WELLBEING • October 2018
As the northern hemisphere turns chilly, we’ve been on the lookout for winter wellness retreats with restorative powers. From the wilds of Scotland to waterfalls in Costa Rica, here are seven of our favourite breaks to give your body and soul the R&R they deserve
Winter’s woolly layers and long, dark nights have a tendency to hijack the dreams of a year-round beach bod. But for those committed to the cause, try The Body Camp in idyllic Ibiza. It offers country hikes, weight circuits, poolside body toning and yoga classes to attain a defined core and toned arms in time for the Christmas ball. Cookery demos, motivational talks, massages and beach-basking breaks are peppered throughout – and if a day spent prostrate appeals more, the ultra-luxe rooms certainly won’t disappoint.
When everyday life gets a little too loud, soothe your weary soul with a therapeutic tropical swim. Tumbling down ochre cliff faces in Costa Rica’s tranquil Bajos del Toro cloud forest, Las Gemelas waterfalls have bags of cinematic appeal. Away from the rapids, a gentle bend in the river downstream is the perfect spot to zone out in milky turquoise waters. Listen out for parakeets, sloths and the distinctive grunts of wild boars in the surrounding greenery. There’s no need to rough it, either: hot-tub-blessed eco lodge El Silencio is just a 10-minute hike away.
Famous for its hidden beaches and wild landscapes, Menorca is more laid-back than the neighbouring Balearics. It is also home to its own breed of horse, the Menorquin, as well as the Cami de Cavalls (way of horses) - a 115-mile path around the island designed for these excellent trekking ponies. You can ride the whole thing or just a few kilometres, exploring hidden coves along the way. Stay at luxury farmhouse hotel Torralbenc, which offers riding trips, a vineyard, Natura Bissé spa and delicious Menorcan food.
If mountains are nature’s spiritual batteries – topping up the charge of those who walk their heights – there can’t be many peaks better for a boost than around Canada’s Lake Louise. It’s fed by glaciers, dense with forest and backed by the magnificent Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. You’ll spot yogis striking warrior poses against pine-lined shores; meditators drinking in the alpine air; and happiness gurus teaching workshops on creating a calmer life – all thanks to the hotel’s expert wellness programme. Not only that, but the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival comes to the park each November, colouring the restorative Rockies with an inspiring buzz you’ll take away with you.
Surrounded by sparkling springs and Highland wildlife grazing on endless greenery, EcoYoga – a picture-perfect riverside respite near Glasgow – won the location lottery. Its expert yoga retreats offers artisanal, farm-to-table dining, forest-view bedrooms and world-class instructors designed to encourage your practice, whatever your yogi credentials. After a day in the studio or hiking the hills, treat your body to some riverbed bathing – the retreat has two tubs built into the rock, overlooking the region’s mightiest waterfall.
While Capri may have a glitzy reputation, glamorous Capri Palace is tucked away in the quiet village of Anacapri. Its Capri Beauty Farm was one of Europe’s first medical spas, and is famous for ‘leg school’ treatments, whose therapies target circulation and lymphatic flow, and prevent cellulite. A bevy of doctors, dieticians, therapists and beauticians are on hand to carry out targeted wellness treatments that achieve your wellness goals.
During this time of year, balmy Buenos Aires welcomes sun-seekers, steak-eaters and salsa-students looking for a reinvigorating jolt of culture and creativity. Wellness warriors can hop on the hour-long train to the river delta of Tigre for one of Eldorado Kayak's expert excursions, before feasting at Bio Restaurant - the first certified organic restaurant in Argentina - for crisp whole wheat pizzas, plump quinoa risotto and a selection of delectable vegan desserts. To reconnect with the artist within, book with Day Clicker's tours - who will have you snapping like a pro in this oh-so photogenic city.
Words by Marisa Cannon, Hannah Ralph, Madevi Dailly and Camilla Skogly