6 Affordable Wellness Vacations
Shake up your routine and get recharged and re-energized in these top retreats.
If you're looking for places to recharge, we've got you covered.(iStockPhoto)
As the year comes to a close and discussions start to center around New Year's resolutions, chances are you're clamoring to reset the calendar year with an enriching, wellness-inspired vacation. Whether you want to boost your personal and physical well-being with an active trip filled with yoga, hiking and fitness classes or relax and recharge with soothing spa treatments and nutrition consultations in a calming atmosphere, there are plenty of places to seek a much-needed reboot. And nowadays you don't have to spend a fortune on a wellness-centered retreat. "Wellness vacations have traditionally been associated with luxury, but thanks to the growth of the wellness travel sector and the increasing number of new options hitting the marketplace, there are now so many more affordable choices available," says Anne Dimon, industry journalist and CEO of wellness travel site TravelToWellness.com.
With that in mind, U.S. News compiled a list of top cost-effective wellness ideas to help you restore the body, mind and soul in 2017.
[See: 10 Under-the-Radar Spa Retreats.]
The Peaks Resort & Spa
Located in the heart of Telluride's Mountain Village, the Peaks Resort & Spa offers picturesque Rocky Mountain surroundings and ample opportunities to soak in the great outdoors and enjoy pampering at The Peaks Rejuvenating Mountain Wellness Spa. Inside the spa, you'll find cutting-edge facilities, from eucalyptus-filled Jacuzzi pools to Pilates studios to a mediation lounge. Aside from the chance to get replenishing treatments (think: hot stone therapies and rejuvenating treatments with lemongrass and other Thai herbs), you can sign up for a personalized yoga and wellness program. Dimon highlights the spacious 42,000-square-foot spa and stellar fitness classes as top selling points for planning a trip. Lessons include everything from yoga to tennis classes to private meditation and personal training sessions. And happily for price-conscious visitors, room rates are as low as $159 per night, Dimon adds. You can also book a Spa Escape package to take advantage of a $150 spa credit for stays that are three nights or longer.
The Resort at Paws Up
Alison Lewis, founder and editor-in-chief of Healthy Travel magazine, highlights the AdrenZen program at The Resort at Paws Up as a top program for 2017. From May 5-8, 2017, the resort will offer "its first-ever wellness weekend," she explains, pointing out that the AdrenZen also offers a reasonable package rate for guests. "You get to experience the best of the resort plus many special activities – both adventure and culinary-related – that you can't experience at any other time," she says. During the retreat, you can enjoy heart-pumping wilderness adventures such as horseback riding and mountain biking. Plus, the resort "will host their first Ranch-Athlon (a combination of ATV riding and rappelling) along with other adventures such as rappelling, fly-fishing, horseback riding, sunset hike, mediation hike, spa treatments and two yoga classes per day, including a vino vinyasa yoga class with special guest yoga instructor Kristin McGee from New York City," Lewis adds. You can also enjoy gourmet cuisine prepared from James Beard Award nominee Kelly Liken. Rates for Wilderness Estate suites start at $734 per person per night and include dining, lodging and fitness activities.
New Life Hiking Spa
If you're looking for a wellness retreat that's kind to your wallet, Dimon suggests heading to the New Life Hiking Spa, which was recently recognized in the "Best for Affordability/Budget" category in the annual SpaFinder Wellness Travel Awards for 2016. The retreat encourages visitors to commune with nature, with beginner, intermediate and advanced hikes along Appalachian trails. When you're not working up a sweat on the trails, you can get pampered with deep tissue and warm bamboo messages to eliminate muscle tension, among other therapies. For guests seeking an extra emphasis on fitness, the resort also offers nutritious cuisine designed to eliminate toxins and there are a variety of lectures and fitness classes, from water workouts to boot camps to yoga. The resort is open from May 11to Oct. 2, 2017, and offers inclusive packages, with a two- to four-night mini vacation packages starting at $249 per person nightly based on double occupancy that include lodging, dining and the resort's daily programming.
Well & Being Spa
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, and Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa Las Vegas
When it comes to wellness and travel, it's best to think outside the box, says Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, chief medical officer, expert in integrative medicine and founder of Well & Being, a spa program available at high-end resorts across the country that offers wellness services and training programs. "There are so many places that take you into nature that are affordable," she explains, emphasizing that health-seeking visitors need to broaden their concept of wellness, especially around nature, from cross-country skiing to horseback riding to strolling along tree-lined parks or enjoying nature hikes in America's beautiful national parks. For those looking to elevate their mind and body, Well & Being offers everything from customized Ashiatsu spa therapies to vertical wall yoga classes. For instance, at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, located in Arizona's Sonoran Desert, you can take advantage of daily fitness lessons and enjoy pampering spa treatments at a 44,000-square-foot facility. And budget-minded guests can pick from a la carte treatments or packages. Room rates at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess start at $169 per night.
Le Monastère des Augustines
Quebec City, Canada
"Le Monastère des Augustines, Canada's newest wellness retreat, has holistic roots dating back to the 1600s," Dimon says. Set inside the walls of Old Quebec, the retreat aims to blend nutrition, health and wellness with a holistic approach that includes customized lectures, recreational activities and packages with culture-focused activities. For instance, the Discovery and Balance package includes yoga, meditation and walking, along with all nutritious meals and admission to an on-site museum and heritage site. Even better, "[double occupancy] per person rates start as low as $155 Canadian (or $118 U.S.)," Dimon adds.
[See: 9 Ways to Travel Better.]
Art of Living Retreat Center
Boone, North Carolina
If your top priority is restoring balance and starting anew in the next calendar year, the Art of Living Retreat Center offers a tranquil escape to get recharged. "North America's premiere Ayurveda-focused retreat, Art of Living Retreat Center, has yoga programs priced at just $350 per person for the weekend including accommodation and meals," Dimon says. At the Shankara Ayurveda Spa, you can indulge in detoxifying body wraps, herbal exfoliation massages and other replenishing treatments designed to relieve tension, regenerate skin and energize your body and spirit. Aside from getting pampered at the spa, the Art of Living Retreat Center's programs – spanning from meditation retreats to happiness programs – allow you to enjoy yoga and daily meditation sessions and take in fresh air and picturesque scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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