Words by Lisa Hughes
January 25th, 2017
One in three Irish people still keep an eye on their work emails and even take work-related phone calls while on holiday, according to a survey from AA Travel Insurance. For shame.
While this inability to switch off used to be a badge of pride, things are slowly shifting and wellness holidays – y’know where you actually switch off and put your wellbeing first – are where it’s at for travel in 2017.
Whether you want to get fit in Spain or make new yoga-loving BFFs in Bali, let these amazing wellness ideas inspire your adventures this year.
No one goes to NYC to relax but Brooklyn’s first dedicated wellness hotel EVEN might just change your mind. The hotel’s ethos is all about making sure your wellness needs are met, even when you’re away from home so you’ve got in-room fitness zones for private workouts and can stick to your healthy eating plan with made-to-order protein-packed smoothies. After a day pounding the pavements of Manhattan, give your body a treat with spa-style showers, signature EO bath products and all-natural eucalyptus linens. Nice.
Silent walks, morning meditation, healthy eating and daily yoga with your private guru. Oh, and did we mention this all takes place against the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas? Pretty much a mindfulness dream, guests on Shakti Himalaya’s new 8 day ‘Head in the Clouds’ trip walk between remote villages in the little known Kumaon region, staying in traditional houses, and receiving guidance on their inner journey by a personal yoga and meditation teacher. Dawn and dusk yoga takes place daily, as well as mindfulness sessions to address any anxieties or concerns in your life. From £4,702 per person.
Did you know there’s an authentic Buddhist Meditation retreat in the County Cavan countryside? Nope, neither did we. Set in a classic nineteenth-century estate with views of the Cuilcagh Mountains, Jampa Ling Buddhist Meditation Retreat in Bawnboy is the ideal place to give your mind a staycation. Under the patronage of the Dalai Lama himself, Jampa Ling welcomes guests of all faiths (and none) and is one way to get away from it all – without needing a plane ticket. Upcoming events include the Winter Teachings on 11th and 12th February focusing on ‘Developing a Flexible Mind through Meditation’.
Portugal has upped its ranking in the European short break stakes and is one of the hottest holiday destinations for 2017. Where better to experience the benefits of yoga and catch a rare moment of zen than the stunning Algarve? Swap your stressed-out reality for this sun-kissed corner with TDActive’s Algarve Yoga Holiday and look forward to practicing yoga twice daily with a qualified yoga teacher from OSLO Health. There’s plenty of free time for Insta-worthy walks along the coast to the Fortaleza de Sagres or to top up your tan on the beach. From €769 per person.
There’s getting away from it all and then there’s ‘Hermtherapy’. With its white sand beaches and laidback vibe, Herm, a mile and a half long island off the coast of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, is the perfect place to switch off your smartphone addiction. As you watch the tide rise and fall, hear the waves lapping the shores and feel the sea breeze on your relaxing walks, the noise and chaos of daily life will soon be a distant memory. You won’t be bored, though – there’s a fitness bootcamp on the island, including ladder runs, rope pulls and tyre flips if you fancy it. Herm Digital Detox from £295 per person excluding flights.
There’s more to Ibiza than DJ sets and beaches, you know. Namely, the 38 Degrees North Fitness Retreat which gives a holistic approach to your fitness – without scrimping on luxury. Located around 20 minutes from the airport, this 5-star retreat offers a number of results-driven wellness packages but if yoga and meditation bore you to tears and you prefer working up a sweat, try the popular Body:Fit and Body:Fit Plus. Working with personal trainers, the programme sets goals for your individual fitness needs and you even get a take-home programme so you don’t lapse into couch potato mode once you step off the plane. Body:Fit programme from £1685 on selected dates.
Were you nodding your head through our recent feature on burnout? If you were, the stunning Absolute Sanctuary in Thailand has exactly the wellness holiday you need. Through a combination of healing spa treatments, nourishing foods and supportive emotional therapies, the Anti-Stress and Burnout programme is designed for the fatigued and overworked. This enticing getaway includes a Wellness Consultation, Stress Management Sessions, yoga and meditation sessions, pilates, group fitness classes and a variety of irresistible treatments including a Coffee Body Scrub. Anti-Stress and Burnout programme from £1,699 per person.
With Surf Sistas Bali Surf & Yoga Surfari you can look forward to ten unforgettable days of surf lessons, Yoga, relaxation and sightseeing in beautiful Bali and Nusa Lembongan. Ideal for female solo travellers, this tropical adventure includes daily surf coaching (whether you’re a natural water baby or an absolute beginner), asanas lessons to improve your flexibility and ample opportunity to see and explore different parts of this beautiful island. Next stop is the island of Nusa Lembongan, 20km off the East coast of Bali, where you can get your endorphins flowing in the uncrowded waves, snorkelling or just chilling out with your new gal pals. Bali Surf & Yoga Surfari from £699 for departures in April.
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