Whether you’re after meditation, massage, yoga, surfing, or a digital detox, our retreats roundup has you covered for the perfect girls’ trip, mama!
For starters, a 2016 study found that spending time with friends could “increase our bodies’ production of oxytocin” and also have long-term effects such as being happier, having fewer health problems and living longer.
Furthermore, psychologists say that travel is beneficial for our health, in that it can improve cognition by getting us out of our comfort zones, boosting our sense of empathy, and reducing stress hormone production (duh!), among other things.
The real question is, mama: Have you booked your girls’ trip yet? If not, we’ve done the hard work to let you know some of our fave spots in Asia for a girls’ trip or retreat (nothing wrong with some mama alone-time!). With everything from adventure travel (summitting Everest, anyone?), to surfing,to meditation and unlimited massage, happiness awaits. NB: We’ve listed multiple locations in Bali and Thailand because let’s be honest, they’re close by and cheap and easy to get to. We’ve also included a few bucket list spots – because you deserve it, mama!
Click through our gallery for some major girls’ trip inspo!
Lead image sourced via Getty
Wanna know the best way to enjoy your vacay? Build exercise into it so you come home feeling fitter and more focused than ever. And you don’t have to be a UFIT member to join (although after the amazing results we experienced with UFIT Clean & Lean, who wouldn’t want to be?!).
Whether you’re basking on the beach (and trying Muay Thai) in Phuket, trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or taking a dolphin cruise in Sri Lanka, UFIT Retreats allow you to enjoy some of Asia’s most spectacular destinations while also giving you the time to focus on fitness goals and improve your mindset. And UFIT retreats are open to all fitness levels.
First up this year is Sri Lanka (23-28 April), which combines private beach bungalow accommodation with beach bootcamps and runs, strength training workouts, a massage, nutrition workshops, a dolphin & whale excursion, and much more. Plus if you sign up with a friend you’ll both get $88 off the early bird price! Click here to book, mama.
Other upcoming retreats:
Sapa, Vietnam (29 May – 2 June)
Mount Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal (17-31 October)
Phuket, Thailand (22-24 November)
Considered one of the top health and wellness destinations in the world (how lucky are we that it’s practically on our doorstep?!), The Farm at San Benito is perfect for a mellowed out, restorative girls trip where mamas want to catch up on their rest. With six different wellness tracks to choose from – Detox D’lite, De-Stress & Revivify, Pain Management, Weight Management & Heart Health, Beauty & Vitality, and Fitness & Sports Enhancement – there’s a program to suit everyone’s tastes, not to mention all manner of holistic treatments. We’re particularly intrigued by their Prenatal Wellness program – can you say best baby shower ever?!
The Farm at San Benito, 119 Barangau Tipakan, 4217 Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines, Tel: (+63) 2 884 8074, www.thefarmatsanbenito.com
Ever since we heard about the unlimited spa treatments at this five-star luxury beach resort in Vietnam, we’ve been dying to go (and it turns out kids are even welcome, so that’s not a deal-breaker). Other reputed highlights include pool villas and delicious cuisine (you can even take a Vietnamese cooking class!). We’ve definitely got our eye on their retreat package, which includes 3-, 5- and 7-night options. We love that Danang is a short (2.5-hour) direct flight away, too.
Our Managing Director, Emilie, really likes wellness getaways, so when she says COMO Shambhala ranks near the top of her list, we sit up and listen. The gorgeous, sprawling retreat in Ubud offers a host of resident experts, including a yoga instructor, Ayurvedic doctor, and resident dietician (Eve Persak, who’s also told us a thing or two about kids’ nutrition!). We hear the food is incredible (all of it healthy and thoughtfully selected for its wellness benefits), and the villa accommodation is out of this world. You can also get active with excursions like river rafting and mountain biking. Ommmm…
COMO Shambhala Estate, Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Melinggih Kelod, Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia, www.comohotels.com/comoshambhalaestate
Keen to go on a surf retreat but want to be far away from the madding Bali crowd? From October to May, this cool retreat in sleepy Kerala combines yoga and meditation with surfing on uncrowded beaches featuring warm water and gentle waves (sounds divine, no?). Room rates are quite reasonable (starting from about $80/night, single occupancy) and there are options for both 3-day and 6-day retreats. We also give a thumbs up for their commitment to pledging 1% of annual profits to charity. NB: Their sister property in Sri Lanka also looks pretty rad!
Image via Facebook
This legendary, award-winning beach retreat in Hua Hin has one of Asia’s most comprehensive wellness offerings, with a whopping thirteen different treatment programs – including “cell vitality”, “detox”, “emotional wellbeing”, “fitness”, “sustainable weight management” and even “total Golf enhancement”. Accommodation is super stylish but minimalist, and we love that the resort enforces a digital detox! It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway): the spa treatments and food are both meant to be amazing – this is Thailand, after all!
Chiva Som, www.chivasom.com
If you’re a fan of massages, head to this sprawling resort in the lush mountains outside Chiang Mai that actually serves as a regional training centre in Thai massage techniques. Throw in a meditation cave and a two-storey swimming pool, and it’s not a bad spot to get some R&R.
Ranking #1 on TripAdvisor, this popular women’s beach retreat in Canggu comes with customisable perks like unlimited spa and unlimited yoga, though they’ve also got special packages geared toward Ayurvedic Healing and even Surfing. It’s also ideal for a girls’ getaway with inclusions like personal chauffers to take you around for sightseeing (or shopping). And don’t worry, mama, even if your friends can’t make it, Escape Haven strives to be a warm and welcoming getaway for solo travelers.
Escape Haven, Tel/Whatsapp: (+62) 821 4512 1881, www.escapehaven.com
Image via Facebook
This award-winning luxury destination spa resort in Northern India is located on a 100 acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate, surrounded by peaceful forests and the Ganges River valley. Unsurprisingly, Ananda incorporates classic Indian wellness traditions including Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta, in concert with organic cuisine and an outstanding fitness program that includes outdoor treks of the spectacular surroundings.
Image via Facebook
Near the picturesque city of Guilin (renowned for its dramatic karsts), Yanghsuo Mountain Retreat offers funky, affordable accommodation along with all manner of outdoor activities, including rock climbing, river rafting, hiking and mountain biking. The area also features a variety of cultural pursuits (including Tai Chi), and serves up lots of delicious dining options.
Just for fun, consider this one a bonus!
Priced at about $850 for a weeklong retreat (including unlimited yoga sessions, meditation, multiple massages, and a private healing session – but not accommodation) the famous Yoga Barn in Ubud welcomes guests from all over the world to take a journey of healing and transformation. All experience levels are welcome, and each retreat is personalized to your tastes and ability levels. Although affordable accommodation can be booked separately, we kind of like that you have the flexibility to choose your own level of luxury (why not rent a villa with friends?).
Yoga Barn, Tel: (+62) 361 971 236, www.theyogabarn.com/yoga-retreat-bali