Have you visited Morocco? I returned to Africa to explore this fascinating country in collaboration with RKG Creative.
As the clock struck midnight on December 31st, people across the planet promised themselves this is the year they will exercise more, lose weight and lead healthier lifestyles. A month into 2019, those striving to focus on their physical fitness can do so as painlessly as possible — with a little pampering on the side — by booking a wellness getaway. Health and fitness-focused vacations offer access to fresh workout routines, advice from professional nutritionists and trainers, and the chance to meet like-minded, motivated people in beautiful destinations. These resorts offer amenities designed to kick start 2019 and help guests achieve their ambitions.
Casa Violeta - Tulum, Mexico
Yogis can refine their practice at this oceanfront resort’s studio where daily classes are held and guests also have the option to book private or couples’ instruction. Beyond yoga, the property offers Temazcal, traditional Mayan sweat lodges, sound baths and healing treatments. Cacao ceremonies connect guests to their inner selves, and visitors can book massages on the beach, borrow complimentary bicycle and volunteer with indigenous youth.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, Miami Beach, FL
Miami Beach may be best-known for its parties but Carillon Miami Wellness Resort invites beach-goers to slip off to the island’s quieter North Beach. Featuring over 200 fitness classes each week, the resort’s wellness center is larger than a professional football field and was recently renovated to the tune of $10 million — complete with a two-story climbing wall, several pools and state-of-the-art cardio equipment with sweeping ocean views. In the spa, guests can book acupuncture, cryo therapy, spiritual healing and emotional health sessions.
Aqua Wellness Resort, Nicaragua
Tucked into the Pacific coastline of Central America, the affordable Aqua Wellness Resort delivers an escape from reality with treetop rooms straight out of Swiss Family Robinson hanging directly above a white strip of sand. Packages include yoga classes, and use of snorkels, kayaks and paddle boards. Surfers staying on-site within a 20-minute boat ride of Nicaragua’s most famous breaks and the concierge can arrange lessons, boat cruises and sports fishing expeditions. After an active day in the sun, guests can unwind with lavish spa treatments or homemade pastries at the on-site bakery.
Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Calistoga, CA
As the unofficial food and wine capital of California, Napa Valley might be the first place travelers consider for a wellness retreat. This tranquil resort features four geothermal mineral pools, a full-service spa offering mud baths made with local volcanic ash, a sprawling fitness center with scheduled yoga and Pilates classes, and a huge whirlpool tub under a glass ceiling — perfect for an evening soak under the stars. The resort is surrounded by scenic hiking trails as well as vineyards and wineries.
Eastwind Hotel & Bar, Windham, NY
Outdoor enthusiasts who actually embrace the cold weather should head into the Catskill Mountains to Eastwind Hotel & Bar. The new hotel opened in 2018 overlooking Windham Mountain and is a two-hour drive from New York City. Guests have access to complimentary snowshoes to explore the nearby trails and can also borrow the property’s bikes, hiking backpacks and binoculars. The hotel offers easy access to the area’s snowboarding, downhill and cross-country ski parks. After a day in the snow, guests can warm up in the property’s wood barrel sauna.
This time of year, globetrotters around the world wish for unlimited airline miles or hotel credits to come from the North Pole. You may want to leave those big ticket items to fill Santa’s sleigh, but here are some of my favorite stocking stuffers for the avid travelers on your gift list:
Sleeping on planes is quite literally a pain in the neck and traditional carry-on pillows are bulky, taking up way too much space for those of us who prefer to travel light (and I have been known to lose them on planes and in airports…). This pillow attaches to luggage handles, weighs half a pound and is scientifically proven to keep your head, neck and spine in an ergonomic position while you rest.
When foodies aren’t wandering the planet sampling foreign cuisine, this monthly subscription that delivers the snacks, drinks and spices of the world to their doorstep. Carefully curated boxes can inspire gourmand’s to book trips based off newly discovered tastes or allow them to revisit the flavors of favorite destinations.
This affordable steadycam can use any smartphone for its monitor and all the vacation footage is simply stored on the free app. Weighing in at just over one pound, the Osmo goes anywhere and the battery lasts up to fifteen hours. The handheld gimbal is protected by a carrying case and can be accessorized with a tripod, extra batteries, cleaning cloth and base.
I received a portable power bank as a sample a few years ago and it saved my phone’s battery when we camped in the Sahara Desert earlier this year. This is a must for anyone heading out on a camping trip or multi-day trek sans power outlets. Hang the bank from a backpack strap to charge in the sun while you hike and connect to electronics via USB — this can be used for phones, cameras or tablets.
Even jet setters who prefer glam over grunge know travel is sometimes anything but luxurious. For long haul flights, chilly hotel rooms and homesick spells, pamper travelers with this cashmere set including a blanket, eye mask, socks and carrying case (which doubles as a pillow, when necessary).
I’m thrilled to be featured as a contributor in Forbes’ “Best Places to Travel in the US in 2019” article. Click through below for the full article.