The Best Wellness Retreats to Start Your New Year's Resolutions Off Right
Start Your Resolutions Off Right
Maybe you need a good kick in the butt to get your resolutions started. Or maybe you just need a mini goal to keep you going through "fall-off-the-bandwagon" February. (We know, the resolution struggle is real.) Either way, these are the best wellness retreats—spanning from January 1 to mid-February (when most people officially give up their New Year's goals)—to help you out, big time.
Whether your resolution is to deepen your yoga practice, learn to run, lose some weight, tune up your mental prowess, or get physically stronger, there's something here for everyone. Your motivation to keep going strong after the trip? Reward yourself with another one next year—or try one of these winners of the 2016 Healthy Travel Awards.)
Do a Detox In the Cayman Islands
If you hate the idea of detoxing, but need to totally overhaul your eating habits, this is the retreat you need to book: the 5-Day Detox by Holistic Hideaways at Le Soleil d'Or in the Cayman Islands. It's led by Nikki Sharp, an internationally known wellness expert, health coach, and lifestyle blogger, with credentials in nutrition, naturopathic medicine, and as a yoga instructor.
Think a tropical detox retreat is all about drinking nothing but ~fancy~ juices? Think again! You'll learn how to build a healthy relationship with food. Plus you'll get tailored meal-planning techniques and one-on-one lifestyle coaching from Sharp. (FYI, those juice-only detoxes will probably cause weight gain anyway.) Here, you'll get to forage for your own food on their 20-acre organic farm, take cooking classes, and, of course, do plenty of beach yoga. The retreat only runs from January 25 to 30, 2017—but don't fret if you can't make it to this session. Visit the resort anytime for the same access to fresh produce from the 20-acre organic farm, island excursions, beach yoga, Pilates, tennis, swimming, biking, hiking, caving, and more—or join one of the other Holistic Hideaways retreats throughout the year that range from yoga to "best you" boot camp to meditation journeys.
($2,907 for double occupancy, lesoleildor.com)
Stay Cool with Snowga In France
Chalet Les Brames in Meribel, France, is the ultimate way to escape into a winter wonderland. Located in a hidden enclave just off the Georges Maduit ski mountain, the chalet just reopened in December 2016 after undergoing a full remodel. The result: a cozy, luxurious hideaway that's sure to send you into total relaxation mode.
But you won't want to just relax while you're there; snag their "Snowga" package, which includes five days of private ski lessons and yoga, three sessions of osteopathy consultations, and two sports massages. (Don't be afraid of the cold. Your inspiration: these gorgeous snowga pics from Instagram.) The program, designed by pro ski, yoga, and Pilates instructor and trained osteopath Aurélia Chrétien Pomès, blends the best of skiing and yoga for a holistic health experience. You can also special-request a "health and wellness menu" from the in-house chef, including broths, lean proteins, grains, and fresh pressed juices, all locally sourced. For more adventure: Add mountain walks, paragliding, snowshoeing, or cooking classes. For more relaxation: Stick to the ice baths, steam rooms, outdoor Jacuzzi, cinema, and bar.
(About $2,950 for 5-day package, not including occupancy, chaletbrames.com)
Kick Your (Bikini) Booty Into Gear In St. Lucia
Hop down to St. Lucia's Marigot Bay from January 12 to 16 for a retreat with trainer Rebecca Kordecki, "booty guru" and creator of the "Booty Slide" workout. Enjoy the Auriga Spa amenities and outdoor activities (like hiking, swimming, and sea fishing) at the Capella Marigot Bay resort, as well as Kordecki's programming: two-a-day workouts to carve your butt and core, meditation sessions, and meal prepping/planning guidance. You'll even score some one-on-one time with Kordecki to target your weak spots (whether it be your body, mind, or diet).
($2,080 for double occupancy, myretreatsunlimited.com)
Escape the Everyday In Isla Holbox
Skip Cancún and Cozumel—head out to Isla Holbox, an undiscovered spot off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, instead. The two retreats (either January 18 to 22 or February 1 to 5) pack a little more ~balance~ than some other fitness-focused getaways. Why? You'll get plenty of relaxation time. Read: relaxing in hammocks, walking on white sandy beaches, and sipping margaritas (because, when in Mexico). Then you get a taste of fitness and adventure, too. Try paddleboarding or kite surfing, do some beach yoga, night kayak among the bioluminescent plankton, fish with local fisherman, or dive into secluded freshwater lagoons.
The best part: Most people go on this trip solo. So you can go with a friend, or adventure on your own to truly escape from real life. (Here: more of the best fitness retreats for solo travelers.)
($1,199 for double occupancy, ftlotravel.com)
Elevate Yourself In the Himalayas
If Mexico or the Caribbean isn't far enough away for you, take off to India instead. Stay for the weeklong wellness package at Ananda (which means "bliss" in Sanskrit), and experience all the get-zen benefits that the Himalayas have to offer. The program consists of three important parts: Ayurveda (Body), Yoga (Mind), and Vedanta (Soul). Dip in and out of individual treatments or group classes to your heart's content, mastering yoga, meditation, and spiritual ceremonies. Explore outside the resort to take advantage of mountain walks or white-water rafting on the Ganges river—or stay and practice your golf game on the nine-hole course.
(From $3,714, redsavannah.com)
Get Strong (and Sandy) In Costa Rica
Want to escape to warmer weather, but not into doing beach yoga for five days straight? If you need a more intense way to keep crushing your New Year's resolutions, try the Strive for Strength retreat in Costa Rica from February 10 to 14, 2017. Coach Chelsea Aguiar, founder of Athaya Fitness, will lead you through two-a-day workouts that range from mobility and dynamic stretching to cardio circuits and sprints, TRX, plyometrics, and bodyweight strength training. And you'll get plenty of time to explore, too; afternoons are spent lounging on the beach, learning to surf, zip-lining through the jungle, kayaking, mountain biking, or paddleboarding (which, ICYMI, is a legit workout).
($1,750 for double occupancy, ketangafitness.com)
Fire Up Your Flow In Bequia
Take off to the tiny southern Caribbean island of Bequia (it's just seven square miles!) for a retreat with yogi and registered dietitian Laura Cipullo for a full-on lifestyle makeover from your diet to downward dog. From January 25 to 29, 2017, practice yoga twice a day with Cipullo, and feed on only dietitian-approved meals. (Don't worry though, her mottos is "Eat kale and cupcakes!" and you get free happy hour booze throughout the trip.) Relax with a complimentary 60-minute massage, then toss on your bikini and try windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or fishing.
(From $1,400, lauracipullo.com)
Get Outside In Utah
Want to stay in the continental U.S., but still need an escape? Head to Red Mountain Resort in Utah, where you can take in the spectacular views of Zion National Park. Choose from a few different packages centered around either adventure or wellness—depending on whether you want to chill out, or chase mountaintops. You'll get to cherry pick your experience and explore the natural area, take unlimited fitness classes, go on guided hikes, receive personalized fitness and diet help, and indulge in massages and other spa treatments. (And if you're all about adventure, be sure to add these vacas to your bucket list.)
(From $265; redmountainresort.com)
Rest and Renew In Thailand
If your wellness MO is more #selfcare than hardcore fitness, sneak away to Thailand's Kamalaya resort for a weeklong Rest & Renew package. Nestled on a hill, the resort holds two restaurants, a wellness center, and yoga and fitness pavilions sprawled up and down an incline of lush vegetation. Treat your body to an infra-red sauna treatment and fresh-air massage, or spend time in the steam cavern and tea lounge or on the beach. Get your heart pumping with yoga, Pilates, laps in the lap pool, aqua aerobics, or tai chi. Then fuel up with their "Detox and Ideal Weight" menu, which guarantees you won't undo your progress. In need of some mental or physical detoxing? Snag an appointment with specialists in kinesiology, astrology, and spiritual healing.
(From $2,964, redsavannah.com)
Tone Up In Turks and Caicos
Get access to kickass New York City trainer Zack Schares in a totally different setting: Turks and Caicos. This four-day boot camp from February 5 to 8, 2017, incorporates his experience designing fitness and physical therapy programs to give you a totally personalized experience. And it's perfect for kicking your resolutions into high gear; the retreat starts with a beachside fitness assessment and goal-setting workshop, and progresses to individual training sessions with Zack and a beachside obstacle course to test your progress. And, of course, time for dipping in the unbelievably blue ocean water.
($2,536 for double occupancy, retreatsunlimited.com)
Run (Then Get Zen) In New England
If you live in the Northeast and have "run" on your list of goals for 2017, there's no need to hop on a plane. Just head up to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Jump the gun on your resolutions by starting right on January 1 with their ChiRunning and Yoga retreat—a six-day program that meshes the teachings of tai chi with distance running by focusing on breathing, relaxation, body awareness, and posture. No worries if you're new to the pavement; runners of all levels can join. (Just make sure you pack enough cold-weather running clothes and gear.) Loosen up after your runs with one, two, or three daily yoga practices.
(From $777, kripalu.org)