Dinner at Six Senses in Ibiza / Photo by Assaf Pinchuk
Wellness resorts approach alcohol differently. At Canyon Ranch and The Ranch Malibu, for example, guests are expected to fully eschew alcoholic beverages for the duration of their stay. And why not? For many, a wellness journey—even if you weave it into the allure of a luxury resort—is all about abstaining from perceived vices.
However, there are other properties where you can pursue your wellness goals without giving up the occasional glass of wine. For some people, the idea of giving up alcohol for a week might result in giving up on staying at a wellness resort altogether.
“We intentionally built an experience that invited more into wellness: more people, more choices, more affirmation and celebration, more unbounded joy and exploration,” says Julia Lavine, Civana’s chief brand officer, a resort just outside of Scottsdale, Arizona. “So, a restrictive no-alcohol policy simply does not align with that ethos. And this is also a vacation, and we get very few of them, so plenty of pool time and a great glass of wine or a margarita post-meditation is very much smiled upon here.”
For those who want to have their wellness and drink it, too, here are seven resorts around the world to consider.
“Here you’ll find our mixologists picking fresh thyme, lavender and rosemary from our herb garden, cold pressing local citrus and vegetable juices, brewing fresh hibiscus tea and infusing spirits with serrano peppers and ginger,” Lavine says of Civana’s cocktails, which complement a plant-based food program.
Away from the kitchen, this desert resort presents an alternative take on the classic wellness destination. Aerial yoga and sound bathing rituals are supplemented with conversations around meditation and intentional rest, and there’s an aqua therapy circuit tucked inside a spacious 22,000-square-foot spa.
In Xarraca Bay on the island’s northern tip, Bangkok-based spa-focused hospitality giant Six Senses opened its first location in Spain in July of 2021. The 116-room property, which includes suites purposefully built into the island’s caves, offers a varied approach to wellness and relaxation. There are spiritual retreats, biohacking treatments, outdoor massage catacombs and an on-property farmer’s market.
As far as alcohol is concerned, there are nutrition experts who can advise on how to optimally integrate low-alcohol drinks into your diet and wellness goals. The wine program focuses primarily on organic wines from Spain, including the house bottle called Six Senses Can Rich Muscat, a wine produced in Ibiza, and springy Albariños from Rías Baixas. And if you sipped more than you can handle? There’s a custom IV drip specifically designed to relieve hangover symptoms.
3. Golden Door
San Marcos, California
Hard alcohol isn’t served on this property, but wine does play a small role through dedicated vintner weeks, during which winemakers stay at the resort. The wines served then are typically ones that align with Golden Door’s wellness and sustainability practices, meaning brands are selected for their biodynamic and organic farming and winemaking practices. There’s also a farm on this 600-acre resort.
Winemakers don’t just lead tastings, however. They also host conversations around wine to give guests a deeper understanding of what they’re drinking. Yes, pours do tend to be a little lighter here. But given that the winemakers are guests for the week, they are participating in Golden Door’s wellness activities, too, which include hikes, dancing Zumba and playing water volleyball.
Like Canyon Ranch, Miraval is one of the U.S.’s most famous names in wellness. Unlike Canyon Ranch, however, Arizona-based Miraval’s three resorts in the U.S. all pour alcoholic drinks.
Its newest location in the Berkshires teaches a food education class that dives deep into the history of how Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures have utilized the healing powers of certain roots, herbs and spices for centuries—and how you can add those same ingredients to elevate a cocktail. A class like that is a great complement to a similar session on how to cook with microgreens, but it’s probably best to do your cocktail drinking after you’ve tackled spin, power-flow yoga and HIIT classes.
This luxury retreat on the Hawaiian island of Lanai delivers a holistic wellness program. In addition to meditation, tennis class and soaking in the Japanese-inspired onsen tubs in the property’s lush gardens, there are also regular check-ins with the staff to discuss all aspects of health and well-being.
Alongside Nobu dining menus, the resort offers a full beverage selection including locally inspired cocktails that use pineapple, lilikoi, and shichimi, a spice mix brought to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants.
San José, Costa Rica
At this resort, 50 casitas are spread across 180 acres of lush Costa Rican jungle. It’s a pretty verdant setting for all sorts of wellness activities that include aerial yoga, qigong, forest bathing, and energy healing via a 700-pound crystal.
The Hacienda’s food and beverage program is built to bring guests closer to nature by working intimately with local farms and food makers. So, for cocktails, this means building recipes around produce harvested near or on the property. And the beer was specifically crafted in partnership with local brewery Jungle Brew, who incorporated passionfruit from the resort’s farm into this exclusive lager. For wine, there is a preference for organic and biodynamic production such as Cono Sur from Chile and a Malbec from Argentina’s Bodega Noemia.
This San Diego-area estate’s bucolic style aims to transport guests to the French countryside. Rolling hills, stone buildings with terracotta rooftops, and windmills feel entirely more European than southern Californian. And to lean on this fantasy further, 12 acres of farmland were turned over for winemaking. Chateau Cal-a-Vie’s Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and rosé are served alongside farm-fresh meals full of the fruits of the grounds’ many organic gardens and apiary.
This is the only resort with a vineyard on our lineup, but wellness remains the focal point of the on-property experience, with purpose-built programs and packages that focus on nutrition, fitness, spa and golf.