What Luxury Wellness Travellers Want: Yoga Retreats, Meditation & the Maldives

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Who is the global luxury wellness traveller and what does she want? Keen on the Maldives but cold on China, passionate about plastic and committed to her mental health, today’s wellness traveller is a far cry from your 5-star spa-with-hotel-gym-seeking baby boomer. Below, we share a detailed profile of what she is looking for, where she wants to fly to most and who her ideal retreat companion is. 

The global wellness traveler goes on a retreat at least once a year, though she may also book a programme for a special occasion like her birthday or an anniversary. 

Like most millennials, she prefers yoga and meditation retreats over fitness-based programmes or spa focused ones. She is also keen on anti-stress retreats and detox programmes. On the other hand, digital detoxes don’t tickle her fancy at all. 

Activity-wise she seeks out adventure sports, cooking classes and private nutrition consultations. No matter the retreat type, all-inclusive packages that bundle accommodation, meal plans, therapies and activities are the way forward. 

Mental health is her top priority, one she values over concerns about body-shaping or weight-loss. Physical health is a close second. What she is not too keen on? Athletic training, silent retreats, fasting programmes and medical tourism.

Her dream retreat travel destination is The Maldives, though she also loves Bali, Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. China, the UAE and the UK are a no-go-not on the wellness front. 

When it comes to choosing where to go, Google remains her top referral channel, though recommendations from friends, Instagram and online magazines (hi, Green Queen!) also played an important role.

Another crucial decision-making factor? A retreat’s plastic policy. The anti-plastic movement has made huge strides in 2018, and our wellness traveller is hyper aware of her personal impact on local environments. A good sustainability  policy is key to winning her over. 

Her ideal retreat partner is her romantic partner, though she will happily settle for a group of friends. Colleagues are her last choice. Sorry corporates, team bonding on a wellness retreat is a not the way to her heart. 

This article is based on research conducted by Compare Retreats, a leading booking portal and online publication for luxury wellness retreats that have been vetted by certified health & fitness professionals. Over 500 wellness travellers recruited via Compare Retreat’s various digital channels participated in a self-administered online survey conducted between August and September 2018. For the full results, please contact the team at Compare Retreats at info@compareretreats.com.

 Lead image courtesy of Pexels. 


  • Sonalie Figueiras

    2021 Women of Power, 2019 GEN T Honoree, V Label Global Hero, 2 x TEDx Speaker: Serial social entrepreneur & trends forecaster Sonalie Figueiras is a sustainability expert, food futurist and eco-powerhouse who has been inspiring global audiences for over a decade with practical steps on how to fight climate change. Known as the Green Queen of Asia, she is the founder and Editor in Chief of the award-winning Green Queen - the region’s first impact media platform that educates millions of readers on the connection between health, sustainability and the environment and showcases future solutions. She is also the co-founder and CEO of organic sourcing platform Ekowarehouse and climate tech SaaS Source Green, which helps consumer brands quit plastic packaging thanks to proprietary plastic reduction software. In addition, Sonalie is a global keynote speaker and an advisor to multiple mission-driven startups and NGOs, and a venture partner to several VC funds.

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