There’s something about having that extra day on the weekend that feels fabulous – and with more than a few throughout the year, it can be a great opportunity to take a little ‘me’ time and have a mini-break. Wherever you are in the world, there’s a luxurious weekend retreat waiting for you: spa pampering, ayurvedic therapies and fast fitness galore. Check out our selection of short breaks and quick escapes at the world’s best resorts; you deserve a treat, after all…
Situated in the pristine Italian countryside by Lake Garda, the Discovery Retreat programme at Lefay Resort & Spa is tailor-made, following an initial wellness consultation with a wellness practitioner to determine your specific needs. Retreats include all meals, as well as a complimentary phytotherapy session, facial and body massages, an aromatherapy session and access to the award-winning spa. Discovery retreats are priced at $800.
Indulge on the Grecian coast with this ultimate pampering experience. The Aromatherapy Ayurveda retreat is customisable and can be designed around your time requirements. We suggest you stay as long as you can – the retreat boasts a 24K gold facial, two full-body massages, and traditional Indian head and foot massages, among other treatments. Using traditional Ayurvedic healing philosophies and treatments, there are few better places to relax and unwind. Retreat costs $517, excluding accommodation.
Nestled in a quiet corner of the English countryside, The Clover Mill offers traditional Ayurvedic healing treatments perfect for those looking for a rejuvenating experience. The two-night, three-day all-inclusive retreat begins with a personalised dosha assessment to determine the most suitable treatments for you going forward. It also includes daily meditation classes, Ayurvedic inspired cuisine and therapeutic sessions, a ‘self-massage’ lesson, plus access to workshops and talks held daily. Retreats cost $877.
Looking to start a new fitness regime? In need of re-igniting your passion for a healthy and active lifestyle? The all-inclusive Be Active retreats at COMO Shambhala in Ubud, Bali, offer the opportunity to do just that. Guests are invited to partake in a daily schedule of activities, which can include Pilates, HIIT, and juice classes, among others. Three-night retreats are inclusive of an initial wellness consultation, personal training session, and 60-minute relaxing massage. Price available on request.
Grounded in traditional Balinese healing principles, the retreats at Fivelements have been designed to restore energy, and the three-night Panca Mahubata Retreat is no exception. Based in a luxurious riverside suite, the retreat features nutritious, healing vegetarian cuisine, a wellness consultation, and a range of spa treatments including a massage, healing energy session and yoga and meditation classes. Prices start from $2,344.
This all-inclusive detox cleanse on the island of Koh Samui is perfect for first-timers who are interested in the health benefits of detoxing but looking for a gentle approach. Wellness consultations are provided both at the beginning of the cleanse and as a post-retreat follow up. Guests can opt for a fixed detox-cleansing menu or order from a range of a-la-carte dishes. During the retreat, a range of head, body and hand massages are available to aid relaxation, while a range of daily scheduled activities are available throughout the three-night programme. Prices start from $2,018.
This award-winning property is situated amid the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in North Carolina. Accommodation is spread among four beautiful mansions and lodges, while gourmet spa meals are available on-site. A three-day, three-night Stress Relief Retreat is inclusive of all meals, plus Pilates and yoga sessions and one hour-long tension relieving massage. A life coach is available to provide two stress-management sessions, and guests have the chance to indulge in one spa treatment of their choice. Prices start from $1,965.
Set among 250-acres of Costa Rican rainforest near the town of Puerto Viejo, Samasati is a jungle oasis like no other, and the ideal place to escape in nature. Signature Packages are available for a customisable length of time. Retreats are inclusive of daily yoga, plus one rainforest massage and one guided nature rainforest trek. The resort offers vegetarian buffet meals plus a range of a-la-carte, sustainably sourced poultry and seafood. Price available on request.
Located in California’s Desert Hot Springs, the We Care Spa offers retreats of fixed durations to accommodate guests’ wants and needs. Taking pride of place in the property is a large-scale art installation, Temple of Gravity, which was restored from its initial site at the Burning Man Festival in 2003. A three-day holistic tune-up programme is inclusive of private accommodation, two colonic sessions and all juices and teas needed for your detox (as well as your first post-cleanse meal). Daily classes and seminars are free to attend. Prices start from $1,208.
This two-night retreat programme may not fit your long-weekend bill, but when you see what the property has to offer, you’ll happily add another night’s stay. Take part in 75-minutes of restorative yoga each day and benefit from a traditional hammam experience and relaxing massage, before whiling away a final day by the Moroccan coast (the resort also offers a range of surfing classes and packages, if you’re so inclined). 2-Day Yoga & Spa Packages cost $258, excluding accommodation.
From its Musandam Peninsula location, Six Senses Zighy Bay offers its guests the chance to bask in the Omani sunshine, relax and indulge in its award-winning spa treatments and five-star hospitality. Integrated Wellness packages are inclusive of a preliminary and post-retreat wellness screening, and state-of-the-art movement efficiency testing to help avoid injury and exercise efficiently and effectively. Following your analyses, a three-day wellness programme is designed to include 90-minutes of spa and 60-minutes of fitness and wellness activities each day. Integrated Wellness Retreats cost $1,002.
The five-star hotel and spa in Nataal, South Africa, offers guests a two-night Energy Rebalancing and Stress Relief retreat – perfect for a restorative weekend away. This two-night retreat includes daily breakfast and evening meals plus one light lunch. Indulge with a zulu clay and steam treatment and aromatherapy massage, back, neck and shoulder massage, and feel your worries and tensions float away with two complimentary floatation sessions included in the package. Prices start from $450.
This aptly named retreat invites guests to indulge the right way – nourishing bodies on organic meals and snacks, engaging minds with wellness seminars and healing souls through a range of restorative activities – from yoga to bushwalking and a nature walk with the property’s on-site botanist. In need of more? Pull yourself away from the luxurious eco-accommodation and get pampered with a 50-minute massage, included in the retreat package. Wellness weekends cost $845.
Gaia Retreat is a tranquil wellness oasis in the mountainous Bundjalung Country above Byron Bay. It offers a range of retreat programmes, but if you’re looking to spend your long-weekend the right way, its two-night, three-day programme fits the bill. Begin each day with 90-minutes of yogic practice before taking part in any number of the resort’s daily scheduled activities. The retreat is inclusive of all meals and snacks, a relaxing massage and a spa gift pack to use during your stay. Prices start from $879.
Located 90-minutes from Sydney in the Blue Mountains,the Happy Buddha property invites yoga enthusiasts of all levels to relax, unwind and revitalise mind, body and spirit. Whether you have set expectations or are just looking to escape the frenzy of everyday life, Happy Buddha’s welcoming attitude and laid-back philosophy make it an ideal location. Retreats are inclusive of accommodation and organic vegetarian meals. Two-night weekend retreats cost $345.
The former Art & Culture editor at Time Out Hong Kong magazine, Amanda is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Asia's world city. Amanda grew up in Asia, loves hiking, stand up paddle boarding, and a day well spent outdoors. Her last holiday sunrise trekking along Indonesian volcanic landscapes gave her a taste of the healthy holiday bug, and she’s been on the lookout for her next great adventure ever since.