With national awareness surrounding the fifth annual Global Wellness Day on June 11, and an increased mindfulness on keeping fit and healthy sweeping the nation — from juice cleansing to binge watching The Biggest Loser — we checked-in with some of the top retreats to find out where the celebrities like to get away and sweat. Some of these tried-and-true hot spots have been around for a long time, but some new initiatives are also popping up at mainstream hotels. One thing we did discover? Oprah has been to almost all of these spas at one time or another... so surely they're good enough for you!
1. The Ranch, Malibu and The Ranch 4.0, Westlake
Just above the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Monica Mountains, the exclusive the Ranch is limited to 16 people each week. The strict "no-options" policy includes no Wi-Fi or cell phone reception so you can enjoy the serene mountain settings and bond with the other guests on the 200 miles of hiking trails or yoga pavilion on this working organic farm.
If you want to lose weight and disconnect but can’t be away for the full week, The Ranch 4.0 is a mini-version of Malibu Ranch’s acclaimed week-long program, in a four-day form that allows you to stay connected to the outside word. Plus, you have the posh setting of the Four Seasons hotel in Westlake. But, you won’t get off that easy: There is still a rigorous eight to 10 hours per day of exercise and a 1,400 calorie veggie diet, but there is a daily massage "reward" as well. Celebrity fans include Rebel Wilson, Selma Blair, Lea Michelle, Mandy Moore, Julianne Hough, Busy Phillips, Rami Malik, Brittany Snow, and Minka Kelly.
Another option: The Wellness Center (California Health & Longevity Institute) at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village also offers overnight packages for "Detox + Disconnect," "Relax + Recharge," or "Shape Up + Slim Down." And, we are happy to share that the Wellness Kitchen on the property has added a Wine Wednesday paired with healthy dishes and several hands-on interactive cooking classes.
2. Enchantment/Mii Amo in Sedona
Set amid the staggeringly dramatic red rocks of Sedona, this magical retreat almost looks like a wild west film set. The lure for VIP’s and celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow to Enchantment Resort might be the access to Mii Amo spa and the Seven Canyons Golf Club, all under the same umbrella.
Mii Amo offers five journeys to focus guests' intentions and experience from de-stress to healthy body balance along with soulful, spiritual, and transformational explorations. Specialized treatments surrounding release include “Spirit of the Full Moon,” “New Moon,” or the “Inner Quest,” which is based on a Native American ceremony and ritual. After, you can enjoy an organic and sustainable cocktail or wines paired with conscious cuisine rich in healthy-levels of good fat while you watch the magnificent sunset.
3. Rancho La Puerta, Tecate
Oprah, Madonna, and Kate Winslet have all visited Rancho La Puerta on the edge of Southern California near the Mexican border. The group recently launched a new series of 50-minute energy healing treatments, focusing on being more "spirituality grounded." The wellness treatments include Reiki, Reconnective Healing, Somatic Experiencing, and Lifeline Technique.
A new organic juice bar, Tierra Alegre, is also in the mix — that translates to “Joyous Land," BTW — offering seasonal, organic cold-pressed juices and smoothies harvested at Rancho Tres Estrellas, the property’s six-acre organic farm. They have also started to focus on men's wellness programming and a skin care line, Organic Male for Men, used in the men's spa treatments. And you can now cook and dance the night away with Salsa y Salsa, a three-hour class at the culinary center, La Cocina Que Canta.
4. Cal-a-Vie, San Diego
The celebrity quotient at Cal-a-Vie is huge: Some of the many fans of this Provencal-style spa with gourmet healthy meals include Angelica Houston, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley, Oprah, Paula Abdul, Rikki Lake, Russell Crowe, Shailene Woodley, Tom Ford, Tyra Banks, Natalie Portman, and Valerie Bertanelli.
The property is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a special “30 Years Young” package that includes anti-aging spa and beauty treatments and metabolism-boosting fitness classes, as well as complimentary fitness assessments.
5. Viceroy, Mexico
Celebs like Tiffani Amber Thiessen love the Viceroy — the star celebrated her 40th birthday at the resort. Most people were first introduced to Zihuatanejo on Mexico’s Pacific Coast as an escape in the The Shawshank Redemption film with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman.
Viceroy’s newly launched "Way to Wellness" program will resonate with celebs as well as other guests who are not into leaving their healthy habits at home while they vacation. Newport Beach based wellness doctor Edward Taub created the program based on his "Wellness Solution."
The program also includes a Vegan Market Excursion, personally escorted by Executive Chef Eduardo Avila.
6. Four Seasons Costa Rica
In keeping with the demand for wellness, Four Seasons in Costa Rica has rolled out phase one of “Pura Vida for All.” The program is inspired by the pura vida way of life that Costa Rica is known for. It has lured everyone from Bill Gates, to Jay Z and Beyoncé, to Pink, to Gisele Bündchen and Miranda Kerr.
It starts with a consultation by a Wellness Concierge who will help you disconnect to reconnect (they will even take your phone away for 24 hours and give you a list of things to do in the interim), and a Natural Remedies Class using native herbs and foods for healing. Exclusively created for this resort, the initiative brings together the principles behind the country's secret to living longer, and being healthier and happier — which might include yoga, meditation, or rebalancing your seven chakras. If you can stay in this jungle sanctuary on the Peninsula Papagayo, you will definitely be happier —given there are two idyllic beaches to choose from. The full program is set to launch in early 2017.
7. AJA, Malibu
New to the Malibu wellness landscape, Aja in Malibu will open in late June with a program designed to realign the seven chakras; this is not about an exterior weight-loss transformation but an interior tune-up. The stunning hilltop retreat surrounded by seven gardens is utilized not just for meditating, but also for the vegan cooking program. This appears to be the perfect setting for serenity and inner peace. The décor was sourced from Tibet to Bali, and the spa is crystal cave-like and comforting. Aja requires a seven-night minimum stay to disconnect and will set you back about $10,000 for the privilege. We are anticipating a huge celebrity clientele and slew of VIP devotees.
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