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Top 10 Health Retreats Worldwide

February 1, 2014
A lush jungle and a sacred spa are just a couple of elements that make COMO Shambhala Estate one of GAYOT's Top 10 Health Retreats Worldwide.
A lush jungle and a sacred spa are just a couple of elements that make COMO Shambhala Estate one of GAYOT's Top 10 Health Retreats Worldwide.

Instead of going on vacation to party hearty, why not learn how to practice a healthier lifestyle? Visiting one of GAYOT's Top 10 Health Retreats Worldwide could pay off with extra years of a happier, healthier life. Enjoy anti-aging treatments on the Aegean Coast, transformative fitness events on the Riviera Maya and more at GAYOT's Top 10 Health Retreats Worldwide.

Tulum, Quintana Roo
Maya Tulum

Sitting pretty on the Riviera Maya, among white-sand beaches, pristine waters and tropical jungles, Maya Tulum boasts a transformative atmosphere in which guests can relax and focus on cultivating healthy lifestyles. Rightly touted for its world-class yoga events, the resort also hosts classes in life management, personal growth, weight loss, dance, meditation and a host of other modalities — all designed to foster good habits and nurture your wellbeing. If you seek relaxation, we recommend the revitalizing spa. An 80-minute "neurosedative" rubdown should unwind and de-stress even the most overwhelmed souls, but in case that does not do the trick, Maya Tulum has dipped into Mexico's rich cultural heritage to offer hot-stone therapies and Mayan clay massages.

Madikeri, Coorg
Jiva Grande Spa at Vivanta by Taj

It sits atop the hills of a subtropical rainforest in the southern state of Karnataka, India, and a five-hour drive from the major city of Bangalore gets you there. At an altitude of 4,000 feet, with treatments inspired by the rich, local culture, Jiva Grande Spa at Vivanta by Taj in Madikeri, Coorg is the ultimate in all-natural rejuvenation. The retreat's ancient Indian Ayurveda Panchakarma Therapy cleanses the body of toxins, while rejuvenating the spirit and relaxing the mind for long-term health and wellness. The spa's three floors boast breathtaking treetop views and private treatment suites, each with a steam room and shower. Jiva's signature offering, a wood-fired Gudda bath (hot water poured over the body in a picturesque outdoor pavilion), is a traditional healing practice in Coorg households. We suggest taking the full fourteen-day journey, which includes consultation with an Ayurvedic physician and rituals of yoga, chanting and meditation.

Nelson, South Island
Pujjis Wellness Retreat

Less than ten minutes from Nelson on New Zealand's South Island, the Pujjis Wellness Retreat is run by Arvind Pujji. Pujji is an experienced and trained bodyworks practitioner and yoga teacher, and he uses his skills to provide calm, cleansing and comfort. With just three guest rooms, this property guarantees serenity and a personalized escape. Choose between a safe and detoxifying fasting retreat, or the luxury of carefully prepared nourishing meals. You can customize your stay with yoga sessions, massage and meditation, and even an organic juice fast. In your downtime, laze in a hammock on the deck or enjoy long walks in the surrounding hills accompanied by the sound of the river rushing past.

Na Muang, Koh Samui
Kamalaya Koh Samui

Situated on the island of Koh Samui, this wellness retreat and holistic spa enjoys a truly unique location, based around a cave temple once used by Buddhist monks for meditation. Kamalaya means "lotus realm," and you will find plenty of time to practice your lotus pose here. You can also unwind by exploring your surroundings — an idyllic lagoon, white sand beaches, cascading streams and tropical gardens. Customized treatments combine both Eastern and Western healing and include holistic medicine, spa therapies and programs for detoxification and fitness. The best part of your stay: no matter what you choose to do, each activity promises to leave you feeling refreshed, revived and ready to return to the rat race.

Ubud, Bali
COMO Shambhala Estate

The COMO Shambhala group is known for delivering nirvana (Shambhala is Sanskrit for "peace"). At their lush Balinese jungle retreat, located by a sacred spring near Ubud, health seekers will find an all-immersive healing experience amid serene scenery. Choose from six holistic wellness programs such as Cleanse, Stress Management, Ayurveda or their latest, Traditional Oriental Medicine. The latter diagnosis-based, personalized approach features nutritional therapy, Qigong, acupuncture, meditation and herbal medicine. Guests can also indulge in Javanese Royal Lulur Bath or Taksu Massage at the spa, lounge in the water garden or by the pools, hike, climb and participate in a biathlon and more. We love that they attract all types of travelers, from solo trekkers to couples, families and groups in airy accommodations featuring lots of wood and clean, beautiful design accents. Indonesian cuisine is served at Kudus House, but the in-house nutritionist can cater to specific dietary restrictions.