Love Yourself, Treat Yourself: 8 Retreats For Solo Travelers
Forget roses and chocolates, treat yourself with forest bathing rituals, energy vortexes, next-level massages, and surf retreats. Because hey, 2023 can be 20-all about me.
Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection
Where: Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica
The Experience: When you want to escape from real life to pura vida (pure life), there's no better place to do so than at Hacienda AltaGracia, a sprawling healing and wellness playground set high above the clouds and jungle of Costa Rica's San Isidro Valley. A retreat designed for the perfect mix of adventure and self care, the property offers waterfall treks, tours of the onsite coffee farm, meditations in the butterfly garden, cooking workshops with the organic produce from the chef's onsite bounty, and cleansing rituals in the 20,000-square-foot spa focused on hydrotherapy and mindful movement. Take it all at your own pace, or join for a Visiting Masters Retreat where wellness experts, fitness instructors, astrologers, creative coaches, journaling experts, and energy healers lead multi-day workshops to take a deeper dive into healing and recharging to return home anew.
Where: Telluride, Colorado
The Experience: If your idea of treating yourself is more about T&T (training and trekking) than R&R, take yourself on your own personal overhaul and tune-up in the San Juan Mountains with high endurance hiking and moving at altitude to increase your body strength, breath and lung support, and push your muscles to a next-level burn. The four- or six-day, eighteen-person retreats include lots of rigorous time up and down the surrounding mountains, daily stretching, meditation, body work, and yoga classes; oodles of intense massages and bodywork; and healthy plant-based meals. Your restoration time is optimized in oxygen-enhanced Reset rooms at Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, in the center of Telluride Village.
Tropic Surf at Four Seasons Resort Desroches Island
Where: Desroches Island, Seychelles
The Experience: For surfers, there's no bigger treat than a lineup of crystal-clear waves all to yourself. Nine hundred miles off the coast of East Africa, the Four Seasons is the only hotel on the three-mile lush coral island in the middle of the Indian Ocean with rustic villas dotted along the white sand beaches that provide the ultimate privacy and endless adventure. Several ocean outfitters are set up on the property including scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and Tropic Surf, a luxury surf camp with pro surfers dedicated to providing all levels of surfers their best wave and days on a board. Varying swells hit different sides of the island, with beginners starting out on the sandy shoreline of the protected beaches, while more advanced surfers are towed out to the reef break via jet-ski assist for fun, long-riding barrels. No matter the wave, you've struck gold on this undisturbed paradise.
Where: Saint Lucia
The Experience: "Give us your body for a week and we'll give you back your mind" is the motto at this all-inclusive spa on the northern end of Saint Lucia. Action-packed offerings include oceanfront yoga, swimming lessons with Olympians, archery, garden scavenging with the chef for lunch prep, wakeboarding around the bay, and infrared therapy and full body health scans with onsite doctors and coaches, followed by a nighttime snorkel with manatees. Or you can just, you know, sit on the beach and fall asleep on page ten of your trashy novel. The health-and-play approach encourages guests to do as much — or as little — as they want in terms of well-being and fitness, eating and drinking, sight-seeing and lazing on the beach. The ultimate salute to your health and happiness. Read more about the experience here.
Where: Various locations, from South America to the Indian Ocean to the Polar Regions
The Experience: For a new spin on community exchange, travelers can delve into their interests while discovering new destination by linking up with Naya for personalized journeys designed around a theme — adventure + nature, arts + ateliers, gastronomy, wellness. Trips can be arranged privately or with small groups of likeminded individuals. On a solo trip to Southern Spain, you could explore Andalusian culture with a history buff, eat your way through Grenada with a local foodie, and bike through Seville with an expert guide. Other adventures may have you exploring the culinary delights and contemporary jazz of Ethiopia, riding horseback along Chilean Steppe, or linking up with an Icelandic hiking tour for women over 50.
The Esalen Institute
Where: Big Sur, California
The Experience: Unleash your inner wild child at this famed compound and non-profit retreat center and community on a wild stretch of California coastline that has been known for its powers to provide everlasting inner peace since the '60s. The sprawling grounds have simple accommodations yurts for meditation, and sitting areas for self-reflection, but its most famous for its rustic and "come as you are" outdoor baths open 24/7 perched on a cliff over the Pacific that the local Esselen tribe used for 6000 years. The property also hosts several weekend workshops learning the fundamentals of energy-healing Japanese reiki, deep dives into psychotherapeutic pathways and portals, and meditation for enlightenment.
Ten Thousand Waves
Where: Santa Fe, New Mexico
The Experience: When you want to truly go off-the-grid, there's no better place to do so than in Santa Fe's sacred ruins and vortexes. Pair that with a Japanese-inspired mountain onsen and you've truly found otherworldly bliss. This East-Meets-West spa experience in the tranquil foothills of the mysterious Sangre de Cristo Mountains offers several hot tubs designed to be the closest thing to bathing in the woods, along with nose-to-toe spa treatments, and transformational healing journeys integrated with psychedelic medicine. Read more on Fathom.
Ananda in the Himalayas
Where: Himalayan foothills of Northern India
The Experience: Perched in the Himalayas above Rishikesh, the North Indian city along the Ganges River, playful monkeys and winding hill roads open onto the former palace estate transformed into an Ayurvedic holistic spa that couldn't win more awards if it tried. Because “healthy" harmoniously includes the mind and soul, diving deep into Hindu culture and philosophy, guests come away with a meaningful experience that carries weight and reflection. Wellness programs are specifically designed to address the ever-evolving stages of a guest's mind and body. The retreat is rooted in holistic healing and spiritual awakening, including body and mind work like meditative strolls in nature, tough Himalayan treks, and Vedantic lectures. Read more on Fathom.