By Alia Akkam for Architectural Digest.
As 2016 unfurls, hopeful vows to lead healthier, more balanced lives will be made in spades. But before you fully embrace a daily regimen of kale smoothies and Pilates workshops, why not jump-start your routine with some inspiring travel plans? Instead of using your holiday gift money to book tickets for an animated urban sojourn filled with museum queues and wee-hours bars, consider a more subdued wellness-minded retreat. Don't fret--this doesn't mean holing up in a bleak dormlike room and attending mandatory meditation sessions. Promising ample time for contemplation and communing with nature, these vacations help instill inner focus while indulging wanderlust. Running the spectrum from an alpine boot camp of sorts in New Zealand to a compound in rural Myanmar reminiscent of a monastery to clifftop casitas in the Caribbean, these eight restorative getaways meld nurturing environs and stylish accommodations with all the healing Vinyasa poses, herbal rubdowns, and wildlife peeping one craves.
Hacienda AltaGracia, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
While brazen zip-lining--one of Costa Rica's top tourist draws--is offered to the guests of Hacienda AltaGracia, a slate of other alfresco escapades encourages them to stay at this intimate property in the mountains of Pérez Zeledón. While relaxing in an earth-tone casita is certainly alluring, adventure is nearby: You can glimpse blue-crowned motmots in the wildlife bird refuge, ride a horse from one of the on-site stables, or partake in an ultralight flight. After a day of excitement, succumb to a bamboo massage in the spa and relax in private sun gardens. From $275/night.
Sanchaya Estate, Bintan Island, Indonesia
A 45-minute ferry ride whisks guests from high-energy Singapore to the serenity of Bintan Island, in Indonesia's Riau Archipelago. Surrounded by the sultry rain forest is Sanchaya Estate, a collection of villas and suites featuring four-posters, Southeast Asian artifacts, and private balconies. After getting one of the lavish spa treatments using chakra-stimulating oils, take a dip in the Olympic-size pool or peruse vintage tomes in the sophisticated library. From $707/night.
Sanctum Inle Resort, Maing Thauk Village, Myanmar
Myanmar's rapid ascent as a tourism hot spot suggests that it will soon be as congested with visitors as its Asian neighbors. But find refuge from the crowds at Sanctum Inle Resort, tucked in a quiet community of wood houses on stilts. Getting to the hushed property first requires a short flight from buzzier Yangon or Mandalay to Heho, a 90-minute drive from the resort. The lofty monastic rooms are elegantly minimalist and feature natural wood and views of Inle Lake or the garden. One invigorating itinerary for the day: watching buffalo graze, followed by Sanctuary Spa's signature tamarind exfoliation and traditional fish and noodle soup at the Refectory, the aptly named restaurant. From $188/night.
Amanera, Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic often signifies a nightlife-fueled escape, but it's far more sedate at Amanera. Part of the posh Aman portfolio, the resort is nestled on over 2,000 acres of Caribbean jungle on the island's north coast. To the east of the property is an ideal whale-watching locale, while to the west is prime kiteboarding territory. Set high atop cliffs, the casitas flaunt floor-to-ceiling windows, warm wood, and private pools. Head down to Playa Grande beach for sunrise downward dogs or to the spa for a sage-infused clay body wrap and smudging. In this must-do ritual, smoke from palo santo wood is fanned over the body as a sacred form of purification. From $1,216/night.
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Aro H?, Glenorchy, New Zealand
A cold plunge pool and infrared sauna are among the perks of the 21-acre Aro H?, near Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island, but don't expect round-the-clock calm. Instead, the intimate, all-inclusive programs--five or seven days long--are filled with physical activities, including twice-daily yoga classes and mountain hikes. After a long day, enjoy detox cuisine and sleep soundly in one of the eco-friendly rooms appointed with recycled wood and locally made wool rugs. From $3,127/program.
ITC Grand Bharat, Hasanpur, India
India is known for its centering yoga and Ayurvedic rituals, but in hectic New Delhi, such peace can feel far away. The mandala-shaped all-suite ITC Grand Bharat, located near the sprawling metropolis, on the northern end of the Aravalli mountain range, replaces the constant bustle with tranquillity. For a true departure from the big city, feast on wholesome Swasthya cuisine before hitting a nature trail. Upon your return, quality time at Kaya Kalp-The Royal Spa awaits. From $754/night.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa, California
California's lush Carmel Valley, just an hour from San Francisco, encompasses vineyards, orchards, and gardens. Such dreamy surroundings are what make Bernardus Lodge & Spa so seductive. Here, food is prepared with ingredients plucked from the organic garden, fireplaces and deep-soaking tubs in the rooms and suites offer secluded relaxation, and spa treatments weave in surprises such as extra-virgin olive oil and birchwood sticks. Guided meditation and sunrise yoga ensure a well-rounded sense of renewal. From $395/night.
Malliouhana (an Auberge Resort), Anguilla
Located atop a bluff and with mighty Caribbean views is the recently revamped Malliouhana (an Auberge Resort), an Anguilla institution for over 30 years. The resort's airy guest rooms and suites, with their soaking tubs and covered patios, feature a soothing palette of island hues. This breezy feel is only further accentuated in the Auberge Spa, where massages unfold with custom-blended oils. The sandy, nearly mile-long beach makes even a crack-of-dawn run sound enticing. From $525/night.
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