Turks & Caicos : Como Shambhala Retreat
Surely one of the most exclusive private island sanctuaries in the Caribbean, Parrot Cay offers an extraordinary thousand acres of pure escapism, accessible only by speedboat. A true back-to-nature experience, tucked away in a quiet corner of the Turks and Caicos, it is an oasis of calm, where the tide keeps time and the whale migrations mark the seasons. In keeping with this ‘au naturel’ theme, a sleek palette of whites and creams presents the perfect contrast to the Caribbean Sea, with teak four-poster beds wrapped in soft cottons that billow with the breeze and cavernous bathrooms – whether in the rooms, suites, beach houses or villas with plunge pools.
Costa Rica : Rancho Pacifico
There plenty of tasteful, comfortable, eco-friendly luxury hotels in Costa Rica, so the competition is stiff to get your attention. Rancho Pacifico manages to stand out, however, and attracts plenty of guests who can afford to stay anywhere they want. Where else does the restaurant’s bathroom wall have thank-you notes from Sheryl Crow, Anderson Cooper, and Al Gore? Rancho Pacifico has a whole lot going for it, which you can read in detail by clicking on the photo above or the full review link at the end. The big main draw, however, is the unbelievable location. Perched on a steep mountainside with the “Whale’s Tale” point extending into the Pacific Ocean down below, it’s a panoramic view that only a few other places can compete with. This is not just a kick-back-and-admire-the-view spot though. The villas are surrounded by 250 acres of private jungle reserve, filled with all kinds of wildlife and teeming with birds. I saw hummingbirds, monkeys, and agoutis while out for a hike to the waterfall pictured here. I checked out toucans, hawks, and a hummingbird without even leaving the restaurant deck.
Mexique: Maya Tulum
Just 90 minutes from Cancún, this seaside wellness retreat and spa hosts more than 50 yoga events each year. You'll be spoiled for choice here when it comes to your yogic desires. Sign up for one of the five or seven night Mind, Body, Spirit programs (MBS), complete with vegetarian meals (with the option of ordering fish), massages, day trips and a to-die-for spa offering everything from Mayan clay massages to a traditional sweat lodge run by a real shaman. A real draw with celebrities, you might just find yourself doing the downward facing dog with a rock star or politician. Here, yoga isn't just a practice, it's a way of life and you can enjoy it in one of 49 simple stone-and-thatch cabanas.
The Sivananda Yoga Retreat provides an immersion experience into the daily practices of a yogic lifestyle. More than just a yoga center, the Yoga Retreat offers teachings derived from the deeply-rooted Hatha Yoga traditions of a renowned lineage. All of the Ashram practices are geared toward the development of inner peace for a more harmonious world. Established by Swami Vishnudevananda in the name of Master Swami Sivananda, the Ashram presents a balanced experience of Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga. The daily schedule includes meditation, pranayama (yogic breathing practices), asana (yoga postures) and study. There is a variety of options for your stay or Yoga Vacation.