Forget the red carpet, 2023 is all about rolling out the yoga mat. This month, La Pochette shines a spotlight on the rise of wellness retreats and why more people than ever are grabbing a towel for sweat and sun salutations rather than a simple sunbathe when it comes to booking a holiday
Wellness. It’s the buzzword on everybody’s lips - and one that’s only getting louder and louder by the minute. And as well as the reformer pilates or yoga classes that most of us try to dash to once or twice a week, and the smoothies we drink at breakfast to cleanse our insides, or even those mindfulness apps we download to prevent our energy being zapped from the addiction to our small rectangles, wellness is impacting the way we go on holiday too.
With the wellness retreat and tourism industry expanding at almost double the rate of the tourism industry as a whole (and predicted by the Global Wellness Institute to grow an average of 21% annually through 2025*) it seems like the days of lazy beach holidays or laying horizontal on a sun lounger for ten days straight (sangria in hand) are over. Instead, we’re booking more mindful ways to switch off and unwind when it comes to a holiday.
The types of wellness retreats on offer can differ from person to person - some want hiking and biking in national parks, others prefer spa weekends and a schedule of massages and then of course, there’s the fitness and yoga crowd, who most likely arrive at the airport with sweatbands on and a Fitbit fully-charged. These retreats offer us one thing in common - escapism, providing life at a more relaxed pace with plenty of fresh air therapy.
So what are some of the key reasons behind this boom in wellness retreats? Well, most importantly, we've never been more aware of mental health and how stress can negatively affect us in almost every way. It’s a movement that’s changed from something to brush under the rug to being the forefront of endless campaigns, public health schemes, charities and work initiatives. People can recognise the signs of anxiety, stress and depression far more, especially when sprinting in the fast lane of modern life. Wellness-led travel offers a way to combat stress and switch off from these constant triggers - whether that’s through something as simple as a week of yoga or opting for a full-blown digital detox.
Of course, the C word has also contributed to the rise of wellness retreats. Post-pandemic travel has altered enormously, with research suggesting that being cooped up for so long has prompted people to place wellness at the core of their holidays. According to a 2022 Accenture study* of more than 11,000 consumers in 16 countries, among high-income consumers, 39% had already booked a wellness retreat for early 2023 whilst 21% of surveyed millennials were also booking wellness retreats in the same time frame.
The survey also found that health and well-being are considered “essential,” factors for travel, with 33% of all participants saying they’re more focused on self-care than they were a year ago. Wellness retreats offer us a way to continue our daily patterns and return home feeling refreshed, healthier and reconnected with the natural world around us - put simply, we just want to get outside.
Take 4: Retreats To Pack Your Suitcase For
1 | The Ranch at Palazzo Fluggi, Italy
Live out your White Lotus Italian dreams with The Ranch’s transformational weekly wellness program, which takes place in a historic property nestled in one of Italy’s richest naturalistic areas, just 50 minutes from Rome.
The Ranch Italy at Palazzo Fiuggi combines the original Malibu-based award-winning fitness program with the services and expertise of the esteemed team at this renowned medical wellness retreat. The result? An immersive and transformative 7-night, 8-day experience that mirrors The Ranch Malibu’s signature no-options program. Guests gain a more complete picture of their overall health and longevity, departing with a greater sense of self, feeling rested and rejuvenated while losing weight and gaining muscle.
2 | Deplar Farm, Iceland
Great for lads and lasses, Deplar Farm is renowned across the world for its remote otherworldly wellness experience. Embark on this unprecedented wellness journey that guides you on a 4- day immersion of meditative adventure and restorative, nature-based practices. The Troll Peninsula’s stark winter season provokes a deep connection between nature and self, while state-of-the-art wellness amenities come together for an exceptionally well-rounded retreat. Explore the surrounding landscape by horse and ski, experience element exposure rituals, soak in an outdoor geothermally heated pool, and taste the award-winning flavors of Chef Garðar on this unparalleled wellness immersion.
3 | PACE by Peligoni, Greece
PACE by The Peligoni Club is a sociable wellness week in Greece where you can feast, keep fit and nourish your mind in equal measure. Taking place this May, kickstart the summer with Peligoni’s wellness week that balances fitness and mindfulness with feasts, creative workshops, social gatherings and more. Rather than full throttle wellness, this is a holiday centred around you and that can be taken at its own pace, ideal for the likes of parents or groups of friends seeking to reconnect and enjoy life at their own PACE.
22 - 26th May 2023, peligoni.com
4 | Harvest Kaplankaya, Turkey
Set on the beautiful shores of the Aegean, at the Six Senses Hotel Kaplankaya, Harvest is a meeting of ideas, discovery, music and connection. Returning for its seventh chapter this May, Harvest Kaplankaya brings together some of the world’s most inspiring speakers and thought leaders for an immerse four-day experience. Book your ticket to enjoy fascinating wellness talks, eye-opening workshops, nourishing gastronomy, moving performances and spirited music from start to finish.
P.S. Pack your La Pochette
1 | Whenever Wherever Workout Mat
There’s no doubt that your retreat of choice will supply yoga mats. However, there is nothing like the comfortable feel of taking your own - and it makes an excellent hygienic top layer too. Our workout mat is lightweight, washable, and foldable too - making it easy to pack in your suitcase and bring along for the adventure.
2 | Wet Bag - Large
Unless you’re headed for the desert, most retreats will involve water activities at some point. Whether it’s for the lake or the spa lounger, our Wet Bag makes an ideal companion.
3 | Large Anywhere Everywhere
For folks on the go all day, the Large Anywhere Everywhere can fit all the essentials, whether that’s your sunscreen, sunnies or simple beauty items. Easy on the eye, take it to the pool and safely store your kindle, latest read and airpods in style.
4 | Shoe Carry
Mud in a facemask, yes. Mud in your suitcase? It’s a no from us. Whether you’re using it for your very worn trainers, walking boots, or even a pair of sandy flip flops, use our Shoe Carry to ensure the contents of your suitcase stay clean and fresh.
Words by Sophie Ritchie