Your Modern Day Eat, Pray, Love Guide to Wellness

Matthew Williams-Ellis/Courtesy Hotel Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

These are the best wellness retreats in the world where you can indulge in some self-care.

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and on the road to burnout is, unfortunately, a feeling a lot of people are way too familiar with nowadays. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take a few days off to unplug completely and treat your body and mind to some much-deserved TLC. Disconnecting from your daily routine (and all your devices) will help you focus all your energy and attention back to yourself.

That also means getting as close to nature as possible to meditate, practice yoga, and get back to being present in the moment. And while this is always easier said than done (quieting your mind in the middle of New York City is a feat of gargantuan proportions), fortunately, there are resorts where you can replenish your spirit and detox your body surrounded by peace and serenity. And you can do it all without sacrificing modern comforts and amenities, or taking a few months off Elizabeth Gilbert-style.

So if you are in need of some self-care, head to one of these luxury wellness retreats and get ready for a spiritual adventure of a lifetime.


Courtesy Soneva 

Soneva Jani, the Maldives

Reconnect with yourself and nature in Soneva’s newest wellness-focused resort located on the island of Medhufaru, part of an uninhabited cluster of islands in the Noonu Atoll of The Maldives. Unplug in your own overwater villa (the resort only has 24 of them so privacy won’t be an issue) with 360 degrees of unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean. Each two-story villa has its own private pool and direct access to the lagoon (some even have slides!) but the best thing about them is the retractable roofs in the master bedrooms so you can stargaze from the comfort of your bed. In fact, the resort has its own overwaterobservatory (a first in the Maldives) with resident astronomers that can teach you all about navigating the night sky.

Head to the resort’s spa, which includes a yoga pavilion and a gym (with sauna and steam rooms) or if you prefer, book a private yoga session in your villa or, even better, on the beach. The spa offers a variety of relaxing and therapeutic massages using techniques from all over the world (Balinese, Swedish, Thai, and Indian massages are just a few examples). Highlights also include a trio of Ayuverdic therapies that focus on relieving mental stress, joint and muscular paint, and improving concentration.

The resort also hosts world-renowned wellness experts and healers (like therapist Roger Moore) for a few weeks at a time so you can have a professionally guided experience for better results.


Matthew Williams-Ellis/Courtesy Hotel Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa

Alto Atacama, Chile

The otherworldly landscape of the Atacama Desert in Chile makes for quite the backdrop especially if you’re on a quest to find inner balance and peace. Thanks to its unique location—nestled between some of the tallest peaks of the Andes Mountains in the Atacama Desert and on the banks of the San Pedro river—the Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa invites its guests to “look less with your phone and more with your eyes.” And given the almost surreal vistas that open before you at every turn here including at night when the perfectly clear sky becomes the stage for a spectacle of countless stars, constellations, and nebulae, it’s really not difficult to forget all about the gadgets that modern life has brought into our lives, and just focus on life itself.

The resort’s Puri spa offers treatments inspired by the four ancestral elements—water, air, fire, and wind— meant to cleanse and reinvigorate the body and spirit. The six outdoor pools (including mineral baths) are the perfect spot to relax while enjoying the views and sipping energizing cold-pressed juice. There is a therapist on-site that can consult you on what type of herbal teas and juices to include in your diet for a healthy body detox.

Inside the spa, therapists use sounds, aromas, and organic local herbs to help you distress and heal. Of course, yoga and meditation classes are a given but here they are led in the shade of Algarrobo or carob trees that are half a millennium old.

Spend your afternoons exploring some of the most unique sights in the area such as the Valley of the moon, Tatio geysers, and the salt lakes.


Courtesy Capella Ubud

Capella Ubud, Bali

Usually, the words tents and luxurious don’t really go together but Capella Ubud is about to change that. Situated just 20 minutes away from Ubud—a town popular with yogis and the wellness-obsessed crowd—Capella Ubud is a newly opened ultra-luxurious tented camp nestled in the Balinese jungle among rice paddy fields and the Wos river. Of course, those are not your ordinary camping tents.

Architect Bill Bensley designed the 22 one-bedroom tents (each has its private pool) tucked in between lush trees on storied terraces overlooking the rainforest. Inside, an eclectic mix of furniture and décoritems paying homage to Balinese culture and the island’s colonial past.

The camp’s spa, Auriga, has a unique approach to self-care and treatments—everything is based on the cycles of the moon since it is believed that each phase of the moon impacts our bodies and mind in different ways. Naturally, some treatments are designed to reflect specific lunar phases so they are only offered once during every moon cycle. The spa also offers four-hour long wellbeing programs that are a combination of massage, beauty treatments, and a healthy organic meal.