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.
Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
Those seeking to combine a medical-grade wellness program with a visit to paradise need look no further than the new Revitalized Health Optimization Program at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, which is presented in in collaboration with Next|Health, a longevity center founded by Darshan Shah, MD, to help people re-energize, de-stress and achieve longevity. The addition of Next|Health’s advanced offerings now allows us another tool to optimize our guests’ wellness,” says senior spa director Pat Makozak. “It’s the next level of treatments that guests are seeking in the evolution of wellness travel.”
Guests at the five-star resort can now enjoy Maui’s beautiful beaches while experiencing a comprehensive, customizable experience made up of services that focus on everything from prevention to anti-aging and restored vitality. Administered at the resort’s spa under the supervision of a registered nurse, the bespoke offerings include a range of targeted IV therapy treatments, vitamin shots and biomarker testing. Also available are IV drips of the NAD coenzyme; said to help reverse the signs of aging at s cellular level, the NAD + IV sessions typically go for $1,500 a pop. As the treatments are a la carte, guests can leave plenty of time in their schedules for snorkeling, canoeing, scuba diving or simply relaxing.
Located just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Cavallo Point recently partnered with Brad Jacobs, MD—an integrative medicine physician, Master of Public Health and founder of BlueWaveMedicine—to offer the new Six Pillars of Healthy Living program, which was designed specifically to help guests address the stress of the pandemic. Some of its goals include working to sharpen mental acuity, optimize sleep, jumpstart fitness and quiet the mind with immersions in nature.
The six pillars referenced in the program’s name are: active living; healthy eating; restorative sleep; stress reduction and awareness; connection; and passion, purpose and gratitude. Each individual session focuses on one of these pillars to guide guests towards finding an enhanced sense of purpose. Sample activities range from outdoor yoga, trail hikes, herbal consultations, hypnotherapy (for weight loss or tackling anxiety), custom sound baths, energy clearing, intuitive readings, Shamanic journeys and more. The services are available on an a la carte basis, so feel free to mix-and-match to explore a few different pillars.
Opening in late-2021, the eagerly anticipated Joali Being is a sustainable luxury resort set on Bodufushi Island, a 40-minute journey by seaplane from the Maldives’ international airport. Once there, you’ll find 68 striking villas—half on the beach, half on the water, and many with private pools. To reflect its surrounding, the resort has been built using biophilic design principles, a method of incorporating nature into architecture and design
With well-being at its core—it’s being billed as the first “nature immersive well-being island” in the Maldives–Joali features a range of customized wellness experiences that celebrate nature. Highlighting four pillars–Mind, Skin, Microbiome and Energy–the wellness itineraries range from five nights to three weeks. After an integrative health assessment, the Wellness Immersion Programs are tailored to focus on such things as strength and vitality, mental clarity, hormonal balance, women’s health issues, digestive and weight rebalance, restorative sleep and movement and alignment. Offerings include detailed, medically supervised nutrition consultations, lifestyle assessments, and fitness and alignment analysis—plus spa treatments powered by natural ingredients.
San Diego’s legendary Cal-A-Vie, a Mediterranean-style resort and spa, was designed by Francophile owners John and Terri Havens to transport guests to the South of France. The Havens even deconstructed a 400-year-old French chapel and shipped it to SoCal, where it was resurrected as a serene meditation space overlooking the tranquil Cal-A-Vie vineyards, from which the Havens’ produce their own wine.
While the resort has always offered a robust selection of fitness, nutrition, spa and mind-body services, it has created the Renew and Refresh Mind & Body program (launching in August) “to empower guests to take R&R to a whole new level.” The program’s stated goals are to help relieve stress and anxiety, spur weight loss, help guests overcome sleep issues and nurture a positive mindset.
It aims to do all this via new mind-body offerings such as Ayurvedic yoga, meditation with essential oils, sound healing, mind-strengthening workshops and a range of nature-immersive fitness activities. Guests get a personal consult to help them select the best offerings for their needs, and to help the team create a personalized program. Nutritional consults—including a diagnostic bloodwork analysis done by a registered nurse—are also available.
Though not far from Marrakech’s vibrant Jemaa El Fna square, the Royal Mansour feels a world away, with its lush gardens and private riads. Known for its stunning, bird-cage-like spa, the luxe hotel is this September launching wellness retreats geared toward personal transformation, with the goal of helping guests to leave stress and anxiety behind and attain balance and well-being.
Available in three-, five-, seven- or 14-day versions, the programs are targeted towards four main results: rebalance, weight control, rejuvenation and immunity boost. Each program is customizable and holistic, and includes accommodations, daily treatments, a personal nutrition plan and a range of mind-body activities and curated workshops; private plant-based cooking classes at restaurants helmed by Michelin-starred chefs are also available. Along with these new programs, the also now houses three additional acres for its Atelier d’Artiste, a greenhouse where art therapy workshops–including painting, modeling, pottery, and calligraphy—begin with guided meditation.
Set in some of the most scenic spots in Switzerland, from the ski trails of St. Moritz to the shores of Lake Maggiore, the Tschuggen Hotel Group’s four properties in Switzerland include Hotel Eden Roc, Carlton Hotel St. Moritz, Tschuggen Grand and Valsana. This summer, all four spots have rolled out the brand’s new Moving Mountains wellness program to help guests jumpstart a new wellness lifestyle.
Created by Dr. Götz Bechtolsheimer, one of the owners of Tschuggen Hotel Group, and inspired by the mountains that surround the hotel, the program focuses on five main pillars, each helmed by a different expert. “Nourish” is overseen by London-based nutritionist Rhaya Jordan, who worked with the Tschuggen’s Michelin-starred chefs to create new plant-based menus that highlight nutrient-dense ingredients that help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. “Rest” is a collaboration with Hofklinik, a top sleep center in Switzerland, and features guided experiences that enhance our quality of sleep.
“Play” includes a range of curated adventures and empowering expeditions designed to challenge guests physically and mentally, from forest bathing to paragliding. “Move”, helmed by personal trainers Matt Gleed and Alida O’Connor, focuses on functional fitness and yoga offerings, along with sports programs taking place up in the mountains. And “Give” supports expanded consciousness by connecting guests with local artists and raising awareness of issues like climate change. Guests can tailor their stays at any of the hotels around one or more of these pillars, based on their needs and interests.
An early adopter of the haute motel trend, Civana, an award-winning resort in Carefree, Ariz., recently teamed up with Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Global to develop immersive Whole Health Retreats, a program of five-night, physician-helmed Ayurvedic retreats designed to help guests start on a path to healthy living. The itineraries incorporate one-on-one sessions with an Ayurvedic doctor, daily yoga and meditation, educational workshops and chef-created plant-based meals, as well as a multi-step cleanse to help aid in the elimination of toxins. Civana will host the Chopra retreats twice a month, and will also offer a selection of a la carte spa treatments and culinary items curated by Dr. Chopra.