Here Are The Best Wellness Retreats Around The World

If you're looking for a well-earned break, here's where to go and what to know about some of the most relaxing places in the world...

Heritage Le Telfair

by Grazia Contributor |

After the past 18-months we've had, yoga and wellness retreats are coming back in a big way. Travel is resuming, the need for relaxation and restoration with it. From somewhere tranquil and quiet where you can collect your thoughts to the sort of place where a trainer may scream 'burpies!' at you for an hour while you sweat your socks off, there are a number of different places to choose from, depending on what you're looking for.

Before you write them off as a fad, some of the 'wellbeing retreats' on offer can actually end up being an incredible holiday experience that you perhaps wouldn't have expected. With that in mind, we hunted down the best fitness and detox retreats around the world for the perfect re-boot, as well as some all-important recommedations from The Spa Spy’s Lisa Stokes and Amanda Byram.

Heritage Le Telfair, Mauritius

There are few places I’ve travelled that feel as authentically idyllic as Mauritius. Even 18 months on from my experience at Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort – interrupted by the global pandemic that kept the resort from hosting their annual Wellness Festival – I can still remember the immediate calm that set upon me just travelling from the airport to hotel.

Heritage Le Telfair
©Heritage Le Telfair

The lowdown:

Mauritius is predicted to be among the first destinations to recover post Covid as long-haul travel resumes, notably because it’s incredible beaches, lagoons and reefs. Travelling there via Air Mauritius, the first-class experience is like none-other. And now, it gets even better. From October 2021 the hotel group Heritage Resorts will offset the CO2 emissions from all hotel stays through the purchase of carbon credits with the Aera Group, an environmental commodity trader, and through local carbon offset projects including the construction of a photovoltaic farm.

It's an extra reason to stay with Heritage Resorts when you arrive, not that you needed another with the incredible amenities the hotel provides. When I arrived at Heritage Le Telfair, the sound of the Indian Ocean the hotel is built on was music to my ears. From your room, you can choose a sea or garden view – both as bliss as each other. My deluxe suite – which features a King-sized bed, spacious lounge and luxurious bathroom, happened to have a sea view, but not before passing by the incredible pool

Heritage Le Telfair
©Heritage Le Telfair

Best known for... limitless luxury experiences

When it comes to wellness, there’s nothing like Heritage Le Telfair. During my stay, I was lucky enough to experience two spa treatments – both of which my body melted into existence during – as well as sunset Hatha Yoga with their resident Yogi, Rama. The view of the vast landscape, which features an idyllic golf course, was the perfect setting for yoga: grounding, peaceful, healing.

The following day, my group was taken to the Biosphere Nature Reserve (UNESCO) for ‘forest bathing’. I’ll admit, I chuckled at first – had I suddenly become a Gwynethite, Gooping my way through life one tree shower at a time? But actually, forest bathing is just about taking in nature. Walking through the woods, you are encouraged to fully experience the sights, sounds and senses such incredible natural environments have to offer – and it is strangely healing. With so much of our lives consumed by tech, living in cities caved in concrete, it was a rare reminder of how beautiful our planet is.

Heritage Le Telfair
©Heritage Le Telfair

One highlight of the trip for me was trying out Tai-Chi, during which our lovely instructor told me I in fact have ‘loads of Chi’. Did I not tell you I was Gwyneth Paltrow’s kin? I mean, after that, I must be. But seriously, much like yoga, Tai-Chi was both strengthening and grounding, a practice in centering yourself and calming your mind – ultimately, to harvest your energy into self-defence, but we didn’t quite get to the fighting part.

But the best part of visiting Mauritius had to be climbing Le Morne, a peninsula with a 556-meter summit, where we had panoramic views of the most beautiful blue sea I’ve ever witnessed. There, our host Ranvin took us through some breathing and mindfulness exercises – you’ll be surprised how bad we all are at breathing properly – and among yet another idyllic location, I found myself completely immersed in how calming all of these wellness exercises really are.

I’m no sceptic, I appreciate the art of yoga and meditation, but I certainly didn’t expect to feel as unburdened and stress-free as I did during my stay at Heritage Le Telfair. Perhaps it was also the delicious dining experiences, of which Le Telfair houses four incredible restaurants. In fact, scratch ‘perhaps’, I know for a fact the Mauritian bread I ate every day did wonders for my mind, body and soul. Other must-see experiences include an excursion to the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth Geopark, Waterfall and nearby, rum tasting.

Heritage Le Telfair
Le Palmier ©Heritage Le Telfair

Ultimately, I left Heritage Le Telfair understanding why the wellness industry has boomed so much in the last decade. Far from a fad, my trip to Mauritius proved that wellness retreats can help you revisit parts of yourself we so often lose in work, family stress and social obligations. And guys, this was pre-pandemic… after the 18-months we’ve all had, there is no time to treat yourself to a trip to one of the words best wellness resorts like now.

Air Mauritius offer return direct flights from London Heathrow to Mauritius from £567.00. Air Mauritius is currently operating a once-a-week service direct from Heathrow on Sundays throughout the winter. Using the latest state-of-the-art aircraft, the A330-900 Neo offers unprecedented levels of comfort. Your holiday starts the minute you step onboard with Air Mauritius. Sit back and enjoy a film, drink and some Mauritian Hospitality where you will arrive in great shape to enjoy your holiday in Paradise.

Deluxe Suite at Heritage Le Telfair start from £275.00 per night including breakfast, based on two adults sharing a room. Price based on January 2022 travel. For reservations, please email: resa@heritageresorts.mu or visit www.heritageresorts.mu

La Reserve, Ramatuelle, France

La Reserve, Ramatuelle, France
©La Reserve

The Low Down:

Perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea – set among rolling vineyards and pine forests near the picturesque village of Ramatuelle – La Reserve is a secluded haven of calm on the French Riviera. Sleek interiors, a state of the art spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant create a super-chic contemporary retreat. A favourite escape for the French elite - Karl Lagerfield was a regular. Wellbeing and relaxation outweighs the glamour and the vibe is positively horizontal.

Best Known For: Ultimate Luxury

Tried and Tested: The Nescens Bootcamp begins with a consultation and check-up covering everything from eating habits and nutrition to physical strength and joint health. A bespoke exercise regime and diet prescription is followed by a chat with celebrated chef Eric Canino to discuss any food allergies or preferences. He’s clearly passionate about the Mediterranean diet and the local, healthy ingredients to hand. They’re anti-detox here and although all the bootcamp menus are prepared without the use of dairy and refined sugar, they’re all three course options so you definitely won't go hungry. Outdoor fitness is encouraged by the personal trainers - activities include cycling, aqua cycling, swimming, Nordic walking and - my favourite - coastal group hikes along the stunning nearby cliffs. Busy days begin with jet showers and muscular awakening sessions and wind down with relaxing treatments such as Balneotherapy, aromatic wraps and body massages and facials. A gentle and effective bootcamp, in luxurious sun-drenched surroundings.

Other programmes include The Nescens Better-Ageing Exclusive Experience - a complete synergy between spa treatments, physical activity and healthy balanced meals. Spa facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, gym, aroma steam room, sauna, hydrotherapy baths.

You can experience Nescens bootcamp for either three or five days, from £1300.

Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Nice from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £29.99 one way (£59.98 return) For further information or to book please visit**** www.monarch.co.uk

Hotel Tannenhof, St Anton am Arlberg, Austria

Hotel Tannenhof
©Hotel Tannenhof

The lowdown:

Overlooking the powdery white slopes and picturesque village and ski resort ofSt Anton am Arlberg, Hotel Tannenhof is a chalet style boutique hotel and brand new state of the art spa with just seven uber-luxe suites – think muted tone linens, sumptuous rich silks, roaring log fires, multi-jet wet rooms, and balconies with panoramic mountain views. Alpine retreat feels like an opulent private residence and manager Judith welcomes you like a long lost friend.

Best known for... detoxing

It’s clear as soon as I meet nutritionist and spa manager Amanda to talk through my detox plan for the next few days that she really knows her stuff. Based on The Alkaline Plan, the detox focuses on a gut-cleansing diet of light fruit and vegetable juices (the fennel and lemon juice was delicious), herbal teas, green vegetables, seeds and nuts, white fish, small amounts of ‘good’ oils and copious amounts of fresh mountain water. As with most detox plans, full-on exercise regimes are not recommended so I opt for the inclusive yoga and morning stretch classes. The plan is complemented with a range of detox treatments such as The Algae Scrub & Body Wrap using Himalayan salt and algae to stimulate lymphatic drainage, and a Silver Quartz Hot Stone Massage. The latter is Tannenhof’s signature treatment which uses stones rich in silicon dioxide and essential minerals to tone the connective tissues and de-acidify the body. Each evening after dinner, a candlelit mineral salt detox bath is prepared for you complete with relaxing music and lemon mountain water to sip. A detox delight in the Austrian Alps.

Other activities Include skiing, mountain hikes and treks, mountain biking, yoga, personal training and organised snow walks Spa facilities Include an indoor swimming pool, gym, indoor and outdoor sauna, aromatic steam, ice plunge pool, hot tub with mountain views and relaxation cafe.

A five-night detox at Hotel Tannenhof (St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria; 0043 5446 30311), in a suite, costs from £3,080 per couple. The package includes two detox experience treatments, two detox body wrap treatments, a reflexology massage, two yoga sessions, and two guided hikes (plus ski passes in the winter season).

British Airways offers flights from Gatwick to Salzburg from £131 return, including taxes and charges. For further information or to book, visit**** www.ba.com

Bodyism at D-Hotel Maris, Turkey

D-Maris
©D-Maris

The lowdown:

High up on the hillside where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet, lies the D-Maris hotel in a hidden enclave. This is where 'Clean and Lean' guru James Duigan - Elle McPherson's trainer, no less - chose to bring his famous BODYISM franchise.

D-Hotel is an exclusive resort with insane views, five different beaches, (a mere wave of the hand summons the boat to transfer you from one to the other) six amazing restaurants and water so clear you could read a book through it. The perfect spot to get fit, given that James ships his Bodyism team back and forth so you can work out while still being pampered.

Best known for... fitness combined with sheer luxury

Fitness is just as important as luxury here. The D-Gym is vast, with numerous high-tech machines. There is also an outdoor jogging path, mountain biking, beach volleyball, mini-football and basketball. Included in the packages, you will get your sessions with the Bodyism team, swim sessions and massages to make sure you don’t get injured. A full diet plan can be incorporated into your programme. There are six amazing restaurants at D-Maris.

Other activities include stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and scuba diving. Spa facilities include a swimming pool, gym, vitality pool, thermal suite, steam room, ice fountain and Hammam.

The D-Hotel Maris offer a night B&B in a Deluxe Sea View room from £420 based on two sharing. For bespoke Bodyism programmes visit www.bodyism.com/d-hotel-maris-bodyism/

Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates**** flights to Dalaman**** from Birmingham, London Gatwick, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and London Luton airports, with fares, including taxes, starting from £49.99 one way (£91.98 return) For further information or to book please visit**** www.monarch.co.uk

38 Degrees North at Aguas de Ibiza, Ibiza.

38 Degrees North at Aguas de Ibiza, Ibiza.
©38 Degrees North

The lowdown:

The owners of 38 degrees North - James and Kelly - moved their UK bootcamp of the same name to the island few years back. It’s set in the five star luxury boutique hotel Aguas De Ibiza, which is north of the island in Santa Eulalia, boasting incredible views over the Mediterannean, outdoor swimming pools, gardens and terraces. It’s not a military bootcamp, but it IS run with military precision. The hotels 1500m2 Revival Spa, which offers an array of incredible Clarins treatments, is most welcome after a week at the camp.

Best known for... serious fitness in a fun environment

Tried and Tested: While you stay at the hotel, most of the activities are taken outside. I chose the optimal fitness week. The activities here are perfectly timed and paced out, so you have just enough time in between so as not to get bored. There are early morning runs, followed by sprints or TRX on the beach or circuits, as well as boxing, yoga, meditation and even self-defence classes. You don’t HAVE to partake in all of the activities, but the team spirit and the trainers themselves really make you want to. Fitness levels vary here – I am pretty fit, and found it hard. But there were beginners there too, who all said they enjoyed the challenge.

Other programmes include: Optimal Fitness, Luxury Yoga and Stress Management Retreats, Detox and Deep Sleep Retreats.

Spa facilities Include: Swimming pool, gym, hydrotherapy pool, steam, sauna and relaxation rooms.

Go if : You want to up your fitness levels, increase your stamina, make new friends, and get yourself a tan while doing so.

A 6 night Optimal Fitness Retreat is available from April to October with prices starting from £1493 in low season up to £2571 in high season. Bespoke fitness and yoga retreats are also on offer, as is DNA Fitness, Europe's first DNA analysis focused retreat for the ultimate in personalised training and nutritio. easyJet flies to Ibiza from 6 UK airports with prices starting from £35.99 per person (one-way, including taxes and based on two people on the same booking). All flights can be booked at www.easyjet.com

Chiva Som, Hua Hin, Thailand

Chiva Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
©Chiva Som

The lowdown:

Part holiday destination, part spa and part hospital, Chiva Som is cleverly disguised beneath a beautifully painted five star veil. No mobiles, laptops or cameras in communal areas means you have to unlatch from Instagram selfies for a week. It’s a welcome escape. Set on a long beach on Hua Hin Thailand, this gem of a hotel offers a plethora of health, beauty and fitness programs. The food here is a reminder that your health and well-being are in good hands. Sleep in luxurious Thai Pavilions, Herbal Suites or Rainforest Suites with butler service throughout your stay - no matter which one you decide on, one thing is for sure – you sleep well here at Chiva, especially after a day at the gym.

Best known for...health and beauty

Tried and Tested: The fitness team here at Chiva are among the most enthusiastic, experienced personal trainers I have come across. This gym is state of the art, featuring over 30 different training regimes, like a Hypoxic room, GRAVITY 500 and EMS- electro-muscular stimulation, where you wear a body suit that is connected to electric current, and as you train your muscles are worked harder via the current.

Other programmes include: Detoxification, Optimal Fitness and Stress Reduction to Skin Rejuvenation. There are over 150 treatments and specialist practitioners that include doctors, nurses, dermatologists, plastic surgeons, naturopaths and therapists. Spa facilities include swimming pools, water-therapy pools, gym, thermal and hydro suites, relaxation rooms.

Three nights on any Chiva Detox Plan from £1364 based on two people sharing a twin room. Vietnam Airlines (**www.vietnamairlines.com**; 020 3263 2062) currently offers return fares from Heathrow to Bangkok from £488 return, with four flights per week via either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City

The LifeCo Antalya, Turkey

The LifeCo Antalya, Turkey
©The LifeCo

The lowdown:

Turkey seems to have its finger on the healthy pulse these days. LifeCo is just one of many emerging health spas in the country and, it seems, one of the most popular. The Antalya branch located in Akra Barut, overlooks views of the Mediterranean or the Taurus Mountains and is quite new to the LifeCo family. If this is the baby of the group, its father and grandfather are homed in Istanbul and Bodrum (the original) respectively. They offer a healthier lifestyle through improved nutrition, managing your stress levels, a full MOT for your mind and body through detox programs, and therapies which are mostly natural healing protocols.

Best known for... being Kate Moss's favourite detox destination

Your health is of the utmost importance here. Blood samples and full body bio-analysis are taken upon arrival, which are retaken and compared the day you leave. It has a hint of a hospital, hidden under beautifully painted veil of a five star hotel and spa. I chose to opt out of the juice program, sticking to the amazing raw food menu from SAF restaurant - where they prepare unprocessed, healthy, plant-based dishes and meals. I am a big fan of raw food and of SAF. Think ‘lasagna’ made from courgettes, with rosemary ricotta cheese (made from cashew nuts), crushed avocado and flaxseed crackers, hummus and rice paper rolls.

Other programmes include: Daily Healthy Nutrition and Detox Programs, Detox & Cleansing Programs, Beauty Programs, Weight Control Programs, Stress-free Relaxation and Pampering Spa Programs, Energy and Immune System Program, Diabetes Control Program and Cardiovascular Program.

Spa facilities Include a swimming pool, gym, hydrotherapy and thermal suites, relaxation areas.

Seven nights on The Raw Food Detox from £1995 per person.

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