It wasn’t long ago that travelers were hard-pressed to find a spa at most hotels—even the luxury ones. Now, of course, it’s difficult not to. Since the pandemic, the same holds true for targeted health, wellness and fitness programs, as hotels are finding that a focus on well-being has become not only a top priority for guests, but an integral part of the way they want to travel going forward.
“We all had such a challenging 2020, and it really put life in perspective, enabling us to focus on ourselves as well as our bubble of close friends and family,” says Matt Turner, director of the Healing Arts Center at Northern California’s Cavallo Point. As a result, he adds, many hotels are now working to “provide travelers (with) experiences that enable them to focus on improving their mind, body and spirit, physically and emotionally.”
For Amanda Grant, chief wellness officer at Civana, a resort just outside Scottsdale, it’s the “emotional” part that’s key. “Consciously choosing travel that encourages healing is more important than ever,” she says. “In December 2020, the US Census found that 42 percent of people surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 11 percent the year before. Our goal is for every traveler to check out with practical tools to live a happier and healthier life.”
What this means is that travelers no longer have to plan a trip to a destination spa with pre-set multi-day retreats (like a Miraval or a Canyon Ranch) to experience comprehensive programs that go beyond massages and facials. Instead, numerous luxury hotels and resorts are upping their game by introducing initiatives that were developed with the input of medical doctors and nurses, naturopaths, nutritionists, life coaches, psychological counselors, spiritual healers and more. The resulting programs allow guests to drill down on issues from anxiety and insomnia to digestive issues and chronic fatigue. Best of all, because these are regular hotels and not retreats, any non-wellness-minded travel companions can still enjoy their days chilling by the pool or ordering another round at the bar.
To help ease you back in to travel—and help with any lingering issues 2020 may have caused—here are seven new hotel-based wellness programs available from California to the Maldives.