Wellness travel has reached a fever pitch, with new detox resorts and fitness-focused getaways launching what feels like every day. Even run-of-the-mill hotels are getting on board, offering amenities and services that promise to rejuvenate travelers’ weary bodies and minds. And sure, there’s an element of novelty to these offerings — but the enduring popularity of the world’s best destination spas prove that wellness has serious staying power.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. In the destination spas category, readers rated properties on their accommodations and facilities, treatments, service, food, and overall value.
Related: The World's Best Awards 2019
Four out of five of this year’s best international destination spas are located in warm-weather destinations. Since opening in 1940, Rancho La Puerta (No. 2) in Tecate, Mexico, has amassed a loyal client base, with its diverse range of programming, stunning desert setting, and spa treatments that draw on Native American and holistic healing traditions. “I was bowled over by the number of activity options,” one reader wrote, “from magical early-morning hikes to meditation, poetry, dance, and art classes.” Another traveler loved the property so much that she returned seven times!
BodyHoliday — the famed all-inclusive wellness resort in St. Lucia — inspires a similar level of fandom, coming in at No. 5. We’re guessing it has to do with all the inclusions offered in the standard rate: sailing, yoga, spinning, a daily 50-minute spa treatment, and nutritious meals at six different bars and restaurants.
The one exception to the warm-weather rule: Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, in Canada’s beautiful British Columbia. The No. 4 property is renowned for its immersive fitness program that combines sunrise yoga and strength training with guided daylong hikes through the snow-covered Rocky Mountains. Readers saw their hard work pay off. As one traveler noted: “The program gave us better results in one week’s time than we’ve experienced anywhere else.”
Unlike the four other well-established properties on the list, the winner made its first-ever appearance on this year’s survey. Read on to find out which international destination spa took the crown — and to see how the rest of the reader favorites ranked.
5. BodyHoliday, Castries, St. Lucia
More information: thebodyholiday.com
4. Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, Ainsworth Hot Springs, Canada
More information: mountaintrek.com
3. Chablé Resort & Spa, Chocholá, Mexico
More information: chableresort.com
2. Rancho La Puerta, Tecate, Mexico
WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 95.65
More information: rancholapuerta.com
1. Andronis Concept Wellness Resort, Santorini, Greece
More information: andronisconcept.com
You’ll feel far away from Santorini’s crowds at this year-old wellness retreat in Imerovigli. The serene property — a Brutalist-style edifice perched high above the island’s caldera — invites total mind-body escape with its impressive amenities (three public pools, a tennis court, vineyard, and spa) and crisp, all-white guest rooms, each of which has a private infinity pool with views of the sea. Instead of punishing workouts and restrictive diets, the intimate property espouses a more holistic view of wellness, characterized by healthy meals with the perfect degree of indulgence (think low-fat cheesecake and black-truffle eggs), invigorating activities like meditation hikes and catamaran trips to the volcanic springs, and rejuvenating spa therapies like kundalini massages and rose-and-aloe body wraps. “Perfect,” one reader summarized.
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.