Sometimes, we all just want to escape the hustle and bustle of our daily lives to an exotic location in which we can kick back, relax, and re-balance our chakras. Luckily, the world isn’t short of places where we can do that. There are endless wellness retreats throughout the world where we can go and take a breather. Because let’s be honest: we all need that every now and then – more often than we think. While doctors prescribe medicine, we prescribe taking a few days off at one of the world’s best wellness retreats. By the end of the trip, we hope to have shed all that negative energy from our souls.
On the other hand, there are some pretty overrated wellness resorts out there that aren’t as good as their marketing materials make us believe. At least TripAdvisor is always straight with us!
We’ve hand-picked some destinations around the world, so our readers know where to go and where not to go. Sometimes what we all need is some good old peace and quiet. It’s just a pity most of us can’t find that in our daily lives unless we fill our ears with plugs and meditate for a while.
20 Lefay Resort & Spa Lago di Garda, Italy – A dreamy retreat in a dreamy location
With spectacular views of Lake Garda, this wellness retreat in Italy is the perfect spot to relax and bring back the balance in our lives. The Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda combines ancient medicine from China and Western techniques to provide us with total well-being – both mentally and physically. It’s also an eco-friendly place of over eleven acres of stunning parkland scenery.
Whether we want to lose weight, improve our posture or just generally boost our wellbeing, we can do it all here in this spa haven. Sometimes it’s hard to believe places like this exist in the world. It sounds like a dream.
19 The BodyHoliday, St. Lucia – it will get our hearts pumping
Imagine a luxurious island getaway that provides a customized program based on our specific wellness needs and levels of fitness. It sounds great, doesn’t it? The best thing is, a place like this actually exists for real. In St. Lucia, we will discover the BodyHoliday Wellness Centre that offers a plethora of activities, treatments and therapies.
They are all based on exercise, healthy diet, relaxation and beauty. It sounds like a dream to us. It’s the perfect opportunities for singles to take part in yoga, Pilates, diving, tennis and Zumba among other things. In fact, it’s a place where we can all get fit.
18 Amatara Wellness Resort, Thailand - Yogis will love it
Yogis, listen up: Amatara Wellness Resort in Thailand offers a triad of comprehensive yoga programmes to try. If the breathtaking Phuket coastline doesn’t fill our souls with happiness, a session or several at this resort will.
Between the naturally stunning scenery and amazing yoga classes, it’s the perfect escape to get in tune with our bodies and rid them of stress and worries. They also offer classes in meditation, philosophy and pranayama which just make the whole place so unique.
By the time our week is over, we should be feeling completely energized and rejuvenated. Now that sounds good to us!
17 Surf and Ballet Fitness Adventure, Costa Rica – No place for couch potatoes
This is not so much a relaxing retreat as it is an adventure retreat where we can burn calories and get fit. People of all ages, professions and levels are welcome here, so don’t worry, it’s not just for experts. With its surfing and extension method classes, we have the opportunity to push ourselves mentally and physically at this adventure centre.
When we’re not dancing or surfing, we can enjoy healthy meals cooked by personal chefs, as well as plenty of beach time where we can relax. The restless will definitely enjoy this place. It’s the perfect place to burn off steam – and calories!
16 Love Yoga Safari, Africa – a safari retreat with a twist
When we think of safaris, we don’t usually think of yoga. We also don’t think of meditation either. That’s what makes this 5 star safari retreat so unusual. This incredible getaway includes a combination of yoga, meditation and pranayama in between private safari tours.
We also have the option of two other excursions at Zanzibar and Amboseli National Park, which just makes the whole package even more luxurious. So for anyone who loves animals, nature and yoga, Love Yoga Safari sounds like the idyllic retreat and is guaranteed to take some of that stress out of our daily lives. Let’s get booking right away.
15 ITC Hotel Grand Bharat Spa Resort, India – there’s no space for worry here
If there’s one thing many of us don’t know how to do, it’s to slow down. We’re so used to our fast paced lifestyle, it can be hard to know how to wind down. We always feel like we should be doing something.
At India’s enchanting retreat, we don’t have to worry about work, stress or any of those things. Instead, we can admire the architecture, gorge on gourmet local cuisine, and pamper ourselves with one of their mind and body programs – they have five. All these programs feature holistic body treatments like hydrotherapy sessions and an Ayurvedic herbal oil massage.
14 Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, New Zealand – A vegetarian’s paradise
Nestled in the stunning Southern Alps, Aro Ha is the kind of retreat that will reboot our mind and get us all harmonized and balanced again. Focusing on stimulating us from head to toe, this custom built programme creates not just internal connectivity, but environmental connectivity too.
Only 32 guests can visit this retreat at one time, which is what creates that intimate atmosphere in the retreat. Combined with the delicious vegetarian cuisine, we’ll all leave this place feeling restored and much stronger than before. And if anyone feels like it, they can opt for exercise and mindfulness practices during their time here.
13 Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany - where state-of-the art medicine meets traditional health
With its picturesque backdrop of the Bavarian Alps, Lanserhof is a tranquil escape where innovative medicine meets holistic health. It’s the kind of place anybody with a passion for self-love will adore.
We’ll be one of 75 guests at the retreat where we’ll experience rehabilitative treatments like detox baths, reflexology massages, and personal nutritional guidance. It’s the kind of place where we can recharge our batteries and enjoy utter pampering from top to bottom. That’s not even mentioning the exceptional architecture this retreat boasts. We can also expect to fall in love with our relaxing and spacious dwelling during our stay.
12 SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain – Even famous people go there
Usually, vacations are the culprit for weight gain. When we’re on holiday, we tend to spend less time doing stuff and more time enjoying the local cuisine. Anyone can see how that’s going to end up. At the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain, no guest will leave without at least burning a few hundred calories before leaving. This macrobiotic spa is favoured by the likes of Kylie Minogue and Naomi Campbell, which isn’t hard to believe. From its range of physical activities to cooking classes and therapies, your wellness experience will be unforgettable here at the clinic. You might even spot a celeb during your stay.
11 Two Bunch Palms, California – we’ll never want to leave
Here we can bathe in natural spring water and pamper ourselves with some of their most luxurious healing treatments. All of their suites are eco-friendly, which only adds to the excellence of this place. However, there should be a warning sign on the front door of this retreat that goes something like: ‘’you can come, but you may never want to leave.’’
That’s how we’d feel staying in this healing paradise. We think we’d be close to tears having to leave this amazing retreat after so much spiritual and beauty healing. But we’ll take that risk even so because we know it’ll be worth it.
10 The Siam, Thailand – the place to wind down
Thailand is recognized for its amazing spas and relaxed approach to self-care. That’s what makes a night – or 6 – so appealing to us. In the heart of Bangkok is where we’ll find The Siam, which just happens to be an award-winning spa. Famous for its therapeutic Thai treatments featuring essential oils, we can totally relax at this spa. We can leave behind all our stresses the moment we enter The Siam, because here is all about relaxation and self-love.
But for those who want to burn off some steam in a more hands-on way, they’ll be happy to learn that all guests receive an invite to learn the local style of boxing.
9 Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa, Dominican Republic – leaving technology behind
Without TVs or AC, Natura Cabanas takes us back to a simpler time. We won’t even notice the lack of technology because we will be too busy enjoying its fabulous spa, yoga classes, delicious food and quiet private beach. All yoga classes are free for guests and last for approximately 90 minutes.
It might be worth leaving our cell phones behind because this is the kind of retreat that promotes simple living. Even its stone-walled bungalows are rustic. Then again, that’s why guests come here. It is their plan to put their cell phones and their busy lives away for a week of pure bliss.
8 Hidden Pond, Maine – it’s like living in a tree house for the weekend
Hidden Pond is one of the most unique spas in the world. With over 60 acres of land featuring the resort’s traditional bungalows and cottages, the spa itself resembles a tree house. Guests are even free to pick their own flowers and vegetables from the garden.
On top of that, there are yoga classes, nature walks, and kayak tours offered to everyone who visits. And when we’ve finished for the evening, we can order a drink at the outdoor bar and take a seat on one of its chairs circled around fire pits. It’s the ideal place to get away from technology and enjoy our outdoor surroundings.
7 Shanti Maurice, Mauritius – beach-front massages sound good to us!
Shanti Maurice is a picture perfect place. In fact, we probably won’t believe just how beautiful it looks until we see it for ourselves. Spread across 35 acres of tropical gardens and white sands, this resort boasts ocean-facing villas with private pools. On-site is the Nira Spa where we can relax, get a massage and enjoy international treatments.
This wellness retreat is a true spiritual awakening and perfect for those of us who probably work too much and relax too little. We can also participate in other activities at the retreat including power walks, yoga classes, golf, tennis and water sports.
6 Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat, Bahamas – serious about yoga? This retreat is!
Is total relaxation the goal of your wellness vacation? That is exactly what we’ll receive on a trip to this retreat in the Bahamas. But there is a certain regime and strictness to this retreat probably because of its serious ashram yoga group. Guests will focus on their breathing, posture, meditation and positive thinking.
When we’re not doing downward dog stretches, we can enjoy the beautiful beach setting. We are, after all, in the Bahamas – it would be wrong to not spend time on the beach. But it’s not all yoga. We can enjoy luxury body treatments at the spa and let’s not forget the tasty vegetarian evening meals.
5 (Overrated!) Kempinski Hotel The Dome, Turkey – stressed staff don't really put us in the wellness kind of mood
Although this wellness retreat in Belek, Turkey looks like paradise from the outside, unfortunately not all guests agree. One guest deemed the retreat ‘’overrated.’’ They said the all-inclusive concept is one of the worst parts about the hotel.
Apparently, the kitchen staff was stressed and the other on-site restaurant was usually closed. According to some of the guests who’ve stayed at the hotel, it does not deserve the four stars at all. The food was not so impressive and remained virtually unchanged for several days running. This spa isn’t all bad from what we’ve read, but its all-inclusive concept and transport links bring its rating down for many guests.
4 (Overrated!) Elysium Resort and Spa, Greece – nice spa, no hospitality
One of the biggest things that make this hotel more worthy of a 3 star than a five star is its poor customer service.
A few guests have complained of the lack of friendliness and hospitality at the hotel. Although the resort does offer plenty in terms of wellness treatments, a fair amount of guests have complained about the unfriendliness they’ve received from staff members at the hotel.
One guest even described the hotel as offering ‘’poor food, poor service.’’ Many guests agree that it wasn’t worth the money that they paid to stay there.
3 (Overrated!) Lotus Therme Hotel & Spa, Hungary – more like a smoky wellness retreat
While it may be considered a five-star hotel, not all guests would agree. Many have been disappointed by their stay at the Lotus Therme Spa.
One guest even called the hotel ‘’dated,’’ which shouldn’t be the case if it’s a five-star hotel. Another one claims the whole place smelled smoky because guests are allowed to smoke everywhere in the hotel, which isn’t good for non-smokers or pregnant women. An additional guest wasn’t particularly unhappy about the quality of food, claiming it was anything but five stars.
When we’re paying a lot of money to stay somewhere, it should impress us, not depress us.
2 (Overrated!) No Name Luxury Hotel & Spa, Poland – a smelly wooden bathtub?
This hotel in Poland has five stars, but is this the rating all guests would give it? Definitely not. While one guest said the overall concept was great, the execution itself was not. Many guests were unhappy with the rooms, calling them basic and uncomfortable. One guest said the wooden bathtub was so smelly, she didn’t want to get in it.
Fortunately there were no complaints about the spa or pool at this hotel. Most of the complaints focused on the rooms. Although others did have issues with the staff, noting the communication difficulties. That’s not what we want when we go on a wellness retreat.
1 (Overrated!) Westglow Resort and Spa, US – not as luxurious as guests thought
This hotel has plenty of positive reviews, but also its share of negative ones too. Not all guests at the Westglow Resort agree that this is a luxurious wellness retreat. When we pay that kind of money for a hotel room, we have high expectations. According to one guest, the rooms were small and the hotel cuisine was not at all gourmet.
To be fair, it’s not all bad. Guests say the staff, spa treatments and facilities are superb at the hotel. But it’s mainly the rooms and the food that let this place down. Some consider it to be an overrated spa retreat.
References: kiwicollection.com, healthandfitnesstravel.com, pointebreakretreats.com, harpersbazaar.com, oyster.com, tripadvisor.com