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4 Best Wellness Experiences to Have in 2024

4 Best Wellness Experiences to Have in 2024

Our list of well-being journeys go above and beyond the gym and eating healthfully. This year, treat yourself to one of the luxury indulgences on our list.

January is a great month to focus on wellness experiences to renew and rejuvenate. In an age when self-care and well-being are on everyone’s radar, transformative journeys, whether far or near, help shape our lives and the ways we interact with others. As a professional in the health and fitness industry, I come across many different paths to achieve well-being, whether it be emotional, mental, or spiritual. Here are some of my favorite wellness experiences to book in 2024.

1. This Adults-Only Resort is your Base Camp to Sedona’s Vortex

If you can only go to one place this year, you need to go to Ambiente, an adults-only resort in Sedona. Situated on a compact three acres, 40 unique cube-shaped atriums are set against the beautiful red rock mountains. There are four luxurious atriums to choose from – star, creekside, forest, and landscape reflections, each representing a different aspect of nature and highlighting their placement on the property. 

Forest Reflections Atrium at Ambiente-Sedona credit Ambiente

Forest Reflections Atrium at Ambiente-Sedona credit Ambiente

Star Reflections Atriums are the starting price-point category, located at the center of the resort, near the pool and restaurant Forty1. Creekside Reflections Atriums are easily accessible for those with mobility issues, offer a patio and fire pit, and are next to a bubbling creek, while the Landscape Reflections Atriums offer the most privacy and the most spectacular views. 

I stayed in one of the Forest Reflections, surrounded by juniper and pine trees, making it feel like I was in my own private treehouse. The most striking feature of these accommodations has to be the floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass that surrounds you on three sides.

All atriums feature 576 square feet of living space, plush mattresses and deluxe linens. A comfortable L-shaped couch provides ample seating for cozying up with a good book and relaxing. Bathrooms are spacious, with sleek soaking tubs, towel warmers and dual shower heads. Soundproofed rooms and black out curtains provided a restful night of sleep.

Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel-credit-Ambiente

Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel-credit Ambiente

Restaurant Forty1 serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as in-room dining. They feature elegantly plated and healthy American cuisine. There are also many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. Don’t miss their eggs Benedict for breakfast, which were one of my favorites, along with their signature Grimaud Farms duck breast. After dinner, save room for dessert, which changes seasonally and is sure to please.

Whether you spend your time hiking, lounging poolside, or relaxing in your room, make sure to book a spa treatment at Velvet Spa. The full-service spa offers massages, body treatments, and facials. I highly recommend the Ultimate Zen, which includes an exfoliation, wrap, followed by a full body massage. They also offer energy healing modalities such as reiki and cranial sacral alignment.

2. Olakino Adults-Only Pool Experience at Wailea Beach Resort

Set across 22 acres on Maui’s ocean front, the Wailea Beach Resort is making waves, and in a good way. Though they’re a family-friendly resort, they recently unveiled their signature Olakino experience, which is an adults-only wellness pool, with luxury experiences. Guests can book a lounger, daybed, or spacious cabana as they enjoy ocean views and a relaxing infinity pool and hot tub. The views are breathtaking, but some of my favorite perks were the daily themed experiences, such as mini scalp and shoulder massages and acupuncture to promote rest and relaxation. With a focus on wellness, guests receive complimentary Ayurvedic juices and various food samples throughout the day.

The beautifully-appointed hotel offers 56 suites, along with 43 Sundeck Collection rooms with an extended patio, highlighting outdoor living space. Guests can enjoy comfortable outdoor sofas and lounge chairs as they relax to stunning ocean views. I woke up to the sound of ocean waves and practiced meditation every morning on the deck.

Wailea Beach Resort Sundeck Collection credit Wailea Beach Resort

credit Wailea Beach Resort

The resort offers 11 dining options, so there’s something for everyone. Their signature restaurant Humble Market Kitchin By Roy Yamaguchi, features authentic Hawaiian plates using fresh and local ingredients as often as possible. Executive Chef Matt Dela Cruz works with local farms and purveyors to offer creative and healthy cuisine. For an entertaining experience, book their signature Te Au Moana Lūʻau, which is a lively cultural performance. Served family-style, it’s a great way to make friends and meet new people. Daily fitness classes include yoga, mat Pilates, beach bootcamp, and water aerobics, all of which are included in the room rate.

Te-Au-Moana Lūʻau credit Wailea Beach Resort

Te-Au-Moana Lūʻau credit Wailea Beach Resort

3. Wellness in the High Desert

Located in Central Oregon, Bend sees mostly clear, sunny days with less than 12 inches of rain per year. The setting is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with world-class skiing, championship golf, plenty of hiking in the Cascade Mountain Range, and healthy food options to boot. Stay at the sophisticated Tetherow, which offers high-end accommodations, access to an 18-hole golf course, two superb restaurants, and an outdoor pool and lounge area. 

Blissful Spoon credit Blissful Spoon

Blissful Spoon credit Blissful Spoon

Blissful Spoon credit Blissful Spoon

Blissful Spoon credit Blissful Spoon

Before you head out on a day of activity, stop by Blissful Spoon, a bright eatery serving up delicious whole foods made from scratch. If you have a hankering for something hearty, I suggest the churro waffles. They’ll have you asking for more of the chocolate dipping sauce. The harvest salad is a great option for those that want some greens and proteins. Grab some protein bites to take with you – they are full of nutritious goodness if you need a pick-me-up midday. NW Raw Organic Juice Bar is one of my favorite places to enjoy lunch and people watch. Their cold-pressed juices are satisfying and fresh anytime of the day. Their brilliantly colored salads and avocado toast are also winners. 

Credit NW Raw Organic Juice Bar

Credit NW Raw Organic Juice Bar

Credit NW Raw Organic Juice Bar

Credit NW Raw Organic Juice Bar

With all that outdoor activity and the dryness of the desert, you’ll want to spend some time pampering yourself, both mentally and physically. Book The Facial by Stacey Lum, which goes beyond your typical treatment as you are immersed in a deeply transformative ritual. Beauty Ceremony, Stacey’s business, is unique because the experience is customized to an individual’s skincare and holistic needs. Using the highest quality, small-batch products, she selects any of the following modalities depending on her clientele: gua sha, Thai poultice, cryotherapy, microcurrent, dermaplane, and extractions.

credit Stacey Lum

credit Stacey Lum

All new clients start with a 90-minute facial so the expert healer can get to know them. Using her intuition to guide her and drawing upon over 20 years learning about healing practices from around the globe, guests relax and go inward, focusing on their intention during the session. “2024 is the season for me to continue to share my gifts in order to deliver the most powerful transformative facial experience for my clientele.” She’s in the process of learning new sacred medicine practices from a certified Eden Energy Medicine practitioner and certified crystal healer, Angela Goodstein. 

credit Stacey Lum

credit Stacey Lum

4. Visit Geothermal Hot Springs in the Columbia River Gorge

Tenzen Springs, located in the historic town of Stevenson, Washington, combines the traditional Japanese onsen culture with Scandinavian nordic cycle hydrotherapy in a remote and peaceful spot, surrounded by a forest canopy of Douglas Firs. 

credit Tenzen Springs

credit Tenzen Springs

Owners Nanae and Nick Yoshida believe in the benefits of the earth’s healing springs through their own experiences, helping to alleviate skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, along with pain management and reducing stress. Nanae pointed out that the waters which flow into the soaking tubs are all-natural geothermal water, which is filtered through their water system. 

Spread across 100 acres atop a bluff, six individual cabins feature their own private geothermal tub with a full steam-sauna shower, an outdoor shower, along with a private deck and sitting area. Guests are able to soak in their private tubs, practice the hot and cold hydrotherapy and be rewarded with beautiful views of the landscape. 

Tenzen Springs and Cabins

credit Tenzen Springs and Cabins

The cabins, which are 250 square feet and open up to an additional 600 square feet of spa space, are tiny homes. They blend Japanese design and Nordic minimalism with hidden storage spaces, kitchenettes, and spacious bathrooms. Some cabins offer stovetops while others feature a microwave. Set in the corner is a comfortable nook, where a pull-out desk can be used for meals or office work. Because of the cabins popularity, more cabins are in the process of being added in 2024.


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About The Author

Jean Chen Smith

Jean Chen Smith is a freelance journalist who has been publishing for over 10 years. With a love of travel and storytelling, her intention is to create content to inspire and connect people to places, things, and experiences. Her articles have appeared in AARP, Travel and Leisure, 1859 magazine, Insider Travel, USA Today, Family Vacationist, The Oregonian, SFGATE, weekand.com, and more. When not writing or teaching Pilates at her studio, she enjoys trail running, spending time with her pups Tonka and Paisley, and reading suspense novels. www.jeanchensmith.com.

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