10 of the best wellness retreats and resorts

Sometimes you have to take your foot off the accelerator and just slow down. You might need to put real life on hold for a while – if only for a day – and a relaxation retreat could be just the thing. We’ve scoured the globe looking for the latest wellness trends to rejuvenate and revitalise, getting you ready to face anything life throws at you.

Sri Panwa Luxury Pool Villa Hotel Resort and Spa, Phuket, Thailand

Sri Panwa Luxury Pool Villa Hotel Resort and Spa Phuket Thailand

If the sublime views of the Andaman Sea from this luxury spa hotel on top of Cape Panwa don’t put you in a state of deep relaxation, its Cool Spa certainly will. Among its more conventional spa treatments, it also offers blood-type therapy – massages that cater specifically to your blood group. Stressed-out type As will be brought back to a harmonious state, while Bs will be rebalanced and Os will be given a boost to their metabolism.

Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa, Johannesburg, South Africa

Saxon Hotel Villas and Spa Johannesburg South Africa

Just 20 minutes from central Johannesburg, but a world away from the city’s bustle, is the majestic Saxon Hotel. Lull yourself into a state of utter bliss with the spa’s unique sound therapy. As you lie back on a heated waterbed, you’ll be soothed by the gently vibrating sounds of Tibetan singing bowls, bells and cymbals. And if that hasn’t taken the stress away, try the advanced version with crystals to reach a deeper state of relaxation.

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus, Budapest, Hungary

Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest Hungary

The Hungarians certainly know how to pamper themselves – think of all those beautifully old-fashioned thermal baths found around Budapest. The elegant Kempinski Hotel has gone a step further with its signature treatment. There’s mud – and then there’s Hungarymud, which comes from the south-east of the country and is crammed full of minerals. While you’re covered with the stuff, you’ll be given a facial or a scalp massage, and the whole treatment is finished with a soothing back, shoulder and neck massage.

Mountain Trek Lodge, British Columbia, Canada

Mountain Trek Lodge British Columbia Canada

You’ll have definitely earned your chance to relax during the fitness retreats run by Mountain Trek Lodge. Start the day with a sunrise yoga session before going on a hike for several hours surrounded by the incomparable beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Then you can collapse in a hot tub before deciding if you want to do an evening fitness class or a massage and a detox treatment in the spa.

Gaia House, Devon, UK

Gaia House Devon UK

Silence is golden when you’re deep in the South Devon countryside at Gaia House. If you really want to stop the world for a while, this is the place. In the spirit of Buddhist teachings, Gaia House’s meditation retreats are held in silence, creating an atmosphere as tranquil as you’re likely to find outside of the wilderness. There’s a no-phone policy too, so leave your iPhone at home and enjoy the digital detox.

Vivanta by Taj Green Cove, Kerala, India

Vivanta by Taj Green Cove Kerala India

Enveloped by the rich lush greenery of Kerala’s backwaters yet only a few minutes’ walk from Kovalam Beach, Vivanta by Taj Green Cove is one of the most appealing places in India to try traditional Ayurveda therapy. Jiva Spa offers a range of treatments using this ancient healing method in which medicated oils are used to relieve aches and pains. Finish the day with a luxurious soak in a medicated bath, which should sustain your new-found state of calm.

Vilalara Longevity Thalassa and Medical Spa, Algarve, Portugal

Vilalara Longevity Thalassa and Medical Spa Algarve Portugal

The views of the Atlantic Ocean from the exotic gardens of Vilalara Longevity Thalassa & Medical Spa are as heavenly as the treatments. Indulge yourself with a week-long Relax and Wellness Holiday Programme, which includes thalassotherapy, aromatherapy and even osteopathy. Whichever programme you choose, you’ll be able to make use of the relaxation area, with its sauna and Turkish bath, and group activities such as pilates, power hiking, yoga and fitball.

Mii amo, Sedona, Arizona

Mii amo Sedona Arizona

Against a dramatic backdrop of the vivid red and ochre Boynton Canyon, Mii amo will personalise your visit – or “journey experience”, as it’s known here. Pick and choose from a wide range of packages that will reinvigorate your mind, body and spirit. And with that jaw-dropping scenery to explore – on two wheels or just two feet – you’ll come away refreshed and exhilarated.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Banyan Tree Mayakoba Riviera Maya Mexico

The glorious Riviera Maya coastline is yours to savour – all those lovely lagoons, mangroves and coral reefs – while you treat yourself to the resort’s spa. Its Rainforest Indulgence is a good place to start: European hydrotherapy is blended with Asian wellness to bring you to a state of sheer serenity. For an even sweeter experience, try the Melipona Honey Bliss cleansing and massage treatment, which is followed by an energising soak in a steam bath.

FaceGym, London, UK

FaceGym London UK

If you can’t find the time for a full-on relaxation retreat, you can still spoil yourself with a session at FaceGym. It promises a natural facelift through a non-invasive face workout that thoroughly puts the 40-odd muscles in your face through their paces. If you can spare more time, try one of the boot-camp-style FaceCamps on offer. Frequent travellers might be tempted by the 5am Flight Face boot camp, which will rehydrate and revivify your skin.

Looking for more unplugged inspiration? Take a look at our round up of the five best digital detoxes.

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