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Spas/Retreats

Winter Wellness Escape to 30+ Hot Springs in Colorado

February 14, 2016 by  

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I’ve been to Colorado a few times in the past; once to do a month-long adventure-focused road trip with a boyfriend, another to attend a blogger conference and rent a cabin in Keystone, and another to explore the outdoors in Grand County. While I’ve gotten to explore the state through hiking, canyoning, downhill mountain biking and off-roading, I was yet to experience city life in Denver, a destination that, especially since they legalized pot, was experiencing quite the boom. So I decided that, with no plans but a booked apartment through Airbnb, I’d hop in my car and drive to Denver for the month to enjoy a more urban yet still very outdoorsy (you can easily see the mountains from the city) Colorado experience. While the plethora of restaurants, arcade game-filled bars, burlesque-fused comedy shows, expansive parks and B-Cycle rentals kept me entertained, I still found myself craving a few day trips. Along with hiking Mount Falcon (great views and only a 20-minute drive from Denver), I grabbed a friend and headed up to Grand County, a place I’d explored on previous travels but never through its hot springs offerings.

Colorado is full of hot springs!

hot sulfur springs

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Wellness Makes Big Splash at New York Times Travel Show

January 18, 2016 by  

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 This year’s New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javit’s Center in New York seemed to be busier than ever on opening day Saturday January 9. For the first time, The New York Times Travel Show created a Pavilion entirely devoted to Wellness Travel, with the assistance of wellness travel journalist and consultant Anne Dimon, CEO of Travel-to-Wellness. I was thrilled that they dedicated an entire section of the conference to health and wellness since I’m a huge believer in holistic living, organic eating and exercise as a formula for being healthy and you can’t separate that approach to life when you’re on the road. Let’s take a look at some of the health and wellness gems I discovered at the show, some I had known for years and others, I hadn’t heard of before a month ago. If you’re not integrating wellness into your travel agendas, perhaps some of these retreats and experiences will encourage you to re-think how, why and where you travel.

Art of Living Retreat Center

The Art of Living Retreat Center is a unique wellness destination for travelers heading to America’s South Atlantic and lower Mid-Atlantic region. With a big focus on both spirituality and wellness, they…

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Top Yoga & Wellness Retreats For Your Bucket List

January 10, 2016 by  

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Let’s take a look at some of the greatest  yoga retreats and wellness escapes from around the world, at least the ones we love. This list compiles a variety of trips that include traditional retreats with more unusual trips, for example, yoga on a windjammer or in the jungles of Nicaragua. All of these trips take place in eco-conscious locations and, of course, serve delicious, healthy food to fuel your practice. Crossing the Threshold Retreat in Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Brown. Crossing the Threshold Retreat in Nicaragua. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Brown.

1. Crossing The Threshold 2016 Retreat (Playa Maderas, Nicaragua)

Celebrate the Spring Equinox in Playa Maderas with Elizabeth Brown of Steeped in Grace’s Crossing the Threshold retreat. Twice each day enjoy outdoor yoga and meditation classes, refining your poses to the sounds of tropical birds and howler monkeys. Afternoons are free for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, shopping in Granada, relaxing in hammocks or visiting the local surf legion for a massage. Meals feature locally grown, organic produce and fresh fish eaten family style, while accommodations are eco-friendly treehouse bungalows. With no electricity between 9am and 5pm, you’ll be encouraged to power off your devices and enjoy the natural…

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6 Serenity Stays in Jamaica

December 28, 2015 by  

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My yogi retreat to Jamaica last month was a success, largely because I committed to every class except for one and used that time for mind/body reflection and a long walk on the beach. Wellness was the order of the day — see my write up on our yoga adventures. Some of the yoga venues happen to be hotels and resorts as well so there’s a bit of overlap between articles, but take a look at the “resort” features of each of these places that put an emphasis and focus on wellness and serenity.

Tensing Pen

Blissful yet simple, these rooms are in cottages that overlook the ocean — on one side, you get a westerly view and on the other side, you look to the east — a thin but sturdy wooden bridge connects the two. There are plenty of places to lounge about so you can bask in the sun, read a book or simply go for a walk. The water is warm enough to swim any time of day and it’s so crystal blue, it’s easy to be tempted. They also have healthy and…

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Wellness Travel: Where To Get Your Yogi & Tea on in Victoria

December 22, 2015 by  

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People go to Victoria for different reasons and I went for wellness. Over the past year I’ve started carving out more “me” time, whether that meant going on a walk along or taking a half-hour to meditate. Believe me, it’s not easy, as I’m sure all of you know but I really do believe that finding a semblance of balance is key to a happy and healthy life. Hence, my trip to Oak Bay Beach Hotel. My time here was brief but I made the most of it and I really do feel better as a result. Based on my experience, here’s my tips for creating your own wellness trip in Victoria. Tea Farm on Vancouver Island

Nature Hikes

While I could have easily spent my entire 48 hours at Oak Bay, this was my first time in Victoria and I wanted to see as much as my quick trip allowed. Mark of Hike Victoria met me inside the hotel for an afternoon excursion in the great outdoors. The first thing that struct me about Mark is his enthusiasm for Victoria’s natural surroundings. I hadn’t even seen anything yet but I was already excited. Hike Victoria caters…

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Wellness Travel: Where To Get Your Yogi on Along the Jamaican Coast

December 16, 2015 by  

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One wouldn’t blame you if all you envisioned in your mind is Reggae when you hear the word Jamaica or perhaps you start visualizing drinking Rum Runners on a sandy beach under a straw hut with Bob Marley playing in the background. While Marley and other music greats like Peter Tosh and others have added to Jamaica’s mystique, there’s a entirely different side to this Caribbean island nation which has no shortage of lush mountains, rain forests and reef-lined beaches. Sure, families and couples are known to flock to some of Jamaica’s all-inclusive resorts, which tend to be clustered in Montego Bay, known for its British colonial architecture, and to Negril, renowned for diving and snorkeling. Its capital Kingston is the largest city on the island and is home to the Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the city’s most famous son.  Kingston is home to most of the city’s nightlife and there are many luxury boutiques around the island as well as popular luxury resorts like Sandals. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I didn’t listen to Reggae music during my most recent jaunt to Jamaica’s west coast, but the experience was

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Get Your Spa Moments in Southern Jamaica

December 12, 2015 by  

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When you think of luxury spas in the Caribbean or at all, you likely think of high end resorts on some island a little off the beaten path or you might think of a well known hotel chain like a Ritz Carlton who has properties scattered throughout the world and those who have experienced one of their spa treatments know, they’re hard to beat. That said, while I have loved every spa treatment I’ve had at a 5 star chain (and we’ve written about many of them here), there’s something incredibly raw about island energy and getting as close to nature as possible 4 or 5 star property or not, can be very healing and pampering. I was introduced to a few basic but oh so lovely spa experiences during my recent jaunt to Jamaica for a Yoga Retreat. It shouldn’t be surprising that some of the properties who hold yoga classes and retreats have spa services on-site or in some cases, a full blown spa where you can experience it all. Be sure to read my Yoga post on Jamaica for more highlights of the trip, which while it focuses mostly on yoga, I have referenced where…

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Health & Wellness: Indian Springs Mud Baths in Calistoga California

October 17, 2015 by  

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Have you ever been somewhere for the first time, and you got so mad at yourself for not having gone there sooner? Experiencing my first mud bath at ~INDIAN SPRINGS~ in Calistoga California was like that. As soon as I pulled up to the spa—with its charming Mission Revival historic building, palm trees, and punchy orange table umbrellas—I felt like I was visiting a resort in Palm Springs that had been magically dropped down into Calistoga.
2-indiansprings-pool-entrance.jpeg Photo credit: tablehopper Talking to some of my long-term San Francisco friends, they remember when it was Pacheteau Baths, up until 1988, when Pat and John Merchant bought the property and renamed it Indian Springs. But the history of this land stretches back 8,000 years, when the Wapoo Indians settled here, creating sweat lodges and enjoying the mineral waters. It’s pretty remarkable: the Indian Springs property has four geysers, and all the volcanic ash they use for the mud baths is from the property as well. Back when Sam Brannan owned all of upper Napa Valley, he envisioned the area as a resort. He built the original spa, mud baths, pool, and a racetrack—in 1861! Leland…

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