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Unique Retreats to Revitalize Your Mind, Body, and Soul


Lux* South Ari Atoll, Maldives

From the outside, this may seem like a luxury resort: pristine blue waters, white sandy beaches, and first-class service. The team at Lux*, however, have so much more in store for their guests. Personalization is key, with a wellness concierge planning your stay from start to finish. Want to burn calories? Head to the gym with a personal trainer, or dive into the aquamarine waters in search of whale sharks. The spa focuses on four guiding principles: relaxation and stress relief; anti-aging and rejuvenation; cleansing and detoxifying; and weight loss and toning. Its 60 treatments range from massages using essential oils created especially for Lux*, to innovative facials like the Intraceuticals treatment, which uses hyperbaric oxygen to infuse professional-strength serums into the skin.

From AED2 800 all-inclusive per night.


The Ranch, Malibu, US

Leave your electronics at home as The Ranch, located in the Santa Monica Mountains, has little to no reception. Its weeklong program, limited to only 18 guests and popular with celebrities like Selma Blair and Mandy Moore, is all about creating sustainable results for your mind and body. Known for its early starts and four-hour group hikes each morning, The Ranch operates on a “no-options” philosophy – meaning you can’t hit the snooze button. There is, however, nap time, before an afternoon of fitness classes and a daily massage. The plant-based menu is pulled from its organic farm.

US $7 800 all-inclusive for the week.


Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, UK

Set among the sleepy valleys of the English countryside, Wilderness has redefined the meaning of the festival. Held on the first four days of August, the festival offers four music stages, as well as wellness workshops and foodie experiences. The boutique camping option includes a concierge service, luxury bathroom facilities, and a grooming parlor. Swim or do paddleboard yoga in one of the three lakes, or row off into the sunset. You can also book a massage or facial at the lakeside spa, where wood-fired hot tubs are nestled between oak trees. World-renowned chefs will fuel you up for the evening’s festivities at one of the Long Table Banquets before you dance the night away to the likes of Groove Armada and Robyn.

Tickets from £189 per person.


Soul & Surf, Sri Lanka

The south coast of Sri Lanka plays host to a 12-bedroom hotel surrounded by lush jungle. Those looking for a little adventure alongside relaxation can book seven nights filled with surfing, yoga, and meditation. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, you can enjoy some of the best waves the world has to offer twice daily, with a video feedback session and surf theory lesson too. Vinyasa flow and yin yoga classes are also included, with massages an added extra. Not into surfing? Packages that focus on yoga and treatments are on offer.

From £820 a week.


Yoga & Horse Soul Desert Retreats, Jordan

Led by yoga teacher and equine-assisted coach Sandra Jelly, your nine-day journey begins at Madaba, before moving to Wadi Rum, Petra, and the Dead Sea. Every day is different, as you sleep under the stars or in a Bedouin tent. Expect yoga and chakra meditations, as well as horse soul sessions, where you learn what they pick up about your subconscious patterns and physical reactions. You will also visit heritage sites and initiatives that support local culture and traditions.

US $1 660 for nine days.


Shreyas, India

The seven-night Mouna retreat helps you completely calm your mind and realign and reprioritize your life. Days two to five are spent in silence, and the week is filled with meditation, breathing exercises, and reading. A handbook is provided for guests to write down their thoughts and emotions. The retreat is aimed at those who suffer from insomnia, high blood pressure, stress, and burnout, with wellness consultants on call to answer any questions and talk through the experience.

Seven-day Mouna retreat from US $2 290.


The Farm at San Benito, Philippines

Diagnose, cleanse, nourish, repair, and sustain – these are the key elements of The Farm at San Benito’s all-inclusive programs. Plus, you can do this with your beloved furry friend in tow. The all-vegan resort is full of animal lovers, with its own resident pooch. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, undergo a cleanse, or unload stress, its programs will restore your body from tip to toe.

Two-night Holistic Wellness program from US $580 per night.


Al Faya Lodge, Sharjah, UAE

Located at the foot of Mount Alvaah in Sharjah, the Al Faya Lodge is surrounded by a dramatic desert landscape. Previously housing a clinic and a grocery store the two single-story buildings constructed in the 1960s have been transformed into a boutique lodge and restaurant. A purpose-built spa building offers an open-air saltwater pool and three salt spa experiences. To be booked in its entirety, the lodge and its spa are available exclusively to its guests. A seamless journey through outdoor and indoor spaces offers moments of calm, where at times views of the sky revives the body and spirit. A self-service concept means guests have complete privacy as they move through the heat, water and salt inhalation experiences. For those looking for something extra a full range of services can also be booked including herbal compresses and massages.

From AED 1 000 per day.

Originally published in the July/August 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia

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