Our spa trekker blogger and the founder of queenofretreats.com Caroline Sylger Jones shares her picks of the best retreats for those needing serious rest and rejuvenation
Danielle Marchant is an international board level executive coach and consultant with more than 10 years experience, so it’s pretty wonderful that she also offers retreats for individuals. Her three-day and five-day residential ‘Deep Pause’ retreats in rural Berkshire and Cornwall create a space where people can bring their ‘stuff’ and leave lighter. Danielle facilitates with a light hand and an engaged heart, and is a refreshing mix of pragmatic and soulful. There are indulgent touches such as ‘healthy’ raw chocolate truffles, a thoughtful welcome pack and a surprise glass of wine by a campfire – if having your own bedroom is important to you, book Cornwall, where you stay on an organic farm. From £429 pp for a 3-day Deep Pause retreat. Read more
British ayurvedic practitioners Andy and Laura Shakeshaft are full of integrity, and have created a haven at their 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside. This is a place to stop – completely – and cleanse body and mind with daily oil massages and steam therapy, one to one yoga and qigong sessions, optional cranio-sacral sessions, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling, simple meals – and total peace. Come for 3, 5 or 7 days – the retreat takes only two guests at a time, either a couple or two people alone. From £825 pp for a 3 day retreat. Read more
A retreat run by a small community whose focus is sustainable living, Newbold House is a rather grand Victorian mansion surrounded by beautiful woodland in Forres, North-East Scotland. Come here for a private wellbeing break tailored to your needs – it can include morning yoga, meditation, bread-making, gardening and wild food foraging with lots of holistic therapies and downtime when you can go for walks or do nothing. The gardens are stunning, truly tranquil, and retreat co-ordinator Deborah will go out of her way to design a retreat that fits your mood and life situation. Bathrooms are shared, but they’re wonderfully clean. From £285 per person for two nights. Read more
This new kid on the wellbeing block is based at a lovely renovated farmhouse near Ronda in Andalucia, and leaves ample time in your daily schedule when you can do nothing. Cleansing wellbeing breaks help clear your body and mind with healthy food, gentle exercise and optional classes in things like healthy cooking or natural facials. The food is so varied, tasty and abundant, that it’s worth coming on an Olive retreat for this alone, particularly if you are vegan. The emphasis is on helping you change your habits on a long-term basis, and bespoke retreats on demand can also be arranged. From £1750 pp for a room alone – less if want to bring a friend and share. Read more
An old favourite of mine, this privately owned and run health retreat Kamalaya is still the place I’d go if I couldn’t move a muscle or had a crisis in my life. Set beside a private lagoon at the quiet end of Koh Samui in a fairy tale ravine strewn, it offers holistic wellness programmes that focus on yoga, detoxing, weightloss or fitness, or you can just come here to relax. Villas are serene and uncluttered, the elevated, open-air treatment rooms have sea views and the staff are genuinely compassionate. The beach is fairly small, and at low tide you have to wade pretty far out to have a proper swim, but everything else is pretty perfect so who cares? From THB 6,500 (about £120) per night for a person staying alone. Read more
Author and Journalist Caroline Sylger Jones has been travelling the world since the 1990s checking out spas, retreats and healthy holidays for international newspapers, glossy magazines, websites and her own books. She is the editor of independent healthy travel site queenofretreats.com which only features spas, wellbeing breaks and healthy holidays that have been reviewed in person by published journalists to help you choose the retreat that’s right for you.
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