Wellbeing travel

7 unusual places to go guilt-free

With an outpour of yoga retreats and meditation facilities around the world, it’s safe to say the hunt for a mental detox has become a much calmer one. And more often than not, these retreats can act as a full-blown holiday in their own right; with the chance to have the hotel, restaurant and breathtaking location all fall under one convenient package. We’ve rounded up 7 of our own unusual wellbeing spots that combine maximum relaxation, minimum guilt and next to no email checking – so you can come back with your work-life balance very much in tact.

1. Get out of the city...

...and still be in the Big Apple. Ever heard of Collective Governors Island? Sounds like a land far away, right? Well, hop on a ferry from Downtown Manhattan, New York, and in eight minutes (five if you’re coming from Brooklyn),you’re in that far away land. Brimming with idyllic green spaces that overlook views of the Statue of Liberty, Collective Governors Island is a historical haven that gives ‘city break’ a whole new (guilt-free) meaning. As well as bike tours, art exhibitions and an array of hammocks to relax on, you can also rest your head in tastefully-furnished, luxurious tents that even have their own en-suite bathrooms and a nightly turndown service. And to top it all off, there’s an events calendar filled with performances and educational exhibits to get involved with, too.

2. Spa in Germany

More than a spa offering a few nice massages, the Bleiche Resort and Spa is a retreat located close to Berlin in the middle of the Edenic Spreewald. It’s a Star Spa Award–winning resort, around which, visitors have the chance to explore the green land of Spreewald where you can head on bike tours, explore museums – and other places of interest – or try your hand at stand up paddling, fishing, and more. When you’re ready for a bite to eat, the Michelin star in-house gourmet restaurant, 17fuffzig, offers dishes made with fresh regional ingredients for all types of appetites. And if you really can’t get away from the office, you can opt to use one of the meeting rooms that boast to give you a true taste of nature whilst working...after which, of course, you can relax in the country spa.

3. Get fit in Cyprus

Getting motivated for exercise can come in waves. Unless, of course, you’re thinking about exercising and overlooking some Mediterranean waves – then it might come a bit easier. That’s where Almyra comes in. Self-proclaimed as a ‘modern fantasy’, Almyra is a wellbeing utopia located on the picturesque island of Cyprus. As well as getting a taste of the sea with activities such as kitesurfing, sailing, snorkeling, or swimming in Almyra’s own pools, you can embark on activities such as hiking, climbing, yoga, pilates, golf, tennis, or even take the opportunity to join a triathlon camp if you’re feeling particularly motivated. And when you want a bit of respite from your fitness activities, the hotel has a fully equipped spa area and restaurant to suit all your needs, or there’s also a worthwhile sightseeing tour in the neighbouring city of Paphos.

4. The detox of all detoxes in Portugal

More than just a quick fix, the Vilalara Thalassa Resort encompasses everything you would want in an authentic detox facility: a personal health check, a biophysical evaluation, up to 5 meals a day, and full access to the Relaxation Area complete with sauna, turkish bath and fitness area. And in full wellness style, visitors are treated to two different types of baths aimed specifically to appease stress and fatigue – so you can come back to work feeling reborn and ready to take on your normal schedule again.

5. Be zen in Indonesia

It goes without saying that Bali comes to mind when we think of meditation retreats, so we couldn’t help but recommend one. Located in a spiritual sanctrum of jungle, river and sun-kissed spaces just north of Ubud, the COMO Shambhala Estate is a yoga and meditation retreat that’s largely rural. Here you can make use of their state-of-the-art facilities, the local sacred spring with healing properties, and, as well as offering massage therapies and beauty treatments, there are always workshops on offer depending on the time you go. Come here to retreat away in a space whose design gives a sophisticated nod to typical indigenous architecture, whilst being a wellness haven in the middle of the rainforest.

6. Curate your healing in Spain

The award-winning Sha Wellness Clinic (Condé Nast Traveller has dubbed it the Most Directional Clinic and given it many Spa awards) can be found hidden away in the Sierra Helada mountains of Spain. Rooted in physical and mental wellbeing, its programmes combine Eastern holistic healing methods with innovative Western technology, giving you the choice to focus on anti-stress, weight control and detox, fitness or recreation, to name a few. Whatever your needs, you can set your programme accordingly and curate outside of the office in true guilt-free style.

7. Globalise your coworking space

This one is for the truly work-driven of us. PACK is a coworking community and retreat frequented mostly by young professionals including founders, designers, entrepreneurs and freelancers. The idea? To encourage work productivity rather than escape it – even if you’re technically going on a holiday getaway. With PACK, you can journey around the world with a close-knit group of inspiring professionals, private accommodation and a strong wifi signal at all times. Whether you’re hopping on a plane to Sicily, Bali or Lisbon, your home office just became global, productive and full of adventures to explore.

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