Archive for the ‘health and wellness retreats’ Category

Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa: Lose Weight and Get Healthy with the Best

Delicious healthy cuisine

Delicious healthy cuisine

We’re always keen to find out the best local and global retreats for health and wellness. So, one of the big names who doesn’t get enough attention these days is the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, a 650-acre private wellness spa and weight loss health program located in Miami, Fla., complete with exceptional fitness trainers, award-winning chefs, nutritionists and renowned spa treatments. The center boosts tons of experts from health to nutrition and fitness to spa and wellness. People from all over the world travel to Pritikin to get their health back on track and get their bodies back in shape oasis near the warm beaches of South Florida. Spacious suites, gourmet meals, access to six board-certified physicians, a fully equipped gym with class offerings, healthy living education — you get it all. Pritikin is your escape to a better, healthier you. Especially when your goal is to overcome struggles with weight loss, diabetes, heart disease and more. With tailored programs to match your health needs, Pritikin makes it easy for you to choose a plan that fits your goals, while learning how to sustain weight loss and lifestyle changes.

Standard Double Accommodations

Standard Double Accommodations

With more than 35 years of experience as a premier health and wellness resort, Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa has become the longest-running and most successful program preventing and reversing health problems. Programs range from an all-inclusive one- or two-week program to specialty programs like:

  • Pritikin ICR: Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab
  • Weekend Health Retreats
  • Healthy Cooking 101
  • Diabetes Retreat
  • Women’s Health
  • Family Health Camp
  • Back to U – Pritikin University
  • Culinary University and more

A weeklong all-inclusive retreat with three meals a day, classes, and consultation is approximately $4,200/week.

COMO’s Latest in the Maldives: Maalifushi by COMO

maldives overwater bungalow

COMO Maalifushi Overwater Bungalow 

Now this is how to vacation in style. From one of our favorite hospitality groups, COMO Hotels and Resorts, has just introduced Maalifushi by COMO, a new property in the glorious Maldives. On the main resort island, tropical vegetation featuring exotic birds provides lush “curtains” for private rooms, suites, and villas, as well as Maalifushi’s ‘Madi’ restaurant, ‘Thila’ pool bar and lounge. Overwater accommodations, including a number of luxury suites and villas with private pools, as well as ‘Tai’ restaurant, can be found on the west of the island, all offering uninterrupted views across the ocean.  

Interiors throughout the resort are by Japanese designer Koichiro Ikebuchi; they bear the hallmarks of COMO’s signature, pared-back style, with locally sourced materials, natural light, and open vistas taking center stage. Officially open June 2014, the 20-acre secluded retreat and private island is the company’s second resort in the Maldives, and its first in the untouched Thaa atoll. Its sister property, Cocoa Island by COMO, located further north in the South Malé atoll, opened in 2002.

maldives como

Koichiro Ikebuchi’s locally sourced, natural style

The 66-room property’s overwater bungaloos are a shoe in for couples, while their garden accommodations are ideal for families with small children. The island’s white sand and bright turquoise lagoons are surrounded by a string of uninhabited islands, including another small piece of land belonging to the resort that can be booked for castaway picnics and romantic private dinners. I mean…M? Can life be this good? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. 

Rates begin at $650 per night for a Garden Room


Underwater, the Thaa atoll is a range of untouched corals, attracting a host of colorful reef fish and sea creatures. The area offers opportunities to spot Hammerhead and Whale Sharks, a rare treat for dive enthusiasts.


  • Three expansive, two-bedroom overwater COMO Villas
  • ‘Madi’ restaurant featuring all-day international, Maldivian, and healthful COMO Shambhala Cuisine
  • COMO Shambhala Retreat spa with gym, eight overwater treatment rooms, and yoga pavilion
  • On-island Dive Center and guided diving excursions led by a Marine Biologist and certified PADI instructors
  • Activities and excursions including dolphin cruises, fishing, snorkeling, and sailing


Maalifushi by COMO can be reached by a 50-minute seaplane ride from the Maldives’s main airport at Malé.

In Need of a Zen Retreat? Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, the Oldest Zen Monastery in the US, is Your Spot

A Yurt on the Tassajara Grounds

A Yurt on the Tassajara Grounds (c) David Silva

We have a thing for yurts. And, when you take a yurt and throw in some yoga, tasty vegetarian cuisine, and coursework with spiritual leaders helping you on the pathway to mindful living, what’s not to dig? To that end, every year, most people don’t know that the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center opens its doors to the general public for an annual guest season from May 1 – September 14, 2014. Zen and meditation seekers, yoga lovers, artisan foodies, and everyday people looking to unplug and rejuvenate are invited to experience a truly serene environment at Tassajara, the most remote and oldest Zen monastery in the United States, located 25 miles southeast of Big Sur, CA.
The Stone Room

The Stone Room (c) Ben Guevara

For the 2014 guest season, the Tassajara Program Schedule 2014 will offer up retreats in six specialty areas, all led by some of today’s leading teachers: Body and Mind, Mindful Living, Creative Expression, Engaging Earth, Spiritual Practice, and Zen Study & Practice.
Fine vegetarian cuisine

Fine vegetarian cuisine (c) Margo Moritz

This includes sessions/retreats that focus on all or some of the following: yoga, healing, culinary arts, and reawakening your wellspring of creative action by letting gifted artists help you become more open, confident, daring through words, movement, sounds, images, or the surprisingly powerful traditional ink brush.
Calligraphy (c) Mitsue Nagase

Calligraphy  retreat (c) Mitsue Nagase

Standout retreat leaders for the 2014 guest season include Zoketsu Norman Fischer (Poet, Author, Zen Buddhist Priest), Jane Hirshfield (Internationally Renowned Poet), Dale Kent (Author, Tassajara: Dinner and Desserts), Andrew Mellen (Author, More Love, Less Stuff), Marc Lesser (Google Meditation Workshops, CEO of Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute), Sessei Meg Levie (Google Meditation Workshops, Zen Buddhist Priest and Life Coach), Janet Stone (Celebrity Vinyasa Yoga Instructor), Donald Moyer (Founding Director, The Yoga Room, Berkeley, CA), and many others.
So go zen, mini-gurus.
Weekend rates for shared dorms start at $121 and private cabins and yurts from $267.

England, Wellness, and a Lovely Country Lodge

A Quintessential Country Inn

A Quintessential Country Inn

Oh dear old England… when I think about getting into a cozy sweater and sipping a hot toddy you are there. You’re also a lovely place for a summertime stroll in the country which is why we wanted to tell our readers about Dorset’s Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. They’ve just partnered their decadent surroundings with the expertise of Dr. Dorian Dugmore, CEO of Wellness Academy and one of the world’s leading wellbeing experts, for an indulgent weekend designed to educate and encourage couples to improve their wellbeing and lifestyles.

Yes, it's this lovely...

Yes, it’s this lovely…

The weekend aims to instill guests with a healthier attitude and confidence, featuring countryside walks through the neighboring 600-acre Melbury Estate and plenty of time to relax in Summer Lodge’s exquisite spa. Participants analyze their vital signs and attend various sessions with Dr. Dorian that focus on key lifestyle factors influencing health and wellbeing. Topics include the science of the feel-good factor, techniques for managing stress and reducing tension, and simple dietary changes that maximize energy and happiness.

What's a Wellness Retreat without quality cuisine?

What’s a Wellness Retreat without quality cuisine?

Additional wellness activities include a wine tasting with Summer Lodge’s award-winning sommelier, who shares the secrets to choosing a “healthier” tipple, and the development of individual wellness plans for guests. A special menu, utilizing the abundance of locally-sourced produce, will be served with recipe cards that highlight the nutritional benefits of each dish.

Gourmet Wellness for Couples runs at intervals throughout 2014, beginning the weekend of March 7, 2014.

The package is priced at $2,900 for two people staying in a Classic room, and includes two nights’ accommodations, breakfasts, lunches, a wine tasting and black tie gala dinner.

What’s New in Napa 2013

Calistoga Spa & Hot Springs

Relax in the Pools at the Calistoga Spa Hot Springs

Napa Valley’s upcoming grape harvest will bring with it a crop of new restaurants, lounges, organic-focused spas, major hotel renovations, and festivals.


  • Chanric Inn, Calistoga
    The Chanric Inn re-opens after a renovation by new innkeepers Joel Haddad and Jim Dollard. The owners’ backgrounds as designers, art curators, and leaders in hospitality are reflected in the property’s makeover, which features modern platform wooden beds, an outdoor pool surrounded by Provencal-style gardens, spa services, and a gourmet brunch prepared by the owners.
  • Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Calistoga

The focal point of the 18-month, property-wide renovation is the four geothermal- heated mineral pools that draw water from Calistoga’s natural springs. The guest rooms were redesigned with Italian porcelain tile showers and kitchenettes.

Harvest Inn, St. Helena

The Bucolic Harvest Inn, St. Helena

  • Harvest InnSt. Helena
    The new “Healthy Living in Napa Valley” package offers guests the best of Napa Valley’s outdoor adventures, food, wine, and relaxation. Included is a cycling excursion with Clif Family Winery at Velo Vin  followed by a post-ride wine tasting.  A 60-minute rejuvenating massage, $100 gift certificate to Cindy Pawlcyn’s Wood Grill and Wine Bar, and complimentary breakfast are also included. Available for travel now through November 15, 2013. Rates start at $575 per night.


The recently opened Spa at Napa River Inn is the only downtown Napa spa to exclusively offer organic, wild-harvested, hand-milled, and local spa products – including the inn’s custom-created Napa Valley Organics product line. All treatments are signature and exclusive to The Spa at Napa River Inn.

Napa River Inn

Take in the Views at the Napa River Inn


A celebration of film, food and wine, the Napa Valley Film Festival shows over 100 new independent films at 12 venues across the Valley. Over 300 visiting filmmakers will be present at screenings and intimate events.  For more information or to buy passes year-round, visit or call 707-226-7500.  


  • Mercantile Terrace, AndazNapa
    Downtown Napa’s new hideaway lounge features a sprawling California-style living area with comfy seating, communal tables, and outdoor crackling fire pits. A selection of artisanal wines, craft beers, cocktails, and small plates are on offer.
  • Napkins (website coming soon), Napa

Opening in September, Napkins will be downtown Napa’s newest destination for grabbing a late night dinner or cocktail. The restaurant will feature American cuisine with a global twist with menu items like, sandwiches, chops and pastas.

  • Flavor! Napa Valley (Nov 20-24)
    The third annual star-powered Flavor! Napa Valley wine and food festival will return November 20-24, 2013. This year, the five-day festival is adding new chefs, new sommeliers, new seminars, and more hands-on workshops. As always, participating chefs must have a restaurant in the Napa Valley or be graduates of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the beneficiary of the festival.

For more information visit

Is Biking The New Running?


The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

We’re starting to really see a trend – a demand for vacations that feature a bicycling component and while May is National Bike Month, we’re seeing trips for cycling enthusiasts pop up from Nantucket to New Zealand.  Adventure travelers are now seeking an endurance challenge that long-distance cycling provides; it’s no longer just about a quick-fix adrenaline rush.  Others enjoy biking as a way to stay fit on a vacation while exploring the destination. (Is it perhaps the death of the hotel fitness center?) By riding through a locale, travelers have the opportunity to meet new people, feel the fresh air, see the scenery, and venture off the beaten path.

Be it a Bhutan trek or a brewery tour, itineraries exist to suit all interests.

Here are some to inspire you!

1)      Cycle from Mountains to Monasteries

To fully engage with the Kingdom of Bhutan, its people, culture, and landscapes, there are few better ways than by bike.  One can bike the 350 miles between COMO’s two Bhutan properties, Uma Punakha and Uma Paro.  Highlights include the first designated mountain biking trail in Bhutan, a descent from the highest road pass in the country, a roundtrip ride in the magical Phobjikha valley, and cultural rides in the Paro, Punakha, and Haa Valleys.

Bike & Brew in Nantucket

Bike & Brew in Nantucket

2)      Bike and Brew on Nantucket

For bikers and beer enthusiasts, The White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet offer a “Bike and Brew” package for two that includes a two-night stay in a one bedroom residence overlooking the stunning Nantucket Bay, bike rental, tour of the local Cisco brewery, and a picnic to go.

3)      Heli-Bike in New Zealand 

Bikers at the Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand, can ride on the same trails as the world’s top mountain bikers by heli-biking.  Guests are flown to the mountains above Queenstown and are given the freedom to ride down at their own pace.

4)      6,000 Acres of Bike Trails on The Farm

While Queenstown caters to the thrill-seeking crowd, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke’s Bay of New Zealand offers three diverse trails across 6,000 acres of sheep farm, coastline, wetland, and wineries.

5)      Mountain Bike Treasure Hunt

Explore The New Forest, the original hunting ground of William the Conqueror, by taking part in a treasure hunt.  Chewton Glen in Hampshire, England, offers themed treasure hunts for teams of up to eight people, all armed with mission packs containing clues, photo challenges, digital cameras, and maps.  Treasure hunt themes include “The Olympic Challenge” and “The Italian Job.”

6)      Aquabiking: St. Barth’s Answer to Spinning

Sibarth, the trend-setting villa rental company on St. Barth, is now leading the latest fitness trend, aquabiking.  The underwater fitness equipment tones muscles with minimal joint strain.  Instructor Jean Marc Outil leads in-villa and pool sessions that involve a series of cycling rhythms set to his specially selected tunes.


Sibarth’s Aquabiking

7)      Bike Valet in Napa

Napa Valley visitors can experience miles of vineyards from the seat of a bike rather than through the window of a car.  Many Napa Valley hotels such as Solage CalistogaBardessonoAuberge du Soleil, and Villagio Inn offer complimentary bicycle rentals to guests, and some area resorts, restaurants, and other venues offer a bicycle valet service so that biking does not hinder the ability to shop along the way.  Many tour operators offer organized packages and guided bicycle excursions that include pick-up and delivery of wine purchases.

8)      Biking Adventure by Day, Casinos and Musical Performances by Night

Crystal Cruises offers offshore biking excursions, available for different age groups and skill levels, that feature historical monuments and famous restaurants.  New for 2013 is the “Montenegro Bicycle Discovery.”  Guests on this trek ride through olive groves with backdrop views of the Adriatic Sea and the bays of Herceg Novi and Tivat.  Along the way, bikers enjoy lunch at a restaurant with local specialties and panoramic bay views.

Bike Paris? Oui.

Bike Paris? Oui.

9)      Bike like a Local in Paris

Pavillon des Lettres and Pavillon de la Reine make it easy for guests to take advantage of the many bike routes throughout Paris with their complimentary bike service.  Parisians have long been infatuated with biking.  It has grown even more popular since the city implemented its bike-sharing service that provides 20,000 bikes and 1,800 stands that are available twenty-four hours a day.  Join the groups of fashionable Parisian cyclists on a ride along the Seine or through the Marais.

10)   Biking Globe Trekkers Choose Park Hyatt

Spin the globe and land at one of the 31 Park Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide.  The Park Hyatt Bicycle Valet Program invites guests to uncover the city’s best sites with the use of a bicycle and the following amenities, a lock, helmet, lights, pump, kickstand, bottled water, and biking maps.  From Beaver Creek to Sydney, bikers can explore their natural surroundings and find a shady spot to enjoy a gourmet picnic basket provided by Park Hyatt.

Fun Fact: According to a study in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal, just FIVE minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem.

Maui Wowie… Yoga-Style, Brah

The grounds of Lumeria Maui

The grounds of Lumeria Maui

We’re a little obsessed with yoga retreats… we know, we know. And, since we’re also Kama’aina (local Hawaiian, bradah), we wanted to share Lumeria Mauis latest. Lumeria Maui is Hawaii’s newest luxury retreat for yoga, well-being, and personal growth, if you must know, and they’re presenting Symphony Of The Senses with four retreats in 2013.  These retreats integrate yoga, music, movement, sensory awareness, nature, and gourmet organic cuisine (check!)  in, as they say, “a nurturing, supportive, holistic, and vibrantly energetic environment.” Certified Anusara teacher, Skeeter Tichnor, plans to facilitate the movement of energy in participants’ bodies through the practice of yoga.

The goal?

To guide attendees in accessing and experiencing beauty, peace and compassionate awareness. As a leading innovator of contemporary healing and transformational music, Peter Kater will also provide the soundscape to a deeper experience of our emotional bodies and a heightened awareness of our essential selves with music created specifically for these retreats.

A room at Lumeria

A room at Lumeria

The first retreat will consist of a four night and five day stay from April 27 – May 1, 2013 and starts at $1,500 per person based on double occupancy.  In addition to the retreat, this package includes three meals per day at Harvest Café as well as all classes, sessions, and on-property activities. The second immersion is a five night and six day retreat from July 20 – 25, 2013, which starts at $1,700 per person based on double occupancy. Dates and details on the last two Symphony of the Senses retreats are soon to be announced on Lumeria Maui’s website.

Lumeria encompasses six ocean- and mountain-view acres between the seaside village of Paia and the upcountry paniolo (that’s “cowboy”, for all you city slickers) town of Makawao. In addition to its 24 luxury guest accommodations, the retreat also features a spacious yoga studio, 900-square-foot outdoor yoga platform and 8,000-square-foot lower terrace suited for group activities. The Harvest Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with menus featuring local, organically grown produce.

Relaxing at Lumeria. Not too shabby, eh?

Relaxing at Lumeria. Not too shabby, eh?

Daily instruction in yoga and meditation are included with accommodations. Further education is made available through customized programs in therapeutic healing arts, water sports, personal growth and transformation, and the history and practices of indigenous Hawaiian culture. Located just 2.5 miles from the Maui’s famed North Shore, Lumeria Maui’s adventure experiences include surfing, kite-surfing, stand up paddle board and windsurfing sessions, all led by world-class athletes and instructors.

The property is a restored historic site, originally constructed in 1909, and features classic Hawaii-style neo-colonial fusion architecture. We love. In light of its adaptive reuse, the project is also listed in the National Registry of Historical Places, and was an honored recipient of a 2012 Preservation Award from the Historic Hawaii Foundation.

Now that’s da kine.

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