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With our busy lives, it is important to take time out to reflect and relax, and a number of meditation resorts offer the opportunity to do just that. Many have gorgeous, peaceful settings surrounded by nature and offer guided meditations, yoga and other holistic classes, so you can return home refreshed and renewed. Here are the eight best hotels offering various types of meditation programs – from optional classes to full retreats – in North and Central America.
Best Educational: Grail Springs Retreat (Canada)
For those interested in learning more about the art of meditation, the Grail Springs Retreat can be a life changing experience. Located in Bancroft, the “mineral capital” of Canada, two hours from Toronto or Ottawa on 100 acres of peaceful wilderness, Grail Springs allows guests to truly escape. A number of programs are available, including bio energy, meditation, nutrition and yoga. Other activities include hiking, saunas and steam rooms, spa treatments, canoeing and paddleboarding. An on-site spa offers body wraps, detox treatments, facials and energy stone alignments. Accommodations range from tent cabins for “glamping” to luxury rooms with four poster beds, hardwood floors and fireplaces.
Best Amenities: The Lodge at Woodloch
Tucked away in the forests of Hawley, Penn., is the renowned Lodge at Woodloch, a Zen outdoors retreat and destination spa with plenty of unique things to do. One of the signature wellness activities is forest bathing, or the practice of Shinrin-Yoku, spending time healing deep in the woods. The resort also has walking trails, meditation classes, yoga, a meditation garden and labyrinth, herbal walks and a hammock garden for true bliss. The 57 rooms include a choice of pillow type, marble baths with rain shower heads and local décor. There’s also a beautiful indoor pool and fabulous cuisine at Tree restaurant and bar. You can also unwind in the Jacuzzi or eucalyptus steam room, take a watercolor paint lesson or enjoy culinary demonstrations.
Best Splurge: Miraval Resort and Spa (Arizona)
Set on 400 secluded acres near Tucson, Arizona, the lavish Miraval Resort has a roster of health and wellness activities, luxurious accommodations, a full-service spa and a gorgeous desert location – but at a hefty price tag. Several meditation instructions are included in the price, so you can learn the basics of breathwork, take guided Chakra lessons, go on a labyrinth journey, join morning group meditations or experience unique additions such as floating meditation – which utilizes soothing vibrations of crystal bowls. Tranquil rooms feature private patios, earth tone décor, outdoor showers and spa style tubs. There are several dining options, including a serene outdoor café with fresh ingredients, but you can also take culinary lessons with the chef.
Best Wellness Retreat: Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center (Costa Rica)
Tucked in the rainforest of Costa Rica, the Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center hosts a number of scheduled mediation and yoga retreats throughout the year. If you’re not attending a retreat, the center offers energy balancing through sound therapy, Reiki, yoga and meditation classes in an open-air studio. Plenty of hiking trails surround guests with nature, making it in an ideal place to let go. The 10 private casitas have their own patios overlooking the mountains, and an onsite pool is perfect for cooling down. Meals are included with overnight packages, which can be tailored to fit your needs. TripAdvisor members raved about the gracious owners who are very knowledgeable about alternative therapy.
Best Budget: Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre (Michigan)
If you prefer a more intimate setting and are on a budget, the Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre is a four-room bed and breakfast located in a rural, wooded area near Lansing, Mich. Shared rooms are the most economical and a hearty and healthy breakfast is included. Meditation courses and classes are held throughout the year, ranging from meditation refreshers, healthy cooking, energy classes to even animal healing seminars. The centre has a silent meditation room and living and common area with spiritual books and self-serve tea. The State Wildlife Research center is within walking distance.
Best Programs for Beginners: OM Sanctuary (North Carolina)
The 54-acre OM is located in the trendy, bohemian mountain city of Asheville, N.C., and has an array of holistic programs to introduce guests to the alternative lifestyles. Sustainable living and gardening, dance and art expressions, as well as scheduled meditation classes and seminars are just a few of the new experiences visitors can partake in. Accommodations vary, but can include comfortable four-poster beds, gas fireplaces, soaking tubs and access to the serenity gardens. Healthy meals are served in the sanctuary lounge, and classes take place in soothing spaces both indoors and outside. TripAdvisor members loved the beautiful grounds filled with cherry and dogwood trees.
Best for Rejuvenation: Nurturing Nest Mineral Hot Springs Retreat (Calif.)
While Palm Springs, Calif., is known for its sprawling resorts, Nurturing Nest is a tiny and peaceful, seven-room enclave just minutes from Joshua Tree National Park. The hideaway is perfect for soaking aches and pains in the natural desert hot springs, which are considered one of the best mineral springs in the world. A number of wellness and meditation retreats are scheduled that channel healing energy to help guests deal with grief, life changes and stress. Treatments include reiki, counseling, transformational breathing and massages. Rooms are minimalist Zen style, but have warm and inviting colors and mountain views.
Best for Romance: Lumeria Retreat (Maui)
The 24-room Lumeria Retreat in Maui adds an air of romance to the traditional meditation centers, thanks to its elegant accommodations and gorgeous setting. Start the mornings off right with guided sunrise meditations followed by a changing schedule of activities such as gong and Tibetan bowl sound baths, Vinyasa yoga, Hawaiian heritage and new thought workshops. Rooms have luxurious, comfortable bedding, premium bath products and lanais with courtyard or ocean views. The spa offers reiki and a number of signature Hawaiian treatments such as a lomi lomi massage or a lava sea salt scrub. Delicious, organic meals are served farm-to-table direct from the resort’s gardens.