Wellness tourism has become the next big thing in travel. The latest figures by the Global Wellness Summit show travelers take 586 million wellness trips each year — that’s 15 percent of global tourism, second only to cultural tourism in revenues. And wellness travelers spend 130 percent more than the average traveler. Analysts expect the wellness tourism market to grow at a clip of more than 10 percent through 2020, all augmented by the increasing awareness about anti-aging measures to preserve looks and vigor.
So what does that mean for those seeking a healing retreat in 2017? Mostly it means that there are many choices, many types of wellness vacations to consider and many things to think about when choosing among the world’s top spa destinations.
Are you seeking help with weight loss only or help with specific facets of your health?
Are you seeking lifestyle changes? Exotic or adventurous experiences? Relaxation? Medical or surgical treatments? A kickstart to a good year? To a great life?
Then there are costs, locations and philosophies to parse and in the end, no two healing or spa destinations are alike.
To make the choosing easier, here are six sensational spas from Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates that have been curated for their quality stays, excellent programs and unusual approaches to wellness.
Easily accessible by rail or air from New Delhi, this former summer palace is now a luxury stead in the foothills of the Himalayas and keeps a focus on health and wellness through the ancient wisdom of the Veda texts.
Yoga, Ayurvedic healing treatments, meditation and eating according to your body type are part and parcel of the philosophies found hear. Programs in detoxification, rejuvenation, self-realization, relaxation and weight elimination are all available in 5- to 14-night packages for sustained results. Healing masters frequently pass through Ananda offering special sessions on mediation, yoga and mindfulness.
This all-inclusive luxury spa in the Texas foothills outside Austin offers a big advantage to Americans looking for a quick and healthy getaway – it’s in the U.S. and it is an easy destination to visit.
Forty cottages and villas spread along the banks of idyllic Lake Austin. Guests partake in daily programs, from yoga on the lake to intensive fitness classes, candlelight meditations, wellness and nutrition talks, cooking classes, painting, paddle boarding, even forest baths. Regular packaged specials mix and match focus themes with healing spa treatments, which include a menu of East Asian treatments and couples (as well as men’s) treatments.
Newly opened in the magical jungles near Merida in Mexico’s Yucatan region, Chablé Resort offers a different way to experience Mexico, outside the beach resort corridors and beyond the reaches of mass tourism.
Rather, the Chablé experience is a quiet one that can be as intense or inactive as you wish amid the 750-acre property’s 40 villas. The spa staff will devise an optimum personal program to match guests’ goals, whether fitness, detoxification, stress management, weight management or rejuvenation. Programs run hand in hand with the resort’s regular daily activities, such as morning yoga, guided walks, biking, meditation and nutrition. Central to the resort is its cenote – a mystical subterranean spring of natural clear waters for soaking and relaxing, a wonderful complement to the resort’s healing treatments that infuse ancient Mayan healing practices and wisdom.
As Thailand takes off as a premier wellness destination, especially with its widely recognized medical tourism leadership boosted by the fast-rising reputation of Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok, Chiva Som has followed suit.
The precious, boutique resort spa in Hua Hin, just over two hours from Bangkok, offers a wellness getaway that blends the best of all worlds. With 54 charming Lanna-style rooms and villas along a sugar sand beach on the Gulf of Thailand, this is a premier retreat no matter what the purpose. Well-trained medical staff members offer assessments and draw up programs, whether for relaxation and meditation or even special medical procedures. All treatments are given to a high standard of practice. At night, guests can partake in guest lectures in English by master healers; or walk on the beach, even head to town, just ten minutes away for nightlife (Hua Hin is the former summer palace location for the royal family). In true Thai fashion, service is extraordinary and at the same time, a stay at Chiva Som, for all its luxe touches, can be affordable for most Americans.
Nicaragua is fast emerging as the next go to place in Central America and Mukul is sparking much of that growth. As Nicaragua’s first and premier luxury resort on the Pacific’s Emerald Coast, Mukul is the perfect destination to stay in an undiscovered region if relaxation is your goal.
The resort offers 37 guest accommodations in cottages and villas all opening to an endless ocean horizon. There’s plenty to do at this hideaway that is a two-hour drive (or 20-minute flight) from Managua, whether swimming, jungle trekking, even exploring volcanoes. But time at the spa is a must. Spa Mukul, a white-domed rainforest sanctuary, includes six experiences housed in six individual, private spa suites, each equally harnessing a different ancient healing tradition, often using local Nicaraguan ingredients. Guests choose from six themes of experiences and then wait for the mysteries of healing to unfold. In she Secret Garden: Water is the theme here and guests float their way to bliss. With the Hammam, Moorish architecture pays homage to Turkish cleansing rituals. In the Rainforest Suite, guests immerse and soak in a variety of water experiences. At the Crystal Temple, quartz crystals and stones unloose their magic powers on participants. In the Healing Hut, Asian and Ayurvedic treatments invoke the wisdom of ages, and in Casita Mukul, powerful treatments use ancient indigenous healing practices and traditional Nicaraguan medicinal plants.
Ranch0 La Puerta is one of the pioneers in delivering the wellness retreat. It was founded in 1940 and has been leading the pack ever since, offering some five dozen daily fitness classes and programs and easily as many spa treatments, many incorporating ingredients from the resort’s extensive gardens.
The resort welcomes some 140 guests each week to its 3000-acre spread of gardens, mountains and meadows located just across the border near San Diego. Fitness is in focus as daily activities include Pilates (Reformer and mat work), extensive yoga, guided hikes on over 25 miles of wild and trails, Feldenkrais, fitness ball, Qi Gong, T’ai Chi, trekking, volleyball, aquaexercise, dance, circuit training, NIA (Neuromuscular Integrative Action), strength training with and without weights, stretch, posture, cross training, cardio-cycling, meditation, and … well, it’s an exhaustive list. Cuisine is fresh, semi-vegetarian and geared for healthy eating. Afternoon and evening programs are also a vital part of the Ranch experience. These feature staff talks and special guest lectures, plus games, workshops, entertainment (musicians especially), arts and crafts classes, and a variety of possibility. Theme weeks bring beauty experts, lifestyle coaches, yoga masters and naturopaths, who generously share their knowledge with guests.
Kurtz-Ahlers & Associates– Curator of undiscovered luxury travel locales with insider info and news from our worldwide portfolio of hotels, wellness retreats, and eco-resorts. View our portfolio on our Online Directory.
Sign up up for our Wellness Travel Updates and our monthy newsletter for the latest exclusive offers and news from around the globe, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or follow us on Instagram and Pinterest.