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Traveling Well



In the past when you needed a little R&R, maybe you booked a flight to Maui or St. Barths to bask in infinity pools, white sand beaches and fancy spas. A $4.2 trillion worldwidewellness industry with $639 billion dedicated to wellness tourism has elevated the pursuit of good health with an abundance of destinations promising the ultimate in self-care and healing.

From the Saint Tropez peninsula to the shores of Long Island, these six resorts and retreats are transforming transformative travel with starchitect-designed hammams, meditation studios, nutritious menus from Michelin star chefs, restorative yoga sessions and more.

Shou Sugi Ban House

Shou Sugi Ban House | Photo by Fredrika St. Jarne

Where: Water Mill, NY.
What: The first wellness retreat of its kind on Long Island, Shou Sugi Ban House, opened in the Hamptons hamlet of Water Mill in May 2019. The ultra-private three-acre sanctuary encompasses 13 guest studios surrounding the main pool with landscaping by in-demand New York City landscape designer Lily Kwong featuring over 250 deciduous and evergreen trees, as well as 20,000 grasses of five different varieties. There’s a Main Barn with a demonstration kitchen, a Healing Arts Barn with a tea bar, a treatment spa with hydrotherapy pools and roof deck, an open-air Movement Pavilion, ceremonial fire circle, fitness center, autumn cherry dining orchard, organic vegetable and herb gardens from which the dining menus are sourced (chef Mads Refslund, co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, designed the culinary program).
Why: Sound healing, reiki, yoga, hikes on the beach, detoxifying facials. Multi-day retreats are tailored to each individual, and stress the body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Cost: All-inclusive itineraries are offered to overnight guests, with a minimum stay of two nights starting at $1,550 per night. Half- and full-day spa rituals, without the need for accommodations, start at $300. 631-500-9049,

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley | The Leading Hotels of the World

Where: La Croix-Valmer
What: Set atop a hill surrounded by protected nature reserves with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean coastline, Lily of the Valley welcomes guests to a year-round wellness sanctuary where they are only steps away from quiet, sandy Gigaro Beach. Lily of the Valley’s 38 guest rooms and six suites were designed by renowned architect Phillipe Starck, all with private terraces. Around half offer a view of the sea. At the heart of the hotel is a 21,000-square-foot “Wellness Village” complete with seven cabins, two steam rooms, a snow-shower, sauna, health-focused restaurant with vegan and vegetarian options, and 25-meter swimming pool. For a culinary delight, Lily of the Valley’s Provencal and Mediterranean Restaurant features an outdoor swimming pool facing the sea and a bar perfectly positioned to take in the sunset.
Why: Wellness offerings range from detox programs to energy treatments and immersive sport and yoga retreats. A team of top-notch coaches and therapists, a gym with the latest equipment, and another pool for everything from lap swimming to aqua pilates also round out the amenities. The spa’s head masseur, Gilles Szafirko, apparently received the “Best Hands in France” award in 2017, and once worked as a private masseur to Catherine Deneuve, according to Robb Report.
Cost: Rates start at approximately $973 USD per night. +33 4 22 73 22 00,

Six Senses Douro Valley

Six Senses Douro Valley

Where: Lamego, Portgugal
What: Six Senses Douro Valley presents a superbly renovated 19th-century manor house set high on a hill overlooking the vine covered rolling hills of the Douro Valley and the river below. A spa, a selection of rooms, suites and villas, restaurants, wine library, swimming pools and organic garden are but a few of the many features offered.
Why: Nightly wine tastings featuring vintages from the surrounding vineyards. The destination spa has an infinity pool, aromatic saunas and arctic showers. Aerial yoga is offered in the nearby woods. The beautiful woven baskets for floating in the outdoor swimming pool.
Cost: Rates start at 375 Euros (about $417 USD) for a Quinta Superior Room through October 31, 2020. Add breakfast for two in the same room category for 445 Euros ($493 USD). +351 254 660 600,

Mii Amo

Mii Amo

Where: Sedona, Arizona
What: Located in Arizona’s enticingly named Valley of the Sun (just two hours north of Phoenix/Scottsdale), Mii amo is an adobe and stone sanctuary within Enchantment Resort offering one of the best customizable, expert-led wellness itineraries around. The all-inclusive resort was awarded the No.1 Destination Spa in the United States for two years in a row. Mii amo means “one’s path or journey,” and is rooted in the Native American culture of the Southwest.
Why: Choose from three different personalized wellness “journeys” lasting three, four or seven nights. Daily meals, emphasizing locally sourced grains, produce and meats, are included and served al fresco with the famously red rocks of Sedona looming above. You’ll want to indulge in “Mii time,” a series of themed presentations and retreats, like introductions to chakras, reiki, and sound healing. Come evening, don’t miss the resort’s signature cocktails.
Cost: $1,170 per night. 844-244-9487,

Alohilani Resort

Alohilani Resort

Where: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
What: After a massive $125 million renovation of the former Pacific Beach Hotel, Alohilani opened in 2018 on the east end of Waikiki—right across the street from the semi-protected waters of Kūhiō Beach. Indoor-outdoor luxury is the theme of this 839-room modern resort: a 200,000-gallon oceanarium, a saltwater infinity pool, a club for kids and two destination restaurants by Morimoto are on property. Some suites come with ocean or Diamond Head views, and private lanais.
Why: Alohilani focuses not just on physical well-being, but on emotional well-being and spiritual growth. A week or two before you arrive, you’ll receive an enlightening astrology reading with an island-native Hokulani of Hoku Mama Astrology Other wellness experiences include a two-hour Aloha Dreamboard vision board session, and an eco-conscious tree-planting ceremony in Oahu’s first Hawaiian Legacy Forest to ground your intentions and offset your carbon emissions. Of course, you can also enjoy the usual vacation experiences like lounging at the pool or a massage in your cabana or your suite.
Cost: Starting rates are now $309 per night. 808-922-1233,

Amanjena Wellness Retreat

Amanjena Wellness Retreat | Daniel Herendi

Where: Marrakech, Morocco
What: Spacious seclusion is what you’ll find at. Settled on 15 acres of Saharan desert just minutes from the Marrakech Medina, the palatial Amanjena resort features the rose-hued architecture of old Marrakech and its 12th-century Menara gardens. Amid shady courtyards with petal-strewn fountains, you’ll find a magnificent main swimming pool, children’s activities, exceptional international dining and direct access to Amelkis golf course (it’s also minutes from Marrakech Royal Golf Club). Standalone guest pavilions each have their own garden and gazebo, and many with private pools.
Why: Available for until March 31, 2021, the Amanjena Wellness Retreat features three nights of wellness and healing sessions with fitness and spa specialists who focus on the rejuvenation of body and mind. The limited-time retreat includes daily breakfast, return transfers to Marrakech Airport, one daily group sport and fitness session with Florian Camus, one daily 60-minute spa treatment per person with a choice of a holistic massage, a deep tissue massage or foot recovery treatment, one Argan oil head massage per person per stay and one traditional Moroccan Hammam treatment per person per stay.
Cost: Starting rates for entry-level rooms begin at 6,000 Euros ($6,656 USD). +212 5243-99000,


Four Seasons Resort and Residences at Napa Valley

Four Seasons Resort

Where: Calistoga, CA.
What: Napa Valley’s first Four Seasons Resort & Residences will begin accepting reservations as of January 6, 2020. The Calistoga-based resort property combines an 85-key hotel, 20 private single-family residences, a spa, a restaurant, a craft cocktail and wine bar, general store, pool, fitness center and boardroom with vineyard views that soothe the soul. The private villas, priced from $3.5 to $5.6 million, are currently sold out. However, listing agent Joshua Dempsey of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley is accepting back up offers. He can be reached at 707-963-1152 or
Why: The eight-room spa offers steam pods in which hammocks will be suspended above geo-thermal pools for guests to absorb the heated vapor. Onsite winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown will also have an interactive grape-to-glass program, which takes you through the winemaking process, from harvesting and sorting to selecting the optimal fruit to blending and aging wine.

Story by Dresden Scott 

Article originally appeared in Homes & Estates

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