“I need a vacation from my vacation” is an old joke that too often rings true. Despite their rest and relaxation reputation, our epic vacays often leave us feeling more depleted than we’d like. Between overindulging and under-sleeping, we take on too much when we travel, and the wear and tear on our minds and bodies can be a reminder that we didn’t put our overall wellbeing ahead of our tendency to FOMO our way to complete exhaustion. So how do we really replenish ourselves during our time off? Behold the self-care vacation. Whether your idea of self-care is an up-at-dawn hike, a bracing dip in a hot spring, or a deep tissue massage, these resorts, spas, retreats and tours are up to the challenge of making you feel truly rejuvenated.
Trail running in the Italian Dolmites by Run Wild Retreats
Office-bound and craving a chance to get physical? Travel to St. Lucia and book yourself a stay at The Body Holiday. Set on a white sand beach amidst a tropical garden, this resort offers a cornucopia of activities, including abseiling, fencing, hiking and (of course) yoga. The resort also includes a sport science center, making it the perfect place for weekend warriors to step up their body knowledge. If running is your idea of relaxation, Run Wild Retreats hosts stress-reducing mindfulness running expeditions through intriguing terrains all over the world (we think the runs through Iceland, the Italian Dolmites and Moab look particularly amazing). If walking is more your speed, Walk Japan has tours throughout Japan, including a zen-inspiring winter snowshoeing walk over Hokkaido’s snowy eastern region, complete with onsen hot spring baths.
Forest bathe at The Como Shambhala Estate in Bali
For city dwellers who long to experience nature and keep up with their 7-day-a-week yoga routine, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is the perfect balance of nature and nurture, with daily yoga and meditation at Glacier Point and the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias. For a luxury retreat in the heart of the Balinese jungle, COMO Shambhala Estate situates its qigong, forest bathing, and hydrotherapy experiences in an untamed, tropical atmosphere. Another luxury hotel experience with an unmissable spa, Chablé Resort and Spa is located in the heart of the Mayan forest, and features unique spa amenities including animal-motion sessions, along with cuisine overseen by chef Jorge Vallejo of the beloved Mexico City restaurant Quintonil. If you’re craving a Costa Rican retreat, Tabacon in Arenal is built at the foot of the Arenal Volcano, offering guests the chance to soak in the property’s thermally heated springs and waterfalls.
Rejuvenate at Six Senses Duoro Valley, Portugal
Switzerland has a storied tradition of luxury resorts that were originally built to treat ill health before antibiotics were invented. If fresh Alpine air, fine dining and traditional saunas set in and around an elegant grand hotel are your idea of disconnecting, the Bürgenstock Resort—which was built in 1873 and reimagined in 2017—is old world European spa excellence at its best. And if a 5-star resort set on Lake Geneva with an intense focus on body wellness and better aging is your cup of tea, La Réserve Genève is a must to check out. Want a little wine and garden-fresh cuisine with your wellness? The Six Senses hotel and spa in Portugal is a 19th century manor house set in the vine-covered hills of the Douro Valley, which features—among its luxury spa amenities—an organic kitchen and a wine library.
Restore balance at Amanbagh, Rajasthan, India
Want to learn how to incorporate an Ayurvedic lifestyle into your everyday routine? Travel to India’s rugged Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan and experience a 4-day wellness immersion at Amanbagh, an individualized program of physical and mental wellness designed to “inspire and promote meaningful change.” If a Nepalese getaway focused on yoga and the philosophy of karma are your idea of nirvana, the Dwarika's Resort features crystal healing and a meditation maze, and offers “a blend of Vedic Philosophy and Buddhist Medicine, and focuses on the complete wellbeing of an individual, drawing on the knowledge and holistic lifestyle of the Himalayan region.”