Interior Designer-Approved Wellness Retreats Around the United States
As an interior designer, you spend your days (and probably some nights and weekends too) transforming your clients’ homes into beautifully decorated havens. When you’re ready to take a break, visit one of these wellness-focused sanctuaries around the country. Unwind, decompress, and recharge with their pampering massage services, and get inspired by their stunning architecture, gorgeous grounds, design-driven interiors too.
Written by Elizabeth Brownfield
The Canyon Ranch brand is practically synonymous with wellness and good taste. And while they’re known for their modern flagship location in Tucson, AZ, interior designers will be particularly drawn to the historic Bellefontaine Mansion in the heart of the Berkshires. Built in 1897 as a private residence, the home was sitting empty and ravaged by fire when the founders of Canyon Ranch acquired it. They worked with the local historic preservation board to restore it to its original turn-of-the-century glory. The expanded estate now boasts 100,000 square feet dedicated to health and well-being programs geared towards sleep issues, fitness reboots, weight management, life transitions, and purely pampering massages and spa treatments.
When you step onto the grounds of Cal-a-Vie and take it the idyllic rural surroundings, scent of blooming lavender, homes covered with terracotta tiles, and charming hilltop chapel, you might think you’re in Provence instead of California. And in fact, the serene villages of the Provence region were the inspiration for this retreat just 40 minutes from San Diego. There are only 32 private villas, so it has an intimate feel, and the staff-to-guest ratio is a luxurious 5-to-1. Guests can choose from hikes, tennis, golf, and over 100 exercise classes, plus culinary and nutrition programs and mind-body-spirit practices like yoga, meditation, and mindful art.
If you could create the ultra-modern desert retreat of your dreams, it would be Amangiri. Luxuriate in the 25,000 square-foot spa, which encompasses outdoor pavilions, treatments rooms and terraces to promote wellness based on Navajo traditions and the elements of earth, wind, fire and water. The only problem? It might be hard to do a digital detox with the endless opportunities for Instagram-worthy views and design moments.
When you’re on the lake doing yoga on a stand-up paddle board or reading a book on the sunny dock or, you’ll have to remind yourself you’re a mere 30 minutes from downtown Austin. The tempo of the city feels a world away amid the resort’s 19 secluded and lushly landscaped acres. Choose a room overlooking the gardens or lake, or a cottage with a private soaking tub and outdoor space. All are bright, airy, tastefully decorated, and filled with personal touches like fresh flowers from the garden, which create the feeling that you’re staying at the home of a friend with great style. De-stress with spa treatments, private fitness sessions, strolls through the vegetable garden, tasty and nutritious “conscientious cuisine,” and therapies based on the healing powers of water.
“Life is more meaningful and joyful when in balance.” That’s the founding principle of Miraval, the celebrated retreat set amid 400 acres of stunning Sonoran desert landscape. If you feel chronically overburdened by today’s technologies, the resort’s digital device-free policy will force you to unplug. (That means leaving your tablet at home and packing a hardcover instead, and putting your cell phone “to bed” in a cell phone sleeping bag when you check in.) Take it the views of the desert and Santa Catalina Mountains, go rock climbing or zip lining, or unwind with a cocktail at the pool bar (unlike some wellness retreats, Miraval does not restrict alcohol during your stay). And be sure to try on of several signature equine therapies that incorporate majestic horses with art and meditation.
This unique and storied resort opened its doors in 1868, making it one of the oldest natural health resorts in the country. But its waters were deemed sacred long before that: they’ve been used for healing by many Northern Pueblo tribal communities for almost 3,000 years. Visit the various pools and springs to cure what ails you, and go for a hike, bike ride, or stretch. The resort offers lots of different lodging options, including a historic hotel, various suites, and cottages. All are outfitted with simple and tasteful furnishings and western textiles like iconic Pendleton blankets.
Connect with nature and yourself at this adults-only retreat set amid 150 wooded acres in the Poconos, just two hours from New York City. Hit the extensive network of trails, stroll through the picturesque orchards, spend some quiet time walking through the meditation garden or labyrinth, or take a forest bathing class to soak up the tranquility of the trees. The lodge’s rustic wood and stone architecture and furnishings echo the scenic grounds just outside its vast windows. Once you’ve had time to relax and decompress, learn some wellness practices in classes like breathing techniques or meditation to quiet the mind so you can bring some of that serenity home with you.