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3 Caribbean Wellness Retreats for a Spring Getaway
Plan the ultimate self-care vacation this season.
Recharge and reboot the mind, body and soul in these health-minded tropical escapes.(Getty Images).
Wellness programs are all the rage these days, with a variety of companies implementing programs designed to help employees save money on health care costs and a growing number of hiking, yoga and spa retreats aimed to help boost overall health and well-being. Nowadays, at properties around the globe, travelers can enjoy wellness programs centered on fitness and rejuvenation. What started with golf- and tennis-themed vacations has transitioned into health-oriented trips that combine physical activity with nutritious food options and first-rate spa facilities to help visitors relax, recharge and embrace a well-balanced lifestyle. And chefs are also cooking up their own brand of wellness with menus and cooking classes introducing healthful food as medicine.
If you're looking to get on board with the wellness trend and get in shape, there's no better place to start than at some of the most beautiful beaches and resorts in the Caribbean. Take BodyHoliday St. Lucia for example, one of the most renowned properties for wellness, which offers an intensive and customizable program with a variety of alluring spa offerings, Ayurvedic cuisine and a Zen-like atmosphere. At distinctive Caribbean resorts, each with their own unique approach to wellness, you can customize your experience based on your specific goals and establish long-term lifestyle changes back at home. Keep reading to start planning your wellness-inspired retreat this season.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis
St. Thomas Parish, Nevis
Located on Nevis' picturesque western coast, along the golden sands of Pinney's Beach, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis is one of the latest Caribbean resorts to create a program in response to the wellness boom. "Guests of Four Seasons Resort Nevis can work hand in hand with the spa team to customize their very own wellness program," says Bruce Lawrence, the resort's spa and fitness director and industry veteran. "In a private meeting, goals and needs are discussed, and a personalized set of offerings is presented from therapeutic treatments using herbs from the garden to varying degrees of active pursuits, such as yoga, hiking and biking," he explains, adding, "Guests are also able to discuss their dietary needs with our culinary team to customize their meals to correspond with their wellness program.”
To maximize the spa experience, guests are encouraged to alternate between hot and cold pools in the spa's gardens prior to treatments to improve circulation and relax the muscles. Afterward, guests can listen to the serenity of the trickling waters while taking in views of Mount Nevis overhead, which create the perfect environment to drift into mindfulness, before enjoying a signature spa treatment. For an indulgent treatment, try the World Tour Experience, where the therapist focuses on aromatherapy to stimulate the senses and uses ancient Chinese and Indian techniques to help induce a state of calmness, with the goal to balance and detoxify the body.
To get a head start on continuing your wellness program at home, book a healthy cooking class with chef Garrett Henry. First, visit the resort's garden to select fresh produce and herbs. Then, head to the beach where you'll learn how to prepare a healthy dish of grilled local fish with an array of colorful and flavorful vegetables.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba
Eagle Beach, Aruba
Located along one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Eagle Bay Beach, this intimate adults-only luxury resort, is focused the well-being of its guests as well as the environment. As one of the leading resorts in the Caribbean pioneering eco-friendly practices focused on sustainability, the resort's programs and thoughtful touches are integrated to help restore the body, mind and soul.
"We understand that all guests have different wellness goals," says Ewald Biemans, owner and managing director of Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. "We therefore offer a full-time wellness specialist who creates tailor-made programs for individual guests participating in the program. The program offerings include fitness, mindfulness, nutrition consultation, menus for special dietary needs and a long list of wellness activities and spa treatments," he adds. These activities include individual meditation sessions, yoga and Pilates in their private thatched wellness hut, tai chi, qi gong, personal trainers, nature walks, a reflection hour with a horse and paddleboard yoga.
What's more, their certified wellness specialist sends questionnaires to guests prior to their arrival to address their concerns and goals. Specified treatment options may include signature therapeutic massages or detoxifying wraps at Purun Spa. Elements Restaurant is also focused on offering healthy options and addressing guests' dietary concerns with smaller, European-sized portions made with fresh organic ingredients, including pasture-fed beef. In addition, the restaurant offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free choices.
COMO Parrot Cay
Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
This award-winning luxury resort and spa retreat, located on a private island northeast of Providenciales in Turks & Caicos, features a wide range of holistic therapies in its sanctuary pavilions overlooking the island's lush vegetation and wetlands rich with birdlife. With a more structured approach to wellness, which includes a Pilates studio, yoga studio and pavilion, twice-daily complimentary fitness, yoga, and Pilates classes and Japanese baths, this resort also boasts the only on-staff Ayuverdic doctor in the Caribbean and North America.
"COMO Parrot Cay is the perfect balance between luxury, relaxation, culinary experience and wellness approach; all on an exceptional white powder sand beach," says Thibaut Asso, regional director of sales and marketing for COMO Hotels and Resorts. "This is what I love most about this unique property. It allows our clientele to come back to the basics: enjoying their time. Of course the beach is a predominant activity as we have exceptional turquoise waters right in front of us, but what make this place so special is having the choice. The choice to do something or not. The wellness approach itself is a long-term wellness vision, what you will learn from our unique doctor. Ayuverdic, for example, will have impact on your future and how to reach your goals," he adds. Water sports, including kayaking through the mangroves, biking and hiking, are also available to guests.
For healthy dining alternatives, the property's signature COMO Shambhala Cuisine is a focused nutritional concept that incorporates organic ingredients, many of them raw and vegetarian that are rich in living enzymes along with vitamins and sea minerals.
[See: 10 Under-the-Radar Spa Retreats.]
So, before you sign up for a spring break to get in shape, consider what you really want to accomplish. These three wellness resorts have different programs and philosophies, depending on if your goal is to tone your body, relax your mind or reboot your emotional and mental well-being.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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