Transformative travel experiences

Words by Keven Amfo

25 April 2022


Travel to change your life with these incredible experiences at some of the world’s best eco-resorts.

In recent years, the concept of an eco-resort has become somewhat ubiquitous. As global consciousness regarding the environmental crisis rises, increasingly, travellers are seeking holidays for which they can feel responsible for playing a part in protecting the planet. Within this growing facet of the travel industry, there are still properties that stand out. Often, what sets them apart is the breadth of experiences on offer. Some of our favourites have left a lasting impression long post-visit.

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Dunton Hot Springs

Dunton Hot Springs Bathing

This Colorado property occupies a restored ghost town in the San Juan Mountains. A step back in time, log cabin accommodations and saloon-style dining amplify the romantic mining town aesthetic. A distinctive experience unto itself, it’s the magical spa and hot springs that truly define this unique property. The calcium bicarbonate springs have an intense concentration of dissolved iron and manganese with lithium; the high mineral content assists in opening blood vessels and improves circulation while converting blood sugar to energy and promoting healthy skin.

They offer several different methods for experiencing the springs’ therapeutic and beneficial qualities: inside the restored 19th-century bathhouse, outside at the source, in one of two outdoor pools – but for the most indulgent and special treatment, book their Well House cabin. This idyllic space features a private hot spring and cold plunge pool within the cabin itself for frequent bathing.

The Brando

The Brando Spa

Marlon Brando’s private island in Tahiti has been home to The Brando resort since 2014 and effectively marries the best in luxury with complete eco practices – the resort has received LEED Platinum certification for carbon neutrality, and an in-house nonprofit serves to protect the atoll.

The Varua Te Ora Polynesian Spa is called ‘the life and soul of Tetiaroa’ on The Brando’s website. Aiming to foster relaxation and inner peace, the spa itself is built to blend into the surrounding vegetation. What is most remarkable, though, is the acute attention paid to its Polynesian heritage. Incorporating natural elements throughout, the body products are made onsite using healing fruits and flowers. Four distinct and personalised journeys centre body, emotions, and spirit to anchor and restore energy; alternatively, opt for a bespoke Seashell Massage using hand-blended oils on your stretch of private beach.

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Forestis Tree Ceremony

The majestic Dolomites surround this beautiful and serene small hotel in Italy. Their regenerating experiences and spa treatments are inspired by ancient Celtic culture, offering an incredible sense of peace throughout. Focussed on four foundations of nature, spring water, mountain air, sunshine, and mild climate, the signature therapies incorporate those elements with four prominent trees, mountain pine, spruce, larch, and stone pine, each of which possesses active ingredients and frequencies to regenerate deeply and effectively.

The penultimate treatment to harness the power of the trees is the Tree Circle Ceremony. Based upon the concept of touch and the individual sound frequencies of the trees, it incorporates an intuitive selection of one of the healing woods, which is then circulated and used in cleansing and a wrapping treatment. A wooden stick is used, releasing tensions and inciting vibrations that reflect the body’s own, uniting the conscious and the unconscious in a single powerful experience that will reverberate long beyond the treatment room.

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Amanwella Guided Meditation

Alongside a suite of traditional – and luxurious – spa treatments, Aman’s Sri Lankan property, Amanwella, focuses on spiritual 360 wellness rituals. Utilising the breathtaking natural surroundings, the Ayurvedic therapies typically take place beachside for extra relaxation courtesy of the sounds of the sea, and yoga sessions are held in the coconut grove.

All foster an incredible sense of peace, but our favourite offers lifelong skills to further that relaxed feeling upon return home. The Guided Meditation is suitable for those both experienced and new to the practice and is led by a local monk. The rocks above the sea provide the perfect place to transcend, and the skills facilitated by the monk can be used throughout the rest of your life.


Chablé Yucatan Mayan Renewal Ceremony

This southern Mexico luxury hotel is located in the heart of ancient Maya civilisation. Close to Mayan ruins, the hotel incorporates this heritage with Mexican design and a deep sense of history, harnessing the surrounding jungle for a beautifully immersive experience.

The onsite cenote provides the base from which many wellness rituals occur. Aiming to unite mind, body, and soul, spiritual and purification therapies sit alongside more traditional spa treatments. The Mayan Renewal Ceremony is exceptional. A sacred rite connecting participants with the ancient wisdom of this great civilisation, it encourages tuning into oneself for profound healing whilst executing the medicinal philosophy of the Mayan culture. Alongside meditations and healing culinary journeys, time spent here heals from the inside out.

For more recommendations or to book a holiday, please contact Quintessentially Travel.

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