With increased awareness around global ‘wellness’ travel, a few homegrown resorts are taking note.  What are the benefits and drawbacks?

1.Yo1 Catskills

Yo1 Yoga Room

With a soft opening in 2018, Yo1 (pronounced “Yovan,” as in the Sanskrit word for ‘youth’), located on Anawana Lake in Monticello, is now making a push in 2019 with a resort built on the foundations of Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional form of medicine that originated in India. Unique to Yo1 is the fact that all of the Ayurvedic practitioners hail from India.  Guests of Yo1 sign up for either a day pass or a weekend (or longer) retreat-style stay with a focused program aimed at addressing their primary concern: for instance stress or fatigue. Beginning with identifying one’s dosha (or ‘constitution’), a list of options such as Ayurvedic treatments like abhyangam (a full-body sesame oil massage that involves seven postures) and acupuncture are presented.

The dining menu is personalized for each guest, based on harmonizing one’s predominant dosha.  Yo1 is located in the middle of the naturally stunning Catskill mountain valley, so beautiful hiking trails are also nearby.

The main drawback? One night will set you back several hundred dollars, and if you choose the Ayurvedic add-on, you’re looking at dropping close to two-thousand dollars for a weekend.

Address: 420 Anawana Lake Rd. Monticello, NY. 12701.

Website: http://www.yo1.com

Contact: [email protected]

2.Swissotel Chicago

Swissotel Vitality Suite

As the only Swissotel in North America (there are properties in Switzerland and in Singapore), the Chicago outpost recently opened the new ‘vitality suite’ —  an over 1000sq.ft suite which has a European style “wellness wall” i.e. a gym with a Peleton® bike, Dormbracht shower, soundbath meditation music on demand, essential oils that are infused through Air Aroma venting system, and lighting that dims throughout the day so it syncs with the circadian rhythm.

The Swissotel “Vitality” brand hops to be the answer to travellers who place wellness above all else, and where rejuvenation is emphasized. 

But again, the drawback is cost: when I asked how much one would need to fork over to stay in the Vitality suite, it was well over $1500. It seems aimed at CEOs needing a break, or for a couple (as a wedding suite, and as such can be obtained at a discount if blocks of rooms are booked).

That said, for regular suites (which run from $150 to $350 per night), travellers can still enjoy . a variety of other “Vitality” options like yoga classes, personal training with Chicago’s own Nicole Pernic, access to Peleton® bikes in the newly renovated gym, and a seasonal vitality menu created by Chef Dan McGee.  Special events, such group meditations or sound healing sessions are also offered to guests, with some events open to the public.

Address: 323 E. Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL. 60601.

Website: https://www.swissotel.com

Contact: [email protected]

3.Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Carillon rooftop pool

While Carillon has been around since the 1950s, the Wellness Resort has revamped under new management and has spent the last several months refocusing their wellness offerings.

Yoga, which takes place in a beautiful open-air studio filled with bamboo and huge windows that look out onto a pool, takes on a whole new experience when the warm ocean breeze trickles into the room. The grounds boast several pools as well as a rooftop spa/hot-tub that overlooks the beach. The spa, accessible to all guests, is unique in that it includes an herb-infused steam room (the ‘laconium’), infrared sauna, and tropical cool rain, on top of a cold (“igloo”) room and footbaths. As well, trendier wellness regimens such as cryotherapy (which involves stepping into a cold chamber cooled with liquid nitrogen) and salt float therapy (in which you float inside an oval-shaped chamber filled with a high concentration of Epsom salts, comparable to floating in the dead sea) have also become two of the more popular offerings. 

A stay is affordable, at between $250 to $350 a night for a standard room in the off-season. Each suite is well-appointed with a small kitchen, huge bedroom room and living room, and soaking tub. And the pool bar menu is unique in that there are healthy but tasteful options for the more health-conscious (such substituting lettuce cups as opposed to taco shells in the seafood tacos).

It certainly doesn’t hurt that the resort has its own private section of North Beach either, but this is where the drawbacks are. The seaweed is extensive, leading most swimmers having to disentangle themselves while swimming. Beach clean-up in this regard would go a long way.

Address: 6801 Collins Ave. Miami Beach, FL. 33141.

Website: https://www.carillonhotel.com

Contact: [email protected]