Fine-tune the inner-you and go on a different kind of journey with these renowned holistic and spiritual spa offerings. You may discover more than you bargained for…
BEST FOR MEDITATION
Ananda, Himalayas, India
When it comes to spiritual retreats, Ananda, set in the foothills of the Himalayas, is the holy grail. Based near to Rishikesh in north India, the birthplace of yoga, it’s renowned in particular for its expertise in Ayurveda, yoga and meditation, and offers a rounded wellness experience to a stella guest list from its sprawling spa.
Launching in December, and tackling both body and mind, is a new Yogic Cleanse programme. Led by Ananda’s Yogic Master, Kirit Thacker, it will feature Hatha yogic cleansing techniques, known as Shatkriya, to naturally detoxify the body. Meditiation practices, such as Trataka, yogic breathing techniques and an Ayurvedic diet will also be the focus during the seven or 14-day programme. The result being a detoxified mind and body and possibly a new you.
From £710 per person per night; anandaspa.com
BEST FOR STRESS
Como Shambhala Estate, Bali, Indonesia
Feeling frazzled and out of sync? Then book in for the four-day Stress Management course at the idyllic Como Shambhala Estate in Bali. Private therapeutic yoga classes, wellbeing lectures, massages and aqua therapy are all included, as is the aide of a personal assistant. Not that you’ll have much call for one of those here. Simply meandering around this magical hideaway will bring your blood pressure tumbling down and the outside world forgotten.
A backdrop of exotic blooms, dramatic bamboo trees and gurgling waterfalls will make you feel that life is very good indeed. Add in the uber healthy menus, antioxidant juices and stylish rooms, and you’ll be practically glowing before the week is out.
From £2,324 for a four-day retreat, for two people sharing; Comoshambala.com
BEST FOR POSITIVE THINKING
Lucknam Park, Bath, UK
This country house hotel set in a pristine 500-acre estate may look olde-wolde, but appearances can be deceptive. Aside from the romantic décor and Michelin-starred restaurant, Lucknam Park is also home to a cutting-edge Wellness Centre. Perfect for those whose personas tend to darken with the onset of winter is the Haslauer Reflective Sunlight Therapy. This is the only UK hotel to offer the treatment, which helps sufferers of SAD by giving a boost of artificial sunlight and the accompanying beneficial vitamin D (without the dangerous UV rays) in a specially devised suite. Combine this with a Mindful Cooking course, where you’ll learn the basic principles of mindfulness in relation to creating nourishing meals, and you’ll depart with a sunnier disposition.
Haslauer Reflective Sunlight Therapy from £30 for 40 minutes; one-day cookery courses from £175 per person; lucknampark.co.uk
BEST FOR INNER PEACE
Serenity Retreat, Lefkada, Greece
Set up by zen meditation teacher, Kim Bennett, Serenity Retreats are aimed at solo travellers looking for self-development. The week-long retreat has an easy-breezy approach and while there are mindfulness walks, guided meditations and excursions on offer, nothing is compulsory. “Our emphasis is on giving our guests space and so there is no obligation to do anything at all when you’re with us,” Kim says. “Our accommodation is on the beach and we actively encourage our guests to sit and do nothing other than watch the sea and the mountains for a restorative effect.”
From £399 per person per week, serenityretreat.co.uk
BEST FOR YOGA HEALING
Reclaim Yourself Retreat, Suffolk, UK
Kick-start the New Year as you mean to go on by booking in for a rejuvenating Detox Yoga weekend. Taking place in an atmospheric 16th-century house just outside the pretty village of Lavenham in Suffolk, it will offer dynamic flow yoga, meditation, hot stone and sports massages and detoxing foods. You’ll leave feeling more energised with improved muscle tone, glowing skin, supple joints and increased flexibility.
From £375 for the weekend, 30 January-1 February 2015; reclaimyourself.co.uk
BEST FOR INSOMNIA
SHA Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain
Sleep deprivation can affect all areas of your life and can be the cause of premature aging, among other health problems. The luxurious SHA Wellness Clinic, set in the mountains near Alicante, and which boasts an A-list clientele (think Kylie, Naomi and Gwyneth Paltrow) has made its name as one of the world’s leading clinics by blending Eastern philosophies with contemporary Western techniques. Its seven-day Sleep Recovery Programme is a case in point. The extensive, tailored programme includes medical consultations, night polysomnographic diagnosis, sessions with a personal trainer, consultations with a psychologist and a wealth of activities and treatments. Get ready to hit the snooze button.
The SHA Sleep Recovery programme costs from £2,196 per person based on a seven-night stay, not including accommodation; shawellnessclinic.com
BEST FOR STANDING TALL
Lefay Spa, Lake Garda, Italy
Improve your posture, and you can also improve your mindset. A sojourn at Lefay Spa, set on the shores of Lake Garda, will also help. Calling on the principles of ancient Chinese medicine, it offers a five-day posture package. Designed to rebalance energy lines, you’ll also experience Chinese manipulative therapy, flotation treatments and massages to regulate the muscular structure of the body. Special osteopathic treatments, such as an innovative craniosacral biodynamic treatment, can also be added in to intensify the effects.
The postural programme including full board is £1,717 for five nights; Lefayresorts.com
BEST FOR SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
Shanti Maurice, Mauritius
Simply being in a beautiful setting does wonders for the soul, and Shanti Maurice certainly delivers on that front with its tropical gardens and picture-postcard beach setting. It also goes one step further. The Holistic Bio Station, in the resort’s renowned Nira Spa, focuses on holistic treatments to achieve a balance between the inner and outer self. The Shanti Touch, for instance, involves a variety of rhythmic flowing movements that treat the back, shoulders, neck and scalp while releasing deep-seated tension and stress. The Express Longeavity Therapy will also awaken the senses via Kabat massage to rejuvenate the face and activate the body metabolism.
Seven nights costs from £4,305, based on two people sharing on a half board basis; shantimaurice.com
This feature can also be found in today’s Metro Newspaper