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Perhaps National Relaxation Day (on the 15th) and National Wellness Month (all August long) should be taken a little more seriously this year.
The burnout was real in 2020. And while there are endless ways to unwind, recharge and indulge in some self-care, there’s nothing quite like a luxury wellness retreat to truly escape the stressors of daily life. Relaxation is a great time to heal, assess our lifestyle choices and pinpoint which aspects of our health are in need of TLC. After months of shutdown, many luxury destinations are reopening as socially-distanced sanctuaries, with a ready-focus on wellness packages, meal plans with in-suite dining and fitness programs to help give us a jumpstart on our path to rejuvenation.
While most spas are operating on a limited menu of basic massage therapies, these hotels, resorts, and other venues have designed private spa packages and outdoor-centric experiences that naturally lend themselves to new health protocols, with social distancing and routine sanitization in mind. But before booking, make sure to track safety guidelines for reopening, as well as state-by-state travel restrictions, and keep your face mask just as handy as your yoga mat. In this new world of wellness travel, safety trumps self-pampering.
The Ranch Malibu
The Ranch Malibu in California reopened on July 5th and launched The Ranch Private, a seven-day tailored program for those who wish to retreat to nature. It’s designed to give guests (up to four per group) the opportunity to enjoy all the acclaimed amenities of The Ranch, but in more of a secluded state. Set on 200 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains, guests can take private hikes, outdoor fitness classes, daily massages and plant-based meals prepared by a personal chef.
“After weeks of home isolation, people are ready to go outside and move their bodies,” says Alex Glasscock, founder and CEO of The Ranch. “Our sequestered setting amongst a small group of fellow guests is the ideal destination to do just that.” Several safety precautions are in place, such as the installment of Molekule UV air purifiers in all massage cottages and the distribution of “Ranch Protection Kits” for each guest, which will include a mask, Ranch bandana, gloves and hand sanitizer.
The Ranch Private experience is available for $10,000 per person.
While most cities celebrate its own version of restaurant week, only Miami hosts its own Miami’s Spa Months. From August 7 to September 30, participating hotel spas and day spas across the metro area wind down the summer by offering up to 50% off services. The SLS Brickell, for instance, has designed two signature services for the occasion. Its Soft Like Swedish Hand & Foot Scrub allows guests to bask in a blend of lavender, marigold petals and Himalayan salt, for a low rate of $109. In addition to smoothening the skin, body scrubs are known to eliminate toxins and improve circulation.
The Royal Poinciana Plaza
Hotels are not the only places capitalizing on the jetsetter’s appetite for health and fitness. The Royal Poinciana Plaza is a luxury shopping destination in Palm Beach, Florida, featuring shops like Assouline, Hermès, Oscar de la Renta and more. While many of the stores have reopened, its spacious terrazzo walkways and lush courtyards allow for much more than retail therapy.
“The al fresco design of the property allows us to bring new offerings to our guests like Shop to Table, a monthly outdoor shopping experience, and Royal Sweat, a courtyard fitness series running seven days a week,” says Lori Berg, general manager at The Royal. The fitness series kicks off in September in its tranquil courtyard. At just $25 per class, shoppers have the opportunity to stretch, move and sweat under the shady palms with instructors from local boutique fitness studios, like Squeeze Pilates Palm Beach, Liv Fitness, and The Yoga Society Palm Beach. Because of limited class capacity and safety measures, online pre-registration is required.
SHA Wellness Clinic
Set in Alicante, Spain with views of the Mediterranean, the SHA Wellness Clinic has long touted the healing effects of its wellness programs, many of which focus on detox, weight loss and aesthetic treatments. But upon its reopening on July 22nd, the clinic (which has on-site residences) is doubling down on its medical-spa approach. Guests will get a checkup prior to and upon arrival, including an anti-body test. Immunotherapy and lymphocyte profile consultations will also be included in all bookings to assess the state of the guest’s immune system. The Rebalance Health Program will then offer a complementary tailored package for strengthening one’s immune system. SHA also offers a free “SHA Insurance” program, allowing for easy cancellation should the guest test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival. This is one addition to a variety of reopening measures recently announced, including UV technology and intensified cleaning protocols.
Casa de Campo
Some resorts are offering discounts and credits to entice guests. For those longing for the beaches of the Caribbean, anyone who books a Garden or Classic Villa at Casa de Campo before August 31st will receive 50% off as well as a $100 resort credit for stays of 3 nights or more. The villas offer a set of secluded private amenities such as breakfast prepared by a personal chef each morning, butler service, private daily housekeeping service, private round-trip airport transfers and a concierge to arrange for all sports and dining reservations. And for those who find golf more relaxing than any yoga or meditation session, villa guests will have access to the resort’s world-famous Teeth of the Dog golf course.
Lotte New York Palace
If you need an immediate escape from the madness of Manhattan, Lotte New York Palace officially opened its doors on August 10th. The ila Spa at Lotte New York Palace will offer unique, holistic treatments, and exclusive services. The Lotte’s recent partnership with ila, a luxury organic skincare line, marks the opening of the brand’s first official spa in the United States. While the ila Spa is still undergoing final renovations and is slated to open in the fall, guests in the meantime can enjoy a signature treatment in the privacy of their suite. The hotel’s renowned concierge services will seamlessly transform your room into its own mini-spa oasis, complete with the right scents and mood lighting.
Lotte Hotel Seattle
If you’re closer to the West Coast, the Lotte Hotel Seattle is also launching a fall experience. Beginning this September, its Le SPA de l’hôtel LOTTE will feature an expert team of certified massage and wellness therapists to act as “wellness concierges” during your entire stay. Le SPA will launch in partnership with Biologique Recherche, a luxury personal care brand that brings a clinical approach to beauty. The spa combines products made of pure ingredients with innovative procedures, the perfect recipe for relaxation just when we need it most.