The pursuit of wellness once had a direct correlation to New Year’s resolutions. After 12 months of unhealthy living, each January we collectively took the opportunity to recalibrate our lifestyle, set new goals and break bad habits. The month was marked by thronged gyms, swimmer-brimming pools, waiting lists for self-help classes and fridges full of low-calorie fare. But by February, most new regimens came to an end. Unwholesomeness, fed by stress and fatigue, reigned again — until January returned, and the cycle repeated itself.
But a new era has dawned. People want to commit to wellness and mindful living. Most, nevertheless, need a nudge. Enter wellness travel, a genre which includes spiritual retreats; hotels that showcase rejuvenation programs or amenities; trips that teach a new skill, digital detox and mindful repose. From better sleep to hypnosis to quell smoking or overeating, including meditation, yoga and deep connections to nature, wellness-seeking vacations of various kinds augur a more salubrious future for all. Where to go? The following retreats promise to enhance your mind, body and spirit — not just in January, but all year long and beyond.
HAWAI’I STANDS out as a premier retreat and boasts one of the hottest wellness hotels to open in recent months: Sensai Lana‘i, A Four Seasons Resort. This all-inclusive, adults-only, Japanese-inspired haven occupies an art-filled garden on upcountry Lanai. Conceived as a “reboot” luxury camp by owner Larry Ellison, in collaboration with Dr. David Agus and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the resort introduces a new concept: Sensei Retreat. Under the guidance of a well-trained sensei (wellness coach, if you like), guests partake of customized, goal-oriented itineraries which include unlimited spa treatments, yoga and meditation practices, fitness classes and off-property experiences from snorkeling to hiking. Meals by Nobu, transportation from Oahu on Ellison’s own fleet of planes, Hawai’ian soul and adult beverages complete the adventure.
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