Design Tips

Wellness Retreat Trends & How To Bring The Magic Home


PART 1 – Global Wellness Retreat Trends


It can be difficult to make space to create a balance between a high-pressure lifestyle and time to rest and recharge in our fast paced modern world. 


With limited time to connect with our bodies, minds, nature and spirituality, choosing travel destinations that support our wellbeing makes a lot more sense in 2019 than it ever did before.




Holidays are not about excesses anymore. They’re about rejuvenating and replenishing and returning home with a better mindset, looking and feeling healthier. As self-care has become the focus of taking time away, many are now seeking out breaks that holistically cater to mind, body and soul.



In response to this need, wellness resorts and retreats are expanding and becoming more and more popular.  Asia and inparticular, China, is the number one global growth market for wellness.



Retreats that offer yoga, de-toxes and spa facilities now combine more fitness activities with relaxation and are adding alternative therapies, giving guests the opportunity to experience things they wouldn’t dream of in their home environment.



These unusual experiences away from the usual tourist trails are helping visitors to gain fresh perspectives, meet new people and connect with themselves and others at a deeper level.




As our work with Eco-Wellness design expands in residential and commercial environments we decided to find out what the main trends are for wellness in 2019 and share with you here!


What’s New in Global Wellness Retreat Trends?


1. Transformational Travel 


Transformational travel builds on the trend for a holistic approach to a break from every day life. More and more travelers don’t just want to just relax with a book by the pool, they want to make a connection and have a life experience.  




Transformational travel is  ‘any travel experience that empowers people to make meaningful, lasting changes in their life.’ – Transformational Travel Council. 




Change is sought through challenging physical, unique or isolated locations and immersive wellness retreat programmes. Combining new experiences with reflection encourages personal and spiritual growth and a new lust for life.



2. Mental Health Holidays


Collectively we’re growing in awareness that wellness needs to enter every facet of our lives. 



More travelers are taking the opportunity to place an emphasis on improving their mental health on holiday by taking part in intensive breaks to experience ways to practice mindfulness.




Along with mindfulness, meditation is the fastest growing wellness trend. Both can rebalance and impact on the positivity measured in the brain. These can be experienced in many different ways and mental health wellness retreats can incorporate breath workshops, silent retreats, yoga nidra, theta healing and meditation with rituals.


3. Ayurveda


Holistic wellbeing is not expressed anywhere better than in the ancient Indian healing practice of Ayurveda.



Ayurvedic wellness retreats focus on the body type (dosha) and encompass different bespoke elements such as herbs, diet & nutrition, yoga, massage, therapeutic treatments and meditation. This fully immersive approach works on the principal that mind and body are inextricably connected and that nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind.



This way of life is becoming hugely popular because it’s completely tailored to the individual and with a 5,000 year history is an antidote to new fads.


4. Connecting With Nature



Nature as one of the key components to wellbeing is central to wellness trends right now. Humans spent many millennia living in and with nature & our connection with the elements are so interlinked it is sometimes difficult for us to acknowledge when that link has been lost.




Wellness retreats provide nature based wellbeing activities such as forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, biophilic gyms, outdoor churches, walking meditation to birdsong and re-wilding – the process of allowing ourselves to connect with our natural rhythms of eating, moving and resting outdoors.



5. Water Therapy


Spa facilities now don’t just exist with bathing pools, saunas and steam rooms, they have expanded into more complex combinations such as halotherapy and herb rooms. Alternative water treatments such as negative oxygen ion capsules are becoming popular along with water flotation or Watsu and carbonate spring pools to help stimulate blood circulation and detoxify. Bathing outdoors in a tranquil water garden connects water with nature.



Water takes the form of ice to create another craze that has risen from a Hammam and Nordic background into an extreme health system as extolled by Wim Hoff (The Iceman). Ice yoga is another cold therapy that is believed to reduce stress and boost the immune system.



6. Crystals


Wellness retreats are now offering more and more experiences based on the powerful healing energy of crystals. This alternative healing therapy is becoming mainstream and being used in holistic crystal therapies, in rituals and in skin care.



7. Technology & EMF Free Travel


Unplugging from the digital world can be a daunting prospect when we’re so linked in to technology. 



Disconnecting for a short time can be a release and some people seek out holidays in places that are completely free of wireless technology and digital wellness escapes are on the rise. Others who are concerned about the health risks of Electro Magnetic Fields (EMFs) or suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity are choosing retreats and holidays in very remote places for a complete break from exposure.



8. Circadian Rhythm


Sleep retreats are becoming a big thing! Natural sleep cycles are governed by our circadian rhythm, which in turn is governed by our interaction with light. Do you know what your natural rhythm feels like?



Artificial blue lights from screens and phones in the evenings are disrupting our energy levels and sleep cycles. This can also link in with weight gain, diabetes and high blood pressure.  Getting back to nature and being exposed to only natural light can help reset the body’s internal clock.


9. Sound & Scent Therapy


Stimulating all our senses takes wellbeing deeper into connecting back with ourselves.


Sound baths with gongs and crystals can produce incredibly calming and restorative effects. Vibrations rebalance us, reducing stress and blockages and can be used alone or included in workshops, spa treatments and yoga sessions. Somadome meditation is another growing trend in sound treatments.


Aromatherapy is being taken more and more seriously as a tool to create connection and play a healing role. It can be grounding and relaxing and boost mood by activating memories and connecting scents with happy times. Scents in wellbeing centers permeate the experience, and natural blended aromas can create a sensory backdrop to the whole experience of a spa.


10. Stay Well During Corporate Travel


If you travel extensively for work you’ll know it can be really difficult to balance wellbeing when you’re away from home. 


The Stay Well room concept is designed to provide a wellness-based experience when you travel. Each feature is grounded in medical research that promotes balance between mind, body and environment. 



The features include an air purification system, circadian mood lighting to help with rapid jet lag adjustment, dawn simulator, energizing light and wellness programmes to reduce stress. Vitamin C showers and aromatherapy are also part of this holistic approach to better rest and increased energy when you’re travelling.


11. Optimized Nutrition


A plant-based diet can be the healthiest route for many of us and as Veganism continues to be a huge trend, nutrition retreats and plant detoxes have taken off. 



You can now go on a wellbeing break to adjust your diet to systems such as Eco-keto eating which is a high- fat, high protein diet without the animal produce.


Personalised nutrition can be bespoke curated at many wellness centers where genetic and blood analysis can be used to hone your diet down to those things that truly serve you.


Have any of these routes to wellness inspired you to book some time away?


In our next blog post we will look at how you can bring some of the elements from a well being break back to your own home to recreate some of the magic!


“Quality is Always Sustainable”

For more information, feel free to contact Liquid Interiors, your healthy and eco conscious interior design consultants.

Rowena Gonzales

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