The global wellness industry has grown by 12.8 per cent in the past two years, with an estimated worth of around €3.7 trillion in 2017 – according to research compiled in the 2018 Global Wellness Economy Monitor.

The lion’s share of the market is taken up by the beauty and anti-ageing, health and weight loss, and wellness tourism sectors, with around €564 billion spent on wellness tourism alone. The reason for this phenomenon has plenty to do with relatively recent discoveries about the link between the body, mind, and spirit. With activities like yoga and meditation sparking an interest in weekend (or longer) retreats, and studies indicating that our nutrition is tied in to our mental and physical health and wellbeing, travelling in search of holistically rich experiences is all the rage. This month, we offer a few ideas of top resorts to visit.

Ananda in the Himalayas

This stunning resort, located on a 40-hectare Maharajah’s Palace estate in the Himalayan foothills, ranked the number one destination spa in the world by Condé Nast readers in 2016, offers a wealth of indulgent therapies and spa treatments, featuring a host of holistic wellness to suit all tastes. A team of experts in Ayurveda, yoga, and other health specialities cater a tailor-made programme for each guest, so you can choose to focus on detox, weight management, ayurvedic rejuvenation, yogic detox, stress management, yoga/physical activity, and more specialised programmes.

The Yogic Detox programme is one of Ananda’s most popular. It includes asana, pranayama, and various yogic techniques such as Hatha yoga (to purify the body), as well as Kunjal Kriya (cleansing the stomach), Jala Neti (cleansing the channels), and Trataka (for concentration). The Stress Management programme, meanwhile, sounds like the perfect match for stressed executives. It involves Ayurvedic therapies like Shirodhara (the gentle pouring of liquids over the forehead), as well as a host of international therapies like Reiki, meditation techniques such as Yoga Nidra, Tibetan lymphatic drainage massage, and much more.

The magic of Ananda goes way beyond the actual programmes; the resort itself is stunning, featuring colourful gardens, lush foliage, and clean, crisp mountain air. The accommodation is to-die-for, with villas boasting their own 40m2 pool overlooking the forest, with benefits including private butler and pantry service. Dining is another big highlight at this resort. Ayurvedic principles are adopted to the full, with all meals being curated by in-house Ayurvedic doctors and chefs. Don’t think you need to starve to achieve weight loss or vitality; the dishes are as tasty as they are colourful, and everything is made with produce from local organic farms. There is nothing boring about Ananda. Indulge in a host of super-fun activities, including white water rafting, safaris, bird watching, and walking in an abundance of stunning nature trails.

Como Shambhala, Bali, Indonesia

This wellness getaway is set in a spiritual enclave of jungle, river, and sun-rich clearings just north of Ubud. It features a combination of holistic wellness programmes and luxury accommodation, as well as fun activities like yoga, Pilates, mountain biking, outdoor circuit training, white water rafting, among many others.

Como Shambhala has six main programmes: Rejuvenation (centred on mental and physical youthfulness), Ayurveda (featuring Ayurvedic medicine and therapeutic yoga sessions), Oriental Medicine (including acupuncture, herbal medicine, and meditation), Stress Management (including massage, breathing, and outdoor experiences), Be Active (to tone and strengthen the body and mind), and Cleanse (featuring targeted nutrition, daily therapies, and specific exercises to rid the body of toxins).

Accommodation includes five residences, five retreat pool villas, and four private villas. The latter are designed by renowned architect Cheong Yew Kuan, so as you can imagine, luxury and beauty abound in every corner. Services include a personal assistant, a travel and tour assistant, a resident doctor, and babysitting services (making this resort an excellent choice for couples with kids).

Healthy dishes are served for lunch and dinner, and include colourful salads, energising juices and blends that are rich in living enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. The food showcases diverse influences from Indonesia’s different regions and you can enjoy special experiences such as a picnic lunch by the resort’s spring water pools and cascading waterfall, and a full moon dinner, dedicated to the Moon Goddess, Purnama. There are many activities to keep you entertained as well, including swimming, museum visits, meditation and yoga, outdoor tennis, and guided scenic nature trails.

Aro Hā Wellness Retreat, Glenorchy, New Zealand

This resort is ideal for those who equate nature experiences with wellbeing. Located on the South Island of New Zealand, it is known as the country’s adventure capital, and the resort’s programmes certainly fit in well with the surrounds. “Resilient, localised living solutions” are the aim here, where everything from permaculture to passive house (ultra-energy-efficient) construction make patent that human health and wellness is very much dependent on our environment. At Aro Hā, energy harnessed from the sun and water is used to supply practically all the resort’s needs.

The Aro Hā experience is based on the fact that over 70 per cent of non-communicable diseases are directly related to our lifestyle and diet choices. ‘Aro Hā’ actually means ‘in the presence of divine breath’ and at the resort, mindfulness techniques and breathing are used to connect guests with their own reservoir of inner wisdom. The resort’s founders have wisely identified the many causes of ill health and unhappiness – including isolation, poor nutrition, and the sedentary lifestyle.

It addresses each of these maladies with a host of social activities, mindful practices, a rainbow of vegetarian cuisine, activities like yoga and interval training, detox, and healing (think a fantastic massage before nap time). Take your pick from yoga, functional strength training, sub Alpine hiking, ‘un-cooking’ classes (which focuses on the health value of seasonal produce) and much more.

Shanti Maurice: A Nira Resort, Mauritius

If nothing sounds more appealing than a pristine white sand beach, this five-star boutique resort will be right up your alley. It is located on a horseshoe-shaped coral sand cove and boasts 14.5 hectares of a tropical beachfront garden. Exclusivity is the word at Shanti Maurice; there are only 61 suites and villas, offering the highest level of privacy and space (with accommodation measuring from 81m2 to 1,000m2).

The resort’s star attraction is Nira Spa – one of the largest of the Indian Ocean covering 7,000 square metres, with 25 treatment rooms including yoga and meditation pavilions as well as a fully equipped fitness and Pilates area. Guests also enjoy a complimentary unlimited green fee at an 18-hole golf course, making this an ideal getaway for golf buffs who want to rid themselves of stress. Also featuring a 2,000m2 Kids Club with a private kids’ pool, to keep children occupied while parents are enjoying a host of wellness treatments.

The resort has a strong wellness focus but also celebrates the wonder of Indonesian cuisine. Choose from STARS restaurant (which specialises in the bounties of the Indian ocean and the culinary diversity of the surrounding islands), Fish Shack by the beach (featuring freshly grilled seafood and barbecue delights), and La Kaze Mama (serving Mauritian home cooking by the Chef’s herb garden restaurant).

Those who are detoxing can opt for the Wellbeing Cuisine, which features healthier, lighter preparations made with natural ingredients and following Ayurvedic principles. Special Detox and Weight Management packages are available, as well as Spa packages focused on different areas – including Ayurveda, Weight Management, Meditation, Yoga, Sleep, Detox, Rejuvenation, and more.

Bushmans Kloof, Western Cape, South Africa

Escape, rest, heal, and be at one with nature in this South African wilderness escape, featuring wide open plains, mystical rock formations, crystal clear waterfalls and an abundance of flora and fauna. The resort is nestled at the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, just 270km from Cape Town. This South African Natural Heritage Site is home to over 130 documented Bushman rock art sites and the internationally renowned Rooibos tea.

Movement in nature is the main path to wellness at Bushmans Kloof. While the resort oozes luxury from every pore, guests are encouraged to make the most of the natural surrounds, taking part in activities such as hiking and biking, canoeing, swimming, and archery. While you are out and about, you will marvel at the stunning flora and fauna on the reserve, which includes the Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest of all plant kingdoms with the highest concentration of species in the world.

Enjoy ancient rock art excursions, take a nature drive, go on a walk where you may spot wildlife such as as the Aardwolf, African wildcat, bat eared fox, Cape fox and porcupine; take a tour of the vast organic gardens featuring fruit trees, herbs and veggies grown using sustainable farming practices; and spot stunning birds such as the African fish eagle and the jewel-like sunbird. Meditate to birdsong, take part in creative pursuits like painting and photography, and enjoy a night of stargazing. Gourmet lovers take note: it’s not all about detoxifying and de-stressing here. Bushman Kloof’s award-winning wine cellar features a host of excellent wines that the beverage manager will suggest you try out.

After a hectic day out, unwind at the amazing spa facilities, which include the outdoors Riverside Gazebo, the fragrant Crystal Steam Room, and the super comfy Tranquility Lounge. Afterwards, boost your energy levels at the Health Bar and complete a few laps at the heated outdoor pool.

Six Senses, Douro Valley, Portugal

Located in the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro Valley, Six Senses Douro Valley blends romantic 19th century architecture with contemporary interiors bearing the classic Six Senses design. With the River Douro winding its lazy way through the oldest wine-producing region in the world, this serene setting is eight hectares large and features with 57 guest accommodations, the Vale de Abraão restaurant with three different atmospheres: Open Kitchen, Terrace and Dining Room; a Wine Library featuring vintages from the valley; and a stunning Six Senses Spa occupying 2,200m2 and made with ecologically-friendly materials. Portuguese tradition and design abounds at every corner of the spa, which pays homage to the elements of water, space, stone, and wood.

From the moment of your arrival at Six Senses, you will feel immediately relaxed. The Spa boasts a large gym as well as 10 treatment rooms and an Alchemy Bar – where potions of herbs, salt, grapes and a range of exotic ingredients (sourced from the resort’s own herb and plant garden) are individually blended for scrubs and masks. Choose from signature massages and specialist therapies, or go for a personalised wellness and nutritional programme. Experts in Ayurveda, reflexology, osteopathy, deep tissue massage, alternative medicine and more specialities will help you achieve physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and you can also turn back the hands of time with a host of anti-ageing treatments. The resort often welcomes renowned experts in Eastern and other medicine systems, so check out the visitor practitioners’ calendar before booking.

Yoga is a big activity at this resort, and it takes place in a stunning outdoor yoga deck overlooking the valley. Other activities include trips to a prehistoric rock site in the Côa Valley, visits to some of the oldest wineries in the world as well as to old churches and picturesque villages, and cruise and water activities. Stomp on grapes at harvest time, spend some time bird watching, and walk along the verdant valley.