Whats the real definition of a healthy vacation? “Its when you dont need a vacation to recover from your vacation,” says Sheila Cluff, founder and owner of The Oaks at Ojai, a famed destination spa near Santa Barbara, California. The biggest trend in such healthy trips, Cluff says, continues to be a focus on mind-body-spirit connections.
“When youre with like-minded people who are upbeat and want to do more to relax in their livesand then you top it off with relaxing spa treatmentsits the best natural tranquilizer that exists,” she says. No recovery time required. And then, of course, theres that great nutritious spa food and enough exercise to remove any guilt about eating it. Today, there are numerous ways to come home rejuvenated. Heres a quickie tour of just a few options.
Strike a pose
Yoga continues to rule resort fitness menus, and retreats continue to thrive all over the world. But the epicenter of yoga vacations must be Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula. One stand-out is the tiny offshore island of Isla Mujeres--and its beautiful, quiet Na Balam Hotel. Another is Tulum, just 80 miles south of Cancun, where several small hotels make yoga (and Maya-inspired spa therapies) the star of the tropical scene; for a holiday splurge, try the five-night Mind-Body-Spirit package at the venerable Maya Tulum (starting at $920 per person, double occupancy).
And creative hybrids continue to make Zen-tripping fun for every kind of traveler, from wannabe cowgirls (Montanas Runamuk Guest Ranch combines real cattle-driving with daily yoga) to shredders (Via Yoga in Mexico offers Yoga and Surfing packages from $2,195 to $3,495).
Sleep on it
The hottest new trend in spas, actually, is on the other end of the activity spectrum: sleep. Ideal snoozing environmentsfrom Tempur-Pedic mattresses at boutique hotels to medical sleep programs at spasare focusing on everything from treating sleep disorders to scheduling morning classes a bit later so guests can catch up on their sleep debt. For instance, Canyon Ranch (which has locations in Arizona and Massachusetts) already offers overnight sleep observation or a 50-minute consultation with a sleep specialist for $130. To get more information, visit www.canyonranch.com.