Sometimes you simply have to accept that it can’t be all work and no play. In an age where the pressure to be productive in everything we do, reaching a state of burnout can be relatively easy. In fact, many people let it go unnoticed. There is, however, a specific type of vacation that can help with that.
Wellness retreats can be a blend of relaxation and education, though they take many different forms. Usually, they include therapeutic activities such as yoga, meditation, massage, or other spa-related things. They can also be used as a teaching tool, you can learn how to incorporate the lifestyle you experience on this retreat into your daily life. This can help you achieve an overall sense of wellness and health.
With that said, we at Slingo, have put together a list of the best countries that are best for taking a wellness retreat. Using Tripadvisor, we have looked at which countries have the best resort hotels, wellness and spa activities and we’ve also searched for keywords in the reviews for each country.
The Best Countries for a Wellness Retreat
Wellness retreat score: 9.5/10
Thailand is the ideal destination for anyone in search of a wellness retreat. Often known as the spa capital of Asia, Thailand is home to some of the most therapeutic and luxurious retreats in the world. Thailand ranks in the top position on our list, with better reviews for wellness activities and resorts than any other destination we looked at.
Wellness retreat score: 8.5/10
From Bali to private island retreats, Indonesia is the ideal place to start a journey of self-discovery, health and healing. In second place, Indonesia is one of our top countries for a wellness retreat, thanks to its warm weather and highly rated wellness and spa activities.
Wellness retreat score: 8.5/10
The Maldives is a nirvana for lovers of travelling, adventure and wellness. Famous for its tranquil, white-sand beaches and marine life, the Maldives has something for everyone, and its wellness retreats don’t disappoint. The Maldives has the hottest average temperature out of all the countries on our list, at 27.65ºC and the highest percentage of 4 star and above wellness and spa activities.
Countries with the Highest Rated Wellness Activities
Number of Wellness & Spa Activities: 29 | Number of Wellness & Spa Activities (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 26 | Percentage of Four Stars and Higher Wellness & Spa Activities: 88.37%
Officially known as the Republic of Maldives, this archipelago of a country has already placed well for good average temperatures. In terms of sheer numbers, there were 29 total spa and wellness activities. However, 88.73% of those were rated four stars and higher, which demonstrates the country's quality when it comes to activities such as relaxing spa days and guided meditation sessions.
Number of Wellness & Spa Activities: 2673 | Number of Wellness & Spa Activities (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 1952 | Percentage of Four Stars and Higher Wellness & Spa Activities: 73.03%
This Southeastern Asian country is well known for its beaches, resorts, and therefore its relaxing atmosphere. In terms of spa and wellness activities, Thailand doesn’t disappoint, having a total of 2,673 available to choose from. When those are filtered to four-star ratings and higher, 73.03% of those activities remain. The top rated activity was from Ocean Sound, offering professional yoga and pilates classes.
Number of Wellness & Spa Activities: 2067 | Number of Wellness & Spa Activities (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 1482 | Percentage of Four Stars and Higher Wellness & Spa Activities: 71.70%
Rounding out the top three, we have another Asian country, Indonesia, which is also in the southeast of the continent. Wellness and spa activities you would find on a wellness retreat in Indonesia are likely to be heavily rooted in Asian therapeutic medicine and wellness practices. Bhava Spa was the highest-rated place for wellness activities in Indonesia. They state that while their packages are inspired by ancient Asian medicine, they have modernised their treatments to make them more relevant to today’s world. They offer a range of treatments, such as a variety of massages, body scrubs, and ritual baths.
Countries with the Highest Rated Resorts
1. The United States
Number of Resort Hotels: 390 | Number of Resort Hotels (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 389 | Percentage of Resort Hotels Rated 4 Stars and Higher: 99.74%
The United States is a popular destination for standard holidays, it would seem that it’s a pretty good destination for wellness retreats too. With 390 resort hotels across the states, 389 of those are four stars and higher, which equals 99.74%. That’s certainly a statement for the sheer amount of quality you’ll be getting. The highest-rated resort in the USA was Pineapple Point Guest House & Resort, in Florida. The resort offers a range of facilities, including a spa, gym and fitness facilities, massages and a heated pool.
Number of Resort Hotels: 372 | Number of Resort Hotels (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 369 | Percentage of Resort Hotels Rated 4 Stars and Higher: 99.19%
South of the US border lies Mexico, the second North American country to feature here. In a country that has no shortage of gorgeous beach locations, many of those beaches have some truly stunning resorts for your wellness retreats. With 372 resort hotels in Mexico, 99.19% of those are four stars and higher, which is incredibly impressive. Grand Velas Los Cabos was the highest-rated resort in Mexico, boasting five stars and over 1,200 reviews on Tripadvisor. The resort offers facilities you’d expect, a fitness centre, aerobics classes, a spa and on top of that, it’s located right by the beach. Perfect for your wellness retreat needs.
Number of Resort Hotels: 51 | Number of Resort Hotels (Rated 4 Stars and Higher): 50 | Percentage of Resort Hotels Rated 4 Stars and Higher: 98.04%
Moving over to Europe, we have Germany coming in with the third most resorts rated four stars and higher. As well as being a culturally rich country with plenty to do, outside of wellness-related activities, Germany has 51 resorts in total on Tripadvisor, 98.04% of those being rated four stars and higher. Schloss Elmau, Germany’s highest-rated resort, offers a sauna, spa, massages, facial treatments and much more.
Countries with the Best Reviews for Wellness Activities and Resorts
“Beautiful” Mentions in Reviews: 738 | “Amazing” Mentions in Reviews: 2233 | “Luxurious” Mentions in Reviews: 82 | Total Keyword Mentions in Reviews: 3053
Thailand had the most mentions of words such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘luxurious’ in reviews for wellness activities and resort hotels, with over 3,000. It also comes out as the most “amazing” country for wellness retreats, with more than 2,200 mentions in reviews.
“Beautiful” Mentions in Reviews: 1089 | “Amazing” Mentions in Reviews: 1077 | “Luxurious” Mentions in Reviews: 141 | Total Keyword Mentions in Reviews: 2307
Iceland, one of the best places in the world to get a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis, had 2,307 keyword mentions in reviews for their resorts and wellness activities. Being one of the sites of the Northern Lights, it’s no surprise that it also came out as the most beautiful country, with 1,089 mentions of the word in reviews.
3. Costa Rica
“Beautiful” Mentions in Reviews: 1039 | “Amazing” Mentions in Reviews: 1084 | “Luxurious” Mentions in Reviews: 95 | Total Keyword Mentions in Reviews: 2218
Located in Central America, the rainforest country of Costa Rica had the third most keyword mentions in reviews. Their reviews also had 1,039 mentions for the word “beautiful” making it the second most beautiful country in this ranking for wellness retreats. It was also the third most luxurious country, behind only Iceland and China.
Countries with the Best Average Temperatures for Wellness Retreats
Average Temperature 1991-2020: 27.65ºC
The Maldives, surely don’t need an introduction, the gorgeous white sand beaches, and glorious weather of this archipelagic country are renowned. No matter what activity you endeavour upon, the Maldives will almost always have fantastic weather for you to take it outside. However, be cautious travelling here during their wet seasons, as storms are commonplace.
2. Sri Lanka
Average Temperature 1991-2020: 26.95ºC
Not far from the sunny shores of Maldives, we have Sri Lanka, an island country located to the South-West of the Bay of Bengal and just off the coast of India. The coastal regions of Sri Lanka boast a much more tropical climate, whereas the upland regions tend to have a more temperate climate, averaging around 20ºC.
Average Temperature 1991-2020: 26.3ºC
Across the other side of the Bay of Bengal, lies Thailand, an Asian country known for its beaches, resorts, opulent royal castles, and ancient ruins. And with such an impressive average temperature over the last twenty years, Thailand is an excellent choice for a wellness retreat with an outdoor focus.
We began by gathering lists of countries with renowned wellness retreats and resorts, using places such as Harpers Bazaar and Travel and Leisure to get an idea of the best countries for wellness retreats.
We then used Tripadvisor to search each country for their total volume of resorts and wellness activities, also noting how many of those were rated four stars and higher. From those two figures, we were then able to calculate the percentage of resorts and wellness activities that were rated four stars and higher. This was to give a better representation of the data.
We then looked at the highest-rated resorts and wellness activities reviews, searching each review page for these keywords: beautiful, amazing and luxurious. We took down how many times each world appeared and then added a total for all keyword mentions.
Finally, we get the average temperature for each country, using World Population Review, giving an average of temperatures from 1991-2020 in ºC.