It’s that time when you’re divvying up your travel budget and deciding how to best spend it this summer. Should you go on a busy trip filled with sightseeing and tours? Should you take a chill beach vacation? MMGY Global reports that Black consumers spent nearly $110 billion on travel and leisure in recent years. If you represent those travelers, choosing your trips wisely is important – you only get so many PTO days.
If you want your dollars to really go to work for you, a visit to a wellness retreat should be on the top of your list. Wellness retreats can rejuvenate and restore you in a way other types of travel simply cannot – sending you off into the world more productive and feeling alive. There’s proof to that statement, too. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that attending a one-week retreat can offer many health and wellness benefits that last for up to six weeks. But perhaps you’re not quite familiar with wellness retreats, like how they differ from a regular resort and what to expect. While wellness retreats and regular resorts can have some overlapping features, there are a few things that make a wellness retreat distinctly different. MADAMENOIRE will break it down for you below and list the top retreats to book a stay at.
Wellness Retreats vs Regular Resorts
You’ll eat healthfully. Because the goal of a wellness retreat is to send you home in better health, you won’t find onion rings or pina coladas with whipped cream at these. The on-site restaurants will focus on healthy foods. Some resorts have cafes with set daily menus that list the nutritional content of every dish. Others have full menus from which you can order a la carte, but the focus will still be on clean, lean dishes. In many cases, your meals will be included in the price of your stay because the menus are set for the week. You can often request menus based on your dietary needs, as well.
You’ll be busy. While you might spend a lot of your day at a resort lounging by the pool or beach, at a wellness retreat, you’ll typically be active. There is often a full calendar or activities meant to boost your wellness, from fitness classes to cooking classes to lectures given by wellness experts and gurus. These activities aren’t mandatory, but in order to get the most out of the retreat, you’ll want to attend as many as possible because the cost of those are usually included in the price of your stay.
You’ll stay on the property. A regular hotel or resort serves mostly as your accommodation, but you might leave the property often to sightsee and dine elsewhere. The idea behind a wellness retreat, however, is that you stay on the property. The staff has curated a full regime of activities and food options meant to enhance your overall wellbeing. And if you leave the property, you’ll miss out on those benefits.
Some are intentionally minimalist. Often resorts are rated by how luxurious and opulent they are. However, many of the best wellness retreats are intentionally minimalist in design and nature. Those focused on mindfulness and meditation often have simple rooms and décor throughout to reduce distractions. Many are set in beautiful natural landscapes and designed to have guests reconnect with nature and spend time outdoors.
Set Stay Times. Because guests will best reap the benefits of these retreats when they complete a full set of activities, many of these properties have set minimum stays. You’ll often find that you must book a minimum of three nights, or even a full week. As the research from Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine noted, guests typically need a full week at these retreats in order to fully feel their effects.
Benefits of Wellness Retreats
Different wellness retreats have different focuses. Depending on the type of wellness retreat you attend, you could enjoy a variety of benefits. Some include:
- Stress relief
- Nutritional education
- Weight loss
- Creative expression
- Networking with like-minded individuals
- Therapeutic treatment