After one very long, very unusual year, I’ve decided that it's time to treat myself to something special. Not just any splurge, but one of the experiential variety that melds relaxation with nourishing vegan food and quality outdoor time. Yes, I’m talking about a wellness vacation!
Downtime with a side of self-care has long been one of my wellness imperatives, but because travel has been off the table since early 2020, I’ve had to settle for mini staycations at home instead of decompressing in a far-flung locale. I have to admit that the tradeoff wasn’t so terrible, but for someone prone to wanderlust like I am, there’s nothing quite as life-affirming as stepping onto a plane and being transported someplace new.
If you’re anything like me, you are way overdue for a pandemic-era reset, and a wellness getaway ticks all the boxes. Thankfully, with vaccines and pre-flight COVID tests, it’s becoming safer to put ourselves out in the world, but there is still one problem: how do you decide among so many fabulous vegan options?! Whichever you choose, rest assured that a healthy vegan vacation awaits.
Colleen’s Top 11 Vegan Wellness Destinations
- Palmaïa – The House of AïA in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
I’ve grown to love Mexico for its rich culture, incredible cuisine, and warm, sunny climate. I’m also a huge fan of the stunning Palmaïa eco-resort on the Mayan Riviera. Think super-deluxe suites with sea views, incredible plant-based cuisine, and an “Architects of Life” menu with options that include yoga, meditation, sound baths, and cacao ceremonies. The Palmaïa team take pristine care of their guests, and I love that this luxury resort is vegan-owned.
- Veda5 in Rishikesh, India
Whether you’re curious about ayurveda or already integrating these ancient health practices into your wellness routine, a trek to the Veda5 retreat nestled in the Himalayn foothills of the sacred Ganges river is worth it. The entire town of Rishikesh is meat-free, and so are each of the experiences offered here, from Sleep Well and Meditation retreats to Ayurvedic Rejuvenation and Panchakarma packages. The healthy ayurvedic cuisine is absolutely divine, and while India is a very big trip (don't miss our VegNews Vacation to India!), it will be a spiritual journey that will forever change your life.
- The Stanford Inn in Mendocino, CA
A stay at this cozy-chic hideaway on California’s rugged north coast is a vegan rite of passage. Everything here is designed with herbivores in mind, from the award-winning plant-based restaurant to the down-free pillows. The inn’s wellness program is run by a vegan dietitian and includes amenities ranging from cooking to hiking to nutritional counseling. The indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, massage rooms nestled in the redwoods, and roaring fireplaces throughout make this incredible wellness destination even more special! I've been going to this vegan-family-owned inn for years, and it has truly become my happy place.
- Four Seasons Punta Mita in Punta Mita, Mexico
On Mexico’s gorgeous Pacific coast just north of Puerto Vallarta (and a three-hour flight from most anywhere in the US), the Four Seasons Punta Mita welcomes vegan travelers with five-star service. You’ll swoon over the epic sea views, relish gourmet plant-based food designed by celebrity vegan chef Leslie Durso, and take pampering to new heights with oceanfront yoga and relaxing cactus massage (really). All of the restaurants (including room service) have ample vegan options, and an experience at the Four Seasons never disappoints.
- Fivelements Retreat in Badung, Bali
This plant-based wellness resort on the beautiful island of Bali merges luxe accommodations with that all-important tropical vibe and authentic Indonesian ambiance. Rooms have stunning views over the verdant landscape, and amenities range from sacred arts workshops to Balinese healing rituals. Basically, it’s heaven on earth! Bali, here I come.
- The Ranch Malibu in Malibu, CA
Four-, seven-, and nine-day retreats at the luxurious The Ranch are designed to help guests meet their wellness goals, whether that’s losing weight, getting in shape, or doing a deep detox. You won’t find alcohol, caffeine, dairy, soy, processed sugars, or gluten on the menu, but the plant-based fare grown at the on-site organic garden brims with flavors and textures that will make you feel sated and nourished.
- Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico
The wellness program at this desert oasis just a short drive across the California border into Mexico promises mind-body-spirit renewal, and they deliver! Whether enjoying guided hikes on scenic nature trails, taking meditation workshops, or learning to salsa dance, you’ll experience delight and leave feeling re-energized and refreshed.
- The Farm at San Benito in Lipa City, Philippines
If you believe preventive health is the best medicine, you are going to love this holistic retreat in the middle of a lush tropical forest in the Philippines. The wellness offerings are intriguing (total biohack, anyone?) and designed to make you look and feel your best. Plus, the on-site vegan restaurant offers everything from gourmet raw food to cheesy pizzas. Take me away!
- Koukoumi Hotel in Ano Mera, Greece
The island of Mykonos is magical all on its own, but throw in a vegan hotel and spa, a sparkling pool, and a pampering menu that includes aromatherapy, massages, and organic facials, and you might as well call this paradise. Pilates and yoga are two of the fitness offerings, and the exclusively plant-based menu borrows heavily from all the glorious flavors of the Mediterranean region.
- NewTree Ranch in Healdsburg, CA
If you just happen to be a Bitcoin billionaire or a Silicon Valley exec with plant-based proclivities, you may have heard of NewTree Ranch, an über-exclusive vegan resort in Sonoma County. Here, you’ll discover all the rustic luxury you could hope for: gourmet vegan cuisine, an on-site animal sanctuary, yoga, and trendy wellness options like WimHoff breathing and cooking classes. Rates begin at $1,500 per night, but sources say it’s worth the splurge!
- Holistic Holiday at Sea in the Carribean
Even people who insist they aren’t the “cruising type” rave about this waterborne health vacay, and not just because the food is incredible and the ports of call are amazing. You’ll also discover fitness classes and nutrition workshops taught by plant-based pros, lectures by some of the biggest names in veganism, and a community of shiny, happy people who share your core values. What could be better than that?