Written by
Louis Dhont

Published on: December 27th, 2023

Last modified: April 12th, 2024

At Jacada, we believe wellness can take many forms. Sometimes it’s about massages, aromatherapy, facials, saunas or taking part in yoga and pilates classes – but other times it means reconnecting with nature, indulging in delicious cuisine, swimming in the sea or simply allowing yourself to relax.

So what exactly is a wellness retreat? While other holidays might highlight sightseeing and moving from place to place, a retreat invites you to slow down and look inward. It might involve spa treatments, nourishing meals or mindfulness – but regardless of the specific activities, it’s all about resting and reconnecting with yourself.

The best retreats combine this philosophy with phenomenal locations: think tropical islands in Asia, secluded savannahs in Africa, rural escapes in Europe and idyllic oases in the Middle East. There’s nothing like relaxing into a soothing rhythm while surrounded by spectacular scenery. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the world’s best luxury wellness retreats.

1. Andronis Concept Wellness Resort

Of all the Greek Islands, Santorini may be the most iconic – and if you want to experience its quieter side, Andronis Concept Wellness Resort is for you. Its 28 suites offer private infinity pools and terraces with panoramic sea views. The exceptional Kallos Spa provides therapeutic treatments, two pools and a hammam, while the renowned Throubi Restaurant serves seasonal, healthy dishes with ingredients sourced from the resort’s own garden.

Andronis Concept Wellness Resort

2. Six Senses Douro Valley – Portugal

In Portugal’s vibrant Douro Valley, wine and wellness go hand in hand. Six Senses Douro Valley has brought a world-class spa to this legendary landscape of vineyards and villages. Set in a masterfully restored 19th-century manor house, it presents endless options for relaxation – whether you prefer a high-tech personalised spa programme, a hands-on cosmetics or cooking workshop or a sunset glass of wine overlooking the Douro River.

Six Senses Douro Valley – Portugal

3. Arctic Bath – Sweden

In the whimsical wilderness of Swedish Lapland, you’ll find Arctic Bath: an architectural marvel that blends seamlessly into the icy nature around it. The main building is a circular floating lodge, and you can choose to stay in a floating cabin or a glass-fronted suite. Its spa includes dry saunas, outdoor jacuzzis and Ayurvedic treatments – but the real star is the open-air pool, where you can reap the rejuvenating benefits of traditional cold baths.

Arctic Bath – Sweden

4. Les Sources de Caudalie – France

Les Sources de Caudalie is nothing short of exquisite. This luxury health spa and hotel on the outskirts of Bordeaux exudes authenticity and respect for its environment – which happens to be one of the world’s premiere winegrowing regions. Even its spa menu reflects the terroir, featuring innovative vinotherapy treatments and natural hot springs. Along with wine tastings and vineyard tours, you can explore the nearby woods with a unique ‘forest bath’ experience.

Les Sources de Caudalie – France

5. Borgo Pignano – Italy

Set in the rolling hills of Tuscany, this elegant escape is housed in a renovated 18th-century villa. Borgo Pignano brings new meaning to the concept of wellness, combining classic features like an infinity pool and holistic spa treatments with farm-to-table cuisine and endless outdoor activities. This is a place to indulge in simple pleasures: leisurely strolls, fresh bread and pasta, outdoor concerts in summer, cosy fires in winter and, of course, peace and quiet year round.

Borgo Pignano – Italy

6. Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea – Jordan

The Dead Sea has long been known for its natural healing properties, and you can experience them first-hand at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar. This expansive resort is right on the water, with an opulent aesthetic inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Its spa is enormous, boasting nine swimming pools, a sauna and steam room, a hammam, heated lounges and various treatments that incorporate minerals and mud from the Dead Sea.

7. Alila Jabal Akhdar – Oman

Perched high in the Hajar Mountains of Oman, Alila Jabal Akhdar is an oasis of authentic Omani culture and wellness. This remote resort is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and ravines, creating a sensation of unparalleled privacy. It has a fantastic spa where you can customise treatments with locally sourced products; a scenic deck where you can enjoy sunrise, sunset or even full moon yoga; and a dedicated meditation terrace where the rest of the world fades away.

Alila Jabal Akhdar – Oman

8. Tierra Patagonia – Chile

Patagonia is one of the most far-flung destinations on earth, which means it’s also among the best places for a secluded wellness retreat. Amidst the granite peaks and glaciers of Torres del Paine, Tierra Patagonia stands out for its avant-garde architecture and impeccable attention to detail. Its superb Uma Spa invites total relaxation and immersion in the landscape, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lago Sarmiento and the rugged mountains beyond.

Tierra Patagonia – Chile

9. The Vines Resort & Spa – Argentina

The allure of Mendoza isn’t exactly a secret – especially among wine-loving travellers. But The Vines Resort & Spa puts a modern twist on this classic destination with a serene atmosphere and contemporary style. It promotes wellness by encouraging you to be present, explore your surroundings and savour every single sip of wine and bite of food. Its restaurant is the work of celebrated chef Francis Mallmann, known for his open-flame cooking style. 

The Vines Resort & Spa – Argentina

10. SB Winemakers House & Spa Suites – Argentina

SB Winemakers House & Spa Suites is located just outside of Mendoza in the peaceful suburb of Chacras de Coria. Dreamed up by Susana Balbo, the first female winemaker in Argentina, this incredibly intimate property is designed to delight all five senses. Each of its seven suites has its own private wellness area and in-room spa services. Then of course there’s the carefully curated artwork, expertly selected wine and made-to-order cuisine.

SB Winemakers House & Spa Suites – Argentina

11. El Silencio Lodge & Spa – Costa Rica

Despite its name, El Silencio Lodge & Spa isn’t entirely silent; you’re likely to hear a breeze rustling through the nearby cloud forest or water flowing through the creek beside the yoga deck. This tranquil lodge in the heart of Costa Rica is a true sanctuary, offering a range of signature spa treatments and wellness activities including yoga and sound therapy. Its open-air treatment rooms immerse you in the natural environment, with heated beds to ensure comfort.

El Silencio Lodge & Spa – Costa Rica

12. Chablé Yucatán – Mexico

Located where one of the world’s most intriguing ancient cultures once thrived, Chablé Yucatán proudly reflects its Mayan heritage. This secluded retreat expertly blends history and tradition with modern comfort and design, creating a cosy refuge in the middle of Mexico’s jungle. It has its own cenote, beside which you’ll find a spa offering three ‘journeys’ inspired by ancestral techniques: Fountain of Youth, Tree of Life and Heaven on Earth. The hard part is choosing.

Chablé Yucatán – Mexico

13. Xigera Safari Lodge – Botswana

The Moremi Game Reserve is a haven of natural wonders and wildlife, and Xigera Safari Lodge takes full advantage of these surroundings to create a one-of-a-kind wellness experience. It’s been named the Best Safari Spa in Africa by the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Awards, and it’s easy to see why. Its extensive treatments focus on restoring, calming and purifying the body and mind while maintaining harmony with nature through the use of natural products.

Xigera Safari Lodge – Botswana

14. Kisawa – Mozambique

Set on the southern tip of Benguerra Island off the coast of Mozambique, Kisawa is a sublime sanctuary designed to help you disconnect and de-stress. Its standalone spa, the Natural Wellness Centre, features innovative facilities including an infrared dome sauna, yoga nest and lagoon pool. You can choose from several holistic healing rituals and journeys inspired by the elements of earth, water, fire, air and space.

Kisawa – Mozambique

15. Sasaab – Kenya

Sasaab is situated within the wildlife-rich Samburu National Reserve, with a well-earned reputation as one of Africa’s best spa hotels. Its sumptuous spa – cleverly called ‘Spasaab’ – makes use of the soothing properties of frankincense and local healing traditions. It also offers bespoke wellness safaris at certain times of year, including yoga sessions and guided meditations, and is designed to evoke a sense of calm and connection with nature. 

Sasaab – Kenya

16. Six Senses Zil Pasyon – The Seychelles

The Seychelles is a picture-perfect archipelago off the coast of East Africa, and Six Senses Zil Pasyon is among its most luxurious retreats. Located on the private island of Félicité, it boasts a splendid spa with five treatment villas designed to reflect the surrounding ecosystem. There’s also an elevated infinity pool, a sundeck, a sauna, steam rooms and an open-air pavilion for yoga and meditation with front-row views of the sea.

Six Senses Zil Pasyon – The Seychelles

17. Bushmans Kloof Main Lodge – South Africa

Bushmans Kloof is an enormous private reserve in the mountainous Western Cape, with the refined Main Lodge at its core. Here you’ll find everything you could possibly need for a luxury wellness retreat, including advanced spa treatments that draw on ancient practices and native plants. The romantic riverside gazebo offers privileged views of the rocky hills around it. And for a more active take on wellness, you can go hiking, biking or canoeing in the reserve.

Bushmans Kloof Main Lodge – South Africa

18. Leeu Estates

Leeu Estates, set in the rolling valleys of South Africa’s famed Winelands, explores every facet of luxury hoteling, including a world class spa. Harnessing the power of nature with natural African ingredients and vinotherapy (in particular the white Pinotage grape) treatments aim to restore as well as soothe body and soul. After your therapies, retire to the plunge pool as you look forward to an evening of wine tastings and gourmet dining.

19. Ananda in the Himalayas – India

The northern Indian city of Rishikesh is known as the ‘yoga capital of the world’ thanks to its abundant ashrams and spiritual significance. This is where you’ll find Ananda in the Himalayas, a legendary retreat promising a truly transcendent wellness experience. You’ll find several cutting-edge wellness programmes at its award-winning spa, cementing its status as a dream destination for anyone interested in yoga, meditation or Ayurveda.

Ananda in the Himalayas – India

20. The Datai – Malaysia

Langkawi is a textbook example of a tropical paradise, boasting the kinds of beaches usually reserved for postcards. Tucked into the rainforest beside one of its glittering bays, you’ll find The Datai: one of the best luxury retreats in South East Asia, and has been named Sustainable Spa of the Year at the World Spa & Wellness Awards. Enjoy its spa villas and seaside health club, and indulge in treatments based on the ancient Malay philosophy of ramuan.

The Datai – Malaysia

21. Six Senses Yao Noi – Thailand

If your idea of wellness involves lounging on a sunsoaked terrace, swimming in a private infinity pool and gazing out at the endless ocean or lush rainforest, you’ll love Six Senses Yao Noi. Located on the pristine island of Koh Yao Noi, it offers locally inspired spa treatments including Thai herbal massage and more. You’ll also be assigned a personal GEM (Guest Experience Maker) who will tend to your every need.

Six Senses Yao Noi – Thailand

22. The Brando – French Polynesia

Set in the Tetiaroa atoll north of Tahiti, this exclusive resort was originally created by Marlon Brando. Today, The Brando is one of the best wellness retreats in the world. Its beautiful spa blends age-old Polynesian beauty rituals with contemporary wellness therapies. Through the Tetiaroa Society, the resort also works hard to preserve the island’s natural environment and cultural heritage, creating a truly responsible wellness experience.

The Brando – French Polynesia

23. Song Saa Private Island – Cambodia

Encompassing the two islands of Song Saa in the Koh Rong archipelago, Song Saa Private Island is about as remote as it gets. Its 27 villas feature private pools and sundecks, some of them perched on stilts above the crystal-clear water. The spa is made up of several small sanctuaries, with treatments reflecting the themes of stillness, healing and blessings. You can also enjoy bespoke experiences like private yoga sessions and nighttime spa services.

Song Saa Private Island – Cambodia

24. COMO Shambhala Estate – Bali

Bali may bring to mind white sand beaches, but COMO Shambhala Estate shows off another side of this idyllic Indonesian island. Located in the verdant rainforest near Ubud, this luxury health retreat is firmly focused on holistic well-being. Every detail here is designed to enhance your physical, mental and spiritual health – whether through an elaborate serenity ritual, a sacred water blessing or a meal of nutritious and colourful cuisine.

COMO Shambhala Estate – Bali

25. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon – Iceland

The Blue Lagoon is among the most impressive destinations in Iceland – which is saying something. This geothermal spa is set in a vast lava field and filled with naturally heated, rejuvenating water. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon provides privileged access to the lagoon, as well as its own private geothermal pool, a subterranean spa and Michelin-starred cuisine. Staying here allows you to fully enjoy this striking volcanic landscape and its healing power.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon

 

Embark on a journey to wellness

Taking a moment to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit is not just a luxury—it's a necessity. Your journey to renewal begins here.

Trip inspiration

Here are our top health, wellness and detox example trips