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11 Best Resorts to Get Fit This Year
January 4, 2016
Retreat to these resorts in the new year to invigorate your mind, body and soul.
1. W RETREAT & SPA
Vieques, Puerto Rico
Unwinding at this stylish spot is effortless thanks to the multitude of chill-out spaces inside and out. Relax at the outdoor WET area, which offers two infinity-edge pools, or on the hotel's two white-sand beaches. With new daily yoga classes created by guru Tara Stiles, the 156-room resort has become a haven for yoga enthusiasts who thrive on the island's laid-back vibe. Also try meditation at Paradise Edge, or check out the interactive DJ classes, where you can create your own playlist.
From $439 per night;
2. SIX SENSES YAO NOI
Yao Noi, Thailand
Yao Noi is the island that time forgot, with miles and miles of rice fields, roaming monkeys, and wild pigs. Local farmers still knock down coconuts from trees for fresh juice. A great way to see it all is by bike, pedaling through the hilly countryside and soaking up the unspoiled scenery. The cycling adventure is just one of the many offered by Six Senses Yao Noi, though a complete range of onsite heart-pumping activities will ensure that you never need to leave the property. A traditional Thai boxing ring sits on the beach for hardcore one-on-one Muay Thai kickboxing lessons, floating yoga is offered in a pavilion in the rainforest, and a new fitness center is equipped with private trainers. Relax after the day's activities with a spa treatment — recent visiting practitioners have included a massage therapist for the Kuwaiti royal family.
Rooms from $921 per night;
Six Senses Yao Noi
3. SEA ISLAND RESORT
Sea Island, Georgia
While the 5 miles of private beach sets the scene at this highbrow refuge, detox-minded guests make a beeline to the new Performance Therapy Center at The Lodge at Sea Island to experience cryotherapy. This is one of the few Southeast resorts to offer whole-body treatment, in which a standing-only sauna envelops you in nitrogen-iced, negative-220-degree Fahrenheit air. Cooled skin sends signals to the brain to activate naturally occurring healing processes. Cryotherapy is said to invigorate endorphin release, improve sleep quality, speed muscle recovery and reduce inflammation, among other benefits. The sessions are popular among star athletes, celebrities and, naturally, sci-fi geeks.
From $395 per night; $60 per cryotherapy session;
Sea Island Resort
4. ONE&ONLY REETHI RAH
Framed by unspoiled sun, sand and sea, the Maldives can easily be a locale where you do a whole lot of nothing. Not true at the One&Only Reethi Rah, where the new beach club, ClubOne — equipped with a high-tech rock-climbing wall, tennis courts, volleyball and golf simulator — encourages guests to stay active. The water sports here are plentiful too, from water skiing to windsurfing, and the 100-foot lap pool invites a swim. The resort's award-winning ESPA spa partners with elite London- based health and fitness facility Bodyism (known to work with clients like Elle McPherson) to help maximize fitness goals in both indoor and outdoor gyms. Experienced onsite trainers can design a signature Clean & Lean program, individually built for guests who would rather reward themselves post-workout with a tropical cocktail in their overwater villa.
Villas from $2,110 per night;
One&Only Reethi Rah
5. THE RESORT AT PEDREGAL
Los Cabos, Mexico
Embracing centuries-old healing techniques, Luna Y Mar Spa at The Resort at Pedregal (part of the
portfolio) features traditional Mexican hospitality and time-honored detoxifying regimens. Before spa treatments, guests receive a foot massage in a quiet, candlelit nook, where therapists use local herbs and lemon to draw out "bad energy," inspired by ancient Mexican folk healing. Sound therapy — known to balance energy levels — is employed in all aspects of the spa, quite prominently in the Four Hands Sound Therapy massage, where two therapists take turns softly ringing a hanging chime to encourage healing. With the Indigenous Herbal Detox, guests are lightly wrapped with native, anti-inflammatory sauco, then undergo pain-relieving cupping to stimulate myofascial release. Eliminate toxins and improve your immune system naturally during the Moon & the Stones massage and facial, which incorporates hot and cold moonstones, volcanic stones and marble to soothe tense muscles.
From $716 per night;
The Resort at Pedregal
6. VERAVIA AT PARK HYATT AVIARA RESORT
VeraVia, a new retreat in partnership with Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, lures coast-loving fitness fanatics seeking a total overhaul. Individually tailored activities range from power hikes to aquatic fitness classes to strength training. Athletes and CEOs are common, considering the clinician-to-guest ratio is 2 to 1. The program is structured and designed for long-term wellness. It incorporates a multidisciplinary approach from a team of professionals, including personal trainers, behavioral counselors, naturopaths and physiologists, for physical, mental and emotional progress.
Four-day inclusive program from $2,950;
Veravia at Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
Far removed from Phuket's bustle, the 49-room boutique Paresa sits along "Millionaire Mile," a stretch of sublime coast with panoramic views of the Andaman Sea. Guests Zen out the moment a large gong announces their arrival to the resort's lobby, modeled to mirror the sacred space of a temple (or, as "Paresa" is translated, heaven of all heavens). Look for a variety of treatments using fresh ingredients from the onsite hydroponic garden or choose a reiki session, led by a former Buddhist monk. By far the most meditative experience is dipping into the spa's crystal energy pool. A 9-pound, raw-quartz rose crystal is attached to a tree branch and hangs into the water; it's said to deliver the soft, yet powerful energy of compassion and healing. Sound a bit out there? The tradition actually dates back centuries. Egyptians and Romans are said to have used rose quartz to clear the complexion, comfort grief and treat trauma.
From $550 per night;
8. MANDAPA, A RITZ- CARLTON RESERVE
The heart of Bali, Ubud is a striking region chock-full of ancient temples, retreats and healers. The fairy-tale setting (think hanging tree roots, moss-covered shrines and lush foliage) lures soul- searching visitors who need a spiritual reboot. The recently opened Mandapa taps into Ubud's holistic side with individually tailored wellness and detox programs (with health-conscious dining to boot). The spa offers traditional Balinese treatments, but what really sets it apart are the bona fide spiritual healers who work to alleviate all types of suffering using time-honored therapies like reflexology and shamanism. Yoga-wise, the resort has its own guru who hails from a village outside Ubud; his signature Pranawayu style of yoga is inspired by Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar and Kundalini practices. Classes take place in a soaring wooden pavilion overlooking the Ayung River.
From $570 per night;
9. GAIA RETREAT & SPA
Byron Bay, New South Wales
Co-owned by Olivia Newton-John, the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay, New South Wales, offers everything from typical spa treatments to hardcore multiday wellness programs. The Detox Focus promises to cleanse the body of environmental toxins via a tailored diet, lymphatic massage, breathing sessions and alternative medical treatments.
Available as an add-on to a minimum five-night stay, $490;
Gaia Retreat & Spa
10. THE BODYHOLIDAY
In the Caribbean, rum-spiked cocktails festooned with colorful umbrellas are as common as the breezy trade winds. But unique for the islands is The BodyHoliday in Saint Lucia, an all-inclusive health and wellness resort that inspires guests to fully tap into body, mind and spirit. As the name suggests, the property offers vacations immersed in well-being; myriad programs concentrate on overall fitness, sensible dieting and plenty of sleep. In addition to upgraded guest rooms and a new restaurant focusing on raw and organic produce from the resort's farm, a recent $20 million renovation added amenities like Thalasso on the Rocks, an overwater spa facility with a yoga deck and a stunning underwater sea-salt grotto. What hasn't changed? The secluded oceanfront location on Cariblue Beach.
All-inclusive from $769 per night;
11. BODHI TREE YOGA RESORT
Nosara, Costa Rica
Surfing pretty much rules the day in this tiny Pacific coastal town, but yoga is a close second. And you won't find a better setting to perfect your downward dog than Bodhi Tree's open-air yoga pavilion, offering 360-degree views of the surrounding forest — and all its critters, like howler monkeys and sloths — and beyond to the ocean. A Yoga Vacation package, which includes accommodations and one daily class, varies in price, but if you share a room or a bathroom in one of the Bali-style bungalows, rates are quite budget-friendly.
Shared rooms from $104 per night;
Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort
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