The Best Wellness Retreats

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Wellness tourism is travel for the purpose of promoting health and well-being through physical, psychological or spiritual activities and right now it is booming!

According to my research, the rapidly growing travel niche is already worth over $700 billion and is expanding 50% faster than the overall tourism industry.

So with that in mind, I thought I would take a look at some of the hottest wellness retreats out there right now, as we all need a little mental & physical “recharge” every now and again.

So here it is, in no particular order, my top picks.

Sanará, Tulum Beach, Mexico 

Sanará means, ‘you will heal’ in Spanish, sits on the backdrop of one of the world’s most stunning beaches, looking out onto the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.

Sanara Tulum

This incredible eco-boutique resort features a spectacular beach-appointed Yoga Studio, a world-class Wellness Centre, and a highly acclaimed restaurant, The Real Coconut.

The Real Coconut at Sanara

In 2017, Sanará was ranked number 3 in the 150 Greatest Hotels in the World by Harper’s Bazaar!

Furnas Boutique Hotel, São Miguel, Portugal

Located in Furnas on the island of São Miguel in the Azores, Furnas Boutique Hotel is a place of unique beauty and serenity.

The location of the hotel sees it enjoy the highest concentration of thermal waters in Europe. Guests from far and wide come to enjoy the region’s healing water with several natural pools and 10 treatment rooms on-site.

Furnas Boutique Hotel Wellness Centre

For the more adventurous of you, activities such as hiking, canyoning, diving, mountain biking, surfing and golf are just some of the things available.

Furnas Boutique Hotel is an ideal place to rest, forget stress, taste new flavours and connect with nature.

Hot Thermal Pools of Furnas

Fivelements, Abiansemal, Bali, Indonesia

If you had to create the dream wellness retreat, then Fivelements is probably what you would come up with. It really does have it all, situated in a river valley, a huge bath alongside a river, an outdoor shower in a private garden, a restaurant serving delicious vegan food and a spa offering first class massages and cleansing treatments.

Don't forget your Nicolas Alexander swim shorts for the outdoor spa at Fivelements

Your ultimate Bali wellness sanctuary, where the dreamlike rooms open to a jungle valley and the carefully chosen staff treat you like royalty ensuring your stay is one to remember.

Sakti Dining Room at Fivelements

Loyly, Helsinki, Finland

An urban oasis within walking distance from the city centre, Loyly occupies a beautiful stretch of Helsinki waterfront.

The architectural concept is simple, yet stunning. The structure itself is made from heat-treated pine and the huge windows provide beautiful inflowing light as well as amazing sea views.

Experience true Finnish Spa Culture at the Loyly

The space is divided into two parts: saunas and a restaurant. Whilst during the summer months the fabulous terrace can be enjoyed as well.

Loyly Terrace

Put simply if you are looking to experience the very best of the Finnish sauna culture, then Loyly is a must.

Two Bunch Palms, Palm Springs

Already a Mecca for architecture and music, this desert town is fast becoming the wellness capital of the US. Celebrity favourite Two Bunch Palms is built around a series of healing mineral pools where the aim is all about creating an environment to replenish, reconnect and revive.

Mineral Water from Miracle Hill flows into the pools at Two Bunch Palm Resort

During your stay, you can take part in a variety of wellness programs designed to leave you feeling grounded, calm and fulfilled. Classes change on a weekly basis, ensuring new experiences each time.

The delicious food available at Two Bunch Palms is also worth noting with a menu full of sustainable, local, seasonal and organic cuisine.

Delicious food at Two Bunch Palms Resort

Lefay Resort & Spa, Lago di Garda, Italy

Located in Gargnano in the heart of the spectacular and renowned “Riviera dei Limoni”. Lefay Resort & Spa is stretched across 11 hectares of stunning natural park, surrounded by gentle hills and rich woods and olive groves, whilst overlooking a mesmerising view of the lake.

Lefay Resort & Spa

The spa itself is an exclusive temple of wellness extending over 3,800 square metres, where body and soul are rejuvenated through the discovery of vital energy.

Lefay Resort & Spa

Some of the amazing facilities on offer include multiple pools & saunas, treatment rooms, specifically designed health programmes, fitness centre, restaurants and pool & lounge bars.

Stunning cuisine at Lefay Resort & Spa

La Mamounia, Marrakech, Morocco 

Although in a prime location, close to the Medina, the city’s souk and Jemaa El Fna square, the hotel is located in 17 acres of walled parkland, which creates a quiet and escaping oasis to totally relax and enjoy.

La Mamounia

A characterful storied magical hotel of choice for the likes of Yves Saint Lauren, Winston Churchill and Paul McCartney. La Mamounia is truly unique offering 135 rooms, 71 suites and three-bedroom riads, lovely walled gardens, a choice of four exquisite restaurants and a life-altering spa & wellness centre.

Spa at La Mamounia

Follow the blue Majorelle stairs, which will lead you to a vast and exotic space dedicated to your total wellbeing. Facilities include the legendary heated indoor pool, 2 traditional Hammams, 10 multi-treatment cabins, balneotherapy, Jacuzzi, fitness room and kinetic exercise room.

Miavano, Nosy Ankao, Madagascar 

Miavano is a 5-star luxury eco-resort, located in Nosy Ankao, which is part of approximately 15,000 hectares of protected marine space. Miavana took almost 4 years to build, with 500 local workers forming the construction team and now fits seamlessly into its environment.

Nosy Ankao Madagascar

Described as a luxury castaway for pioneering adventurers, Miavana boasts 14 stunning individual villas that are dotted along the pristine beach offering direct water access.  

Miavana Villas

Beach Piazza is the main “village” at Miavana and it offers many attractions from the ridiculous infinity pool and rooftop bar, to your choice of private dining in the beach pizzeria, lounge or Italian-inspired indoor grotto and cellar.

Miavana Infinity Pool

If you are able to drag yourself away from Beach Piazza, there are amazing activities to take part in. You could stroll through lush jungle and enjoy seeing the unique lemurs, you could go on a helicopter excursion to a nearby nature reserve, or go scuba diving or deep sea fishing or simply enjoy the first class villa spa treatments.

Miavano offers guests the chance to create wonderful memories in the heart of an Indian Ocean paradise.

The Retreat, Costa Rica

Celebrity chef, bestselling author and life coach Diana Stobo brought The Retreat to life in 2014. Located up on a quartz mountain just outside of San Jose, The Retreat has won multiple awards & recognitions.

The Retreat Costa Rica - Recommended by Nicolas Alexander

This luxury boutique wellness centre is the perfect place for those who are seeking a sense of balance and peace. The Retreat offers its guests all of the necessary resources, space and guidance they need to achieve their health and relaxation goals. On offer are a number of packages and spa options to choose from.


Life these days is so bloody demanding, we are pulled from every possible direction and it can be easy to get caught up in it all and forget that every now and again we need to take a step back and breathe.   

As someone who only recently started to appreciate the importance of work-life balance, I encourage you to investigate the idea of a wellness break. I know your mind & body will thank you for it! 

It goes without saying that if you are going to be visiting any of the above retreats then your swim short game needs to be on point. So to be sure you look the part, remember to get yourself a pair of Nicolas Alexander swim shorts before you fly out for that much needed R&R.

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