I recently returned from announcing the winners of the inaugural Wellness Travel Awards at World Travel Market in London, and the stats were impressive! Our 26 esteemed panelists nominated 373 properties that spanned across 40 countries, and thanks to more than 14,000 of you who voted for your favorites, we proudly issued 65 Wellness Travel Awards. Not a bad day at work, I must say.
What gets me really excited, however, is the fact that we now have more and more options to stay well when traveling, and it’s not just about the uber-luxury, “once-in-a-lifetime” health resort or retreat, but also about the 48-hour business trip where wellness products and services can still be part of a jam-packed work schedule.
While I’m a proud member of Massage Envy Spas, meaning I am rarely far away from a once-a-month therapeutic treatment, I have also been lucky enough to experience many of the “once in a lifetime” wellness travel experiences, long before we started calling it “wellness travel.” I’ve often been asked to call out some of my favorite travel moments so, in honor of the budding award-season, here are a few dreamy, stand-outs from each corner of the world:
Como Shambhala Estate – Bali, Indonesia
Starting off with an “uber” experience, this “retreat for change” features resident experts including yoga instructors, massage therapists, Ayurvedic doctors, dieticians, and more. But what really gets me about this place is the awe-inspiring setting. It’s out of a movie. I mean: #TropicalNirvana.
Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort – Los Cabos, Baja California
Ironically, I actually attended a small conference here (don’t hate me), and had less than two days for a visit. So as much as I wanted to focus on the Sea of Cortez, I had a “sea” of work to do and no extra time to extend my trip. After one sleepless night, I did manage to sneak off to the property’s Cactus Spa for a massage, and I have to tell you, it was one of the best massage experiences of my life.
Blue Palace Resort & Spa – Crete, Greece
Yes, I’m back in a dream state, but who can blame me? Have you seen this place? I don’t know about you, but I love to soak and play in salt water, and this property’s Thalassotherapy pools are the largest I’ve seen. They have a variety of stations that help to relieve tension throughout the body. No massage needed… just float.
Mandarin Oriental New York – New York, NY
Locked inside the concrete jungle is a 5-star wellness experience, complete with an incredible lap pool, fully equipped gym and a variety of facilities and treatments – some ancient, some modern – to get you “well” on your way. Sitting in their peaceful relaxation room alone while taking in the city lights is enough to remind you that you truly can find calm in an otherwise chaotic environment.
Wishing you a well-traveled day, and hope this inspires your next healthy escape where it’s possible to feel better when you check-out, then when you check-in!
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