In 2014, we’re resolving to make New Year’s resolutions less of a chore checklist and more of a Choose Your Own Adventure with a marathon in Bhutan, SCUBA at the Cousteau Island retreat, or mediation atop a mountain. After all, they say self-improvement is all about the journey.
Vineyard Vinyasas – Sonoma Wine Country
Hotel Healdsburg’s Winter Warming specials focus on wellness with a side order of Sonoma good life. Have your sparkling wine and then get your skin rejuvenated with a Wine & Honey spa treatment, work out in the vineyard, or take an inspirational cooking class. This is meant to be a quick trip with package rates valid for one- to three-night stays.
Find Your own Fitness at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain has a four-day wellness journey that includes a consultation with a nutritionist, a one-hour personal training session, two spa treatments and unlimited movement studio classes. Guests depart with a custom-tailored fitness program, journal and healthy recipes included.
Become Strong & Sexy – Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda Resort
With Paradisus Resorts’ Life Enriching Activities program, all sorts of lessons are built into the all-inclusive rate. They vary by property, but in Playa del Carmen, the enrichment courses include tango lessons and pole-dancing classes. Mellower activities include flower arrangement and candle-making.
Ballroom on the Beach – Fort Lauderdale
The Sunshine State’s booming tourism economy is evidenced by new and entrepreneurial vacation offerings like Florida Dance Vacations, which is an offshoot of Fort Lauderdale’s Beach Vacation Rentals. Visitors create their own beach/dance vacation itinerary, booking accommodations, ballroom classes and evening events from a list of participating venues and instructors. For retirees with time for an extended vacation and an interest in the ballroom community, this is a great way to experience South Florida.
Wine Education by Osmosis – Carmel
It’s expected that if you do a wine tasting tour of Northern California, you’ll make at least a passing effort to learn something about local wine. But Vendange Carmel Inn makes it incredibly easy to school yourself on at least one local winery as well as its associated vineyards, grape varietals and bottle art. Thirteen local wineries sponsor individual suites in the boutique hotel, and each of them provides winery-themed décor. Check out the wall art or the bathrobes, to get back story before you taste.
Yoga at Rosalie Bay – Dominica
Verdant and volcanic, rather than golden-sanded and flat, Dominica is a different scene altogether than the stereotypical Caribbean island. At eco-luxury property Rosalie Bay Resort, guests take the rainforest route to wellness, with beach yoga in the serene morning light, seaweed wraps and mud baths, hot springs dips, and clean eating featuring locally farmed produce.
SCUBA Certification – Fiji
Renowned for its undersea life and crystalline waters, Fiji is a dream destination for a SCUBA diver. If you’ve been mustering your courage for a maiden voyage undersea, there’s no better place than Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. After all, legendary oceanographer Jacques Cousteau basically invented SCUBA circa WWII. His son’s resort boasts not only the best equipment and instructors, but access to secret dive sites. From January 6-March 31, stay six nights for the price of four. Get SCUBA-certified in three days, and spend the rest of your vacation exploring the secret spots.
Eat, Pray, Run – Marathon in Bhutan
Now that it’s relaxed its tourism policies, the Kingdom of Bhutan is on the bucket list for every wellness-minded traveler. For the Bhutan International Marathon on February 23, COMO Hotels and Resorts has put together a nine-night, two-resort Uma Adventure package from February 19-28. Specifically designed for marathon runners, it includes training sessions, daily yoga, massage and nutritionist-planned meals. Guests will divide their overnights between Uma Paro and Uma Punakha. If you can’t make the marathon, don’t worry, Bhutan’s incredible scenic vistas and holistic experiences are evergreen.
Lena Katz is the author of the Travel Temptations series (SIP, SUN, SNOW), published by Globe Pequot Press in 2009. Lena is also a travel expert for Celebrations/1800FLOWERS and WEtv (online and on-air). She contributes to the South China Morning Post and ABC News online. Lena is a former Orbitz Travel blogger and former columnist for the LA Times. She's been published in Brides Magazine, Robb Rep...(Read More)