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Wellness Reboots: Four Vacations That Are All About Self-Care

Updated: May 26, 2023

Om here: Amankora Punakha Lodge in Bhutan.
Om here: Amankora Punakha Lodge in Bhutan.

How to feed the mind, body, and soul

We love the massage therapists, smoothie-bar mixologists, and trainers who transform trips into spells of bliss. But the health merits of getting back out in the world run more than skin deep: “The benefit of travel is having meaningful experiences that build into our personal biography – and then sharing those stories with others,” says Todd Kashdan, George Mason University professor of psychology and coauthor of The Upside of Your Dark Side. “Data shows that within the first four to five weeks after a vacation, you see an increase in job engagement; an increase in low-energy positivity throughout the day – contentment, serenity, tranquility; and a decrease in burnout.” Nourish your best self with these getaways.

For the Mind

In New York’s Hudson Valley, 36-room Troutbeck sprawls on 250 acres of land, encompassing meadows, wooded trails, two creeks, tennis courts, and a garden house – an atmosphere that has long attracted writers and naturalists (Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau among them). Last fall, the hotel expanded its appeal with the opening of The Barns. The Tall Barn, with 27-foot ceilings, offers meditation classes, rise-and-shine yoga, and mindfulness sessions, while the 3,500-square-foot Long Barn features a gym and treatment rooms for acupuncture, massage, and gua sha facial treatments (facial massage with a jade stone), all designed to relax the mind. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.

For the Body

Last June, the 103-room Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, Germany, met the pandemic with a new health program at its stand-alone, five-story Villa Stéphanie: a three-day course focused on boosting the immune system. Expect a medical consultation, oxygen inhalation treatments, and ozone therapy, as well as a customized diet, full-body massage, and more-holistic elements such as physical training and hiking. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 dining credit.

For the Soul

Where better to seek peace than in Bhutan, whose “gross national happiness” index famously informs daily life? Amankora comprises five lodges across the country, each built to meld with its environment, including Amankora Punakha, surrounded by rice terraces, and Amankora Bumthang, where visitors can join local monks in prayer. During the pandemic pause, the hotel planted several acres of sustainable crops to support local communities and staff. Doors reopened in March, and travelers can now visit monasteries and hike to ancient cliffside temples. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 resort credit.

The Med-Spa Makeover

Anyone who’s spent the past months trying not to notice their own laugh lines during Zoom calls might consider checking into a full-service operation, such as the 104-room SHA Wellness Clinic in Alicante, Spain, for anything from tooth whitening to detox to Botox. After the headache that was 2020, we say: Treat yourself. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $60 daily treatment credit.

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