Nora Zelevansky, CNN • Updated 18th January 2019

(CNN) — Once, a simple hangover breakfast might have sufficed for a reset on January 1, but not today: The world is moving lightning fast and keeping up doesn’t generally include taking a moment to breathe.

So, it’s no surprise that the retreat trend continues to grow: According to the Global Wellness Institute, worldwide wellness was a $4.2 trillion industry in 2017, with $639 billion dedicated to “wellness tourism.”

For 2019, people are once again turning to well-being retreats for a chance to escape, unplug, reset and start anew. And the definition of “wellness” continues to expand: “We have noticed a spike in travel requests that are spearheaded by a keen interest in wellness and spirituality,” says Sarah Casewit, co-founder of Naya Traveler, an international, women-run company that specializes in custom itineraries.

“People’s understanding of wellness goes well beyond a fancy spa and an infinity pool: [It’s] a wholesome, all-encompassing theme that explores the healing elements of physical treatments, as well as spirituality, cuisine and art, within the cultural context.”

Here, we’ve uncovered 11 holistic wellness retreat destinations around the world — with offerings from TED-style talks to ancient shamanic rituals — designed to help people relax, heal and get inspired:


Where: Playa Grande, Dominican Republic

When: Year-round

What: In 2015, lauded hotelier Aman made a trek into the Caribbean jungle.

The immaculate 25-casita, 2,170-acre property overlooks the ocean on one of the island’s most picture-perfect golden sand beaches — that’s situated between the two small villages of Rìo San Juan and Cabrera.

Their brand new holistic “Surf + Sun” experience blows away the average surf retreat by incorporating complementary energy treatments (with ceremonial palo santo smudging and indigenous healing larimar stones for chakra-balancing), yoga (specifically targeting lower back muscles that contract while riding waves), nourishing snacks and clarifying meditation with 2.5 hours of expert lessons, each day.

Signature Lunar Journeys — dictated by the position of the moon — are also favored by retreaters: the New Moon encourages fresh beginnings, Waxing Moon supports creativity, Full Moon inspires enlightenment and Waning Moon focuses on purification.

Don’t miss: Aman recently launched its own skincare line. Products from facial serums to smoked body balms are made with rare ingredients, sustainably sourced from their resort locales like pre- and post-monsoon jasmine from India and palo santo from D.R.

Amanera, Auto. 5 Carretera Rio San Juan – Cabrera, Rio San Juan, Republica Dominicana C.P. 33300, +1 (809) 589-2888 (…)

Start typing and press Enter to search

Send this to a friend