What does Wellness mean to you?
As aTravel Leaders Group Certified Wellness Specialist, I have completed a comprehensive course covering the different elements of Wellness and how it can mean something different to each and everyone. For many it can relate to physical fitness, happiness, emotional balance, stress reduction, weight reduction, quality of life and spiritual health, or a complete lifestyle.
I visit properties of all levels around the world on my travels, I always check out what they offer in the way of Wellness, their Spa, Gym, yoga classes, other group classes and how they cater to dietary restrictions.
Here are a few of the places that I have visited this year and can highly recommend;
The Viceroy Los Cabos Resort is located near San Jose del Cabo on the Baja peninsula. It was designed by architect Miguel Angel Aragonés and is quite different to many hotels in the area; a minimalistic design, surrouned by water.
All the 194 rooms and suites set over a number of blocks, each set in water, all have a full or partial view of the ocean. There are also 2 – 5 bedroom villas available. It has quite a different feel as there are no lush gardens, it’s very unique.
The service is excellent, the food also, offering a variety for all tastes and dietary restrictions. The spa offers a wide range of services and with a service you are given the option to use the other pool, steam room, sauna facilities. The gym is the most comprehensive gym I have seen at a resort designed by celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, very impressive. Yoga and various wellness rituals are also available on the beach upon request. As a group we enjoyed a Shamanic Cleansing ceremony and a kundalini yoga session by a very wonderful and authentic leader. There is also a cinema and extensive games room, as well as a children’s activity room.
Although the sea isn’t swimmable in this area the beach is nice to walk along, although it is steep in places. There are beaches in the area that you could taxi too if you wanted to swim/snorkel.
The Grand Velas Los Cabos is currently rated as the No.1 Resort in the area by Tripadvisor and is designated a
Luxury All Inclusive resort.
All 307 suites, which are over 1,100 sq. ft have an ocean view and private terrace, some with a plunge pool and fully stocked mini bar which is replenished daily. There are also a number of Wellness Suites which are 2 levels, with a massage table and exercise bicycle and include a 30-minute personal trainer each day. The mini bar in these suites have organic and health related snacks and drinks. All suites come with 24hour a day butler concierge.
The pool areas are surrounded by palm trees, there are 5 restaurants, one is a 2 Michelin star rating. The spa is as impressive as the main hotel and houses a seven-step water ceremony that's included with every treatment.
Again the beach isn’t swimmable, but there is a swimmable beach about 10 minutes taxi ride from the hotel where you can swim and snorkel.
Next to the luxury All Inclusive hotel is their smaller sister hotel, Mar Del Cabo, only 48 rooms in an old Mexican style. It’s very quaint and picturesque for guest with a lower budget. If you stay here you get 20% off the spa services and can pay to eat at the restaurants at the Grand Velas, or choose to eat at the hotel on site. The rooms have small kitchens so you could also prepare simple meals yourself. It’s a very pretty option and would be a wonderful location for a destination wedding.
The Sanctuary Resort, Camelback Mountain in Arizona is a Luxury resort with a world class spa and fitness activities set in 53 acres.
There are 109 mountain suites and casitas, plus seven private villas each with an unique range of luxurious amenities, contemporary architecture, chic interior design and breathtaking view of Paradise Valley.
Ranked as one of the top 5 Hotel Spas in the US in 2014 you can see why. The Sanctuary creates balance and relaxation through inspiring treatments in a tranquil environment. There are twelve indoor and outdoor treatment rooms including a Zen meditation garden and reflection pool.
I was fortunate to be able to try the Watsu massage during my visit – if you aren’t sure what that is I encourage you to check it out and try it if the opportunity presents itself. It was a very different and truly wonderful experience.
There are a number of different massages to try, facials or try a walking meditation through the Labyrinth. For something a little more strenuous there are tennis courts or you can take a guided hike up Camelback mountain to enjoy some wonderful view.
I visited the Charisma Deluxe Hotelin Kusadsi, Turkey in September. The hotel is perched overlooking the Aegean Sea with views to the Greek Islands, all rooms have a sea view. The hotel is within walking distance to the town with many shop, restaurants and bars, and also in a great location for day trips. It is very closed to the historical city of Ephesus, the House of Virgin Mary, Sirince and Pamukkale, all very interesting places to visit. You can also take a cruise to the closest Greek Islands.
I had to try the Spa here to experience the traditional Hammam (Turkish Bath) which is one of the many options available at the spa. I tried the Foam massage and peeling, quite unlike anything I have tried before, but my skin felt so soft and silky afterwards it was definitely worth it. The experience was housed in one of the marble Turkish bath rooms, very different to a ‘regular’ spa.
I have travelled with G Adventures, small group tours (max 16) on a number of occasions and wanted to try their Wellness Tours. They offer 10 tours in various countries around the world. I opted for Costa Rica as it’s the closest, although having done it I am planning on the Wellness India trip in February 2021 if anyone is interested. Also, the Wellness Thailand one is on my bucket list.
‘Travel connects us — to our planet, to its people, and to ourselves. Wellness travel was created to recharge the body and nourish the mind, our new Wellness tours offer the perfect balance of awe-inspiring destinations, rejuvenating activities, and healthy food experiences, helping you return home feeling even better than when you left.’
I loved the tour and the Wellness element that was included. The hotels I stayed at were ‘upgraded’ from the regular tours with a focus on local/organic foods. I enjoyed a very moving yoga sessions overlooking the Arenal Volcano, hiking in the rain forest with a moment of meditation, and a rejuvenating trip to thermal hot springs. There were 5 yoga classes, on on a paddle board and a therapeutic mud bath before a final stop in Playa Carrillo where we took surfing lessons and stayed at a beatufil hotel near the beach. It was a great mix of adventure, yoga and relaxation and I would definitely recommend it.
For any questions about the hilighted properties or Wellness Properties and tours around the world
please contact me directly at
The Little Travel Consultant
based in Whitby, Ontario, Canada
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