January and February is the time of year that I, like most Minnesotans, curse the winter and reminisce about the summer. This is the time of year my husband and I start talking about warmer places we can move to, or at least stay for 3 months during the end of the winter.
Since we have not made a final decision on either option, we travel for 1-2 weeks to escape this madness. Some major challenges for us when we travel is to travel fit. It used to be a big problem 5 or more years ago as airport, restaurant and hotel food and fitness options were pretty inadequate or nonexistent. But, the times are a changing, more people want healthy food and fitness centers during travel as well as destinations with healthy lifestyle options. And, service providers are accommodating these wellness trends.
Airports around the world are adding options such as designated yoga rooms and healthier dining choices. Delta airlines has gone as far as offering farm to tray table dining and adding amenities such as a white noise audio channel for a more restful sleep in flight.
Now that you can travel more fit than ever before, your destinations can also be a rejuvenating wellness sanctuary. There are MANY great health and wellness retreats around the world! Here are a few to get you started!
Health & Fitness Retreats
1) The Ranch at Live Oak – Malibu, CA
- Get your digital detox
- Intensive 7 day health immersion program.
- 8 hours of exercise each day: hiking, strength training and daily yoga, followed by a private massage
- Also offer a 4 day program at Westlake Village, CA which include body fat and VO2 max testing.
- Follow a plant based diet.
- Teach you about nutrition and health conscious shopping habits.
2) Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa, Tucson, AZ
Miraval Resort & Spa is a luxury wellness resort focusing on mindfulness, balance and sustainable living. Their locally sourced menu, re-energizing services and specialist are sure to ignite your senses and inspire positive change in your life.
Their spa offers:
- Ayurvedic therapies such as shamana-karma, abhyanga, and body balancing
- Body renewal rituals such as body scrubs,wraps, peels and hammam
- Energy & oriental services such as acupunctiure, chi nei tsang and naga
- Hair care
- Manicures and pedicures
- Skin care
- Specialty body work such as aqua zen, samadi healing ceremony and spirit flight
Miraval also offers specialty culinary workshops.
3) Raj Maharishi Ayurveda Health Spa, Fairfield, IA
This luxurious retreats’ programs are based on ayurvedic principles focusing on the person as a whole with a comprehensive approach to health. People can learn and understand how individual factors in their make-up affect physical tendencies, moods, cravings, motivation, and behavior as well as how simple shifts in diet, exercise, and daily and seasonal routines can improve strength, stability and vitality.
- The Raj offers ayurvedic diet, massage, medicine, treatments, spa, yoga and herbs.
- Treatment programs include weight loss, allergies, Alzheimers, fibromyalgia, infertility, and diabetes just to name a few (literally) which help restore balance and reawaken the bodies natural healing mechanisms.
- Ayurvedic therapies include anti-aging, light therapy, toxin detox and weight loss.
4) Dr. Cousens’ Tree of Life Center Us, Patagonia, AZ
“A Place for Transition and Transformation”
The Tree of Life Center if located on 180 acres in a peaceful setting of high desert mountains away from the distractions of our busy lives. Its cafe serves 100% organic plant based, live food cuisine supplied by this centers’ own vegetables grown year round so you can enjoy nutritionally potent food harvested on the same day. This destination is a great choice for a relaxing spa treatment retreat to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.
Transformation programs include:
- Juice & detox wellness
- Culinary and live food nutrition
- Wellness vacations
5) Jungle Bay Dominica, Point Mulatre, Dominica
This amazing fitness get away resides on the largest of the Windward island. Jungle Bay follows international geotourism and ecotourism guidelines and pride themselves on creating a sustainable touristic resort that promotes responsible travel and sustains or enhances the geographical character of the environment and culture surrounding it. You can discover the island on land or sea with the exciting adventures that are offered or escape in Spa Du Soleil with therapies to renew your mind, body and spirit. For nourishment, to keep you going, you can enjoy organic meals and endless fresh tropical juices.
Packages offered include:
- Jungle spa adventure
- Dive and hike
- Fitness boot camp
- Yoga retreats
- Hiking groups
6) Lucero Surf Retreats, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Grab your board and hit the surf at this amazing resort located in beautiful Costa Rica! This resort offers adventure travel and all inclusive surf and yoga packages.
- Silk yoga classes
- Zip Line
- Horse back riding
- Spanish classes
- Relax in a tide pool
7) Mountain Trek Alpine Lodge, Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia
This amazing resort offers 1 and 2 week programs to reboot and re-energize you. This resort offers you a true back country experience with their retreats, hiking vacations and hot springs! Mountain Trek guarantees weight loss and to help you achieve natural hormone balance, deep sleep, natural detoxification, improve your nutritional education and eating patterns, re-align and raise your metabolism, release stress and help you reclaim your fitness. They also offer adventure treks to other countries such as Italy, Japan and Peru.
- Morning yoga
- Health talks and educational lectures
- Fitness Classes
- Daily hiking
- Portion controlled spa cuisine
- Spa, sauna and mineral hot springs ( I just love hot springs… )
This years adventure is to the Amalfi Coast in Italy… I am in!
8) Austin Adventures, All over the world
This luxury adventure travel company teamed up with Reebok Fitness vacations and collaborate to create an active get away. Take your pic of locations around the world to embark on a family or adult adventure exploring amazing destinations while engaging in fitness activities.
9) Red Cliffs Lodge, Moab, UT
This resort set on the banks of the CO river, surrounded by 2000 feet high cliffs is sure to amaze you. And, if you tire of the activities offered head over to the winery or museum for some added culture.
- Horseback riding
- Mountain biking
- White water rafting
- Guided tours
- National parks
- Scenic flights
- ATV rentals
- Scenic drives
- Hummer tour
- So much more!….
10) Travaasa, Austin, TX & Hana, Maui
This experiential resort has a plethora of adventures and experiences you can choose from such as Bike Pump where you bike on a dirty track with the goal of not pedaling, or testing balance in slacklining or hop on a horse for a relaxing ride. You can also enjoy their eco-friendly spa to wind down and pamper yourself.
11) New Life Hiking Spa, Inc. Killinton & Mendon, VT
Embark on this unique vacation experience with New Life’s hiking program in the gorgeous green mountains of Vermont. After a day of hiking, yoga, maybe a nap, relax with one of their spa services such as a facial or massage. New Life not only offers hiking and yoga but many other activities such as cooking classes, Chi Kung and Zumba as well as their fresh, energy packed low calorie meal plan to get you in shape and losing weight.
- Hike daily in small groups amidst Vermont’s magnificent mountain scenery.
- Early morning stretch class.
- Early morning Chi Kung class.
- Basic strength and weight training classes.
- Water aerobics and toning class.
- Yoga Classes to accommodate both beginners and more experienced practitioners.
- Core Conditioning class.
- Pilates mat class.
- Swim laps indoors in the 25-yard lap pool.
- Dance Kinetics
- Fit Ball
12) The Ashram Spa Retreat, Calabasas, CA & Mallora, Spain
Head out to the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains to begin your health and fitness renewal. Immerse yourself in their program that empowers each person to find their inner and outer strength and to reconnect with themselves. Main activities include hiking, participating in fitness classes and evening educational programs while you enjoy eating a cleansing organic vegetarian diet.
Their location in Mallorca, Spain has a similar program.
13) Lake Austin Spa, Austin, TX
This beautiful resort has many programs such as their breathe meditation program, quench! water program where you get your cardio on in the lake, culinary program, a discovery program that includes astronomy basics, intro to ayurveda and tarot cards as well as a gardening for life program to name a few. They also offer many invigorating fitness classes to help you improve your posture, strength and cardio as well as meditation, pilates and yoga. Thier fun doesn’t stop at fitness, hit up one of their intro to texas hold ’em poker or live music!
14) Canyon Ranch, Tucson, AZ
Come and “Stretch your limits, Lift your spirit.” and “Live everyday with vitality and delight.” Their mission is to empower people to live healthier, longer and more joyful through nutrition, stress management, fitness and integrative wellness. Canyon Ranch has 5 locations but, the resort in Tuscon, AZ offers many fitness and activities that involve exercise and movement, aquatic experiences, golf performance, sports and outdoors, cooking classes, creative arts and metaphysical programs. They also offer life enhancement and weight loss programs. There is a fit for everyone. Once you have hiked, biked, ridden by horse back and did your yoga, head to the spa and relax your cares away.
15) The Yoga Getaway, Santorini, Greece (varies)
16) Mii Amo, a destination spa, Sedona, AZ
Find your center at this peaceful spa resort set in the amazing landscape of Sedona, AZ. Enjoy their refreshing fresh local organic cuisine and relax with Mii Amos’ spa Journey packages that address the goals and needs of each individual. You can choose from 3, 4 and 7 night Journeys that include treatments, consultations and services. They also offer a full day of activities and fitness classes such as
- Mountain bike excursions
- Bosu movement
- Barre conditioning
- Guided meditation
- and many, many more
17) Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket, Thailand
Sharpen your fighting skills and train on the beautiful island of Phuket, Thailand! Aside from the rich culture Thailand has to offer, Tiger Muay Thai offers a wide range of martial arts and fitness programs to help you meet your goals whether it be weight loss or improving your fight skills from beginner to advanced.
Tiger Muay Thai offers:
- Muay Thai
- Mixed martial arts
- Western boxing
- Krabi Krabong
- BodyFit Bootcamp
- Free weights
- Training for weight loss
- Boxer Detox
18) Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head Island, SC
This weight loss and wellness resort keeps you on your toes with activities such as kayaking, zip lining and fitness classes. Guests can also take cooking classes and attend healthy living seminars. Weight loss programs offered include a Live Well Weekly Weight Loss Program and a Lose Well 4+ Week Weight Loss Program.
Hotels are stepping up their game- more travelers are sweating it out in fitness centers that require more than a barely functional treadmill and a bunch of mismatched weights. Its like Christmas when I find out our hotel has a large and well equipped fitness center and healthy food options!
19) EVEN Hotels
This hotel chain was created specifically with the fitness traveler in mind. The entire hotel promotes greater relaxation with calming environments and ergonomic work spaces. Their dining options include organic, vegetarian and low fat food choices and their fitness centers are designed with optimal natural light and feature free classes. They opened their doors in 2014 in Norwalk, CT and Rockville, MD. This year, they are slated to open three more in the NY area.
20) Kimpton Hotels
This hotel chain understands that traveling is very taxing on the body and maintaining a healthy routine is the best way to combat the rigors of traveling frequently. Kimpton offers complimentary bike rentals, fitness classes, group runs, wellness options, runners amenity kits and fitness packages such as a yoga rollout program where you get a yoga mat, flavored water, fresh or dried fruit and nuts with access to Kimpton’s on demand yoga or Pilates TV channel.
21) W Hotel
The FIT program, which features model-yogini Tara Stiles, founder of Strala Yoga, includes an in room workout video with exercise tip cards. Various W hotels will offer FIT and ENERGIZE retreats with Tara Stiles. The 3 to 5 day ENERGIZE retreat is offered at the W Retreat & Spa in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico and incorporates fitness assessments, daily yoga, outdoor retreats, cookie classes, spa treatments and healthy meals.
22) Tryp by Wyndam
Book a fitness room at Tryp to workout in the privacy of your own room. They provide a high end treadmill, elliptical or exercise bike AND they supply you with workout gear like t-shirt and shorts, exercise mat, mineral water and towels.
Request the Fairmont Fit at the front desk to get Reebok workout apparel and footwear, an MP3 player loaded with music, and a yoga mat and resistance band. Many locations also offer fitness classes and activities.
24) Element Hotels
This eco-friendly hotel chain offers healthy grab and go breakfasts, relaxing spaces to encourage renewal and empowerment with a sens of movement and vitality and their rooms are designed to maximize space so you can use the room in multiple ways. They also have a Bikes-to-Borrow program allowing you to cruise the local area on two wheels. They also offer fitness centers with pedal-powered charging stations for your electronics.