Luxury Retreats for an Active Lifestyle
For some, there is nothing quite like relaxing on a beach with a good book and the sun warming your skin; no agendas, no responsibilities...
For others, this stillness is best appreciated in small doses, or earned with activities that reward us with challenges and opportunities for growth. And while we all need time to unwind, the endorphin release resulting from exercise provides myriad health benefits, including improving one’s ability to relax, making it an integral part and important feature of any vacation or retreat.
A wide world of activities awaits those ready to adventure and explore (and looking for a way to do it “in style”). In some cases, this means exotic cuisine and luxury accommodations; in others, accompanying services such as massage therapy, detox treatments, fitness seminars, and nutrition classes round out the experience.
Yoga & Wellness Retreats
Nearest to our hearts are yoga retreats. Despite prevailing opinion, yoga retreats are for more than just women and are much more than just yoga. The best of the best offer something for all skill levels, not just advanced yogis.
With health and wellness so ingrained in the daily routine, cuisine sits at the beating heart of a luxury yoga retreat. The food is often just as important as the practice, made fresh by renowned chefs using locally sourced ingredients, adding an extra level of divine luxury to the experience.
At our annual holiday retreat at the Xinalani Eco-Resort, the chefs draw heavily on Mexico’s bounty for our daily meals, pairing traditional local dishes of fresh fruit and seafood with a yogi-style approach to health and diet.
Hiking and Trekking
Take a lesson in biodiversity while exploring luxurious destinations on foot. Hiking on your vacation is a fantastic way to stay active while also becoming immersed in your surroundings.
One of the true luxuries of hiking is its convenience; much like yoga, it requires very little gear, making it an affordable and low-stress option. Many Exotic Yoga Retreats provide ample time for exploring the surrounding areas. Hiking, safari, and long walks through key points of interest in luxurious surroundings are an integral part of the entire retreat. However, if yoga isn’t your thing, check out some of these hiking-specific luxury retreats:
Mountain Trek boasts “luxury hiking and wellness” in the mountains of British Columbia, while Red Mountain Resort is “blended naturally into a landscape of vivid rock cliffs and canyons of southern Utah,” making it a prime jumping-off point for avid hikers.
The allure of the surf beckons from all corners of the world. After a long day in the water, surfers enjoy some of the most luxurious accommodations anywhere. From Bali to Costa Rica to Indonesia, surfing vacations combine the calming effect of the ocean with luscious physical exertion and invigorating activity.
Lush Palm lists surf camps in exotic locations all around the world, including Indonesia, Bali, Nicaragua, and Portugal. Check out the Tiny Whale Surf Lodge in Portugal’s Algarve Coast for a week of sun and surf with a group or as a solo trip.
Driving and Off-road
On two wheels and four, the adrenaline junky can still find luxury off-road. And while the term luxury may get thrown around a little loosely here, dedicated explorers can find off-road retreats with a luxurious twist.
New Zealand offers a unique level of glamping which incorporates high-end Sprinter Vans and exotic secluded countryside spots to take in its lush landscape. Closer to home, Moab, Grand Canyon, and Hawaii offer incredible experiences for off-road enthusiasts.
The 6-day moto ride meandering through the Amazon basin and up to the Andes mountains, provided by ADV Pulse, is enduro plus luxury, with meals and travel guides provided.
Rafting and Kayaking
Rafting and kayaking enthusiasts have always known that some of the most beautiful places on earth are only accessible by water. Guided tours through the Grand Canyon and Snake Rivers take groups through incredible natural wonders, past vineyards, and provide gourmet riverside cooking.
Take this description of a recent Grand Canyon rafting trip punctuated by the orchestral performance of a string quartet:
“It may appear incongruent at first―a cellist carting her instrument up a slick rock, a violinist keeping time with his sandaled foot―but once the musicians plunge into Beethoven or Bach, you’ll know the grandest of concert halls.”
As for accommodations, river rats should look no further than Oars.com’s list of the 5 best whitewater rafting lodges in the world. From Uganda to the Colorado River, these lodges offer the finest blend of luxury and facility, making them a wonderful respite to a long day on the river.
Sheri Griffith Expeditions offers luxury rafting trips that promise a “riverside oasis” each day and include wine pairings, chef-prepared meals, and comfortable camps after a long day on the river.
We are, of course, biased, but we believe in the healthy mixture of activity and relaxation that a yoga retreat provides. That said, any of these ideas would make for a wonderful luxury retreat for those seeking a balance between relaxation and an active lifestyle.