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7 Best Wellness Retreats in the U.S. This Year, According to Experts

Take a health-focused holiday to rest up and recharge.

Taking a break from the day-to-day stresses of life is an essential way to recuperate and recharge. Of course, there's more than one way to plan a vacation. While some people view travel as a chance to take a well-deserved break not only from their responsibilities but also their health habits, others put health front and center on vacation by choosing a wellness retreat.

More and more often, people are opting for the latter. They're seeking out exercise programs, organic menus, spas for deep relaxation, and increasingly, tech-driven wellness assessments that can guide their health going forward.

These wellness-oriented vacations are growing in popularity, and experts say they're not likely to lose steam any time soon. In fact, the wellness travel market is currently valued at over $600 billion and is expected to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI).

"Holistic health and prevention are increasingly at the center of consumer decision-making, and people now expect to continue their healthy lifestyles and wellness routines when they are away from home," GWI wrote in a recent report. "With so much unwellness embedded in today's travel, wellness tourism brings the promise of combating those negative qualities and turning travel into an opportunity to maintain and improve our holistic health."

Mercedes Zach, a travel agent working with ASAP Tickets, says she's seen a notable uptick in requests for wellness-oriented travel—and that now is a popular time to start planning.

"With the new travel season approaching, many people across the States are already making plans for their well-deserved holiday trips. While some vacationers prefer to go for active adventures or enjoy cultural experiences, others prefer a more relaxing time away," she tells Best Life.

Thinking of planning your own getaway? These are the seven best and most luxurious wellness retreats to take your vacation to the "next level."

RELATED: The 11 Best Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts in the U.S.

1
Sensei Lanai

 

For a unique wellness experience that will leave you better than it found you, Zach recommends trying a refreshing and rejuvenating "sleep retreat."

"Among the most popular forms of wellness travel is so-called sleep tourism. A number of hotels across the world are now introducing different sleep-enhancing amenities, retreats, and programs to promote a well-deserved rest," the travel expert says.

"There are even some sleep-centric boutiques and spas that promise to take your sleeping experience to a whole new level. It is said that such relaxing stays at hotels and resorts may help to improve one's everyday sleeping habits," she adds.

Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort located in Lanai, Hawaii, recently topped Time Out's list of best sleep retreats in America.

"Travelers can splurge on the Rest and Recovery Package, a five-night retreat that's specially designed to help them manage stress and improve sleep thanks to one-on-one support from a team of Sensei Guides and expert practitioners. Before their stay, guests will fill out a questionnaire, track their sleep and connect with their Sensai Guide to craft a custom itinerary based on their specific sleep goals," they write.

Guests will also enjoy two 90-minute spa treatments, yoga and breathwork classes, and a visit to the outdoor challenge course Lanai Adventure Park.

2
Hilton Head Health

 

If you're looking for a wellness retreat that will set you up for weight-loss success, look no further than Hilton Head Health (H3). A fan favorite and a darling of the wellness world, H3 has no shortage of accolades under its belt. That includes six Trip Advisor Awards of Excellence and six appearances on USA Today's list of best health and wellness resorts in America.

Steeped in southern charm and surrounded by natural beauty, Hilton Head Health offers a range of wellness and weight-loss programs to help jump-start your healthy new lifestyle or renew your commitment to clean living. Guests enjoy healthy meals and cooking demonstrations, an impressive assortment of fitness classes for all ages and fitness levels, wellness education lectures, and luxurious spa services at the Indigo Spa.

"Set on the beautiful island of Hilton Head, South Carolina, the resort is a place for people to spend 24-7 focusing on just themselves and their physical and mental wellness," writes Forbes. "Think daily sunrise walks on the beach, kayaking and SUP [stand-up paddle boarding], beach yoga, and outdoor pool fitness classes."

RELATED: 10 Most Relaxing Tourist Attractions in the World, New Study Reveals.

3
CordeValle

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Next, Zach suggests CordeValle, a private and beautiful Northern California resort that she describes as "a relaxing and luxurious getaway."

"Surrounded by fascinating countryside in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the resort offers many outdoor activities, from wine tasting to swimming, hiking, and even participating in world-class tennis championships," she says. "The resort also features a wellness spa, fitness center, an outdoor pool, an estate vineyard, and a tennis center with tournament courts."

Teeming with "countryside charm and genuine elegance," Zach recommends it as the perfect choice for couples looking to build an even deeper connection with one another while also focusing on wellness.

4
Lake Austin Spa Resort

 

Zach next recommends the all-inclusive Lake Austin Spa Resort, known for its "next-level" day spa facilities and waterside luxury.

"Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Austin, only 40 minutes from downtown, it specializes in aquatic treatments and lake activities, offering more than 100 pampering services for individuals, mothers-to-be, couples, and groups," she shares. "Here, you can enjoy amazing facials, laser treatments, vitamin C therapies, spa procedures, water yoga, and outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, hiking, and river-based workouts."

There's also plenty to do in your downtime. "Post-treatment, you can lounge by the series of swimming pools in the large hillside garden while soaking in the scenic landscapes and indulging in ultimate relaxation. It's a true sanctuary for rest, renewal, and reinvention that I highly recommend trying out for yourself," the travel expert says.

RELATED: 10 Best Hotel Spas in the U.S. for World-Class Pampering.

5
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

 

Situated on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve offers a serene sanctuary that seamlessly blends luxury with natural beauty.

"The five-acre Spa Botanico stands out as a world unto itself on the island," says a review in Forbes Travel Guide. "This hacienda-style Five-Star sanctuary may be as new as the hotel, but it was built to look as if it has stood here for a century, and with an herb-filled apothecary portal, a vine-covered shade house, a pineapple garden and two tree-house treatment platforms, it certainly has an air of the ancient."

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve has also partnered with Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment program to highlight the interconnectedness of nature and wellness (think snorkeling, wetland bike rides, guided stargazing, and more).

Viorica Coman, spa director at the resort, says the results are an unparalleled experience. "I've focused on bridging the gap between nature and wellbeing throughout my career, and there is no better setting to provide guests with an unparalleled wellness experience than Spa Botánico," she tells Best Life.

6
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

aerial photo of the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is the only fully dedicated wellness resort in South Florida, boasting a 70,000-square-foot spa that's earned the distinction of being the largest on the Eastern Seaboard.

"Located along the white sand shores of North Beach, (about fifteen minutes north of South Beach) this resort is all about the 'luxury of wellness,' with a phenomenal spa, enviable roster of recreational classes and an array of integrative health resources (it helps that it originally opened as a Canyon Ranch and Spa)," says a review by Conde Nast Traveler.

They note that fitness aficionados will be "delighted by the two-story state-of-the-art gym, four pools and access to the beach's miles-long paved walking and running paths. New age-y health types will revel in the resort's array of nutritionists, acupuncturists, physical therapists and energy healers that regularly host workshops and retreats on property."

RELATED: The 8 Best Eco-Friendly Vacations You Can Take in the U.S.

7
Club Pilates at Sea and Pure Barre at Sea

Aerial photo of Princess Cruises ship in water
Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock

Who says that your wellness retreat can't take place on a boat? Club Pilates and Pure Barre are now partnering with Princess Cruises to offer various wellness retreats that set sail for the high seas.

Pure Barre at Sea has scheduled the next upcoming departure to take place from June 8th through 15th, leaving from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and touring the Caribbean, while Club Pilates at Sea will embark on its sophomore tour from August 18th through 25th.

Besides enjoying daily Pure Barre and Club Pilates workouts led by top instructors, guests can also sample a range of other fitness classes and explore "nature-based land experiences, such as hiking, canoeing and zip lining," writes Althetec News.

You'll also enjoy all the amenities that cruises tend to offer, including swimming pools, entertainment, and, of course, a stunning ocean backdrop.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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