With travel back on the cards in 2023, we’ve launched into full planning mode. Top of our list, a health and wellness retreat to get the new year off to the right start.
Do you need to shake off those pandemic blues and get the new year off on the right foot? Most of us have now managed those long-awaited reunions with family and friends, and now a proper holiday with a little self-care is well and truly due. Whether you’re looking for a long weekend to destress and indulge in a few spa treatments or something a little longer to completely reset with healthy meals, fitness, yoga or meditation, here are six health and wellness retreats to book in the new year.
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Kamalaya — Koh Samui, Thailand
Undoubtedly one of the best-known wellness retreats in Thailand (and possibly the world!), Kamalaya offers retreats starting at as little as three days long. There are programmes covering everything from Basic Optimal Fitness, Sleep Enhancement, Resilience and Immunity as well as a more simple Relax and Renew (perfect to de-stress). With stunning sea view rooms, suites and villas, you’ll be blissed out in no time!
Get There: Fly Hong Kong to Koh Samui, connecting via either Bangkok or Phuket. Kamalaya is a 45-minute drive from the airport.
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Fivelements Retreat — Bali, Indonesia
If being at one with nature is your idea of bliss, then you’ll be in heaven at Fivelements Retreat, Bali. Follow the winding jungle paths and stepping stones to find your boutique rooms where you can fall asleep to sounds of the Agung River flowing downstream. Then there’s the full wellness offering complete with relaxing spa treatments, yoga and meditation and more. This is all supplemented with a plant-based menu that proves that healthy, locally grown, environmentally-friendly food is not only good for your nutrition, but your taste buds too! We love that Fivelements offers Wellness Day Experiences if you’d just like to visit and experience the property while enjoying your Bali vacation, as well as Executive Performance and Boutique Group Retreats and personalised Private Wellness Retreats.
Get There: Fly direct from Hong Kong to Denpasar International Airport, Bali. Fivelements Retreat is just over an hour’s drive from the airport.
Fivelements Retreat, www.fivelementsbali.com
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Gangtey Lodge — Bhutan
It doesn’t get more secluded than Gangtey Lodge. Tucked away in the Himalayas, the Kingdom of Bhutan has always had a mysterious edge and a hefty price tag that keeps away the masses. If you have the funds to splurge, you will indeed be spoiled on a visit to this little piece of paradise. Gangtey Lodge takes the element of remoteness to the next level, situated a four-hour drive from the international airport (or a 30-minute helicopter ride if you really want to splurge!). It’s difficult NOT to disconnect from the fast-paced Hong Kong life as you immerse yourself in nature by hiking the foothills to traditional villages, unwinding with an in-suite fire-side massage and getting in touch with your spirituality by learning more about the ancient Buddhist traditions.
Get There: There are no direct flights from Hong Kong to Paro or Thimphu (the two international airports), so you will need to connect through Bangkok or Kathmandu. Gangtey Lodge is a four-hour drive from Paro International Airport.
Gangtey Lodge, www.gangteylodge.com
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The Farm at San Benito — Manila, Philippines
Set amongst 48 hectares of lush green jungle is this eco-luxury holistic wellness resort. At just a 90-minute drive from Manila International Airport, this is also one of the most accessible health retreats from Hong Kong! At your retreat, you’ll find a full spectrum of wellness programmes — from medically supervised holistic detox cleanses and sleep induction therapy to mental health and pain management, as well as traditional spa and beauty treatments. Daily yoga, meditation and sound healing are all included as part of your package as well as a nutrient-rich vegan breakfast. Speaking of food, you’ll want to make time to sample the extensive culinary menu options at Alive! which dishes up exclusively vegan and raw food meals.
Get There: There are frequent daily flights from Hong Kong to Manila (flight time 2 hours 20 minutes). The Farm at San Benito is a 90-minute drive from the airport.
The Farm at San Benito, www.thefarmatsanbenito.com
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Chiva Som — Hua Hin, Thailand
You’ll be spoiled for choice at Chiva Som, with 16 different holistic escapes on offer. Each wellness experience brings elements of nutrition, fitness, holistic health, physiotherapy, spa and beauty treatments, depending on your personal preference and wellness goals. With daily activities covering everything from a beach run (or power walk) or group fitness classes (overseen by a physiotherapist) to yoga and meditation as well as cooking classes, your retreat is bound to leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Get There: Fly direct to Bangkok. Hua Hin is a three-hour drive from Bangkok International Airport.
Chiva Som, www.chivasom.com
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Ananda in the Himalayas — India
The benefits of Indian wellness regimes like Ayurveda, yoga and Vedanta are well-known, so travelling to India’s spiritual heart for that authentic retreat makes sense. Choose to stay for just a few nights to enjoy the tranquil surroundings, or make the most of your visit by committing to a longer programme. There are five-day beginner packages that give you a kick-start to detox, de-stress and renew, or start your commitment to yoga or a more active lifestyle. For something a bit more in-depth, look at a week (or more!) to fully focus on your health and well-being. A typical day begins with morning meditations, nature walks and yoga, followed by an afternoon filled with spa treatments and relaxation. Absolute bliss!
Get There: Fly direct to Delhi. From there you can drive four to five hours (traffic dependent), or fly to Dehradun (about 45 minutes plus a 40-minute drive).
Ananda in the Himalayas, www.anandaspa.com
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Main image courtesy of Fivelements Retreat via Facebook, image 1 courtesy of Kamalaya, image 2 courtesy of Fivelements Retreat via Facebook, image 3 courtesy of Gangtey Lodge via Facebook, image 4 courtesy of The Farm, San Benito, image 5 courtesy of Chiva Som, image 6 courtesy of Ananda in the Himalayas