Wellness travel is gaining in popularity around the world. Writer Mary Bemis shares where to go to find some of the latest trends in Wellness Travel.
With a focus on fitness, luxury spas are raising the bar for guests who want to stay in shape. From dedicating more space to smart new fitness facilities with top-of-the-line equipment, to creative classes for achieving specific goals, to taking it into the great outdoors—more resort and hotel spas are offering serious fitness programs for guests who place a priority on health and wellness.
Reboot Your Routine
In the ancient port town of Veli Losinj sits the simple and contemporary Vitality Hotel Punta, in Mali Losinj, Croatia. You can’t beat the location. Situated above the sparkling Adriatic Sea, this 45-suite, 244-room hotel was especially designed with health and fitness in mind. All programs are conducted under the watchful eyes of the stellar expert staff. A big plus is the cuisine.
Here, one may choose from menus that include vegan, macrobiotic, vegetarian, low-carb, gluten-free, and more. The staff includes a medical doctor and a sports dietician who can help you choose what’s best for you. There’s plenty to keep you fit and healthy: an outdoor Olympic length saltwater pool overlooking the sea; 13 clay tennis courts; a water-skiing school; wakeboarding; an outdoor artificial climbing rock; aerial yoga, Pilates and the like. Exercise rooms are real training facilities, staffed by expert trainers. (The gym, the PBS Centre of Sports Excellence, offers more than 3,000 special Body Techniques and the newest cardio equipment and isotonic machines.) You’ll also find plenty of coastal walking paths and hiking trails. This hotel, that prides itself on its sustainable efforts, is ECARF certified, meaning it is allergy-friendly quality tested. Of special note is the unfussy spa zone that uses natural and organic Croatian skincare lines.
Cycle Through History
If you love to cycle as much as I do, then put Mallorca’s Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa at the top of your list. Whether you’re a weekend cycler or triathlon trainer, the hotel offers the special opportunity to cycle through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s even a bicycle repair shop on property! Choose from a variety of offerings including one called Peak
Performance, designed by triathletes. You’ll really be able to zero in on your fitness goals with the help of the hotel’s able personal trainers. Hop on an excellent road or mountain bike, and choose an outdoor excursion over all kinds of terrain for all levels of rider. Don’t forget to book an exquisite massage afterward in the sumptuous Talise Spa.
Enhance Your Physical Therapy Regime
Hotel Adler Thermae is a gem in Tuscany fit for serious spa-goers. To me, it offers the best of everything: a true European thermal bathing experience, a sophisticated spa, amazing wine tastings in the property’s cellar, fantastic Tuscan fare (think lots of local produce), and some excellent options for immersing oneself in nature.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are wonderful new four-to-seven-night programs. They include trekking in Tuscany (the most difficult circuit is nearly 26 miles) and hiking tours in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of d’Orcia, as well as a road bike week with professional bikers from April on. Of special note are the Medical Spa and Fitness programs. They include physiotherapy and therapeutic treatments overseen by a staff of 40 members and medical doctors. For example, there’s the Harmonizing Backbone Treatment, the Healthy Back program, Hydrokinesiotherapy (a kind of kinetic therapy in a heated pool), and something called Tecar Therapy, meant to stimulate the body’s natural repair mechanisms. And if you’re feeling adventurous, don a pretty headscarf and take yourself out for a spin in one of the hotel’s legendary classic convertibles—Alfa Spider, anyone?
Combine Focused Training with Great Architecture
One of the best urban spa and health retreats to answer the call of the fittest is the new space at Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon. There’s a full 400-meter track located atop the roof of this chic urban property that offers pretty spectacular views over the city and the Tagus River. The new, sophisticated 7,500-square-foot fitness center is also located rooftop. It has floor-to-ceiling windows, top-of-the-line equipment, and a team of the city’s best professionals. Two studios within the center offer Pilates and Resistance Training. And there’s even a room dedicated to physical therapy with all of the best technology in physiotherapy. Within the Ritz Spa, you’ll find an 18-meter indoor pool and lounge area, as well as some of the best spa therapists. Some of whom visit from sister Four Seasons located around the globe, bringing a taste of their country and special healing arts with them.