You probably have a ton of terrible habits that are making you miserable. I, personally, am a workaholic (seriously, it’s Saturday as I’m writing this and it’s pretty outside). And most people I know prefer watching Netflix with a bottle of wine while only wearing their underwear to going for a walk in the woods (too much effort!). So, it’s no real surprise that most of us struggle with maintaining any level of wellness.
It’s also not a surprise at all that a lot of us use our holiday days to clear our heads and try to achieve some semblance of peace and wellness. To save you some time and get those big ol’ eyes of yours away from all that damaging blue light, we’ve put together a list of some of the best wellness activities and places to get away and bask in the glow of being a well you.
To find out where to go, scroll down or click the link that best matches your wellness need below!
When you need a yoga escape
Try: Ashtanga Yoga
The chosen yoga practice of one of our favourite yogis, Nude Yoga Girl, Ashtanga yoga is a modern form of yoga based on ancient teachings. Ashtanga yoga is similar to vinyasa yoga but is considered to be much more rigorous.
With the Ashtanga yoga flow, you follow a specific sequence of postures in an exacting order. This means that you memorise your practice and repeat it each time. Ashtanga might sound boring for that reason, but this repetition allows you to forget about the chaos of your world for a moment and go with the flow. Even better, each movement in Ashtanga is linked to one breath. By having to focus on each breath for each movement, the practice becomes more meditative.
All this is not to say that Ashtanga is not hard. The sequences involved are quite tough. It is a sweaty and physically demanding practice, so it’s great if you’re trying to get stronger.
Places to stay if you want a yoga escape:
Where: Laem Set (southern coast), Koh Samui, Thailand
The Basics: The L2 Residence is a 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom villa built into a cliff overlooking the sea.
Why: Tucked into a tropical hillside and built into a cliff, L2 Residence is the ultimate yogi escape. The villa even has a floating deck exclusively designed for yoga and meditation.
Bonus: L2 is an architectural gem as it is designed to cascade down towards the villa’s ocean views. Thanks to this design, the villa has views of the Gulf of Siam from just about everywhere you look. And if days on the yoga deck aren’t enough for your peace of mind, there is always the plunge pool with waterfall.
Where: Laem Sor (southern coast), Koh Samui, Thailand
The Basics: Ban Sairee is a 9-bedroom, 9-bathroom villa on three acres of private beachfront land.
Why: What better place is there to practice yoga than in your private oasis? Set directly on the beach, Ban Sairee is the perfect place to let go of everything. And with a yoga area set up beneath a traditional Thai barn (you won’t be getting sunburnt under there), wellness may have never been more achievable.
Bonus: Ban Sairee can be a wellness sanctuary not just for you, but the whole family. In addition to the dedicated yoga area, there is a massage sala, tennis court, beachfront 20-metre pool, trampoline and kayaks for paddling around.
Massage, soak, relax
Try: Watsu water healing
Watsu is the ultimate in deep and passive relaxation therapy. The aquatic bodywork therapy involves gentle body stretches and movements as you lie on your back, cradled in the arms of a therapist, in a heated pool. Typically the pool is heated to 35 degrees Centigrade, so it’s just like a warm bath.
Performed in one-on-one sessions, Watsu forces you to surrender both psychologically and physically as your therapist slowly cradles, moves, stretches and massages you.
During Watsu sessions, your heart and respiration rates will decrease while your depth of respiration increases and your muscles relax. This practice helps to balance your nervous system, which reduces stress and actually helps to resolve past trauma.
It’s a bit like returning to the womb!
Places to stay if you want to massage, soak, relax:
Where: Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
The Basics: Villa Waringin is a 6-bedroom and 6-bathroom villa within the Pantai Lima Estate which is comprised of five standalone luxury villas.
Why: Where rice paddies meet the ocean, you’ll find the ultimate in relaxation. Villa Waringin is not only one of the most sought after beachfront villas in Bali, but it features a spa room where you can enjoy in-house yoga and wellness treatments. And in those moments when you’re not getting a massage or facial, there are plenty of spots where you can just be and recover – places like Waringin’s 20-metre infinity pool or its beachfront jacuzzi.
Bonus: The tennis court at Pantai Lima Estate has been called one of the best on Bali by professional players. It’s also a very peaceful area – you have to drive 30 minutes to get into the heart of the bustling Seminyak – so you’ll enjoy plenty of privacy for your meditation practice.
Where: Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives
The Basics: A tropical resort & spa with 387 1-bedroom and 1-bathroom villas.
Why: The Maldives could be considered the world’s wellness capital, and Kuredu Maldives Resort is the perfect place to detox and get in touch with your best self. The resort is surrounded by beautiful lagoons, white sandy beaches and tons of under and over water activities.
Bonus: On top of being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Kuredu is home to the Duniye Spa, where in-house therapists apply Asian massage techniques and use only chemical free, pure organic compounds to release all tension. Then there are all the bars, restaurants and the over-water villas!
When you want to get physical
Bootcamps are by no way revolutionary, but they’re so common for a reason, and it is not just about looking better (although that helps). Bootcamps are about feeling better – body and mind.
By embracing your fitness, you really start the journey to self-care. Getting fit has been shown to decrease stress and anxiety because it improves your energy levels and your sleep cycles.
Bootcamps don’t have to just be about running circuits either! You can, of course, take on HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), and the TRX, but you can also spend that time learning new skills like Muay Thai boxing. Whatever you do, being active will make your mind and body happy.
Places to stay if you want to get physical:
Where: Lipa Noi (western coast), Koh Samui, Thailand
The Basics: A beachfront villa within the Chai Talay Estate with 8-bedrooms and 8-bathrooms.
Why: Forget the fact that Baan Kilee is gorgeous, directly on the beach and comes with a dedicated kids zone for a moment. Baan Kilee is the perfect place to go when the best way to achieve wellness is to let loose your inner Hulk (in a positive way, of course). The villa has access to the Chai Talay Estate’s world-class gym. The estate also offers a series of wellness retreats and boot camps – 1-on-1 coaching is also available. The wellness retreats cover everything from guided meditation and sunset yoga, to nutrition and cooking courses.
Bonus: Ok, back to the fact that Baan Kilee is gorgeous (as is the entire Chai Talay Estate) – there is a large lawn, stunning views of the ocean, and tall coconut trees. As well, the villa is fully staffed with a spectacular Thai chef and wellness menu. There is also a 22-metre pool with a children’s pool and a swim-up bar, an outdoor and indoor cinema and a plethora of watersport activities. And, it’s wheelchair friendly.
Where: Lower Hirafu, Niseko, Japan
The Basics: A 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom chalet with stunning views of Mt. Yotei.
Why: Niseko might not spring to the front of your mind when it comes to wellness, but there is something to be said for embracing the cold and the snow (it seems to work for the Nordic countries). Soseki, with its expansive spa bathroom, feels like the perfect place to learn how as you submerge yourself in hot waters, embrace the snow and rejuvenate body and mind.
With all that body rejuvenation, you might just want a workout too – so, it’s a good thing Soseki is located in Lower Hirafu and next door to some of the world’s best snow and restaurants.
Bonus: Plus, there are gorgeous gas indoor fireplaces to keep your nights warm and conversations light, as well as a dedicated media room for when you want to escape into another life.
If you need all the wellness
Try: Sound healing
Although it is fairly unknown these days, sound healing is an ancient wellness method that is said to date back to the ancient Greeks. Back then, music was used to cure mental disorders, and over time it has evolved to be used to boost morale, help people work more productively and to, theoretically, ward off evil spirits.
Nowadays, sound therapy is all about improving your physical and emotional health through a series of practices like singing bowl therapy. In singing bowl therapy, a practitioner firmly presses a mallet in a circular motion around the outside edge of a metal bowl. The motion produces a deep penetrating sound that’s said to help relax the mind. This relaxation helps to reduce stress, anger, depression and fatigue.
If that doesn’t sound up your alley, there a quite a few other sound therapies available. These include vibroacoustic therapy, tuning fork therapy and brainwave entrainment.
Places to stay if you want all the wellness:
Where: Taling Ngam (western coast), Koh Samui, Thailand
The Basics: The View is a 4-bedroom villa with a nanny’s room and a six-bed dorm room for children, plus five-bathrooms.
Why: An expansive villa with plenty of space for roaming, exercise and relaxation, The View Samui is perfect for anyone that needs the whole wellness package. Not only is there a dedicated massage sala for total relaxation, but there’s a fully equipped gym when you need to blow off steam, plenty of space for yoga, and tons of equipment and room for activities like croquet, cricket and football.
Oh, and you can also get those Muay Thai lessons you’ve been dreaming of! Plus, there is a 22-metre infinity pool with jacuzzi and shallow area. There’s also a waterfall to help keep all those thoughts away during your meditation time.
Bonus: The view at The View is everything. With the villa’s floor-to-ceiling windows, each bedroom has its own expansive 180-degree view of the ocean and wraparound balcony – and, the kids have their wing of the villa so you won’t be disturbed while you’re achieving max wellness.
Read also: 12 Villas of Christmas: The View Samui
Where: Canggu, Bali, Indonesia
The Basics: Villa Ambra is 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom oceanfront villa in the Pantai Lima Estate.
Why: Sometimes wellness isn’t just about meditating or exercising or even being outside. Rather it’s about enjoying life with some furry friends because a lot of the time what we need to be happy is a snuggle with a puppy. Villa Ambra is home to four gorgeous dogs who are available for all the love and cuddle therapy you could possibly need to go home feeling like your best self.
Bonus: The sense of wellness you can get at Villa Ambra isn’t all about the dogs. There’s also a 20-metre infinity pool with jacuzzi, a shallow pool for the children, and a private cinema. And, like at Villa Waringin, which is also part of the Pantai Lima Estate, Ambra is as quiet and as private a place as you can find for all the good vibrations you need.
Plus, there is plenty of space for your yoga practice and a world-class tennis court if you need to get rid of some pent up energy!
Read also: The Dogs of Villa Ambra