With Covid-19 came lockdowns, closed borders, quarantine and an avid interest in preventative health and overall wellness. Now, more than ever, travellers are interested in finding the best wellness retreats in the world to help them optimise their bodies and minds. We speak to award-winning retreats about the new stringent safety measures being put in place as they await the arrival of incoming healthy holiday hunters.
Six Senses Hotels, Resorts and Spas are ensuring consistent hygiene with new state of the art technology like the Ozone Cleaning Solution which converts oxygen from the air into sanitising mist. At Aman there is a minimum 30-minute turnover time between treatment rooms to ensure proper cleaning and sanitisation. Meanwhile, Mandarin Oriental has increased its use of anti-viral disinfection measures in place across all spa and wellness facilities, and has recently launched a “WE CARE” programme to keep guests in the loop. Chiva-Som International Health Resort has refined their procedures to maintain optimal cleanliness by ensuring deeper and more frequent cleaning in all areas of the hotel. Aro Hā in New Zealand has hand sanitisers in all the buildings, bathrooms and communal areas and regular deep cleaning systems in place.
Thai retreat Kamalaya offers complimentary Covid-19 antibody testing on the first and sixth day of the guests’ stay, and temperature checks are carried out on all therapists and spa guests at both COMO Hotels and Resorts and at Kamalaya. David Macklin, the General Manager of Four Seasons Langkawi, has partnered with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to provide ongoing, real-time guidance on the evolving COVID-19 situation. At SHA Wellness Clinic, guests are required to take a Covid Test (PCR) before their arrival at the retreat, and upon arrival, a medical check-up is conducted which includes an antibody test to see whether they are immune to the virus. Throughout the hotel, there are heat-sensitive cameras to detect body temperatures at guest and staff arrival points.
Space and privacy are now two of the most valuable assets a resort can boast, features that Aman resorts have in abundance. At Aman spas only one person is allowed per session at the steam room and sauna which can be privately booked in advance. Six Senses is also known for its sprawling minimalist properties and their wellness pioneer Anna Bjurstam notes that the resorts will be reducing buffets and live preparation stations and replacing them with more outdoor dining and picnic options. SHA Wellness Clinic boasts over 36,000 m2 of space and the occupancy has been limited to below its full capacity in communal spaces and in the accommodation. Guests are also welcome to benefit from the seclusion of their own residence by having their spa treatments, yoga classes and even cooking lessons on their private terrace. At Kamalaya, guests can embrace the great outdoors with the resort’s expansive garden, quiet trails and private beach.
Many retreats are moving their indoor workshops and classes outdoors. Six Senses have already increased outdoor treatment and fitness alternatives, workshops and events, whilst Chris Orlikowski at COMO noted that many of their properties already use open yoga pavilions to allow fresh air to circulate during classes. At Kamalaya, the first few treatments are all conducted in outdoor areas, and guests are spaced out from one to two metres in compliance with social distancing.
Resorts and retreats have followed suit by ensuring that masks are worn by staff and guests when roaming the grounds, particularly in spa and wellness settings. At Aman Spa, there is also the option for therapists to wear gloves should the guest prefer. Every guest at SHA Wellness Clinic is supplied with a health kit, which includes a face mask, disinfectant hand gels and gloves, and disinfectant gel dispensers placed throughout the communal areas. At Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Thailand, social distancing and mask-wearing is now the norm in all public places and staff and guests are health screened daily.
Immune boosting programmes
New immunity-boosting retreat programmes are now available at many properties and Six Senses, Aman, Sangha Retreat by Octave and Miskawaan all have compelling offers. Sangha’s Immune Boost programme blends medical assessments, wellbeing and spa treatments along with a focus on nutrition, while Aman’s Integrated Medical Immune Support Immersion at Amanpuri is now more popular than ever. SHA Wellness Clinic is due to reopen its doors on July 22nd and new treatments will focus on reinforcing the immune system to fight external threat, weight loss, stress management and fitness recovery. John Stewart from Kamalaya says that guests will continue to have access to the care of an in-house medical doctor, a team of medical nurses as well as a broad scope of holistic therapists such as naturopaths, Chinese Medicine Doctors, Ayurvedic therapists, physiotherapists, mentors and personal trainers.
As the world reopens and travel slowly resumes, Compare Retreats’ wellness travel advisors and founder Dervla are here to help you navigate this new normal. Get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] and we will help you plan your next healthy holiday safely with our trusted wellness retreat partners.