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Urban Wellness Resorts for Self-Care


Reflecting on the last few years, it's just all been a lot. You definitely deserve time to focus on self-care to keep your body, mind, and spirit in it to win it. While I love places like Canyon Ranch and Miraval for their variety of wellness approaches and beautiful settings (Berkshires, Arizona desert, etc.), there are fantastic urban retreats in exciting cities too!

Excerpt below from 10/18/2022 updated Virtuoso article by Elaine Glusac can be found HERE.

Retreat from city buzz in favor of vitamin IV drips, meditation pods, goat yoga, and more. Even before the pandemic, urban wellness resorts – restorative sanctuaries with comprehensive fitness, health, and spa services amid the big-city thrum – were proliferating globally. But as with so many other trends in the making, Covid-19 may have sped up their adoption as the return to travel dovetails with a concentration on personal health.

“Travelers are focusing on self-care and investing in wellness in new ways,” says Pablo Henderson of Equinox Hotel New York, which opened in summer 2019. Its Zen-channeling rooms promote sleep; the menu offers healthy items, from chia-seed breakfast bowls to sustainably-raised salmon dinners; and fitness options include spinning to pop anthems and yoga on Hudson Yards’ 100th-floor observation deck.

Movement, nutrition, and regeneration, he adds, are “more relevant than ever as travelers seek greater balance, place increased emphasis on sleep, and look to boost their immunities through improved diet and exercise.” Far from candlelit spaces for massages and facials – though Equinox offers those too – these lively fitness-first hubs provide wide-ranging services, from nutritional consultations and sleep coaching to the latest in Gyrokinesis workouts (picture Pilates with spiraling movements) and energizing IV drips.

“The pandemic asked people to rethink what wellness is and how to get it,” says Tammy Pahel, co-general manager and vice president of spa and wellness operations at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, which introduced touchless services such as halotherapy, a salt chamber that reportedly detoxes and builds the immune system, and vibrational and sound therapy to improve concentration and creativity. Guests’ average stay increased from three nights in 2019 to five in 2021. “Individuals and families came to places in their lives where they said, ‘I want to live healthy and want to understand what I should be eating, how I can sleep better, and what is restorative,’ ” she says. “People’s minds are more open to experiences they wouldn’t have considered.”

Check into five of our favorite urban wellness escapes – and check out with a better you.

The Body Gurus

In 2019, Equinox expanded from gym brand to hospitality provider with its first property, Equinox Hotel New York, dedicated to wellness. Designed as sleep-promoting respites for the city that never sleeps, its 212 rooms include blackout shades, superior soundproofing, and mattresses made from natural materials and covered in two temperature-regulating duvets. Guests can order in-room vitamin IV drips, administered by an on-call nurse, for energy boosts. Treatments at the 27,000-square-foot spa range from cryotherapy to quantum harmonic sound wave therapy. And the on-site fitness club features indoor and outdoor pools, along with Pilates, metabolic conditioning, and ballet created with American Ballet Theatre, among other classes. Refuel at the 24th floor’s Electric Lemon with everything from breakfast grain bowls to dinner crudos. Rest up, then repeat. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.

Miami Makeover

An early adopter of the urban wellness movement when it reopened in 2015, the 96-room Carillon Miami Wellness Resort resides in a midcentury-modern landmark on Miami Beach, where guests and condo residents can choose from 75-plus fitness classes per day, ranging from boot camps to Gyrokinesis, boxing, and indoor climbing. Its spa partners with doctors and health specialists to offer consultations, treatments, and seminars in a broad range of expertise, including nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, sex therapy, cosmetic plastic surgery, and more. Therapies range from stress relief via a salt bath to IV treatments that address mental clarity, chronic pain, and sleep issues. New touchless wellness services include meditation pods, antiaging cryotherapy, and detoxifying loungers that use sound resonance and electromagnetic forces. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 spa credit.

The Tree Hugger

A woodsy scent permeates The Douglas’ sixth-floor reception area, lending a forest-bathing welcome to Vancouver, British Columbia’s 188-room, nature-themed boutique hotel overlooking False Creek and BC Place stadium. When the property reopens this spring, guests can stretch their legs or meditate in the sixth-floor park – home to 200 native evergreens and some 15,000 plants. Borrow a hotel bike to cycle the 17-mile Seaside Greenway path, which runs right past the hotel and into Stanley Park; reboot your gym routine with CrossFit-style equipment; or turn to the concierge for top hikes, paddleboarding, or goat yoga on a North Vancouver farm. Head to the 17th-floor Spa by JW for hydrotherapy and an outdoor yoga space, multisensory spa treatments such as 25-minute virtual-reality visits to a rain forest, and detox treatments that combine wraps with shiatsu and Thai massage. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily, a $100 dining credit, and a bottle of Douglas fir-infused gin.

Soak Up the City

For centuries, Japan’s citizens have turned to restorative onsens (natural hot spring pools) at rural ryokans (inns) for health and peace of mind. In building the modern 84-room Hoshinoya Tokyo in 2016, Hoshino Resorts’ chief executive, Yoshiharu Hoshino, sought to bring a bit of the relaxing inns’ calm to the megacity. The result: a rooftop onsen with gender-separated indoor and outdoor pools filled with high-saline water from natural hot springs nearly 5,000 feet belowground. Each floor of the hotel, modeled after an intimate ryokan, holds just six guest rooms; residents, robed in modernized kimonos, visit an ochanoma, or communal living room, for tea and snacks. Tatami-matted floors and shoji-screened windows set a traditional tone in the rooms, where every morning staff deliver generous Japanese breakfasts featuring healthy proteins such as tofu and salmon. Afterward, take part in a traditional kenjutsu practice, wielding a wooden sword on the high-rise rooftop. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a lesson in preparing matcha.

Join the Club

London’s stately 93-room Lanesborough sequesters a spa and fitness center behind its Greek-revival facade in Knightsbridge. Guests have access to the otherwise members-only Lanesborough Club & Spa, home to hydrotherapy pools, saunas, and steam rooms, and an expansive gym with yoga, TRX HIIT, and “Gluti-licious” classes. Therapists dispense innovative treatments spanning sound healing and amethyst gel wraps to regenerate skin cells. Spa day packages combine face and body treatments with lunch from the club’s restaurant, serving “energy ball” bites of coconut and matcha, Asian salads, superfood shakes, toxin-targeting tea, and post-workout wines and Champagne. Virtuoso travelers receive breakfast daily and a $100 hotel credit.

This article originally appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of Virtuoso Life. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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