3 Luxury Resorts With One Goal in Mind: Changing Your Life

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This article first appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of NewBeauty. Click here to subscribe.

Image courtesy of Lanserhof Lans

The luxury boot camp for your microbiome.

You already own the Very Best Private Island. And you fly there on the Very Best Private Jet. But from eating in the Very Best Restaurants and the stress of your Very Important Job, you don’t have the Very Best Microbiome, the gut’s bacterial ecosystem that affects everything from weight to mood. For 35 years, celebs and moguls have escaped to Lanserhof for the LANS Med Concept, a detoxifying vacation for your digestive system inspired by the Mayr Cure, which was designed more than 100 years ago by Austrian gastro Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr.

THE PROGRAM: After a battery of medical tests, your personal doctor micromanages—in the best possible way—every minute of your day, assigning you a series of therapeutic spa treatments (soothing stomach massages, warming seaweed packs, gentle body scrubs). At your next meal, you’ll head to your assigned seat, where you’ll find a posh, gray GioBagnara tray full of probiotics, bitters and vitamins prescribed for your unique needs. You’ll also be assigned a number from zero to three, which indicates your meal plan. Your fellow billionaires will be very interested in your number: Level Zero equals a cup of herbal tea and a slice of orange for each meal. Levels One and Two are built around low-glycemic, bland foods like buckwheat toast and boiled potatoes. Level Three, glorious Three, means you’ll be eating Lanserhof ’s nutrient-rich, insanely delicious “energy cuisine.” (Your fellow billionaires will boast that they are going to poach Lanserhof ’s chef, Karsten Wolf.) Regardless of your assigned level, you will be trained on how to properly chew: a minimum of 30 times per bite. (Even the tea drinkers are encouraged to “chew” each sip.)

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THE TAKEAWAY: By the end of the week, your eyes shine, your skin glows, your heart sings. At home, you’ll continue to chew your food with care: maybe not 30 times for each bite, but close. You’ll wonder on occasion what happened to the cranky Level Zero oligarch who disappeared on day two. You’ll eat salads only at breakfast or lunch (you had learned that raw foods at night are too tough for your stomach to digest). You’ve come up with your next billion-dollar idea. And you’ve already booked your return visits for 2020, 2021, 2022 and beyond. —Emily Dougherty

Image courtesy of The Brando

Like Gilligan’s Island if the Howells got there first (with their talented team of architects and interior designers, naturally), this French Polynesian private island doesn’t skimp on the spa experience—or the luxury.

Marlon Brando’s former personal retreat, The Brando, is a bit of a relaxation-meets-rejuvenation fairy tale, a true wonderland of wellness (it was one of Barack Obama’s first stops after leaving office) where the eco-friendly factor is high and so are the over-the-top touches. Set 30 miles north of Tahiti, privacy is key— besides being a legitimate private island, there are only 35 villas on the quiet property—and recent upgrades like well-appointed overwater suites seamlessly add to the natural, unspoiled habitat (sustainability is taken very seriously here). Michelin-star cuisine and an abundance of on-land, on-water activities round out the special, once-in-a-lifetime offerings the location is known for.

The somewhat-hidden Varua Te Ora spa keeps to the tropical-sanctuary theme with traditional Polynesian treatments performed high above the trees. You’ll find your standard facial, massage, scrub, steam room fare here, but there’s something about being in “the bubble,” as insiders refer to it, that makes this special journey simply life-changing.

Image courtesy of The Carillon

Miami Beach may not traditionally rank high on the wellness chart, but this all-access, doctor-fueled retreat is hoping to change that.

Needle-less acupuncture, vitamin IV patches, sex therapists, world-class plastic surgeons, executive coaches, and that oh-so-bragworthy sidenote of having Beyonce’s trainer on hand are just some of the out-of-the-ordinary offerings the non-pretentious Carillon Miami Wellness Resort makes happen for its guests (they’ll hold the hand of a first-timer as they dip their toe into high-tech wellness, and seasoned spa-goers will be wowed as well!).

This is not your typical spa—although it does also have bragging rights to being the biggest spa on the East Coast, ringing in at 70,000 square feet—and co-general manager Tammy Pahel, who is particularly proud of the fact that there are 160 classes available each week, wouldn’t have it any other way. “This is not just a luxury resort by the beach; it is a portal to integrative medicine, a real ‘wellness your way’ experience.”

The departure from a one-size-fits-all formula works: The Miami Heat relies on the spa for its muscle-soothing float tank and cryo chamber, some guests have been known to stay for a month, and the special Wellness Weekend retreats are super popular.

NEXT UP: The Future Beauty Wellness Retreat, a two-night, three-day experience filled with a dynamic mix of the latest anti-aging and wellness offerings, beachfront fitness and world-class spa-ing; November 15–17. For more information, visit carillonhotel.com.

—Medically reviewed by Dr. Mark Jewell 

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