World's best wellness resorts – USA TODAY

Everyone wants to go on vacation. Escape from work, get away from all of the other duties of everyday life and really relax. But think back to your last trip. How relaxing was it really? Be honest.
We hope you’re reminiscing to a rejuvenating getaway right now. But if your last vacation involved more stress than rest, maybe you’re ready to consider taking your time off to the next level.
Here’s a pretty silly question: Which sounds better? Going on vacation or retreating to a world-renowned wellness resort? Yeah, we didn’t have to think too hard about that one either. From estate palaces in India to rustic lodges in Yosemite’s backyard, these serene sanctuaries are among the most highly rated health and wellness leisure destinations on the planet. No matter what your favorite way to relax is, these 12 resorts offer unique and rejuvenating experiences for everyone from the dedicated, meditative yogi to the most active of outdoor adventurers.
Ananda in the Himalayas
Unite your body, mind and soul while surrounded by the awe-inspiring nature of the Himalayan foothills. This top-notch destination spa prides itself on an expansive palace estate complete with (just to name a few things) a private spa, a full-size jogging track, an amphitheater, a pool and a few private villas. Ananda sets out to rejuvenate guests through Ayurveda (or traditional Indian medicine), and each stay includes everything from traditional Indian healing experiences and meditation practices to yoga, golf, personal training sessions and more.
Miraval Resort
Situated on the outskirts of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Miraval’s accommodations are aimed at wellness enthusiasts of all kinds. From photography to horseback riding and outdoor adventure challenges to their “anti-inflammatory” kitchen, this rustic resort leaves no area of health, wellness or fitness uncovered. A focus on sustainable living serves to help guests achieve physical, emotional, spiritual, social and intellectual balance in their lives.
COMO Shambhala Estate
This off-the-beaten-path wellness spa redefines the phrase “get away from it all.” Tranquil, serene and quiet are all words frequently used to describe COMO Shambhala, which uses a holistic approach to inspire its guests to embrace health and fitness for life. Here you’ll find world-class fitness facilities, state of the art spas and spa treatments, and plenty of open-air activities including hiking and climbing.
Kalon Surf School
Dominical, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
Learn to surf amidst the majestic beauty of Costa Rica’s stunning jungle-bordered beaches. The Kalon school welcomes surfers of all levels and offers an all-inclusive, seven-night “surf week” package that includes daily personalized surf coaching, fresh food prepared by a private chef, Pilates classes and a mid-week hour-long massage. All this while lodging in their private “boutique style surf hotel.” This retreat is perfect for the active adventurer looking for the perfect balance between exhilaration and relaxation.
Canyon Ranch Resort
Also located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson, a visit to Canyon Ranch goes above and beyond the typical vacation by promising a path to achieving true health and vitality. With deals and packages for first-time guests, corporate groups and students, Canyon Ranch welcomes wellness junkies from all walks of life. With over 40 different fitness activities to choose from like squash, underwater treadmills and high rope adventures there’s no chance you’ll ever be bored. Plus, you can induldge in an endless menu of services at the ranch’s 80,000-square-foot luxury spa or seize an opportunity to work with experts like nutritionists and health coaches that can help you learn how to enhance your entire life.
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa
Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia
A typical day at this weight loss-focused wellness and lifestyle retreat includes an early morning yoga class (preceded by an herbal tonic protein shake, of course), four hours of hiking followed by detox and nutrition seminars, an evening workout class, and to top it all off, a relaxing spa treatment before bed. Mountain Trek predicts an average weekly weight loss of 4-6 lbs. for women and 8-10 lbs. for men. What’s more, they aim to help retreaters develop new habits and attitudes that they can implement upon returning home.
Red Mountain Resort
Ivins, Utah
Hiking, group fitness classes, private training sessions and a long list of nearby outdoorsy destinations are all part of the package when you book a stay at Utah’s Red Mountain Resort. When you’re finished meeting your physical activity requirements for the day, enjoy a healthy, wholesome meal followed by a top-of-the-line spa treatment. And if you’re really into wellness, check out their “whole body wellness” program, which will analyze every aspect of your health, all the way down to your bone density. (No, really.)
Omega Institute
Rhinebeck, N.Y.
How long can you live without your cellphone? Contemplate that question before booking a bunk at this R&R center in Rhinebeck, New York. Cellphone use here is discouraged, but with so much to do, maybe (emphasis on the maybe) you won’t even miss it. Outside of your scheduled wellness workshops the rest of your stay is up to you. Lie in a hammock near the lake or take a walk on one of the campus’ scenic walking trails; here, activity is encouraged and relaxation required. Omega is all about “unplugging.” So there are no phones, TVs or Wi-Fi in any of the lodging facilities. But don’t freak out: if you absolutely have to, you can connect at the campus cafe.
Rancho La Puerta
Tecate, Mexico
Fitness, mindful meditation, nature exploration, painting and cooking are just a few of the activities to choose from at this extra-active retreat just south of San Diego. From Pilates to pottery the Rancho La Puerta (in English, “ranch of the door”) invites you to “open your door to a healthier more balanced life.”
Spirit Rock
Woodacre, Calif.
Lovers of relaxation looking for a place to practice uninterrupted meditation can retreat to Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. Less a resort and more an educational institute, Spirit Rock is dedicated to the teachings of Buddha and centers its inspiration around the dharma, or “the deepest truth of life.” Silent retreats are their specialty, so those looking for a true sense of stillness and serenity are most encouraged to register.
Maya Tulum
Tulum, Mexico
No time is a bad time to travel to this tropical seaside resort. Tulum, Mexico, is blessed with wonderful weather year-round and the Maya Tulum wellness retreat welcomes guests to the truly tranquil surroundings of the Yucatan Peninsula. An all-inclusive “Mind Body Spirit” package here includes seven serene nights with three healthy meals each day, two spa treatments, two half-day excursions and a whole lot of yoga (two sessions daily). And if that’s not enough “ohm” for you, try choosing from more than 50 of the resort’s upcoming yoga and meditation retreats.
Tenaya Lodge Yosemite
Fish Camp, Calif.
Hike, bike, climb, skate, swim or ski at this outstandingly active resort just outside of one of our nation’s most famous national parks. With packages for families or couples and a never-ending list of seasonally themed vacation bundles, Tenaya truly offers something for everyone. Try a big tree tour or a whitewater river adventure while residing in the main lodge or a private cottage. Whether you’re traveling with a large group or retreating away for some alone time, there’s no doubt you’ll leave this resort feeling energized and invigorated.


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