Effective January 1, 2024, Departures® will no longer be available.

Card Members will no longer have access to Departures.com content or receive any print Departures magazines.

From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Life-changing Luxury Spiritual Experiences

Hit the reset button on your life with one (or all) of these incredible experiences.


A Guide to Copenhagen’s Architecture and Design


A Guide to Copenhagen’s Architecture and Design

Mette and Rolf Hay, co-founders and creative directors of Danish design brand Hay,...

A Year in Menswear


A Year in Menswear

The styles you couldn’t get enough of in 2023.

How the Gucci Loafer Became a Modern Icon


How the Gucci Loafer Became a Modern Icon

As its 70 years of illustrious history prove, the style makes a lasting impression.

When you typically think of having a spiritual experience, you might envision an Eat, Pray, Love-esque type of trip. But, feeling centered and getting zen doesn’t have to involve sleeping in an un-air-conditioned ashram with communal showers. As wellness tourism continues to rise—the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor recently confirmed that the wellness travel market is now worth $639 billion—luxury hotels around the world are offering exclusive enlightening programs with all the comforts of a five-star retreat. Here are 10 of the best ways to get in touch with your inner self while still feeling pampered.

Naya Traveler’s South India Wellness Wanders

Naya Traveler’s Wellness Wanders specialty trips are designed to detox, refuel, and rejuvenate the mind. They take place across the globe, but their South India trip is all about Hindu-inspired Ayurveda healing. During the experience—which is available November through May—you’ll meet with one of the most famous Ayurvedic doctors, Dr. Isaac Mathai who has treated royalty, to learn about your mind and body’s needs. Your third eye will be opened through the restorative Shirodhara therapy, and small pains will be treated with Ksheera Dhara, a specialized therapy for headaches, insomnia, and mental tensions. At the end of each day, you’ll be treated to a native therapeutic massages and natural anti-aging body scrubs. The journey ends on a secluded beach to process your in-depth experience and relax by the water.

Grotta Giusti’s “World’s Most Unusual Yoga Offering”

Usually, a vacation in Italy includes lots of wine and pasta. But, Italian Hospitality Collection’s Tuscan property, Grotta Giusti, wants the country to be known for its spirituality as well. How? Well, the historic Tuscan spa retreat is home to an ancient Grott—a thermal cave and underground hot spring lake—which famed composer, Giuseppe Verdi, regarded as “the eighth wonder of the world.” In this ancient wonder, the hotel now offers thermal yoga classes with a qualified instructor. Yoga is practiced in the natural warmth of this underground labyrinth amplifies sensations, aids concentration and raises body temperature while guests benefit from the therapeutic effects of the cave’s thermal vapors. The thermal yoga follows the floating therapy or scuba diving, with the once-in-a-lifetime experience topped off with an Ayurvedic Massage.

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown's Clairvoyant and Acupuncturist Session

New York City might not seem like the ideal place to feel zen. At The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, it’s a different story. Their Resident Healer Program makes it possible to feel centered in the center of it all. Dr. Deganit Nuur, a clairvoyant and acupuncturist, created the Nuurvana Method, which is based on traditional eastern philosophy that's said to integrate mind, body, and spirit. To do this, Nuur takes you through a 90-minute session that includes a clairvoyant reading, crystal sound bath, aromatherapy, chakra clearing, a wholly customized mantra, acupuncture, cupping, supplement and lifestyle prescriptions when applicable. No wonder she was was named “Top 15 Intuitives Globally” by Gwyneth Paltrow’s website Goop.

JW Marriott El Convento Cusco’s Coca Leaf Readings

Peru is known for its spiritual vibe. JW Marriott El Convento Cusco, a 16th-century convent turned five-star hotel, decided to lean into that notion by offering guests the opportunity to have an Andean priest lead a personalized coca leaf readings in the hotel’s colonial courtyard. What does that entail exactly? According to culture and traditions, the session offers a glimpse into your future. There is a translator available to facilitate the experience, during which the shaman throws a handful of coca leaves on a table and tells each guest their fate, inviting them to ask any questions. The session lasts around 10 to 15-minutes per person and is complimentary for guests.

Casa Palopo’s Sunset Ceremony with a Mayan Shaman

Set in a destination built upon ancient Mayan culture and practices, Casa Palopo—Guatemala’s first and only Relais & Chateaux luxury hotel—immerses guests in the country’s magical rituals, including personalized blessings and ceremonies led by a Mayan Shaman from the town of San Marcos. The blessing is held on the hotel’s helipad, overlooking the lake and volcanoes, where Tómas curates a special bonfire of sugary sweets, herbs and colorful candles for the Mayan gods, calling to the elements of fire, air, water, and earth. The Mayan tradition goes back for centuries and is a way for the priests to maintain their spiritual lives. Guests are asked to set their intent and purpose for the ritual, such as a call for healing, protection, cleansing of bad energy or clarity with life’s challenges.

Schloss Elmau’s Turtle Spa

Situated in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, Schloss Elmau has long been a wellness destination. But, one offering, in particular, is supposed to be holistically healing. The Turtle Spa, which promotes "deceleration" in life, is based on a combination of Schloss Elmau’s spa offerings and strategies from traditional Chinese medicine. They address all aspects of life with Qi Gong and Taiji exercises, five elements nutrition, European phytotherapy, and aromatherapy, and bring it back into balance. The treatments involve various methods such as acupuncture, cupping massage, Japanese meridian therapy, and auricular acupuncture. You’re meant to walk away with the “wisdom of the turtle."

Rosewood Mayakoba’s Marry Oneself Journey

There’s no more significant relationship than the one you have with yourself. That’s why Rosewood Mayakoba decided to create the Marry Oneself Journey, a unique personal retreat focusing on self-love. The personalized experience includes a series of guided rituals led by the resort's resident Shaman and spa experiences. And it’s not just a one-day experience, but instead, it takes place over three to four days. You’ll start with a private consultation with the Shaman who will create a customized itinerary, and then will be taught a spiritual lesson each day incorporating the four elements of the universe—earth, air, fire, and water—with daily guided activities focusing on self-love. The program culminates with a ceremony of self-commitment.

The James’ Four Bodies Wellness

New York is home to yet another spiritual program. At both The James New York NoMad and The James New York Soho, guests can partake in the unique Four Bodies Wellness program. While guests can access to TV workout sessions, complimentary one-month membership to the INSCAPE app, and in-room TV Kundalini Yoga, you can book one-to-one sessions with various intuitive counselors, including astrology birth chart readings, transformational coaching, tarot reading, hypnosis, reiki healing, and sound healing. These are all available as part of the “Readers on Room Service” menu and will tailor a healing session based on your needs.

Mii Amo’s Interactive Aura

Nestled in the stunning red rocks of Boynton Canyon, home of the world’s most powerful energy vortexes, Mii Amo is a spiritual haven for those seeking rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spirit. While they offer natal birth chart readings with master astrologers, hypnotic past life regression sessions, and personalized intuitive readings, the Interactive Aura Photography is truly a unique treatment. A photo is taken that's said to capture the incredible colors of your aura/energy field. That photo is then analyzed, and the meaning of the colors in your aura are explained as well as the seven chakras and how the energy flows within your body. The idea is that when you learn to become more aware of your energy field you better balance all areas in your life.

Essentialist’s Sacred Retreat

Exclusive travel planning company Essentialist recommends one of Santa Fe’s better-kept secrets as the ultimate place to soothe your mind, body, and spirit. You’ll use the Inn of the Five Graces—a 24-suite hotel— as home base for exclusive healing experiences. From the luxury property, you can escape to Sunrise Springs, which is considered sacred by the Native American tribes of Northern New Mexico. There you meet Jessica Ibarra, a Curandera in the Mexican healing tradition, tarot card reader and trained in disciplines such as Reiki. She will lead you on a spiritual journey connecting you with both yourself and higher powers. You can also partake in an authentic Native American sweat lodge ceremony before returning to the intimate hotel.

American Express Platinum Card® Members receive complimentary Fine Hotels & Resorts® benefits when they book with American Express Travel. Terms Apply.


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.