Wednesday, July 24, 2024

New Year, new you? Mexico’s best wellness retreats to renew

Friends in London, New York and Chicago have been imploring me to find them a cleansing and revitalizing retreat in Mexico, post-holidays and pre-2024. I guess burnout, a real thing in our modern era, doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon.

Mexico’s wealth of retreat centers has expanded considerably since the pandemic, creating a niche for foreigners who want to open up wellness businesses in paradise – any entrepreneur’s dream! Some new rejuvenating health retreats offer ever-higher standards, settings and services.   

MND sourced three retreats focused on your optimum health, from the most luxurious to the most affordable, in Cancún, San Miguel de Allende and Baja California. Explore what fits for you as we head into 2024.

SHA Wellness Clinic, Mexico – optimum wellness treatments at a world-class luxury health center

Where Is It?

SHA Wellness Clinic is located 30 minutes from Cancún International Airport, which has daily international connections from the United States, Canada and Europe. The spa is set amidst a lush, tropical landscape, with a white sand beachfront that also houses a cenote, a freshwater pool that the Mayans believe has healing properties. 

Why should I come? 

SHA Wellness Clinic, Mexico – optimum wellness treatments. (SHA)

Following the success of SHA wellness brand’s clinic in Spain – voted the world’s best wellness clinic at the World Spa Awards 2023 – SHA Mexico will open in  January. The Cancún clinic offers four different state-of-the-art integrative healing and health programs, informed by both scientific and holistic medicine. 

SHA helps you curate your own personal health program within the four they offer, according to your health goals for mind, body and spirit: a detox and cleanse, treatments for longevity, recovery from stress and tools for leadership, or a preventive program for cognitive and physical revitalization. 

Their programs are all created with the goal of optimum health: good nutrition, “well-aging,” holistic and integrative medicine, cognitive stimulation therapy, advanced preventive diagnostics, and personalized physical fitness. They call it the ‘SHA Method,” which is applied within their “healthy living academy.”

Give me the tour 

Overlooking the Caribbean, over one hundred suites and rooms, each with a plunge pool, are designed to evoke a sleek, minimalist sense of serenity by Mexican architect Sordo Madaleno and interior designer Alejandro Escudero. Infinity pools, zen gardens, tropical spaces, and treatment rooms with views over the mangroves create a breathtaking “wellness universe.”  SHA boasts over one hundred treatment and medical consultation rooms, a high-tech fitness center and the SHAmadi Restaurant. 

Affordability  

This is cutting-edge health and wellness in a luxurious setting.  

Accommodations range from their two-story, three-bedroom Royal Suite for US $4,750 to a double occupancy room at US $675. In addition, you need to book at least one health program in order to stay. 

Their health programs run from 4 days, for around US $3,000, to their 7-day “well-aging” program, which costs around US $8,000. Their 7-day leadership program (think high-powered execs) is valued at US $6,500.  

Any other special features? 

Tour the nearby large coral reef and marine ecosystem.  

SHA offers the latest health technology, like scientific electromagnetic field mapping, far infrared heat with pulsating magnetic waves and dermo-aesthetic medicine. 

They also have a theater, a fine arts complex – and even a heliport dock for those who need to arrive clandestinely! 

MND Verdict:

With such a high-caliber menu of health treatments and experts in this paradise beach spot, it’s no wonder you’re also offered a daily personal assistant. Probably unbeatable if you want to go “all-out.” 

Sagrada Holistic Ranch, San Miguel de Allende – wellness experiences at a boho-chic location set high up in the mountains

Where Is It? 

Sagrada Holistic Ranch is located 20 minutes outside the World Heritage city of San Miguel de Allende, nestled inside a beautiful mountain range at the foot of an extinct volcano, overlooking the Rio Laja Valley. 1.5 hours from León (BJX) airport or 3.5 hours from Mexico City International (AICM) airport. 

Why Should I Come? 

Sagrada Holistic Ranch, San Miguel de Allende. (Sagrada Holistic Ranch)

Sagrada translates to sacred, and historically, the site has a special healing significance – as well as a 300-year-old botanical garden. A young, hip crew of health practitioners and yoga and meditation instructors from the United States and Mexico have created a bohemian, rustic but stylish and comfortable retreat center.  

Sagrada Holistic offers personal and group retreats focusing on alternative medicine, yoga, meditation and mindfulness, cleansing and de-stressing, as well as Restore Your Soul and Return to Radiance, two retreats specifically for health practitioners looking to go deeper with their practices. 

Healing offerings include a crystal-embellished massage room, an ancient lava infrared sauna, traditional Mexican temazcal ceremonies, a cold plunge pool, mountain pathway walks and forest bathing, a trending Japanese wellness practice known by the name of Shinrin-Yoku, or “taking in the forest atmosphere.”

Other offerings include Tai Chi and Qigong, massages, reflexology, chiropractic, acupuncture and plant-based cooking classes. Horseback riding, nature hikes, and tours to local pyramids, hot springs, and the city of San Miguel are also offered.  

Give me the tour

With the vibe of an ancient hacienda tucked away in a mountain, far away from modern life, Sagrada offers eight charming and spacious suites that accommodate from two to six people. 

Recently refurbished and re-envisioned, the gardens, dining and communal areas and outdoor spaces have the touch of an artist’s eye and a homely feel, with breathtaking views overlooking the valley. The center serves authentic regional cuisine, along with plant-based or vegetarian options, and will tailor menus to guests’ desires.   

Affordability

Rates include breakfast, use of the sauna, the sacred bath and meditation teepees, as well as a bonfire and tour of the mountain.  Rates for the casita that sleeps 6 are around US $600, whereas the double bedroom comes in at around US $300. A 6-night Return to Radiance retreat with yoga teacher Heather Smith runs at USD $2,800. All other therapies and activities are add-ons. 

You can reserve retreat spaces and your choice of accommodation through WeTravel. A US $800 non-refundable deposit holds your place and final payment is due 45 days before the start of your retreat. Flexible payment plans are available.

Any other special features?  

Sagrada Holistic hosts heart-opening cacao ceremonies, sound baths, bonfires for night gatherings and deep energy clearings and emotional release ceremonies, for those looking for deeper healing. My favorite feature is their invitation to befriend the donkeys they provide sanctuary for.   

MND Verdict:

These guys have figured out a delicious menu of treatments, tours and sacred Mexican ceremonies in a setting that is both jaw-dropping and serene. A slice of rustic heaven on earth.  

Baja Cleanse, Cabo – detoxify and cleanse in an intimate, natural beach setting

Where Is It? 

On the coast between Cabo San Lucas and La Paz. Fly to Cabo San Lucas International airport and the Baja Cleanse car will drive you one hour north to the remote location. 

Why Should I Come?

Baja Cleanse, Cabo. (Baja Cleanse)

Baja Cleanse is a simple, natural escape, away from the built-up tourist areas and without the luxury bells and whistles.  

They offer a custom-designed, all-inclusive and personalized retreat, and only host a maximum of 6 guests at once. Ideal for an intimate solo or couples getaway, and for those that are “peopled out” and looking for a total detoxification and cleanse – or a complete body reset! 

Baja Cleanse claims to level out blood sugar and pH by employing a one-day fast, followed by a raw, Ayurvedic diet featuring local native cuisine.  

In addition to yoga, meditation and massage, along with expert nutritional guidance with tools to take away, Baja Cleanse offers some more intense cleansing treatments such as: gallbladder flushes, probiotic implants, ion cleanse detoxes, microbe soil soaks, lymphatic cleansing and liver rescues, coffee enemas, and heavy metals/pesticide detoxes, amongst others.  

The retreat host, Tanja, is a certified nutritionist, life coach and massage therapist. 

Victor, a shamanic healer, offers ancient sacred ceremony work, with sound and herbal medicines. 

Give me the tour  

Charming and simple studios and 1 or 2-bedroom casitas are available, in an unspoilt area of rugged beauty close to the beach. There are horses, goats, donkeys and dogs wandering freely but never invading the retreat area.  

Affordability

A 7-day retreat for one person costs approximately US $3,000, increasing to US $5000 for a 14-day stay. Prices are flexible, as each retreat is carefully planned and custom-designed based on each guest’s needs. 

Cancellations made within 30 days of the retreat will only recoup 50% of the retreat price. 

Any other special features? 

A metabolic flush with nitric oxide (sounds interesting!) and personal astrological charts are available. For some serious healing, Baja Cleanse offers a ‘spiritual sound bath with Bufo,’ a trending Mexican healing practice using the extract from a Sonoran desert toad.   For the more active guest,  Baja Cleanse offers kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boarding, whale shark tours, biking, horseback riding, and trips to waterfalls and hot springs!

MND Verdict:

Tanja’s reviews backed up her dual missions of helping other people “become more of a conscious eater instead of a habit eater,” and to detoxify the mind, body and spirit. Expect soulful, natural charm for those with a serious cleansing mission. 

From the more affordable to the upscale, there are some real slices of paradise out there in Mexico’s retreat universe. These tantalizing menus of revitalizing techniques offer the latest in health technology, or a chance to experience Mexico’s ancient healing practices. 

One thing’s for sure, the locations alone are a world away from the big city in winter – and whatever your fancy – a stint at one of these retreats will likely set you up for a potent and productive 2024! 

Henrietta Weekes is a writer, editor, actor and narrator. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, New York and Oxford, UK. 

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