As we venture further into the 21st century, the pursuit of holistic well-being continues to evolve, and nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of travel. In 2024, the desire to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit through immersive travel experiences is more pronounced than ever before. From serene retreats nestled in nature's embrace to cutting-edge wellness technologies in bustling urban hubs, the landscape of wellness travel is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Luxury hotels and resorts too are reinventing their experiences and day-to-day functioning to make practices increasingly wellness-friendly. In 2024, we anticipate a growing demand for eco-friendly resorts, carbon-neutral transportation options, and voluntourism experiences that allow travellers to give back to the places they visit.
While wellness catches on as a travel trend and often is the sole reason for travelling, wellness-oriented sanctuaries are mushrooming around the world. In response to the stresses of modern life, travellers are seeking out destinations and activities that promote relaxation, stress reduction, and emotional well-being. From silent retreats to mindfulness-based adventure travel, the options for nurturing the mind are diverse and expanding. Additionally, the trend of immersive nature retreats will continue to resonate with travellers in 2024 who seek a sanctuary of peace in the hustle-bustle. In an increasingly fast-paced and digitally connected world, the allure of escaping to natural settings for hiking, forest bathing, and wildlife encounters is stronger than ever. Whether it's a remote eco-lodge in the rainforest or a glamping retreat in the desert, these immersive experiences offer a chance to disconnect from the noise of everyday life and reconnect with the rhythms of nature.
According to experts at Chenot Palace Gabala, wellness has transcended beyond exercise and appearance, now encompassing overall well-being. The global wellness trend for 2024 is expected to prioritise longevity and healthier lives. They continue to say, that the wellness travel market is projected to reach an impressive $1.3 trillion by 2025, underscoring its economic impact and significance in shaping global well-being. From cutting-edge scientific wellness to the global rise in longevity, these trends signify a transformative shift in the landscape of well-being. Rishad Sharifov, General Manager, Chenot Palace Gabala emphasises the importance of well-being in 2024. He says, “In the changing world of 2024 and beyond, a growing awareness of well-being is putting a stronger spotlight on individual health. Whether in trends, travel, or daily routines, the key is maintaining a constant dedication to wellness. For Malik J FERNANDO, Managing Director, Resplendent Ceylon, Sri Lanka, the growth of the wellness tourism market is connected to the extended stressful times that we all have faced in the last few years and a newfound appreciation for nature and holistic healing to rejuvenate. "For the luxury traveller, despite their growing incomes and material possessions, there is an appreciation of the fact that health is wealth. The expansion of wellness-focused luxury resorts makes it convenient to access holistic healing combined with a holiday without travelling far from home. "
At Chenot Palace Gabala, Sharifov says "we do not just offer temporary escapes; we inspire guests to incorporate enduring insights into their lives.” In agreement, Lavanya Tagra, founder of Wellnessly shared, "The pursuit of wellness is a lifestyle choice, focusing on the combination of good habits, self-love and focus on elevating life." Some of the new wellness trends she highlighted included, "Modalities around the mind will be the focus area, and retreats and programs will focus on Integrated wellness." This means that retreat will focus not just on the body but also on mental ailments like anxiety, stress and depression. Secondly with the rising concerns of screen addiction amongst youth "Movement therapies led routines will be seen at the forefront of wellness in 2024."
Srishti Dhawan, Chief Strategy Officer of Soul Vacation, notes a significant surge in solo travel, marking 2024 as a pivotal moment for independent exploration. This trend is not merely speculative; backed by statistics and industry buzz, it reflects a fundamental shift in travel preferences. Soul Vacation, situated in South Goa, capitalizes on this trend with its emphasis on personalized wellness journeys and exclusive accommodations, perfectly aligning with the growing demand for solo travel experiences. Additionally, as digital fatigue escalates, there's a rising interest in "super beginner" detox retreats, offering travellers a chance to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Soul Vacation addresses this need by providing tailored digital detox programs amidst serene palm-filled surroundings. Moreover, the trend towards microtourism underscores a desire for shorter, more frequent getaways, prompting Soul Vacation to offer 1-3 day wellness programs tailored to provide a personalized touch. As travellers increasingly seek authentic experiences, Soul Vacation stands out by focusing on custom Ayurvedic wellness packages, ensuring a transformative journey towards a healthier lifestyle extends beyond their stay.
Unique Wellness experiences
Nestled amidst the breathtaking undulating hills, The Kumaon stands as a haven for those seeking respite from the chaos of urban life. With its prime location offering unparalleled views of the majestic Himalayan range and a commitment to genuine warmth in hospitality, The Kumaon provides a luxurious escape that transcends the ordinary. Travellers from far and wide find solace and tranquility as they step onto this lavish property. Recognizing the need for a safe haven to unwind, de-stress, and disconnect, The Kumaon goes above and beyond to curate a wholesome experience for its guests. Abhinav Trivedi, General Manager, emphasizes, "To cater to this, we endeavour to provide our guests with a wholesome experience, with guided yoga and meditation sessions, therapeutic massages by experienced therapists, special cold-pressed oils, and locally sourced hemp oils."
The experiential journey at The Kumaon is an immersion in nature, deeply rooted in the diverse flora and fauna of the surrounding region. Serving as a base camp, the property offers tailor-made nature walks and trails that allow guests to connect with the cultural history and natural heritage of the Kumaoni region. From village walks to treks through lush forests and visits to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, each excursion unfolds a new dimension of the place. The accommodation at The Kumaon is designed to enhance the connection with nature. Guests can soak in remarkable views of the snow-capped Himalayan range or the star-studded sky from their chalets, relax in the main lounge or the cosy library room by the fireplace, rejuvenate at the spa, or unwind with yoga on the terrace. The north-facing chalets provide magnificent views of the valley and mountains, with sunlight revealing different facets of the landscape throughout the day.
Culinary delights at The Kumaon are a celebration of seasonal produce and healthy local ingredients. Sourced from nearby village farms and foraged from the forests, the menu showcases sustainable local cuisine, including protein-rich black soybean daal, bhaang chutney made with ground cannabis seeds, and millet flatbreads. The gourmet restaurant, suspended over the valley below, offers a combination of indoor and al fresco dining with floor-to-ceiling glass providing panoramic views of the Himalayas. The culinary experience, a mix of Kumaoni and world cuisine, is both indulgent and healthy, reflecting the essence of The Kumaon's commitment to providing a harmonious retreat for its guests.
Kayaam House, Sri Lanka
"At Kayaam House, we take pride in our commitment to the Resplendent Ceylon culture, which epitomizes anticipatory service and culinary excellence. Our sanctuary caters to discerning individuals who value luxury and indulgence while prioritizing authentic wellness experiences. Unlike traditional ayurvedic properties that may feel intimidating, Kayaam House welcomes both wellness enthusiasts and novices with open arms,"shared Malik. Moving to the spa he said, "Our spa embodies a fusion of Sri Lankan native healing techniques, known as hela wedakama, and ayurveda, setting us apart from the rest. We eschew the boot camp atmosphere, offering instead a range of bespoke treatments tailored to individual needs and preferences."
At the resort, guests can embark on meticulously crafted programs spanning from 3 to 14 days, each beginning with a comprehensive consultation with our experienced Ayurveda practitioner. Drawing upon centuries-old wisdom, our itineraries feature restorative yoga practices, personalized ayurvedic therapies, and nourishing menus tailored to each guest's dosha, ensuring holistic rejuvenation.
Central to our wellness ethos is our cuisine, thoughtfully designed to complement the healing journey.
Complementing this is the culinary experience. Chefs curate personalized menus based on each guest's Ayurvedic constitution, incorporating traditional Sri Lankan ingredients renowned for their medicinal properties. "Whether it's grounding ingredients for vata, cooling dishes for pitta, or metabolism-boosting meals for Kapha, our cuisine is as therapeutic as it is delectable.
At Kayaam House, we redefine luxury wellness by seamlessly blending ancient healing traditions with modern hospitality, ensuring every guest leaves feeling nourished, revitalized, and deeply cared for," concluded Malik.