10 healthy getaways that will recharge your body and mind

Insurance should definitely cover these trips

By Lois Alter Mark,

Wellness continues to be one of the hot travel trends this year and it's expected to keep growing.

People are stressed, they're tired, they're worried about the state of the world. They need a break. 

These 10 wellness destinations are good for whatever ails you. Their purpose is to get you away from your devices, social media and the news, and get you back in touch with nature and the things that really matter to you. 

Whether you prefer the beach, the mountains, the desert or the city, there's something here for everyone. Luxurious yet down to earth and nurturing, each one of these magical places can help you transform your body, your spirit and, at the very least, your attitude.

Las Alamandas | Costalegre, Mexico

Las Alamandas is truly a hidden gem — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

Sometimes all you need to get yourself back on track is a few days in secluded yet stunning natural surroundings, a.k.a. Las Alamandas. 

Set on a 1500-acre nature reserve on the Mexican Riviera, this tropical paradise is so private, you may not run into any other guests during your stay. So, you don’t have to worry about being social if you’re not feeling it. In fact, the only waves you may experience are the ones you fall asleep to outside your pretty-in-shocking-pink and sunny yellow villa. 

You can get a massage in the beachfront spa palapa, go for a bike or horseback ride, do yoga by the ocean, explore the organic gardens and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the natural beauty all around you. Or you can choose to spend your time napping in a hammock, doing nothing but making a reservation to come back for regular visits. 

Red Mountain Resort | St. George, Utah

Red Mountain Resort is a great place to step into your courage zone — Photo courtesy of Red Mountain Resort

Surrounded by the powerful natural presence for which it’s named, Red Mountain Resort encourages you to open your mind and step into your courage zone.

That may mean hiking in Zion National Park, canyoneering, kayaking or rock climbing – or it may mean exploring your past through an Intuitive Energy Reading or improving your neurological well-being in a Drums Alive class. Whatever you decide to try, you can go for it, knowing a supportive team has your back.  

Red Mountain also offers field trips, so you can walk a local shelter dog, visit the amazing Best Friends Animal Sanctuary or take a Historic St. George Art Tour. Like life itself, Red Mountain is an adventure.

Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa | Tucson

You'll want to be present every moment at Miraval Arizona — Photo courtesy of Miraval Arizona

Miraval is all about mindfulness, and every detail is designed with intention.  For example, the illuminating programming which harnesses the transformative powers of the full moon, as well as the trio of classes in the Conscious Cooking Curriculum.  And you can enjoy it all while recharging in The Retreat, the property’s most private accommodations, which naturally come with breathtaking views.

Whether you’re looking to indulge, challenge, renew or improve, there are more than 120 complimentary wellness activities, lectures and fitness classes offered every week – plus spa treatments, personal sessions with experts and as much downtime as you want.

You can safely step out of your comfort zone on a tightrope, a mountain bike or a horse, then step into the comfort of the spa for an Ayurvedic treatment rooted in the healing properties of nature. If you can’t bring yourself to leave, no worries. Miraval also offers Silver LEED Certified Villas for sale. 

Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai | Thailand

Get back to the land – and yourself – at Four Seasons Chiang Mai — Photo courtesy of Four Seasons

One glimpse of this tropical paradise is all it takes for your shoulders to relax and to feel like you're able to breathe again.

The stunning scenery would be enough to improve your mood, but the Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai is so much more than good looks. A bespoke itinerary is created just for you and can include authentic Thai experiences like rice planting, chatting with monks and bonding with buffalo – all intended to connect you with the people and traditions of this beautiful area of the world and, ultimately, to yourself.

You can detox, kick it up a notch in boot camp or just allow yourself to be pampered. Your stay here will be rich and deeply soul-satisfying, and it will fill your heart with one of the biggest wellness benefits of all: gratitude.

Mii amo | Sedona, Ariz.

Mii amo is a deeply spiritual spot in Sedona — Photo courtesy of Mii Amo

Both a destination and a journey, Mii amo creates a peaceful yet rejuvenating environment in which you can connect with yourself, with others and with nature. In fact, they offer five different paths which you can make your own over three, four or seven days. 

Honoring the tribes that have lived in the red rock landscape of Sedona for generations, Mii amo offers unique Native American-inspired treatments and traditions that pay homage to ancient wisdom.  

Fueled by delicious and healthy food, you can work every part of your body, mind and spirit. Here, it’s all about "Mii" time.

Kurhotel Skodsborg | Denmark

Kurhotel Skodsborg is the definition of hygge — Photo courtesy of Lois Alter Mark

If you want to understand the real meaning of hygge and why the Danes are considered the happiest people on the planet, get on a plane and spend a few days at Kurhotel Skodsborg. 

The leading Nordic spa hotel, Kurhotel Skodsborg is located outside of Copenhagen, right on the ocean – which is an integral element in their signature SaunaGus, a rejuvenating treatment which involves aromatherapy in the sauna followed by a dip in the sea. And that’s only one of more than a dozen cooling and warming experiences.

Celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2018, Kurhotel Skodsborg is what you imagine when you think about a "wellness spa." It just might remind you of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel – if you add a nurturing staff, great food and a chance to meet resident author Sara Blaedel, the "Danish Queen of Crime," who often does readings in the cozy living room and whose thrillers will stimulate your mind and help you hone your problem-solving skills.

Golden Door | San Marcos, Calif.

The Yama Koya treatment room at Golden Door — Photo courtesy of Jessica Sample

These two words are the stuff of legend. One of the most renowned and beloved wellness destinations in the world, Golden Door has been transforming guests for more than 60 years.

Everything is included in your stay, from classes to daily spa treatments to workout clothes and meals, so you can just focus on the reason you’re there. With its soothing Japanese decor and zen vibe, this is self-care at its best – with the added benefit of a 4:1 staff to guest ratio so you’re not the only one focusing on your needs.

Best of all, Golden Door donates all of its net profits to charitable causes, so you’re not the only one whose life is changed because of your visit.   

Sunrise Springs | Santa Fe

Relax in the private pool at Sunrise Springs — Photo courtesy of Sunrise Springs

Everything about Sunrise Springs is designed to create harmony among the four aspects of well-being: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. It does that with a menu of joyful and soul-nurturing experiential activities – and with puppies!

Thanks to Assistance Dogs of the West, you can play with future service dogs, helping them socialize and helping you lower your blood pressure and giggle in delight like a little kid. This is a truly unique program, and solid proof of the healing bond between animals and humans. 

Infused with the spirituality of Santa Fe, Sunrise Springs is filled with simple beauty and meaningful experiences that leave you awakened. It must be something in the water – the historic waters have been a sacred gathering place for centuries – so immerse yourself and soak it all up.

Rancho La Puerta | Baja California, Mexico

Yoga is one of many classes offered at Rancho La Puerta — Photo courtesy of Rancho La Puerta

The Ranch, as it’s lovingly referred to by its countless repeat guests, has been a welcoming retreat for more than 70 years. 

Set in the middle of a 4000-acre nature preserve just over the Mexican border, there is plenty of space for you to explore, to clear your head, to hear yourself think. But there is also the camaraderie of like-minded people ready to cheer you on, have a heart-to-heart conversation or simply laugh with you over an edgy game of Bingo. 

With more than 50 fitness classes offered daily, a dedication to slow food precepts and a science to its extensive spa menu, Rancho La Puerta’s holistic approach makes sure the accent is on you.

MGM Wellness | Las Vegas

Vitamin C-infused shower in the Stay Well rooms at MGM Grand — Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International

Okay, admittedly Las Vegas is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of wellness destinations. But, thanks to the Stay Well program, you can experience a whole new side of the city at three MGM properties: MGM Grand, The Mirage and Park MGM.

Book one of the beautifully-appointed Stay Well rooms, which come equipped with more than a dozen health and wellness features including vitamin C-infused showers, specially-designed mattresses, a variety of lighting options to enhance sleep and improve your internal body clock, nutritious mini bar items, an exclusive room service menu and access to Cleveland Clinic wellness software for 60 days.

Even if you indulge in a few...well, more decadent activities, at least you know you’ll be returning to the healthy environment of your Stay Well room at the end of the day. And isn’t balance what wellness is really about, after all?