In a world with infinite ways to compare ourselves to others and endless contacts waiting for an instantaneous reply, it’s necessary, for our own sanity, to take a step back, disconnect and participate in some self-care. The farther away from civilization, the better. Thankfully, there are places that specialize in this type of disconnectedness. All located in beautiful, remote locations with amenities designed to rejuvenate and regenerate your mind, body and spirit, these resorts offer the perfect mix of serenity and adventure.
As true trailblazers in wellness, they excel at four things: a well-designed hotel enveloped in stunning scenery, restorative and action-driven physical activities, holistic spa treatments and an enlightening ethos to expand the mind. And, instead of feeling like you need a vacation after your vacation, a stay at one of these establishments in under-the-radar destinations will have you feeling rested and inspired, ready to jump back into your life with more energy and passion than when you left.
1. TRI – Sri Lanka
The Garden of Eden still exists; it’s simply hidden behind a lush forest of palms on the shores of Lake Koggala in Sri Lanka and goes by the name of Tri. It’s here, among 11 beautifully constructed suites, that you can come to reset and reconnect with ancient, life-giving practices. Peaceful mornings can be spent meditating on a private balcony or taking a Quantum yoga class in the yogashala, a treetop yoga studio designed to give practitioners the feeling of floating above the bamboo grove below. A full schedule of intellectually stimulating activities, from professionally led lectures to documentary film screenings, take place in the glass library, and an Ayurvedic consultation is encouraged upon arrival to determine the best overall wellness plan for your stay.
Signature treatments: Steam with Julia White’s dosha-regulating aromatherapy oils or pamper yourself with a Ayurvedic massage with Dumith Deshara
2. Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa – Chile
Alto Atacama is one of those rare hotel destinations where you can completely unplug and unwind, given the absolute tranquility and quietness of the Catarpe Valley, and the slow pace of the village of San Pedro. Gaze out onto terra cotta-tinged mountains from loungers at one of the six outdoor swimming pools or ground yourself in the grandeur of the cosmos, while scanning some of the clearest skies in the world. Or, delight in the wonder of Andean wildlife – whether exploring the region on one of the daily excursions or visiting the tame llamas and alpacas at the Alto Atacama stable. A world-class spa and healthy, locally sourced gourmet cuisine complete the experience, leaving you feeling grateful and reenergized, each day. Complementing the adventurous day excursions, the Puri Spa provides treatments to soothe sore muscles and prepare for the next day’s outing. Regardless of how you spend your time here, you’re guaranteed to have a renewed appreciation for life that only time in an ochre desert wonderland can provide.
Signature treatments: Immerse yourself in an experience using local products, such as a quinoa facial or a Sabay massage, which utilizes pouches filled with local herbs and seeds that aid in increasing circulation and relaxation.
3. The Dwarika’s Resort – Nepal
It’s hard to deny one’s relative insignificance on the planet while staring at the night sky, as it glimmers full of galaxies and stars. Perhaps, that is all part of the plan at The Dwarika’s Resort Dhulikhel, a 40-room resort in Nepal, where each suite holds two living spaces: one inside and one out, so guesats have the option of sleeping in the plein air, gently humbled by the vastness of the universe. At The Dwarika’s Resort, the aim is to provide guests with a holistic wellness stay, and the first step towards this goal is allowing them to live freely with nature as the Himalayan people do. Located a short 45 minutes from Kathmandu just south of the tallest mountain range in the world, The Dwarika’s Resort is rooted in the teachings of The Vedas, believing that all things are connected. In addition the resort’s extensive wellness programs, Dwarika’s attends to the environment through sustainable practices: the organic food grown in their garden regenerates the earth as well as visitors; the chemical-free zone bolsters both health and land; and the entire resort’s environment creates a no-waste facility.
Signature treatments: Try the the healing sound therapy unique to the Himalayan region or the Panchakosha Signature Newari massage therapy.
4. GoldenEye – Jamaica
In 1976, Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records and credited with bringing Bob Marley’s music to the mainstream, purchased a property from Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond novels. It was in the bedroom of this blissful Jamaican retreat that Fleming penned all 14 of his James Bond novels, three of them set in Jamaica. Blackwell added 25 acres to Fleming’s original 15 and transformed the property into a five-star luxury resort with 22 rooms. While Fleming lived at GoldenEye, he made a habit of hosting the celebrities of the day of the day, and Blackwell continues that tradition. Guests staying at GoldenEye might run into Iman or Sting, who are both friends of his. Blackwell’s taste for relaxed luxury attracts the creative elite, but the celebrities aren’t the real draw to GoldenEye.
Located off-the-beaten path on Jamaica’s quiet northern coast in beautiful Oracabessa Bay, GoldenEye is centered around a four-acre lagoon, a microcosm of paradise perfect for re-centering. Activities to recharge include: swimming or kayaking to a spa treatment at the FieldSpa, participating in coral restoration, practicing sunset yoga, paddle boarding and playing a game of backgammon on a private terrace. The property itself nurtures creativity, beckoning those in need of rest with an offer of seclusion, comfort and restoration.
Signature treatments: Relax in an outdoor clawfoot tub filled with antioxidant-rich lemongrass and calming cerasee for a purifying bush bath, or detoxify with a sea salt and mint scrub.
5. Amangiri – USA
The Wild West has been tamed in the 34 suite enclave of Amangiri, a luxury resort nestled at the base of a sandstone mesa in southern Utah. Situated on 600 acres of protected land, Amangiri fully immerses guests in natural beauty without requiring a hike (and pitching a tent). Five national parks and the largest Navajo Nation Reservation in the United States surround the property, making excursion options easy and numerous. Choose from horseback riding, hiking or visiting Lake Powell, Monument Valley, the Colorado River or Slot Canyons — all within a three-hour radius.
Amangiri’s secluded setting creates the perfect ambiance for relaxation and rejuvenation. Daily yoga and pilates sessions are available, as well as treatments at the Aman Spa, a destination in and of itself. Drawing inspiration from Navajo healing traditions, the holistic treatments at the Aman Spa aim to restore hozho, Navajo for “beauty, harmony, balance and health”. Basing their treatments on the four elements — earth, wind, fire and water — the spa incorporates indigenous ingredients and intertwines Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine with its own signature treatments,including massages, reflexology, facials, plunge pools and floatation therapy, to create the ultimate wellness destination. A true oasis in the desert, Amangiri restores the soul in the heart of the American Southwest.
Signature treatment: Take a meditation journey with the Desert Dream experience, a mixture of reflexology and controlled flotation in a saltwater pool, followed by an hour-long aromatherapy massage.