As the Christmas season approaches, a significant shift in travel preferences is emerging. Holidaymakers are increasingly prioritising relaxation and rejuvenation, with a notable 200% surge in searches for “spa and wellness holidays” over the past year. This trend highlights a growing desire for wellness-focused getaways during the winter months.
Responding to this rising interest in wellness tourism, travel experts at Planet Cruise have developed a comprehensive index of the top winter wellness destinations worldwide. This index serves as a valuable guide for those seeking a restorative escape during the colder months.
Topping the list is London, which has emerged as the foremost winter wellness destination. The city’s appeal lies in its diverse offerings, including a wide array of yoga and Pilates studios, extensive massage clinics, and numerous bodies of water, such as the iconic River Thames and the picturesque Regent’s Canal. These waterways not only add to the city’s charm but also provide unique opportunities for relaxation and leisure activities.
London’s wellness infrastructure is further bolstered by its impressive number of indoor spas, ranking it fifth globally for thermal spas. A notable example is Ironmonger Row Baths in Islington, offering a traditional Turkish bath experience complete with a plunge pool and hot rooms.
Following London, Tokyo takes the second spot, distinguishing itself with the highest number of indoor spas and an impressive array of thermal spas. Tokyo’s wellness offerings extend to its lush green spaces, ideal for forest bathing, a practice known for reducing stress and enhancing well-being.
Singapore, ranking third, showcases its commitment to wellness through a blend of modern spa facilities and abundant green spaces, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a balance of urban sophistication and natural tranquillity.
The index further highlights a variety of cities across the globe, each offering unique wellness experiences. These destinations are evaluated based on several factors, including indoor spas, massage clinics, thermal spas, population size, green spaces, the availability of yoga and pilates facilities, and proximity to bodies of water.
The US also makes a significant mark in the wellness travel sector, with four cities ranking in the top 50. New York City, for instance, secures the sixth position, owing to its extensive spa facilities and abundant green spaces. Los Angeles, ranking twelfth, stands out for having the most indoor spas among US cities.
Laura Buckle, a registered nutritionist at The Wellness Detective, offers valuable advice for maximising the benefits of a wellness holiday:
- Disconnect from technology. Leave your phone in your room so you can take a break from your email and social media. Limit screen time to truly unwind and be present in the moment. Set specific times to check messages, allowing yourself the freedom to fully enjoy your surroundings.
- Prioritise sleep.Ensure you get enough quality sleep during your break. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and create a comfortable sleep environment. A well-rested body and mind are crucial for feeling rejuvenated.
- Form new habits. Use your holiday as a chance to create space and pick up a new habit, such as journaling. Journaling allows you to reflect on your experiences, thoughts, and feelings during your break. It might also trigger some new goals to focus on post-holiday. Writing a list of things you feel grateful for can also help to reduce stress and encourage a positive mindset..
A spokesperson from Planet Cruise comments on the research, noting the crucial role of wellness in recharging, especially as we enter the new year. The index offers a range of locations, each providing unique opportunities for individuals to pause and enjoy their time.
For those interested in exploring these wellness havens in greater detail, the full rankings and insights are available on the Planet Cruise website. This resource is invaluable for anyone planning a winter wellness retreat, offering a comprehensive overview of the best destinations based on varied preferences and needs.