With experiential travel offerings going from strength to strength, hotels need to offer more than just a welcome drink and a pillow chocolate to keep guests happy. If you want more than a fly and flop break but you’re not quite ready for a full retreat programme, check out one of the cool hotel residencies happening around the world this year.
8 Hotel Residencies for 2019
Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios
Who? Lena Franklin
When? 10-13 October 2019
What? The beautiful Jamaica Inn has long championed the digital detox, reducing technology in rooms such as televisions and radios and encouraging guests to marvel in the hotel’s natural surroundings instead. This October, they’re taking things even further by inviting mindful psychotherapist and international spiritual teacher Lena Franklin in to run a mindfulness retreat based around ancient Eastern practices. This will involve daily meditation classes alongside spa treatments, mindful eating workshops, cooking demonstrations and hikes through the lush lands of Jamaica.
BOOK: Carrier offers 7 nights from £3,955 per person based on 2 adults sharing a Deluxe Verandah Suite on an all-inclusive basis including group activities such as mindfulness sessions, waterfall hiking, yoga and cooking demonstrations, a welcome cocktail party, high tea, return flights from London Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic and return private transfers. Offer valid 09 – 16 October 2019. Based on departures 09 October 2019. carrier.co.uk
Omaanda & Sonop, Namibia
Who? Katy Mission
When? 30 November-8 December 2019
What? Boasting some of the world’s most awe-inspiring landscapes, Namibia is the perfect place to reconnect with nature – particularly at a retreat run by yoga teacher Katy Mission. Guests will stay at two Namibian lodges from the Zannier Hotels group: Omaanda, which overlooks the savannah in the heart of a protected animal reserve, and Sonop, a luxury tented camp constructed on top of boulders in the Namib Desert. Throughout the week, guests will take part in yoga, meditation and breathing workshops, one-to-one consultations with Katy, guided wildlife excursions, desert horseback rides and a trip to the majestic dunes of Sossusvlei.
BOOK: The Zannier Hotels’ Yoga Retreat costs €6,750 per person sharing a room or €7,750 for a single person. zannierhotels.com
Who? Madeline Miller
When? 26 September-1 October 2019
What? Award-winning author Madeline Miller is leading a reading retreat at Costa Navarino, a plush beachfront resort in the Peloponnese. Many of her novels, such as Circe and Song of Achilles, are inspired by the writings of Homer – so Greece is the perfect place to discuss them. But it’s not all about books: alongside reading sessions guests can take part in discussions about women in ancient society, local healing herb workshops, river hiking through the Polylimnio Waterfalls, traditional cookery classes and wine tasting.
BOOK: €1,950pp. eventbrite.com
Villa Lena, Tuscany
Who? Katzie Guy-Hamilton
When? July to September 2019
What? If you’re searching for the perfect foodie break in Tuscany this summer, head to Villa Lena, where Katzie Guy-Hamilton is chef in residency from July to September. A graudate of the International Culinary Center, Katzie’s CV includes the likes of Spago and The Breslin in New York City and she will be taking the lead on sustainable activities throughout her residency, with foraging sessions and baking classes. She will also be teaching guests the secrets of clean eating and leading a fresh fruit crostada workshop using the touch/feel method. The Villa’s restaurant operates on a farm-to-table concept, with guests encouraged to participate in activities from grape harvesting to truffle hunting.
UXUA Casa Hotel, Brazil
Who? Karis Scarlette
When? 2-17 August
What? Royal Ballet trained dancer, Karis Scarlette, will be in residence at UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa this summer for the Brazil Ballet Retreat. The go-to for adult ballet training in London, Karis will move her workshops to a paradisiacal setting for a fitness retreat not to be missed. The programme will incorporate traditional ballet techniques, artistry and strength, with guests meeting their goals in UXUA’s gorgeous tropical gardens. There will also be Baby Ballet sessions for little ones, plus guided meditation and stretching sessions on the beach. There will also be the opportunity for guests to try capoeira, a traditional Brazilian martial art and UXUA’s resident nutritionist Jullian Hamamoto has designed a specific Wellness Menu to accompany the programme.
BOOK: Journey Latin America (020 3553 9647, journeylatinamerica.co.uk) is the UK’s leading specialist in travel to Latin America. A 4-night stay at Uxua on a B&B basis during August starts from £2,215 per person. The price includes flights from London Heathrow to Porto Seguro and transfer. uxua.com
Want more residencies? Check out: Best Wellness Retreats
Who? Alistair Birt
When? 22-25 October
What? Secluded island resort and mainstay on our travel Pinterest boards, Vakkaru Maldives will be welcoming Chef Alistair Birt this October for one sweet trip. As the Head Pastry Chef at Harrods London, there’s no person better qualified to teach you everything about chocolate. With Chef Birt’s guidance and expertise, guests will embark on a culinary adventure, learning through eating during the ‘Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Masterclasses’, indulging in Cacao Cocktails while looking out onto the famous Maldivian sunset at Lagoon Bar, and diving into a Chocolate Degustation dinner that culminates with an extraordinary Ruby Eton Mess. Needless to say, you’re in for a treat.
BOOK: To experience ‘Going Beyond Chocolate’ with Alistair Birt, guests can book a Beach Villa from $533 or an Over Water Villa from $612 per night, including breakfast for two people. For reservations and information, visit vakkarumaldives.com or contact [email protected]
Villa La Massa, Florence
Who? Annie Clark
When? 9-12 September 2019
What? If it’s yoga residencies that pique your interest, this is one for you. Wellness expert and qualified yoga instructor Annie Clark will be at Florentine property Villa La Massa this September to conduct a four-day residency, sharing her wellness tips and giving daily expertly tutored yoga classes. Attendees will be encouraged to bring awareness to their body and mind, with a backdrop of the stunning Arno River and Chianti-Rufina hills. The peony-filled Iris Garden at Villa La Massa will make the perfect venue for sunrise and sunset yoga classes, while Annie will also be available for private sessions throughout her residency. Guests will also enjoy a bespoke menu, inspired and overseen by Annie to ensure the link between mind, body and bowl.
BOOK: The Villa La Massa Wellness Residency costs €1,650 (single occupancy) or €1,950 (double occupancy) in a double deluxe room on a three-night stay, including breakfast and six yoga sessions with Annie throughout the residency. Price also includes use of the Arno SPA facilities (including gym, sauna, Turkish baths). Price includes VAT and service. City tax excluded. villalamassa.com
Niyama Private Islands, Maldives
Who? Jade Wood
When? 15 October-22 November
What? Following on from last year’s residency, Craniosacral Therapist Jade Wood returns to Niyama Private Islands, Maldives this autumn for a series of one-on-one yin Yoga classes and qigong workshops. Jade will also offer introductions to meditation and calming craniofacial massages (she has extensive training in Thai massage, Shiatsu and abdominal massage). All this while you soak up some sun in this Maldivian paradise.
BOOK: Room rates at Niyama Private Islands, Maldives are from US$483 (approx. £369) per room/night staying in a Beach Villa on a B&B basis. This is based on double occupancy and includes all taxes and services. To book, please call +960 676 2828, [email protected]ma.com or visit niyama.com