A great hotel often can be one of the best parts of a vacation. For some travelers, the destination is the hotel. And within the world of hotel junkies, wellness hotels exist in their own sphere of greatness.
These are not the all-encompassing health and wellness resorts à la Rancho La Puerta or Canyon Ranch, where the entire focus of a visit is on wellness. But rather hotels and resorts that exist in their own right, yet have placed special emphasis on also providing cutting edge wellness options for guests.
There are hotels of all sizes across the country that fall into this second category, and more are emerging on a regular basis.
“With the global escalation of wellness tourism, hotels, and resorts not traditionally associated with wellness are jumping into the space,” says Anne Dimon, a wellness travel consultant and CEO of the 13-year-old online magazine Travel to Wellness. “More consumers are looking to use travel time to take care of themselves, to reboot the system, get back on track, learn how to manage stress, or change lifestyle habits for the good of their own health and wellbeing.”
At the same time, one of the biggest wellness travel trends this year is the “wellness retreat,” a multi-day getaway that includes a somewhat formal (or semi-formal) schedule of guided wellness activities. (Think nutritious meals, spa treatments, fitness classes, guided hiking, and more).
With all of this in mind, here are five of the top wellness hotels to put on your radar, courtesy of Dimon, and luxury wellness travel expert Dena Roche, creator of the site The Travel Diet.
Being a Four Seasons property is reason enough to visit this luxe hotel in the Los Angeles area. But if you need another excuse, here it is: The California Health & Longevity Institute.
The institute is a remarkably progressive facility offering classes, consultations, health assessments and health workshops covering everything from healthy cooking, to life balance, and mindfulness-based stress reduction. The staff meanwhile is made up of registered dietitians, exercise physiologists, and lifestyle consultants.
And there’s more. A lot more. In addition to the hard-core health-focused options, there’s a long list of spa treatments to die for – tranquility massages, Thai massage; lavender milk and honey body cocoons; organic body polishes, detox body wraps (should we go on?). The list could easily take up this entire story.
If it all sounds a bit overwhelming, the best way to resolve that is perhaps visit for yourself and dive in. Just be sure to set aside at least two or three days. And in between the wellness treatments, don’t miss exploring the property’s lush gardens, which showcase more than 25,000 plants, flowers, and shrubs.
The Fairmont Scottsdale is yet another example of a fabulous property in its own right, that took the bold move of creating a very detailed wellness program. The Arizona hotel is home to the Well & Being Spa, a facility designed to provide an innovative fusion of spa and wellness activities.
A favorite of Roche’s, Well & Being’s offerings range from Aerial Yoga to aromatherapy massages, and everything in between. But, as a facility that’s meant to be much more than a place to simply get a massage, the options here also include nutrition focused consultations with a registered dietician who will work with you to develop a customized eating plan. Well & Being also offers Integrative Health Assessments, a service that involves fusing traditional Western medical care with alternative wellness practices to help guide you to optimal health.
The spa’s “Live Well Today to Be Well Tomorrow” program meanwhile, includes experts creating a tailored lifestyle program just for you.
“This 40,000 square foot spa does everything a spa can do, but adds in the unexpected twists,” says Roche. “Things like nutrition evaluations, acupuncture, and naturopathic therapies.”
3. EVEN Hotels
If the Fairmont or the Four Seasons Westlake Village sound just a tad overwhelming for you, EVEN Hotels offers another take on the cutting-edge wellness property.
While EVEN Hotels (locations in New York, Connecticut, Maryland and Omaha, Nebraska) don’t include a spa, they do have a multitude of other health-oriented options integrated into the property, says Roche, who’s a fan.
“This hotel chain was created entirely for wellness. That’s the reason it exists and that’s what it does,” explains Roche. “The rooms have yoga mats, exercise balls, and a cable system so that you can do different exercises in-room. And there’s a booklet in the room showing you how to use different equipment.”
The health focus doesn’t end in your room. There’s also athletic studios on site and the food served by EVEN Hotels is focused on (as you may have guessed) – healthy eating choices. Options include heart healthy and gluten-free noshes. A small peek at the menu options, just to make your mouth water, includes such things as egg quinoa wraps; salmon boards; a long list of power juices and smoothies, and kale crunch salads, among many other items. The menu is even designed with helpful symbols that classify each food option according to whether its aimed at “refueling,” “immunity” “calming,” “vegan,” and more.
Here’s a staggering number: 70,000 square feet. That’s the size of the spa and wellness space at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort.
Surrounded by stellar views of the Atlantic, this spa is focused on offering a holistic approach to well-being, one designed to meet your needs. What does that mean exactly? Many things. On the pampering front, the spa facility includes crystal steam rooms, a Finnish sauna, and experiential rains. There’s also a bevy of spa treatments to drool over – sea tonic firming wraps, nature’s harvest facials, and even non-surgical face lift treatments.
In terms of fitness, the property claims its exercise area is home to more high-tech cardiovascular equipment than any than any other destination in Miami Beach. In case that isn’t enough, however, there’s a two-story indoor rock wall and more than 200 group fitness class each week.
And still, there’s more. The Carillon, offers nutritional counseling, acupuncture, healing energy, and health counseling via a team of licensed health care providers, certified fitness experts, and nutritionists.
The menu of options detailing all the offerings at this facility is an astounding 42 pages long.
Raise your hand if you want to just move into this resort permanently.
Remember this name: âme Spa & Wellness Collective. It’s the part of the resort you want to make a beeline for when visiting the luxurious Turberry Isle Miami.
Beauty, body therapy, fitness, and nutrition are all served up on a stylish Miami platter at this facility, which was designed to inspire transformation among its visitors by helping them (you) balance the core elements of wellness.
A three-story facility set amid a lush tropical landscape, the range of offerings at âme can almost be dizzying. There’s individual and group fitness classes, nutritional consultations, a functional medical practice, a cosmetic medical practice, and of course a spa, which offers 65 unique treatments designed to address both inner and outer beauty, from massage and exfoliation to aroma- and color-therapy.
“It’s very historic,” Roche says of Turnberry, a place she was scheduled to jet off to herself just a few days after helping with this story. “Many of celebrities have visited.”