Category: Wellness Tours

Top 10 Wellness Retreats in Mexico for Travelers

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For those seeking a vacation that emphasizes healthful activities, Mexico is an ideal spot. Many visitors travel to the country to stay at the different wellness retreats that have been designed to improve physical and mental well-being. These 10 retreats each offer a unique experience that will kick start a client’s journey to better health.

 

Yoga Retreat
Located on 12 acres of wild land and just five minutes by car from Sayulita, Haramara Retreat is a luxurious yoga retreat on the Pacific Coast just north of Puerto Vallarta focused on detoxification and relaxation. Guests stay in palm-thatched huts that feature ocean views and are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation, and the property includes two yoga pavilions, an infinity pool and an open-air spa. In order to minimize environmental impact, there’s no electricity, aside from inside the restaurant and yoga studio.    www.haramararetreat.com

 

Seven-Day Detox
Baja Cleanse takes place in a private beachfront home between Los Cabos and La Paz, where a raw-food chef prepares organic meals and fresh juices daily. Guests receive nutritional counseling and meet with experienced therapists who provide treatments such as massage, acupuncture and holistic facials. The seven-day program is meant to clear the mind, body and spirit of stress and toxins, and includes meditation, yoga, breath work and other outdoor activities.    www.bajacleanse.com

 

Ancient Sweat Lodge
Experience the traditional Mexican ritual steam bath known as temazcal — an ancient practice that’s used for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual purification. Cancun Temazcal is located in the jungle of Colonia Doctores, just 10 minutes away from Cancun. An expert guide leads participants through a campfire ritual and temazcal session; afterward, they are treated to a refreshing outdoor shower, a facial mud mask and natural snacks.    www.cancuntemazcal.com

Zen Escape
Nestled between the jungle and the beach in Chacala, in the state of Nayarit, lies Mar de Jade — a unique property that offers a multitude of yoga and meditation retreats throughout the year. Its Silent Zen Meditation Retreat occurs twice per year and is led by a well-known Buddhist priest. The retreat includes daily vegetarian meals, sitting and walking meditation, Buddhist teachings and a private session with the teacher.    www.mardejade.com

 

Sun, Surf & Sand
At Las Olas Surf Safaris in Puerto Vallarta, an all-female crew of instructors teach women how to hang ten in a relaxed and supportive environment. A typical day includes morning yoga, multiple surf sessions, a fun activity such as margarita-making or Spanish lessons and three balanced meals.   www.surflasolas.com

 

Bikini Bootcamp
Popular with celebrities such as Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, Tulum’s Bikini Bootcamp is a weight-loss vacation combined with a yoga retreat that helps tone the body and center the mind and spirit. This six-day program provides daily beach walks and workout classes, yoga, healthful meals, spa services and tours.   www.bikinibootcamp.com

Relaxation Ranch
Designed to strengthen the body and enrich the mind, Rancho La Puerta in Baja encourages integrative wellness by offering fitness classes, wellness workshops, educational lectures and holistic therapies. Unique class offerings include chanting/crystal bowls, sound healing, acupuncture, water dance and biodynamic craniosacral therapy. Its Executive Wellness Program is a weeklong experience that begins with a comprehensive wellness exam and features one-on-one meetings with a nutritionist and exercise specialist.   www.rancholapuerta.com

 

Mind and Body Wellness
Yaan Wellness in Tulum hosts Open Moon Temazcal Ceremonies led by a Maya healer during the monthly moon cycles. These sessions enable participants to cleanse and heal as they are guided through the four doors of a pre-Hispanic sweat lodge ceremony. Treetop yoga and meditation classes are offered daily, and the spa has purified crystalline water pools; energy healing; an Aztec chakra massage treatment; and herbal and flower baths in copper tubs.      www.yaanwellness.com

 

The Works
A variety of retreats and workshops are offered year-round at Present Moment Retreat — a private boutique resort situated on a peaceful beach in Troncones, near Zihuatanejo. The diverse monthly retreats include self-care for women, yoga and wellness, guided meditation, chakra balancing, dancing and more. Present Moment also recently opened Lake Zirahuen Mountain Retreat Center in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains, which offers corporate and group retreats, silent and guided meditation, qigong, tai chi and more.    www.presentmomentretreat.com

 

Holistic Healing
Sanara Tulum is home to a world-class wellness center that provides guests with alternative treatments, including nutritional consultation, crystal healing and aromatherapy. In addition to a la carte healing therapies and spa treatments, Sanara offers Cleanse & Heal — a three- to seven-day wellness program that includes a juice cleanse; consultations and treatments at the wellness center; and counseling and motivational support.        www.sanaratulum.com

The Importance of Wellness on a Vacation

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It’s getting harder and harder to make time for wellness in daily life. Demanding jobs and busy schedules leave little time for self-care. So if your clients are planning a much-needed vacation, why not inspire them to fit in a little “me time”?

Another reason to motivate your clients to enjoy some relaxation time on their vacation is to avoid the dreaded “I need a vacation from my vacation!” feeling. Planning a vacation, traveling there and then actually being on vacation can feel a little crazy. And while it’s great to get out and do things like boat cruises and sight-seeing, recommend a spa day to your clients so they can actually wind down and relax while they’re away.

 


Hotels and resorts are making it easier than ever for travelers to incorporate wellness into their vacations and there’s no better example of this than Beloved Playa Mujeres by Excellence Group.

The Beloved Playa Mujeres was recently named “Best All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico” by TripAdvisor and it’s easy to see why. Set in an oasis on the mainland sheltered by Isla Mujeres, Playa Mujeres feels wonderfully remote yet is conveniently only 25 minutes from the Cancun International Airport. Its award-winning Beloved Spa is surrounded by water, making it an island of relaxation, wellbeing and inner peace. Guests will experience total renewal in the spa suites created especially for couples, where private luxury and relaxation come together with a dedicated spa menu for couples full of experiences to share, connect and remember.

From April 28 to May 1, you can experience Beloved’s “A Beloved Life” wellness week, a week of total wellness that includes complimentary activities for all guests to enjoy like early morning meditation, different types of yoga or fitness activities, to rituals and workshops, focusing on culture, wellness and wellbeing.  Learn more about The Beloved Hotel.

Well Being is Not Just for Grown Ups at Six Senses

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Six Senses hotels and resorts have long been known for integrating wellness and sustainability into all of their efforts including the guest experience.

But now the renowned hotels are taking that focus to a new level.

The company recently announced a new program, Grow With Six Senses, a framework for children’s offerings that incorporates six dimensions of wellness into all activities for young guests.

The program is designed to encourage kids to learn more about what’s going on inside them and the world around them, the company said in a statement.

That learning will take place through a wide range of exciting and intriguing offerings and adventures, from outdoor activities to local experiences, language and cooking classes and more. As children journey from one activity to the next, they’ll earn a stamp in their personal Six Senses passport.

“Grow with Six Senses incorporates the six dimensions of wellness (social, environmental, physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual) and brings kids ‘back to basics’ in order to reconnect with nature and others around them,” said Six Senses Vice President of Spa and Wellness Anna Bjurstam. “This framework ensures a holistic offering for the minds of our little guests. We’re really proud of what each resort has created and we know families are going to love the experience too.”

The offerings that are part of the new program will vary from resort to resort but will generally include such things as yoga and mindfulness, local culture, sustainability and social experiences. There will even be a chance for kids to participate in tailor-made spa treatments.

“The focus is on offering something a little out of the ordinary to attract even the most reticent joiner,” the company said in a statement. “Forget algebra, how about being a little mixologist? Children learn how to make their own toothpaste, facial mask, body scrub, after sun lotion and edible water bubbles.”

For the kids who can’t sit still, there will be cookery, yoga, treasure hunts, ball games and fitness challenges.

Those interested in something more local will have plenty of options as well. For instance, at Six Senses Yao Noi, in Thailand, there’s roselle harvesting and flying yoga.

At Six Senses Fiji, slated to open in April, kids will be able to make their own snacks using a solar oven.

And not to be outdone, Six Senses Laamu will allow kids to forage in its beautiful garden for salad ingredients, and will also offer healthy cookie making and Zumba.

“It’s not all about doing, there are plenty of being options,” the company said. “For example simple meditation with Six Senses Samui and Six Senses Yao Noi incorporating the art of singing bowls.”

Children’s innate creativity will be encouraged through Vietnamese origami and painting at Evason Ana Mandara and Six Senses Ninh Van Bay in Vietnam, while Six Senses Con Dao (also in Vietnam) will feature small visits to the local school (parents are also invited.)

And still, there are more options.

At the Six Senses Douro Valley, in Portugal, children can participate tile painting and Turkey’s Six Senses Kaplankaya offers ceramic decorating. Those with an interest in learning multiple languages may want to check into Oman’s Six Senses Zighy Bay, where kids can take Arabic lessons.

There will also be plenty of programs focused on caring for the Earth via the Six Senses Earth Lab, where kids can learn about upcycling and recycling.

Playtime activities meanwhile will include joining gardeners in the resorts’ organic gardens for anything from seed planting to mushroom harvesting.

The myriad of activities designed for children doesn’t end with nightfall either. Grow With Six Senses will offer family activities in the evening such as coastal walks, movie evenings, sandcastle building, storytelling, mastermind puzzle challenges and at Six Senses Zil Pasyon, in Seychelles, Big Cook-Little Cook.

Each resort has developed its own comprehensive program. A full list of Grow With Six Senses activities can be viewed on the web page of each resort under the EXPERIENCES tab.

 

Courtesy of Mia Taylor

Mexico’s Best Yoga Retreats and Classes

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Yoga may have originated in India, but this health-minded discipline has found a perfect home in Mexico, as an increasing number of hotels and yoga schools are offering classes and venues that are designed to align physical, mental and spiritual well-being in some of the nation’s most beautiful settings.

Mexico’s dramatic Pacific coast provides memorable settings for practicing yoga. In Los Cabos, classes on the beach are included as part of the all-inclusive price at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, while Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort offers $15 classes on the balcony of its oceanview fitness center. Not far away, One&Only Palmilla employs a group of six on-site yoga instructors, with daily power yoga classes, as well as sunrise yoga on the beach. Private, 60-minute yoga classes are also available, tailored to the needs of couples, families, pregnant women, teens, mothers and babies and people looking to lose weight.

Yoga-oriented packages are a surefire way to make sure every traveler gets the rejuvenating experience they crave. In Los Cabos, CostaBaja Resort & Spa is partnering with Retreats Unlimited — which teams up top yoga, wellness and team-building instructors with resorts to provide retreat experiences — to offer a wellness getaway. Scheduled for April 7-11, the one-time “Renewed You From the Inside Out” program includes yoga, as well as cardio and Reiki sessions, plus styling and beauty tutorials.

The area around Puerto Vallarta is another hot spot for yoga-inspired relaxation. Playa Escondida, in the beachfront community of Sayulita, recently opened a new, thatch-roofed “palapa” hut designed specifically for practicing yoga. Located on a small cliff overlooking the Pacific, the venue hosts daily sessions, as well as private classes for up to 15 people.

Xinalani Retreat, set on 10 acres of jungle on the southern shore of Banderas Bay, is another wellness-focused property. Spiritual and yoga retreats, teacher training and “mind and body” workshops are among its offerings. With just 23 rooms and four dedicated yoga spaces, as well as a spa and “temazcal” (sweat lodge), Xinalani aims to provide lots of opportunities for aspiring and experienced yogis.

North of Puerto Vallarta, travelers looking for a truly private, yoga-filled vacation with family or a small group of friends should consider Villa Lunada, which is — as the name implies — a villa, complete with master bedroom, two guestrooms and a bonus room that can be used for sleeping or relaxing. Located in Punta Mita less than a mile from The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Villa Lunada has an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean that can be used for private yoga instruction.

A sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean is also among the offerings at Capella Ixtapa Resort and Spa, which offers classes on a scenic yoga deck.

 

Yoga in the East

Mexico’s Caribbean coast is another promising place to try out your best upward-facing dog pose.

In the Riviera Maya, the Mayakoba complex has several locations for yoga at its three hotels (Fairmont Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Mayakoba and Rosewood Mayakoba), as well as at MK Blue, an open-air palapa event space located on the beach. In addition, Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers group yoga classes twice daily, as well as private sessions.

Guests at Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort can take part in any of three group yoga classes per week, priced at $15 each, which take place either beachside, poolside or in the hotel’s Cenote Spa.

On a smaller scale is Organic Yoga Mexico, a wellness-oriented property with just five bungalows near the beachfront community of Akumal. In addition to yoga lessons, Organic Yoga Mexico offers activities such as bird-watching, nature photography and jungle hikes.

In the increasingly hip destination of Tulum, Amansala Resort + Retreat offers a variety of yoga retreat packages to fit different vacation goals. Its Beach ‘n’ Bliss program includes two daily yoga sessions, healthful meals, a massage, a Mayan clay treatment and a local sightseeing tour. The property’s Bikini Boot camp retreat, meanwhile, combines yoga with weight-loss practices, while Destination Detox goes for a more far-reaching effect, described as a “complete mind, body and spirit tune-up.”

Courtesy of: Mark Chesnut

One&Only Nyungwe House

One & Only Evolves

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One&Only Hotels & Resorts Announces Plans For Brand Evolution

One&Only, created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market, and conceived as a hallmark of excellence, is evolving their portfolio beyond award-winning Beach Resorts with One&Only Nature Resorts, One&Only Urban Resorts and One&Only Private Homes. These new experiences will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world, offering guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, a genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unparalleled.

“I am thrilled we are able to continue to evolve the One&Only experience, providing the once-in-a-lifetime experiences in which our guests seek,” says Philippe Zuber, President and Chief Operating Officer, One&Only Resorts. “Building on the legacy and success of One&Only, it is an exciting time for the brand as we continue to combine completely distinctive experiences with ultra-luxury. We look forward to sharing additional locations for our resorts, whether it be in the ultimate address in a prime city or an authentically wild undiscovered location soon.”

All One&Only Nature Resorts will offer incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences and provide pure celebration of each dramatic location, offering access to nature’s best kept secrets, in an inspired itinerary, curated for the most discerning global travellers. Intimate in size, the architectural design of each resort will respect the surroundings and cleverly frame the best aspects of the natural beauty. Minimal impact will be made to the location, from development through to operations and guests will have an opportunity to ‘give back’ with hands-on, interactive, immersive experiences with the local community, each perfectly curated to the destination.

Following the success of Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in Australia as the first hotel in the world to achieve internationally accredited carbon-neutral certification by CarbonZero, all One&Only Nature Resorts will aim for this distinction. In addition, our culinary philosophy will be based on the very best seasonal, regional and, where possible, organic produce from local boutique farms, private growers and vintners. A wide variety of spectacular accommodation will place an emphasis on privacy and beautiful vistas. One&Only Nature Resorts will provide luxury of the rarest kind. Like all properties within the One&Only collection, One&Only Nature Resorts will celebrate its location, showcasing the country’s rich history and reflecting the local culture with a design appeal to attract the contemporary traveller seeking ultimate luxury.

Joining Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, two spectacular resorts will be introduced under One&Only Nature Resorts, One&Only Nyungwe House and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, both located in Rwanda. One&Only Nyungwe House is designed to fit harmoniously within its natural surroundings and is situ ted in Gisakura, a working tea plantation, on the edge of the Nyungwe National Park. The Nyungwe Forest is thought to be one of the oldest forests in Africa, with incredible diversity including over 13 different species of primates, representing 20% of all the apes in Africa and 75 different species of mammals.

Luxury suites and villas will be modern in design, yet with traditional African touches, each overlooking the vast African terrain with private decks and fire places. Guests can explore the National Park including exploratory treks to discover chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, grey – cheeked mangabeys and the Kamiranzovu Swamps and Waterfalls. Bird watching should not be missed with over 275 species of birds in the lush surroundings, including giant hornbills, great blue turacos and red-breasted sparrow hawks being amongst the bird-watcher’s favourites. Cultural walks can also be enjoyed. One&Only Nyungwe House will begin welcoming guests in 2017.

“We are proud and excited to continue to innovate at One&Only and introduce new experiences for our guests. One&Only Nature Resorts will provide our guests illuminating and immersive experiences full of adventure that will allow for exploration and discovery,” continued Philippe Zuber. “Rwanda is such an incredible destination with truly once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We look forward to immersing our guests in the country and culture and providing that ultimate connection with nature in the ultimate locations.”

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest, located near the village of Kingi, will be incredibly positioned on the foothills of the Virunga Volcano range. This beautiful resort, nestled amongst a forest of eucalyptus trees will provide breath-taking views of Rwandan hills and the slopes of the Volcanoes National Park. Guests will be able to discover the magical habitat of Mountain Gorillas, a rare adventure. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live. Experts estimate that there are only 780 mountain gorillas still in existence – and one third of these are in Rwanda. Conservation efforts are funded by a very limited amount of permits and funds are allocated to anti-poaching efforts and local communities businesses. However, after over 40 years of conservation and habitat restoration efforts have helped steadily increase the population of mountain gorillas, with a 14% increase in the past 12 years. In addition to the Gorilla Trek, guests will also be able to discover Golden Monkeys, as well as visit Dian Fossey’s Karisoke Camp.

Bespoke accommodation will honour the location and natural elements will be woven throughout the resort, to inform the design of both the public and private spaces of the resort. Local African cuisine will surround a traditional Boma, providing the perfect location to share adventures from the day and enjoy fruit and vegetables from the resort’s garden. The resort will also offer an indulgent One&Only Spa and Fitness Centre, honouring the inspired surrounds with treatments using traditional African elements, as well as the latest state-of-the-art technology.