If the new year’s festivities have taken their toll you may be thinking about booking yourself into a health retreat. We’ve picked seven of the best and most beautifully located places to cleanse the system, take some time out and probably drop a couple of pounds at the same time. Here are seven of the world’s best health spas and wellness retreats 2011:-
Best for serious detox - Jiva Healing, Goa India
If you’re a person who never does anything by halves and fancy a week of hardcore purging in beautiful surroundings then book yourself in for Juice Fasting Retreat in Goa, India. No toxin will be safe after enduring a tailored programme of juice fasting and cleansing designed to rid your body of all your seasonal sins. Also included in the programme are massages, yoga and meditation. Jiva Healing has an excellent reputation and only book small groups for a more personal touch. Still need convincing? Check out the before and after photos on their website.
- Juice Fasting Retreats and Healthy Eating Retreats Goa, India (February/March 2010)
- From £400/$636 per week
Best for spa lovers – Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Koh Samui, Thailand
Kamalaya is wellness centre centred around a monk’s cave on the gorgeous island of Koh Samui, Thailand. The centre prides itself on its peaceful and calming location and offers tailored programmes specifically designed to combat the modern problems of stress, burnout, weight control and other health ailments. Feeling a bit noncommittal? Just relax and enjoy the award winning spa instead.
- Prices from US$1,619.42
Best for a range of therapies - The Retreat, Bali
The Retreat is a wellness centre located away from the crowds on the east coast of Bali. With an emphasis on a combination of therapies as well as rest and relaxing the centre attracts guests suffering from diseases including Cancer and MS. The retreat offers all the usual nutrition, yoga and mediation programmes as well as astounding array of healing and wellness therapies and state-of-the art equipment (including stuff you’ve probably never even heard of) from infra red sauna, ozone therapy, oxygen therapy to bio-magnetic resonance. Stay from to 3-30 days.
- From US$220 per night
Best for escapism - Chiva Som, Hua Hin, Thailand
Chiva Som is a particularly atheistically pleasing resort. Here you can relax by a pristinely kept swimming pool, perfectly landscaped gardens with pretty orchids, manicured lawns and huge banyan trees. Come here to detox and to truly get away from it all. If you select a five night package this includes a monitored cleanse, herbal detox supplements, a ‘cleansing cocoon’ and a physical analysis. Other therapies offered are a colonic hydrotherapy, massage and tai chi.
- From US$515 per night
Photo: Sami Taipale
Best for getting into shape – Kangaroo Island Health Retreat, Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Kangaroo Island’s Health Retreat was voted one of the world’s best health retreats (by Harper’s Abroad). The centre is run by Sue McCarthy who has 30 years experience of health, anatomy and nutrition and uses this experience help people lose weight, de-stress and increase their fitness. The Retreat probably isn’t for the faint hearted as each morning begins early at 7am with a litre of water and a three kilometre walk. The rest of your day includes nutrition workshops, pilates, a plunge-pool ritual, swimming and more walking. However, the exceptional results speak for themselves.
- $2600 for 6 nights
Best for rustic charm – Rancho la Puerta, Baja California, Mexico
This Rancho la Puerta is a true institution in North America and has been helping rid people of their ills since 1940. Founders Edmond and Deborah Szekely were health and wellness pioneers preaching the threats of cholesterol and processed foods long before these ideas were even heard of. Book a stay in the charming casita style accommodation, follow the health and fitness programmes, enjoy the organic food and luxury spa amenities and go home happy, healthy and glowing.
- Rates from $2,000 per week
Best for Yoga enthusiasts – Quinta Mimosa, Portugal
Yoga has now become a de rigueur pastime for celebrities although if you fancy getting back to basics check out Qunita Mimosa, a small and rustic yoga retreat and the Algarve’s best kept secret. Wake up to yoga classes in a fully equipped airy studio, take a stroll in the orange groves before breakfast, meditate by the pool at lunchtime and squeeze in a spot of pilates before dinner. Food and tuition also provided.
- From £430/$684 per week