By Lauren Pronger, founder of Well Inspired Travels
All too often, people associate beach destinations with drinking margs by the pool and working on their tans. And to be fair, that’s how many people used to travel—that is, before wellness became mainstream and people demanded more healthy food and fitness opportunities from their vacations. I mean, aren’t massages and matcha more relaxing than fried food and sad gyms anyhow?
As the founder of Well Inspired Travels, a luxury travel concierge focused on health, I’ve seen this wellness trend play out firsthand, and it’s something I appreciate when I’m trying to relax without compromising my health goals. If you’re planning your own beach vacation this year but want to return feeling energized, not tired and bloated, I urge you to check out one of these invigorating wellness-forward beach destinations. Happy travels!
Best Spa: Montage in Los Cabos and Laguna Beach
Montage properties are known for their emphasis on healthy living, and I love both the Laguna Beach, California and Los Cabo, Mexico locations.
The spa is my favorite part of the Laguna Beach property: I love the Valmont products used in the facials, helping me score smoother, healthier-looking skin practically immediately. The spa has beautiful views of the Pacific and a heartwarming staff eager to serve you and your every need. My favorite spa treatments are the Body Firming Detox Wrap, Seven Flower Ritual, and The Masterpiece (it’s truly a work of art!).
The food is delish, too. Resident chefs source farm-fresh ingredients and focus on the rich offerings of the region. Seafood, fruits, and veggies were the stars on most of my plates—and true to Montage hospitality, I was tempted with a handcrafted dessert nearly every evening.
If you’re itching to use your passport, check out Montage’s Los Cabos location, which has one of the most beautiful fitness centers I’ve ever seen. The fitness area is very open and airy, giving you space and freedom to do any workout of your choice. For those who prefer a group workout, the fitness center at Montage offers several different classes: Mindful Morning Yoga, TRX, Power Yoga, HIIT, SUP Yoga, and many others. They also offer a sunrise paddle-boarding class at 6:30am. I highly recommend it!
Every menu I saw featured vegan options, which can be hard to find when traveling internationally. We ate dinner at Mezcal, the gourmet Mexican restaurant, run by Chef Alexis Palacios, where I sampled the most mind-blowing assortment of fresh, flavorful Mexican food that I’ve ever tasted. The meals consisted of fresh fish, ceviche, and perfectly roasted vegetables.
Best Energy: 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Florida
I’m always on the hunt for hotels, resorts, and getaways that are nice to the environment, and this hotel does NOT disappoint on that front. The furniture, key cards, and hangers are all made out of recycled materials, and you’ll sleep on organic sheets and enjoy locally sourced food, inspiring you to bring the same eco-minded elements into your own home. The fitness center is top-notch, too. Spinning, sweating, and basking in the 2,600 square foot glory of this space was a highlight of my visit.
I spent the first day soaking in the sun and taking in the vibes on the rooftop bar. This is *the* spot for loud lively music and ice-cold cocktails, and they celebrate happy hour like no other. If you’re looking for a more relaxing retreat, I recommend the lower-level pool for a more serene experience. I spent time at both—I mean, when in Miami, right?
Best for Families: Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas
Baha Mar in Nassau is home to three hotels each with their own charm and beauty, making it the ideal location for families, newlyweds, couples, and friends to both relax and stay active. Each hotel on the Baha Mar property has their own vibe: the SLS Baha Mar is free-spirited, where you want to be for the nightlife; the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar is more relaxed, the perfect spot for families since they offer activities for children; the last hotel, Rosewood, offers more privacy and peace and quiet, ideal for couples.
No matter which you choose, you’ll have access to crystal-clear waters (kayaking, anyone?) and the 30 restaurants, bars, and lounges on the property, satisfying your cravings for fancy feasts and chill beach snacks alike, including healthy options like fresh poke bowls, curried calamari, and ceviche. Hope you like fish—it’s the beach, after all.
(Photos: Lauren Pronger)