After the year that was 2020, and the drama continuing with the flip of the calendar, who isn’t ready for a retreat from the madness? At this point, even if only for a few days, though a week or more would be ideal, you no doubt need some time away to replenish what the locusts ate (be it the pandemic, racial strife, fill in the blank). Maybe you’re not ready to jet far away to locales like Santorini, Tahiti or the Maldives—no worries, stateside there are plenty of places to restore your soul.
Here are some favorites.
The Grand Wailea in Maui just launched its Live Grande wellness program in response to the pandemic. Live Grande therapies and services include healing lightwork, astrology readings, mindful nutritional sessions, chakra crystal therapy and more, all designed to cultivate mental health and healing. The beachside resort is on 40 acres of tropical gardens fronting Maui’s Wailea Beach—you feel better already, right? To get a sense of what you can expect at Spa Grande, the largest spa in Hawaii: reiki, a healing Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation and pain reduction using light touch hands, chakra crystal therapy that uses crystals, breathing techniques and visualizations to clear the energy center and help the free flow of energy throughout the body, and cranial-sacral therapy, which optimizes the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, a vital fluid that protects the nervous system and brain, soothing pain and releasing physical and emotional stress and tension.
Sedona is all about mind, body and soul. Its vortex fields are said to be healing. People come for solace, healing, as well as adventure. It’s likely no one goes home disappointed. When your eyes set on the massive red rocks, the awe puts you on the path to transformation. You can find yoga, many spas, stargazing tours, hikes, and all manner of metaphysical stuff to get your mind, body and spirit right. Eighty art galleries and eclectic shops will keep you entertained. At the Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock there’s an energy specialist whose energy therapy services range from tarot card readings, tuning fork and aura cleansings. Do consider the Amara Resort and Spa or the Sky Ranch Lodge, which has one of the best Red Rock views overlooking Sedona 500 feet below.
Vail is the stuff of movies, with its European charm, quaint shops and restaurants and those mountains. Find your zen at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa. The Spa Anjali will soothe what ails you. Shower yourself with TLC at the 27,000 square-foot spa. Choose among three healing mountain traditions—the Rockies, Alps and Himalayas. One of their most unique treatments are the chakra blessings, a collection of ancient rituals designed to help to clear negativity, balance energy and create an optimal state of well-being. The Ponderosa Pine Therapy borrows ancient Native American remedies to treat inflammation and muscle pain. Incorporating deep tissue massage and light stretching, a heated poultice filled with sage, pine and lavender is used to alleviate tension. Try the sound therapy treatment, an energy balancing treatment that’s an antidote for a mind, body and spirit that needs a reboot. Tibetan singing bowls are placed on and around your body as your energy fields are balanced and enhanced through the resonating sound and vibrations.
St. Pete Beach, Florida
Wellness has long been a cornerstone of The Don CeSar resort, dating back to the vision of 1928 founder Thomas Rowe who was battling lifelong health issues and wanted to create a destination for relaxation and serenity; his mantra is etched on the resorts’ main entrance, “Come all ye who seek health and rest for here, they are abundant.” The resort unveiled a multi-million-dollar three-year full resort renovation this January, and features an expansive private white-sand beach, two pools, six restaurants and bars, a fitness center and more. Spa Oceana, The Don’s 11,000 square foot destination spa, features more than 100 treatments, many inspired by oceans. Indian Ocean inspired treatments include the Hamsa Healing Ritual with sound healing from Tibetan singing bowls and Garshana, a brisk dry brushing of exfoliates to prep skin for shea butter and aromatherapy oils. The Atlantic Ocean inspired Oceana Renewal incorporates regional ingredients like sweet tea, citrus, beach grasses and live fruit extracts incorporated into a custom massage. Then there’s St. Pete Beach, paddling the gulf and in Caladesi National Park. St. Pete also encompasses Florida’s Great Florida Birding and Wildlife 2,000-mile trail.
The Raj is the only facility outside of India specifically built to offer the traditional Ayurvedic detoxification treatments, known as Panchakarma. It accepts no more than 15 guests at a time, so you’re the center of attention. Enjoy the individualized service and treatment. Yoga, meditation, an array of detox programs and more await. The French country-style facility encompasses 36,000 square feet and is located on 100 acres of rolling meadows and woodlands in Iowa’s heartland. It’s an ideal environment to transform and rejuvenate.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
New Mexico offers plentiful ways to restore and revitalize the mind, body and soul, including hot springs that are renowned for their healing waters. Check into Ojo Spa Resorts and to connect with the sacred, natural world and deep rejuvenation that are Ojo’s legendary healing waters and amenities, such as complimentary yoga and Pilates classes and trail access for peaceful and energizing walks and hikes amongst Ojo’s sprawling, 70-acre sanctuary. Another option is Ten Thousand Waves, just 10 minutes from downtown but full of serenity and relaxation inspired by Japanese techniques. Ten Thousand Waves gets kudos for its hydrotherapy and will soon offer Massage and Transformation, a fully immersive experience that combines the relaxed natural beauty, hospitality and healing spa treatments of Ten Thousand Waves with the benefits of neuroscience and psychedelic medicine.
Boone, North Carolina
The Art of Living Retreat Center is a meditation and Ayurvedic wellness getaway in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Situated at a height of 3,700 feet and spread over 380 sprawling acres, relax, renew and discover inner peace. The vast open spaces and outdoor activities are invigorating. Yoga and meditation against beautiful scenic backdrops will take you right where you want to go—your happy place. Choose among a variety of programs, including Meditation Retreats, Happiness Retreats and Silent Meditation Retreat. The Silent Meditation Retreat in particular is a profound spiritual immersion that integrates that renowned Happiness Retreat and several days of silent contemplation with unique guided meditations, yoga and breathing techniques. Surrounded by a vast mountain range and the quiet magic of the forest, hit the trails to walk or hike, nature trails for guests of all skill levels to walk and hike, make your way to winding creeks leading to small swimming holes for summertime dips, and discover the soft canopy of trees for forest bathing. Stroll through the property’s meditative labyrinth, a circle maze with a meandering pathway to a purposeful center point. It is designed as a metaphor for the journey of life and self-discovery, where people enter with intention and exit with a clearer mind and deeper understanding of themselves. There are a variety of Ayurvedic treatments and therapies, consultations, cleanses and detoxes, and other educational programs at Shankara Ayurveda Wellness, which combines ancient Ayurveda with contemporary wellness to bring mind, body and spirit and environment into balance.
Tucked into the secluded Pacific Redwood Forest on 120 acres of untouched land just minutes away from downtown Healdsburg, NewTree Ranch is one of Northern California’s very few multi-sensory destinations, offering unique discovery and adventure immersed in a naturally beautiful, culturally rich environment. Situated on a biodynamic ranch in one of the world’s most magical landscapes, NewTree Ranch is a mecca for mind, body and spirit. Find your peace through an array of healing and outdoor adventure offerings, such as biodynamic farming, flower picking and arranging, nature hikes, vegan cooking classes, tea making, fruit and vegetable harvesting and the option to sleep under the stars in the ranch’s glamping tent. Try something new. Try the Wim Hof Experience. You’ll practice special breathing techniques and immerse yourself into ice cold water.