In the of age of the digital detox, a new breed of experiential resort is cooking up out-of-this-world activities and experiences, designed to immerse guests IRL. Entire catalogues of spa treatments, wellness workshops, fitness classes, and outdoor adventure, empower guests to design their own schedules of device-free escape. Leading the experiential charge are Miraval (Arizona), Travaasa (Maui), and Bushmans Kloof (South Africa), which all happen to reside in dazzling nature playgrounds. BYO swimsuit, athleisure gear, and an open mind…
Photo credit: Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa
A one-stop-shop for all things wellness, this exclusive oasis is where guests go to splash out for a complete mind, body, spirit revamp. Miraval has emerged as one of the world’s premier spa and wellness destinations, with 400 acres of Sonoran desert at the doorstep. Close to 100 weekly activities span everything from dawn desert hikes and drumming circles in the labyrinth, to celestial yoga under stars, floating meditation, and mindful horseback riding. Basically, if it’s “wellness” it’s at Miraval. Rooms and villas are like plush cocoons of modern luxury, and come with cell phone “sleeping bags” that encourage guests to switch off. In fact, devices are pretty much unwelcome in common spaces. A stay at Miraval doesn’t come cheap, but the benefits of a week at this experiential resort last well beyond checkout.
Photo credit: Travaasa Hana
Set amid rolling grass fields and palm trees above Hana Bay, Travaasa Hana, to many, is the epitome of Maui island living. Its 70 coastal luxe cottages and suites are free of radios, clocks, and televisions, and bring guests face to face with beautiful nature views. Stays are custom tailored to meet guest needs – be it all-inclusive or “à la carte,” with all manner of activities that cater to foodies, fitness fanatics, outdoor adventurers, and wellness seekers. Organic spa treatments are infused with local flavor (traditional Hawaiian massage is a must), and spa relaxation areas include an outdoor, lava-rock whirlpool and lounge. Live nightly Hawaiian music, hula, and ocean views accompany health-driven gourmet dining. There’s a shuttle to get you to Hamoa Beach (arguably the island’s most beautiful), and they’ll even deliver picnic lunches beachside. Keen to explore outside this experiential resort? Waterfalls, sacred pools, bamboo forests, organic farms, and underground lava caves await exploration in nearby Haleakala National Park.
Photo credit: Bushmans Kloof
Set in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, this posh all-inclusive retreat blends safari lodge with Dutch-style farmhouse. Its 16 rooms, suites, and villas exude colonial elegance, surrounded by a stunning 7,500 hectare wilderness reserve. A South African Natural Heritage Site, the retreat is custodian of over 130 ancient Bushman rock art sites that scatter the reserve. The smorgasbord of magical experiences on offer includes guided rock art excursions and wilderness tours, after-dinner stargazing drives, botanical tours (discover over 750 flora species), fly fishing, rock climbing… and that’s just for starters. Wellness is a focal point, and to assist, there are four pools, a crystal steam room, and a luxe spa fusing ancient African ritual and with modern known how. Organic gourmet meals are served in the 1843-built manor house, and some extraordinary outdoor dining experiences (along with a stellar wine list) await at this experiential resort.