and oceanfront views.
I stayed at the Sanctuary Cap Cana last October and was pleasantly surprised to find a raw and “healthy” marked section in their buffets. This makes finding healthier food options a lot easier for a traveling flexitarian. Plus, if you have any special dietary needs, their staff will go above and beyond to accommodate them.
The Sanctuary Spa has standout services, located within the Castle. This was one of my favorite areas to explore, private and secluded that you could just get lost in the day there with an outdoor private pool patio, full hydrotherapy services, and treatments. There is a gym that is quite large with a variety of equipment, along with multiple fitness classes held daily.
If you’re going with a family or mixed group, this can be a good option with something fun for everyone to take part in. Direct flights take off from New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami and Dallas, to name a few.
#7) THE RETREAT HOTEL | BLUE LAGOON, ICELAND
For the winter lovers, we had to throw a cool destination in this line-up!
Blue Lagoon is just 20 minutes from the Keflavik Nas Airport. Set in a modern, low-rise building surrounded by volcanic terrain, this upscale spa hotel is a popular destination for its outdoor lagoon with mineral-rich waters in a lava field. In 2017 alone around 1.5 million tourists bathed in these minerals, bright blue waters. The water is naturally heated, and the blues are almost unreal when you see them (so I hear).
The price at Blue Lagoon is a bit steep, but the unique experience that combines thermo-therapies, healing masks, and swim-up food and beverage service makes it worth it. For fitness and movement, included in your stay are access to the spa, lagoon, fitness center and daily group hikes.
Direct flights to Keflavik Nas Airport depart from Chicago, New York, Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Francisco, to name a few.
That wraps up our list for recommended destinations to consider for Spring Break travel this upcoming year. Would you consider a wellness destination for your Spring Break? Which one on this list is your favorite? Comment in below, and any destinations we missed you’d like to see featured.