By comparison to October—when the U.S. State Department issued updated travel advisories for every country around…
Wellness was trending before we were hit by the pandemic, so it is no surprise that the notion of well-being and wellness travel is top of mind for travelers in 2021. Jack Ezon, founder of Embark Beyond notes that Covid and its traumatizing effects have “magnified a wellness revolution that was already well established.” Embark Beyond’s wellness affiliate, Well Xplored, recently sold out three yoga retreats to St. Barts in less than two weeks. And, says Ezon, “about 65% of our trips that traveled in the autumn of 2020 had a wellness component or nature component to them.”
More importantly, this year-long pause has afforded the city dweller/globe-trotter/road warrior a chance to pull back and savor the peace of the outdoors and nature (both of which are free and perfect for social distancing). Below are several destinations that have nature on tap and wellness programming in place to get your mind and spirit going the right direction for 2021 and beyond.
Serenbe Wellness Retreats: Serenbe is a residential community with a charming Inn about 45 minutes outside of Atlanta but it began life as a family retreat for successful restauranteur Steve Nygren. Decades ago Nygren opened The Inn at Serenbe because he saw the demand for an escape to nature, long before wellness travel was a “thing.” Today it is a nationally-recognized biophilic community focused on well-being in nature. During a wellness retreat you’ll bunk at the Inn (or at one of the rental properties in the community). No matter where you stay, you’ll find yourself in the embrace of meadows and trees, connected to the rest of the Serenbe community by forested pathways that will take you just about anywhere you want to go. The retreat week features a steady diet of yoga (in all of its forms, restorative, flow, etc.), meditation sessions, and wellness coaching sessions. In between, you can explore the range of Serenbe offerings with spa treatments, horseback riding, daily walks and marvelously farm-fresh dining at restaurants such as Halsa, The Hill or the Blue-Eyed Daisy.
Mexico-based Chablé Hotels specialize in decadent stays that celebrate the outdoors. This year they have three new specifically designed programs based on feedback and guest needs from 2020. The different programs focus on boosting the immune system, relieving stress and anxiety, and healing heartache. Look for their solo retreats (six days to yourself!), wellness retreats or wellness-for-two retreats—experiences that incorporate meditation, yoga and sacred Mayan rituals among other things. And, because you are in some of Mexico’s most lovely landscapes, you’ll also get an overdose of sun, nature and water.
Rosewood properties are well-loved for their locally-inspired spas and experiences but The Sleep Well Journey at Rosewood Bermuda is devoted to the universal need for better rest. The experience features a full-immersion into rituals and wellness decisions that promote a lifetime of better sleep. You’ll start with a one-on-one session with sleep therapist Holly Paiva. She’ll provide an in-depth analysis, as well as an acupuncture session using a blend of essential oils such as lavender, geranium and chamomile, focused on inducing sleep. Not to be left out, Executive Chef Gerry Adams curates a healthful lunch featuring sleep inducing ingredients ( enjoyed poolside of course). If you aren’t already relaxed enough reading this then add in an additional finishing touch of massage and sauna at their Sense Spa.
The Mohonk Mountain House, a Victorian castle in the bucolic Hudson Valley, devotes special focus to providing opportunities for mindfulness and spiritual renewal in a natural setting but the sleep-centric offering is one of their most popular. The “In Search of a Good Night’s Sleep” experience concentrates on sleep wellness and is led by Nina Smiley, Mohonk’s Director of Mindfulness Programming. You’ll enjoy a private session that teaches simple techniques to quiet the mind and release stress that typically keeps one awake.
If you are not keen on traveling in any shape or form yet but still want some form of escape you can sign on to Well Xplored’s Virtual Retreats for a wellness deep dive from the comfort and safety of your living room.