By Lauren Pronger, founder of Well Inspired Travels
If you want to kick-start your health goals in the new year, think beyond a new gym membership: A wellness getaway can be just the thing you need to de-stress after a hectic holiday season, and new scenery can help you feel inspired and motivated heading into 2020.
As the founder of Well Inspired Travels, a luxury travel concierge service designed to promote health and wellness through travel, this is something I’ve noticed firsthand.
But since choosing a destination can be the hardest part, I’m here to help with my top picks.
Best for Yogis: Chablé Yucatán
A trip to the Chablé Yucatán, in Mérida, Mexico, is guaranteed to make you feel revitalized. The unique architecture, breathtaking greenery, exotic plants, and organic gardens (plus a bee sanctuary!) come together to provide the perfect ambiance for healing and relaxing. The spa doesn’t hurt, either.
Restorative Adventures and Activities
Align your chakras with an array of meditation and yoga, including Kundalini, Vinyasa, and Nidra. Cleanse with Shaman Monica as she guides you through a deep meditative state, as steam pours out of the volcanic rock, opening your pores. When you’re feeling more energetic, try golf, tennis, beekeeping, and more.
As lunchtime approaches, you can appreciate Mayan cuisine at Doña Eneida’s traditional outdoor Mayan kitchen. Once you’ve enjoyed a flavorful meal full of seasonal, organic, locally grown veggies and corn harvested right from the resort’s Mayan gardens, head to a tequila tasting, where you’ll find three hundred bottles of different premium tequilas.
When it’s time for dinner, head to Chablé’s Ixi’im Chef Jorge Vallejo’s Ixi’im’s second restaurant, located on the property and surrounded by jungle greens. A refined taste of the best of Mexican cuisine, the Ixi’im (meaning corn) menu features seasonally inspired dishes with herbs and veggies plucked right from the resort’s gardens.
Best for Hiking: Mii Amo & Enchantment
These sister resorts welcome their guests with open arms and juniper beads, signifying protection and guidance. The phrase “Ya-ha-say” or “You are welcome here” will be sung to you as you arrive for your temporary—yet profound—stay.
Tons of Trails
Dive into nature and let her beauty soothe your soul with the striking color of the red rocks and sand along winding hiking trails. Mii Amo and Enchantment offer a range of hikes. My faves: a tranquil bird-watching hike and an invigorating 4-mile early morning trail run.
Native American Heritage
Cultural classes and activities offered by both resorts educate and inspire guests about the traditions and methods of the Native Americans. You’ll leave you feeling humbled and gracious for all of nature’s beauty and spontaneity.
Spa and Treatments
Mii Amo offers an endless selection of massages, full-body treatments, facials, and holistic healing methods (like palm readings and tarot card readings).
Enjoy a combination of on-site, seasonally grown organic fruits and vegetables to complement flavorful, authentic southwestern cuisine. At Mii Amo’s cafe, harmonious spices, tender meats, sizzling combinations of vegetables, and perfectly ripened seasonal fruits are all in abundance.
Harvesting their own fruits, veggies, cattle, and other meats is not a foreign concept at the fabulous Mii Amo and Enchantment eateries. Che Ah Chi and Tii Guavo are among the most coveted dining experiences when visiting the Sedona area: Che Ah Chi is a bit more refined than Tii Guavo, which has a relaxed vibe.
Best for All-Around Wellness: Miraval
“Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.” This is the belief Miraval Austin is rooted in. As an industry leader in mindfulness resorts and spas, Miraval—specifically Miraval Austin—is truly a sanctuary for your soul. By offering inclusive packages for mindful journeys, you’re transported out of your day-to-day and into a unique space where nature is at the core of everything you do.
Fitness and Activities
Tailor your own fitness experience at Miraval, Austin with a wide array of options. Guests can try any workout class, such as Cardio Dance, Happy Hips, and Pilates Fusion. If you’re a yogi, explore your options with multiple kinds of yoga: stand-up paddleboard yoga, aerial yoga, and more. If you’re looking for something fun and different, try the cardio drumming class, country line dancing, or Texas two-step class. The resort also has an equine program and beekeeper experience!
Head over to the spa for some unique methods of relaxation. Ayurveda is a holistic approach to self-healing and offers a range of therapies to restore balance and expand self-awareness. This includes a variety of massages using different blends of aromatic oils and natural wraps to cleanse and purify your skin and spirit.
Enjoy guided meditation and acupressure massage to the sound of Tibetan bowls, gently leading you into a deep state of relaxation. Also try the 20-minute scalp treatment that will leave your hair feeling silky smooth.
Cypress Creek Farm
Miraval Austin has an on-site apiary, and they practice mindful farming methods on their very own Cypress Creek Farm, where eggs and produce are gathered and picked straight from the fields to elevate your farm-to-table dining experience.
Dining at Miraval Austin as part of Miraval’s inclusive packages, a no-tipping policy is in place to ensure your focus remains on your experience, not your wallet. After a day filled with outdoor adventure, heart-pumping fitness classes, and relaxation at the spa, the Hilltop Crossings Kitchen is the perfect way to end your night. With a constantly changing menu, you’ll enjoy the freshest seasonal produce available from their on-site garden, while gazing upon the beautiful Lake Travis.