Is 2020 over yet? There’s no sugarcoating the fact that this year has been a complete and utter dumpster fire. We’re frustrated. We’re exhausted. And we’re all about to lose our damn minds. You need a serious dose of self-care right about now, and the best way to do that is with remote (read: COVID-19 friendly) wellness retreats.
Some guys turn to feel-good workouts to blow off steam, while others opt for meditation or yoga classes to de-stress. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of ways to nourish your mind, body, and soul. There are even grooming products that promise to bring a sense of calm to your daily routine. But when it comes to travel trends, we’re predicting that wellness retreats are going to be bigger than ever once travel (eventually) returns to normal.
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For anybody already plotting a wellness escape at some point down the line, we’re highlighting a handful of innovative properties throughout the U.S. that are totally focused on wellbeing. From touchless spa treatments to sound therapy and forest bathing, there’s something for every type of traveler. Here are some of our favorite wellness retreats.
Disclaimer: People planning travel of any kind should visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization for the most current COVID-19 alerts and updates. Be sure to also review any travel advisories related to the destination(s) you’re planning to visit and keep yourself and others safe by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and bringing the appropriate food, drinks, and other supplies when possible.
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Shou Sugi Ban House
Water Mill, New York
Tucked away along Montauk Highway on Long Island’s East End, Shou Sugi Ban House sits on three acres in the scenic hamlet of Water Mill. The 13-studio retreat reopened its doors in June, drawing inspiration for its creative spa programming from the Japanese principles of wabi-sabi (which can be loosely interpreted as a philosophy based on the acceptance of transience and imperfection). Their comprehensive collection of forward-thinking wellness activities includes everything from breathwork and customized meditation sessions to fitness and nutrition programs. The sanctuary also boasts a plant-focused culinary program designed in collaboration with Michelin-starred Danish chef Mads Refslund (co-founder of Copenhagen’s celebrated Noma restaurant).
Don’t miss: The multisensory Shou Sugi Ban House Tea Meditation encourages visitors to foster mindfulness as a daily practice.
Within the Wild
Those looking for the ultimate socially distanced escape should set their sights on the Last Frontier. Within the Wild operates two remote lodges nestled deep in the backcountry of Southcentral Alaska: Winterlake Lodge (located at the entrance to the Alaska Range) and Tutka Bay Lodge (at the edge of Kachemak Bay State Park). Set against the rugged Alaskan wilderness, the luxury adventure travel company has gotten creative with their wellness programming, offering thoughtful treatments that leverage the healing power of nature. Tightly wound guests can treat themselves to no-touch wellness alternatives, like sound therapy sessions, Ayurvedic self-massages, and naturalist-guided meditative nature walks through the great outdoors. Each lodge offers just six cabins (so no need to worry about crowds), but groups in search of true privacy can also arrange a full-lodge buyout.
Don’t miss: Their experimental meditation options include standup paddleboard floating meditation and self-meditation in the Tutka Bay Lodge yurt.
Sundara Inn & Spa
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
For a Midwest take on wellness, venture to Wisconsin and book a stay at Sundara Inn & Spa. The hideout is set in the heart of an 80-acre pine forest and allows for a true digital detox, thanks to their “no electronics” policy. Their mission statement opens with: “In everything we do, our mission is wellness,” a concept reflected in their unique lineup of experiences (which are included free of charge). Some of their popular wellness activities include the Chakra Meditation Trail (with seven stops corresponding to the seven chakras, or energy centers, of the body); Moving Meditation sessions (similar to the controlled motions of tai chi); and a Boot Camp program designed to sweat the stress away. The spa also offers a range of treatments tailored specifically to men.
Don’t miss: The new Salt Treatment Room highlights halotherapy, a form of alternative medicine that uses salt for its calming and detoxifying properties.
The Lodge at Woodloch
The Lodge at Woodloch is nestled in the woods of Northeast Pennsylvania, less than 100 miles from both New York City and Philadelphia. The all-inclusive, 58-room destination spa resort offers a relaxed and rustic getaway, featuring lodge-inspired décor and a biophilic design that brings the natural world indoors. Its idyllic location sets the perfect scene for their signature Forest Bathing program, and they’re one of only two resorts in the country that have a team of certified forest bathing guides. Based on the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, forest bathing involves spending time in nature and has been linked to various physiological benefits, including improved immune, cardiovascular, and respiratory functioning. It’s also said to provide emotional healing, decrease blood pressure, improve sleep-wake cycles, and more.
Don’t miss: Their ever-rotating activity schedule offers between 20 and 30 classes each day, such as edible plant walks, archery, crystal sound bowl healings, art classes, and much more.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
A trip to Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is more than a vacation—it’s a much-needed, nourishing journey for the body and soul. The award-winning property is revered for its innovative services and expansive 70,000-square-foot spa. A true sign of the times, their team just unveiled a new menu of touchless wellness services in collaboration with some of the industry’s top health and wellness brands. Get comfy in the Cocoon Pod, which assists with weight loss and rejuvenates the skin, or let the cutting-edge LightStrim Bed treatment aid in cell repair and muscle recovery. Afterwards, soak up some Vitamin D on the beach, take a dip in their pristine pools, or hang low in one of the resort’s spacious luxury apartments.
Don’t miss: Their state-of-the-art Quantum Harmonic Sound Therapy table combines music, gentle sound waves, and efficient vibration to give you the best power nap you’ve ever experienced.
Ojo Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The former Sunrise Springs Spa Resort is back and better than ever as Ojo Santa Fe. The resort, which officially reopened July 1, sits on 70 serene acres and overlooks sparkling freshwater springs that date back to the late 16th century. Here, the wellness experience is centered on the tradition of “taking the waters,” believed to extend numerous health benefits like reducing stress, fortifying immunity, soothing digestion, and more. The private outdoor Ojitos look out at the tranquil high-desert landscape, and guests can partake in guided meditations, mindful movement classes, and animal interactions with puppies and silkie chickens to help boost endorphins.
Don’t miss: Ojo’s spiritual program led by the resort’s onsite Curandera, who offers native healing rituals such as a traditional sweat lodge ceremony.
Garden of the Gods Resort and Club
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Approximately 3,000 years ago, the Ute people lived in a region near Colorado Springs, which also served as an important Native American crossroads. According to local lore, numerous nomadic tribes frequently gathered in the area because they considered the surrounding sandstone formations to be sacred healing grounds. Today, the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club honors that heritage with a holistic wellness program. Some of the property’s popular offerings include acupuncture treatments, IV Wellness, Aypa Incan Energy Body Therapy, dry floatation therapy, and more. Arrange a stay in one of the brand-new spa casitas, which feature full kitchens, private outdoor patios, and scenic views of Pikes Peak and the majestic Rocky Mountains.
Don’t miss: The resort’s Healing Touch Energy Therapy center has certified energy healers, who can help balance and restore your life force energy to its optimal flow state.
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