Global wellness breaks with a difference

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

Gone are the days when visiting wellness retreats involved rising at 6am to practice yoga followed by hours of meditation in a quiet space. Today’s retreats offer so much more. One luxury beach resort in Mexico assigns you an “Architect of Life”, there are thrilling yoga wildlife safaris on offer in Africa, shamanic and emotional healers and even vegan, yoga sailboat cruises around the Mediterranean! So, if you’re seeking a wellness break with a difference, take a look at some of our recommendations below.

Digitally Detox in the Black Forest

Villa Stephanie is tucked away in the upscale Black Forest spa town of Baden-Baden - a landmark wellness retreat revered by discerning A-list travellers and wellbeing seekers from all over the world. Set in a residence fit for royalty, the villa served as military headquarters for the French government during WWII and today boasts one of the finest private wellness clinics in Germany. Their intensive programmes range from detox and weight loss, immune system care and health and beauty to bespoke treatments such as “The Kings Way” which involves a combination of physical, nutritional and medical detoxification. During your stay, depending on your chosen programme, you can enjoy coaching and personal training, body analysis, thermo-algae mud wraps, reflexology and face and body treatments. There are fitness activities in the resort with yoga, indoor swimming and core workout gym sessions and scenic hikes in the Black Forest or through picturesque parks of Baden-Baden. In addition to the treatments, elegant guest suites are equipped with a button which switches off all electrics and Wi-Fi, allowing you to completely disconnect from the outside world, focusing solely on wellbeing and relaxation during your stay.

Visit your own “Architect of Life” in Mexico

Set amongst lush rainforest of Riviera Maya in Mexico you’ll find Palmaïa, The House of AïA retreat. This serene paradise with ocean views opened in early 2020 and is fast becoming one of the hottest wellness resorts in Central America. With personal growth guides called “Architects of Life” on site, guests can explore centuries-old practices and rituals, gaining a deeper connection to the physical body and subconscious mind. Each day, different classes are available ranging from meditation, multi-musical vibration and mandalas to yoga and plant healing. You can tap into ancient knowledge of the Maya, enjoy pre-Hispanic dancing and transpersonal astrology readings or indulge in a jungle spa Temazcal ceremony to help focus your vision and engage your true self. Luxury beachfront and poolside suites are private - all furnished with animal-free products, plus resort cuisine is plant-based, staying true to the award-winning resort’s ethos of celebrating the value of all life. 

A Vegan, Yoga Cruise on a Private Sailboat

If you’ve practiced your “sun salutation” or “warrior pose” on beaches, in forests and by swimming pools around the world, perhaps it’s time to try a yoga cruise! Yoga and Sailing offer unique combined holidays around the stunning islands of Sardinia and Corsica in the Mediterranean. Guests can partake in their favourite postures on pink sandy beaches, on rugged clifftops or on deck at sunrise! It’s a great way for groups of friends to travel together as each sailboat accommodates up to 7 people and there are chefs, crew and yoga instructors on board to ensure the stay is memorable. Each morning awaken your senses with a 90 minute yoga session, with pranayama and relaxation on deck and arrange sunset solo or group meditations to relax after a day of sightseeing or activities. Meals aboard the sailboats are 100% organic, vegetarian or vegan, made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients or you can opt to dine on-shore in one of the island’s chic resorts. In addition to yoga, guests can also enjoy designer shopping expeditions, paddle boarding, hiking and snorkelling during their stay!

Enjoy a Yoga Wildlife Safari in Africa

If you love yoga and want to stay connected to nature during your well-earned break, there’s no better way than on a yoga wildlife safari in Africa. Between practicing your asanas on the deck of a luxury lodge, beneath the shade of a giant Baobab tree or at the edge of spectacular Victoria Falls you can enjoy game drives, balloon rides, learn about local culture or partake in a spot of wildlife photography! Choose from yoga safaris in Tanzania which take in scenic Mount Kilimanjaro, Big Five viewings and wildebeest migrations in the Serengeti. Opt for a cultural meditation holiday in Kenya incorporating a historic tour of capital Nairobi and visiting hippos of the Mara River or stay on the spice island of Zanzibar and tour a traditional Maasai village. There are abundant yoga wildlife safaris in Africa to choose from, with varying levels of accommodation, itineraries and landscapes to admire, therefore, you’re sure to find the perfect holiday to suit your needs.

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