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Begin the year with an international wellness retreat for the mind and body

Elevate your travels and life this year with dynamic fitness, wellness and culinary adventures in these three stunning destinations.

By Paul Oswell | January 4, 2024

The start of a new year is the perfect time to take stock and establish new wellness routines. Choose experiences and travels that enhance your life in every way — mentally, physically, spiritually and even gastronomically. Exploring a new destination, plus a commitment to mindfulness and self-care are great starting points. Here are some ideas to celebrate the best version of yourself:

  • Fitness in Bali: From ocean swims to hikes through majestic natural landscapes, get your workout in with stunning views

  • Mindfulness in Tulum: Try beachside yoga and meditation or tap into the region’s ancient healing traditions

  • Quality cuisine in Algarve: Fresh seafood, organic produce and world-class wines await

spa in hotel
Immerse yourself in an exclusive holistic fitness program at Conrad Bali.

Bountiful Bali

Bali is one of the crown jewels of Indonesia — an island paradise that enjoys unparalleled natural beauty. There’s a holistic approach to physical wellness here, with ancient wisdom and practices handed down through the generations. The island also boasts its own massage techniques, with the Balinese style incorporating reflexology and acupressure.

Consider trading the lap pool for some of the region’s most stunning waters at Batu Bolong Beach or the equally spectacular Canggu Beach. If you prefer dry land, set out for a heart-healthy hike on one of Bali’s many beautiful trails. Your concierge can arrange for a private guide to take you to see the sunrise over Mount Batur on a popular, moderate-intensity hike, with a walkable route that usually takes two to three hours to complete.

You can also find an exhilarating fitness regimen at Conrad Bali, where the resort’s exclusive three-prong JIWA Wellness program takes a holistic approach to level up your overall wellbeing. To optimize physical strength, there’s a host of cardio-focused offerings through JIWA Strength. You can sign up for private guided cycling tours through local villages, join a Tae Bo class or take tennis lessons or full-body circuit training as part of the expertly curated program.

At JIWA Spa, you can soothe your muscles with therapeutic treatments designed to restore the body, mind and spirit using ancient techniques. Through JIWA Sense programming, you can partake in chakra balancing, sound healing and forest bathing. No matter what wellness path you choose, the culinary offerings at Conrad Bali are the perfect complement, with menus focused on fresh vegetables, seafood and locally sourced meats at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars

Couple at Spa
Reconnect with yourself through mind and body relaxation at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya.

Meditative Tulum

There are a host of elements that contribute to your overall wellbeing, and traveling can tap into many of them at the same time. This is especially true when you visit a destination like Tulum.

In addition to stunning landscapes, spectacular coastline and ancient ruins, there’s a cutting-edge wellness scene with a diverse range of practices. This stretch of the Yucatan Peninsula is home to dozens of independent wellness studios with classes covering everything from candlelit yoga and beachside Pilates to any number of life-enhancing experiences.

Sun salutation yoga poses are a reflective way to start the day at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya. Join the resort’s instructors and stretch out with the incredible Mexican Caribbean coast as a backdrop. The resort also incorporates activities that tap into local culture and focus on learning, connecting and mindfulness. Learn to read a Mayan calendar and discover the wisdom of local astrology, help build a garden, immerse yourself in the jungle or join the full moon celebrations. From drum circles and stargazing to sound healings, your mind and spirit will be renewed.

Afterward, visit Conrad Spa Tulum, which highlights local cleansing and wellness rituals. Bask in the herbal remedies and feel the benefits of sacred healing practices, all from within their state-of-the-art treatment rooms.

chefs preparing food
Savor incredible cuisine made from fresh ingredients at Conrad Algarve.

Cultured cuisine in Algarve

One of the many perks of traveling is the opportunity to discover new culinary traditions. And when a destination combines rich flavors with fresh local ingredients, it’s great for your taste buds and body — not to mention the extra dose of dopamine.

Portugal’s Algarve region enjoys a centuries-old love affair with food, and there are plenty of rustic Mediterranean-style delicacies with the potential to become your new gastronomic infatuation. Fresh ingredients and unpretentious dishes are the hallmarks of the best menus in the Algarve, whether it’s fresh-caught seafood, spicy grilled chicken or world-class olives paired with delicious local wines.

Bask in this dynamic food scene while exploring picture-perfect fishing villages or alluring beaches like Vale Do Lobo Beach, which is exclusive to guests at Conrad Algarve. The region’s best produce is also celebrated every day at the resort, particularly at its Michelin-starred flagship restaurant, Gusto by Heinz Beck, where chef Beck crafts outstanding seven- and nine-course tasting menus. Savor masterfully curated dishes prepared in the open kitchen like marinated amberjack with chamomile and pollen pesto or scallops, cauliflower and lemon with caper sauce.

For greater insight into chef Beck’s gourmet creations, join the resort’s market chef discovery tour, and visit a traditional market before preparing your own cataplana, a local meat and seafood stew. Seafood lovers can also experience a clam-picking and oyster-tasting tour to discover ancient skills on a traditional fisherman’s wooden boat with a local clam picker. The exclusive experience ends with an oyster-focused degustation menu paired with the best local wines.

There are countless ways to find inner peace while traveling, from maintaining your physical health and practicing mindfulness to consuming delicious, fresh and sustainable cuisine. Explore a new destination this year and find inspiration and wellness against backdrops that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Paul Oswell is a British award-winning journalist and published travel author based in New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. His books include Bucket List North America and The Great American Road Trip, as well as New Orleans' Historic Hotels. He has also been an editor of and contributor to several guide books/editions published by Dorling Kindersley (owned by Penguin), including New Orleans, Florida, Orlando, Los Angeles, California and The United States. His work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure (both of which he has written multiple online travel guides for) and The Guardian, as well as dozens of international newspaper and magazine titles, and inflight magazines for major airlines.

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