January is ending in a flash, but if exhaustion is already getting to you, check into these most rejuvenating retreats around the world.
Retreats around the world
Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
Housed in the top six floors of the 39-storey One Otemachi, Tokyo’s swanky new landmark in the CBD, is the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Commanding truly spectacular views, including that of Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace, this tranquil oasis allows guests to switch off from the busy metropolis and find inner peace by taking their pick of mindfulness classes rooted in Asian wisdom, and a plethora of treatments to reset mind and body. Don’t have time for a walk in one of Japan’s beautiful woods? Book a Yakusugi massage if you love shinrin-yoku (forest bathing in Japanese). This therapy will envelop you in a soothing embrace with sleep-inducing strokes combined with the meditative fragrance of massage oil harvested from millennium- old Japanese cedar trees. Tip: If enjoying unobstructed panoramas of the city through wraparound windows on the top floor while relaxing in a traditional Japanese wooden tub appeals to you, definitely schedule a soak in the spa’s ofuro.
Original FX Mayr
Flashy it is not, but when it comes to a deep detox that many plan at the start of a new year, Original FX Mayr remains the trusted address for the well-heeled. Founded in 1976 on the tranquil Lake Wörthersee in Carinthia, Austria, the pioneering medi-hotel has been refurbished and updated in recent years. Current programmes include those that revolve around effective fasting and strengthening gut health. After a long and eventful 2022, it is time to focus on yourself – and how better to do it than by indulging in a restorative break to a stunning woodland backdrop and bracing mountain air? It is reopening on Jan 6 to welcome guests for a thorough cleanse and reboot.
Aman New York
Amid the madness in the Big Apple, a quiet retreat can be found in a sprawling three-storey spa spanning 25,000sqft. Cultivating a sense of aman (peace in Sanskrit), Aman New York’s urban spa might make you forget you are in Midtown Manhattan. This being Aman, the approach to wellness here includes an integration of Eastern and Western methodologies. Book a full- or half-day treatment at one of the two spa houses, each featuring a hamman or banya. The latter is a wood-clad sauna where temperatures can reach up to 70 deg C. In the deep of winter, a banya treatment with alternating plunges into cold pool and warm jacuzzi, and being beaten lightly with a bundle of oak leaves by a therapist, will make you feel reborn. After three more rounds in the banya with a salt scrub and a mud body mask followed by a final dunk in the cold and hot pools, you are likely to sleep like a baby that night – an ideal treatment for the jetlagged.
The Lanserhof Tegernsee in the lush hills of Bavaria, Germany, is well-known for being hard to book due to its famous wellness treatments that merge holistic with medicine. Fortunately, Lanserhof has opened a sister property last May. Located on the North Frisian island of Sylt in Germany’s North Sea, the Lanserhof Sylt offers vastly different views from the Tegernsee. From far, the property looks like a humble collection of giant thatched cottages – a nod to the local vernacular. Constructed at €120 million, it is far from common in terms of treatments and facilities including medical equipment for diagnostics and treatments. A specialist in cardiological rehabilitation heads a team of medical experts. No guarantee, though, that you will find it easier to get a place in one of these retreats around the world.