Travel for wellness: Revive, renew and refresh in the New Year
Exercise, getting outdoors and self-care are all great ways to feel like a new person. Traveling to a new destination can help kick-start those New Year’s resolutions. | Paul Oswell | January 7, 2022
The New Year is the perfect time to think about your own well-being. Aiming for a new fitness routine, time spent in nature and rejuvenating treatments are all great ways to usher in a fresh start. Travel can also open up new ways of thinking. Exploring new destinations will help clear your mind and make space for a reset. Unforgettable experiences will make your trip even more special, so here are our recommendations to help with your resolutions:
California living: Find a healthy focus on wellness in an invigorating, sun-blessed environment
Utah calling: Be inspired by some of the world’s most beautiful scenery in some incredible national parks
Berlin dreaming: Indulge in lavish spa treatments that will revive the body and awaken the senses
Want a resolution you can keep? Moving your body in new ways and learning a new skill makes exercising more of an adventure. California is rightly famed for its year-round surfing opportunities, and learning the basics is easier than you think. There are dozens of surf schools, but look to take private lessons in one of the affluent beach towns such as La Jolla or Santa Monica, both with beautiful backdrops and top-tier amenities.
If you prefer to exercise indoors, then a sophisticated studio might be more to your liking. The Los Angeles outpost of Simone de la Rue’s Body By Simone boasts an A-list clientele. The studio has fun, high-intensity dance classes as well as traditional yoga. You might also spot Hollywood names enjoying the 10th-floor views of the Pacific Ocean at Erica Bloom Pilates in Brentwood, where you can also sign up for acupuncture, yoga, and holistic health counseling.
If you’re still looking for ideas, then your personal concierge at Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club can help. Experiences available on site range from private yoga classes on the gorgeous beach to outdoor cycling classes with that sea breeze to cool you down. There’s also guided meditation in the lush hotel gardens, or an expert-led hike along the nearby bluffs. There’s even an exclusive e-bike tour of ‘locals only’ beauty spots and historic sites that ends with a well-deserved Veuve Clicquot tasting session back at the resort. After your day of adventure, settle into your private terrace to watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean.
Renewal in the great outdoors
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of leaving the stresses of the city behind and letting the natural world provide a salve for your soul. Feel the tension wash away with the inescapable beauty of mountains, lakes and forests as your playground.
The national parks in southern Utah boast ancient rock formations, valleys and woodlands in the region and are on land that is hundreds of millions of years old. They create otherworldly landscapes, and exploring them is a chance to escape like you’ve never experienced. At Bryce Canyon National Park, for instance, you can marvel at the park’s famous pinnacle rock formations (known as hoodoos), which give off a fiery glow in the sun. Within the 2,000 dramatic rock formations at Arches National Park, you can see huge stone rainbows against the desert skies. Or seek out your inspiration at the Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park, feeling your spirits rise as you stand at Mesa Arch as the sun rises.
You can see all of these natural wonders in style. Helicopter tours show off the parks’ highlights from dramatic, lesser-seen angles, and drop in for picnic lunches on otherwise inaccessible vantage points. Private jeep tours with local experts also bring the panoramas to life making the most of your time while creating exciting memories.
Waldorf Astoria Park City enjoys its own enviable location just west of Salt Lake City, surrounded by spectacular hills and the scenic peak of Iron Mountain. In the winter months, your dedicated concierge can book a horse-drawn sleigh ride, which will have you bundled up in a cozy blanket, warm bevvy in-hand, traversing through scenic trails. Or, try out a new adventure with bobsledding at the Utah Olympic Park.
Further your adrenaline fix on the slopes with heli-skiing or luxuriate in the Alpine ambiance with a snowmobile tour. The onsite Ski Valet will check in any equipment you might bring and deliver it to the gondola for an effortless transition from hotel to slopes. When the snows clear, you can hike and mountain bike in the foothills with bespoke signature experiences on offer. With more than 7,300 acres of stunning terrain, enjoying the outdoor life here is easy.
Make time for a refresh
Improving your wellness regimen can take a little effort, so it’s important to reward yourself from time to time. Checking into a lavish spa for a massage, steam room or beauty treatment is a rare example of an indulgence that only has positive side effects, meaning you can enjoy these treats guilt-free.
Berlin has a reputation for lively nightlife and self-indulgence, and so it should come as no surprise that you can also find a healthier, more restorative scene that balances out the excesses. Germany has a strong tradition of spas and saunas, so you’ll have no problem finding an alluring oasis to kick-start those feelings of renewal.
The old-school saunas and steam baths at Sultan Hamam Berlin, for example, are as regal and decadent as you’ll find anywhere. The more contemporary Liquidrom has modern innovations such as the Himalayan salt sauna and Kelo panoramic sauna. Stadtbad Neukölln has been pampering visitors since 1914, and here you’ll find one of the city’s most opulent, elegant surroundings.
Germany’s first and only Guerlain Spa is waiting for you at Waldorf Astoria Berlin. Here you’ll find soothing, reviving treatments developed from the 200-year tradition of this renowned French cosmetic brand. The Impériale Massage is a multi-sensory experience that will have you feeling serene and full of positivity about the New Year. Afterwards, retreat to your elegant suite and discover unforgettable views of the Berlin skyline.
Self-care is simple when you put yourself in the right environment, whether that’s the sun-drenched Californian coast, the great outdoors of Utah or the sumptuous spas of Berlin. No matter your preferences, you’ll find truly memorable and life-affirming experiences that provide the perfect start to a brand-new year.
Paul Oswell is an award-winning travel writer and has reported from all seven continents for dozens of internationally known publications. He is based in New Orleans and is the author of “The Bucket List North America: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small” and the editor of an online travel magazine.