12 Dreamy Wellness Retreats That Actually Have Great Food
Blackberry Mountain—Walland, Tennessee
Since its founding 1976, Blackberry Farm has reigned as America’s most delicious destination hotel. Now it has expanded with a new sister property: the wellness-focused retreat Blackberry Mountain, which opened in February. Blackberry Mountain is set on 5,200 acres of pristine land in the Great Smoky Mountains and is the closest you’ll come to staying in your own private national park. Guests have the option to hike from check-in to the cabins at the top of the mountain (though there’s no shame in taking a golf cart), and activities like mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, forest bathing, and aerial yoga take advantage of the great outdoors. At the heart of the property, a massive gym offers every on-trend workout imaginable, from foam rolling and cardio bungee classes to spin and a dozen styles of yoga. You won’t have trouble working up an appetite here, and you’ll want to. Food is still a focus, but nourishment replaces indulgence. All of the property’s accommodations (think wood and stone cabins) are stocked with healthy snacks like black-eyed pea hummus and fresh fruit, and at the old fire tower that’s been converted into an all-day dining room with 360-degree views, chef Joel Werner presides over a menu of produce-forward dishes, like a vibrant breakfast of crispy quinoa granola layered with seasonal citrus or a farro bowl studded with delicate shaved cauliflower and herbs. At Three Sisters, the flagship restaurant, chef Josh Feathers emphasizes local game and fish (venison tartare and whole roasted trout, say), and the wine list features Blackberry’s first custom-made wines from producers including Hirsch Vineyards. There’s never been a better reason to raise a glass to your health. (Doubles from $995; blackberrymountain.com)
Mindful Ski Camp—Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Now is the time to think about your next winter trip. And for those who find the rhythmic swoosh of a pair of skis meditative, this new experience takes things one step further. Under the tutelage of life coach Jan Hoath, ski geeks can spend three-and-a-half days learning to integrate meditation and mindfulness into their skiing with the goal of bringing “more joy to the slide.” The luxury Teton Mountain Lodge and Hotel Terra are lodging partners. Nourishing breakfasts and lunches are provided, but a visit to Persephone Bakery for the French toast bread pudding is a must. (Camp from $1,750, excluding lodging and lift tickets; jacksonhole.com/mindful-ski-camp.html)
Hotel Domestique—Travelers Rest, South Carolina
You’d be mistaken to think a stay at this hotel co-owned by former pro cyclist George Hincapie is all about biking. A work-hard, play-hard philosophy means you’ll test your mettle on some of his favorite training grounds in the Blue Ridge Mountains and reward your efforts with dishes like up-country succotash and grass-fed steak by chef Haydn Shaak. (Two-night cycling package from $940; hoteldomestique.com)
Calistoga Ranch—Napa Valley, California
Nature is at the heart of the ranch’s wellness philosophy, whether it’s a guided meditation walk on the 157-acre estate, yoga in the vineyard, or a forest hike. The food offerings are drawn from an on-site chicken coop, bee hive, and vegetable gardens. After a day of exertion, a seasonal wine hydrating facial at the spa or a seat at The Lakehouse restaurant overlooking Lake Lommel is a good thing indeed. (From $795; aubergeresorts.com)
The Caribbean & Mexico
Silver Linings Retreat—Kamalame Cay, Bahamas
When your challenging HIIT workout, Pilates session, or barre class is served with a side of private island, coral reef, and overwater spa, it starts to sound a lot more bearable, right? Led by former Royal Ballet of London ballerina and personal trainer Chrissy Sundt, these intimate three-, five-, or seven-day getaways focus on tailored nutrition, movement, and relaxation programs. (Retreat from $2,150, rooms from $495; kamalame.com)
Chablé Resort—Yucatán, Mexico
At this mystical escape built around a cenote, a natural sinkhole with restorative waters, a resident shaman prescribes healing therapies like a detoxifying temazcal (sweat lodge) session. Chef Jorge Vallejo, who is behind Mexico City’s stellar hit Quintonil, masterminds garden-to-table menus featuring hibiscus flower enchiladas with macadamia nut cheese and crab and jicama tacos. (From $935; chableresort.com)
Europe & The UK
Heckfield Place—Hampshire, United Kingdom
It's easy to be distracted upon arrival at Heckfield Place, a newly renovated country house just 45 minutes from London Heathrow. First there is the grandeur of the red brick Georgian mansion. Then there are the dazzling interiors, which juxtapose contemporary, midcentury, and antique furniture (a disco ball in one room, a crystal chandelier in another). And surrounding it all are 438 acres of biodynamic farm and gardens that inform every detail of your stay. Vases of flowers from the cutting garden and bowls of lemons from the orchard brighten every room.
Culinary director Skye Gyngell, the Australian chef who earned a Michelin star at Petersham Nurseries Café and now runs Spring at Somerset House in London, has a team of growers on hand to help tell the story of her ingredient-driven menus. The day’s bounty is cooked on the open fire at Hearth, a rustic, guests-only restaurant in converted stables. Greenhouse tours showcase vines of beefy tomatoes and patches of heirloom lettuces that end up in just-picked salads at the all-day dining room at Marle. If that doesn’t lower your blood pressure sufficiently, farm-to-table meets wellness at the Little Bothy spa, where custom-blended, plant-based products are used for massages and facials. Guests can work up an appetite with Pilates and yoga classes or borrow a pair of boots and explore the trails that wind through purple beech and Persian ironwood trees and past the coop of resident Hyline chickens. If your belly is full, you can feed your mind with Heckfield’s Soho House–style series of talks and workshops, touching on everything from the value of happiness to essential oils. (From $460; heckfieldplace.com)
JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa— Venice, Italy
Located on the private island of Isola delle Rose, the resort is home to the GOCO Spa (and Gather Venice, a September festival in partnership with Food & Wine). Choose from daily mindfulness and yoga classes or a more vigorous cardio session with a personal trainer. You can also take cooking classes at the Sapori Cooking Academy. (From $336; marriott.com)
Borgo Egnazia—Puglia, Italy
The resort employs therapists specializing in everything from aromatherapy to local dance at its spa. The local ethos here extends to the food, which means carbs and wine aren’t off the menu (this is Italy, after all). At Michelin-minted Due Camini, choose seasonal, healthy Mediterranean tasting menus. (From $281; borgoegnazia.com)
Six Senses Douro Valley—Lamego, Portugal
At this 19th-century Portuguese manor surrounded by gardens and rolling vineyards, the entire philosophy is built around indulgence—without derailing your health goals. Choose from three tailored multiday programs centered around detoxing, fitness (think stand-up paddleboarding and cycling), or sleep. (Programs from $468; sixsenses.com)
Anantara Quy Nhon Villas—Quy Nhon, Vietnam
If you happen to arrive as the sun begins its descent, you’ll gaze over the infinity pool to the ocean, to be greeted by the twinkle of hundreds of gently bobbing lights. It’s not the welcoming committee, but rather a flotilla of fishermen in brightly colored boats preparing to fish for the night’s catch of squid. From there, it’s one constant charm offensive after another at this new, secluded resort hewn into the lush hillside on a relatively less-touristy stretch of Vietnamese coastline between Da Nang in the north and Nha Trang in the south.
Each of the property’s 26 villas’ floor-to-ceiling windows take in sweeping views of the South China Sea, and all villas have a private pool, sun deck, daybed, oversize bathtub, and butler service. That extravagance extends to the mini bar, where a fridge chills a range of next-level snacks, including charcuterie, cheeses, and local ice cream, while a proper wine fridge stores a decent selection of international pours.
When you’re not building a beach picnic with your in-room bounty, the restaurant, Sea Fire Salt, prepares menus that show off the local seafood, as well as virtuous options in keeping with the resort’s overarching wellness philosophy. Poolside breakfasts include a daily smoothie, petite jars of yogurt and chia pudding, platters of passion fruit and mango, and a buffet featuring an array of superfood toppings for your Bircher muesli, such as bee pollen, goji berries, and hemp seeds.
Anantara’s Dining by Design program is also on offer—they can organize a castaway breakfast on a deserted island, say, or a private grilling party on your deck. An excursion to a local fishing village for a seafood feast of local lobster, cold beers, and fresh coconuts is also an option.
A kind, gentle style of wellness grounded in Ayurveda is brought to life through the spa menu and daily complimentary yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi classes. Guests can also add on a formal program of one, three, or five days that combines hatha yoga, core strengthening, Vietnamese massage, and more. For a truly unique experience, ask if Tran Van Phuc, head of the resort’s security detail and a master of Viet Vo Dao (the local martial arts practice), can give you a private lesson on the sand at sunrise. He’ll happily oblige. (Rooms from $535, wellness programs from $474; anantara.com)
Kamalaya—Koh Samui, Thailand
Much of the food at this 76-room, jungle-shrouded beachfront oasis is raw and vegan. But the freshness of the ingredients and vibrant Thai flavors will have even die-hard meat eaters going back for seconds of the banana-flower salad and lemongrass-coconut stew. Retreat packages address everything from nutritional detox to sleep enhancement, and they all strike just the right balance of exercise (yoga, aqua aerobics), pampering (Ayurvedic massages), and education (cooking classes, lectures). (From $215; kamalaya.com)