Anyone who has been on a retreat knows that this type of travel is game changing. In this series, we explore how to build your own retreat getaways in some of the country’s healthiest — and most beloved — cities.
Retreat Anywhere: NYC
The first step to planning your weekend of New York City-based wellness is to arrange accommodations. The most important factors in choosing city lodgings tend to be location, budget and property type. When visiting NYC, the number of lodging options is nearly unlimited. Think about what type of experience you want to have and what amenities are the most important to you. If you want a neighborhood experience, consider an apartment on Airbnb. If access to room service or a fitness center is important to you, go with a hotel. We like JW Marriott Essex House both for its prime location and quiet (yes, quiet!) rooms with Central Park views.
Now it’s time to design your wellness schedule. Retreat travel is particularly fulfilling because it tends to emphasize wellness and personal development. Choosing fitness sessions, food experiences and wellness activities that inspire and provoke deep introspection is a must. We’ve put together a sample itinerary for a long weekend in one of the world’s most exciting cities that is invigorating, restorative and loaded with nourishing meals. Make sure to pack comfortable layers, a reusable water bottle and your favorite walking shoes. You’re going to log some serious mileage on this adventure.
Upon arrival, secure transportation to your lodging of choice. If it is too early to check in, ask the concierge to store your bags. Fill your water bottle and head out to your first destination. Your retreat begins now! Pop down for the lunch special at creatively delicious and 100% plant-based Beyond Sushi. An after-lunch walk through the theater district and Rockefeller Center will energize you on your way to Bryant Park, where, depending on your timing, you can catch a free juggling class, join a boot camp, take a yoga session or go ice skating. From there, head to the Himalayan Salt Room at Modrn Sanctuary. This room mimics the natural microclimate of a salt cave and can help boost immunity and lung capacity, and helps relieve tension and migraines. Thirty minutes of deep breathing and you’ll feel rested, grounded and ready for the rest of your weekend. Head back uptown for a restorative or yin yoga session at Yoga Spa, followed by a comforting and satiating dinner at Le Botaniste; the Tibetan Mama bowl can’t be beat, nor can their selection of organic wines. Grab an Omega 3 Brownie on your way out to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Head out to Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee at Hudson Yards for an organic latte and a vegan chocolate croissant. From there, jump on the High Line, a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above street level. Enjoy the views, native plants and art installations on your way to barre3 West Village, where you’ll join a 60-minute workout that emphasizes proper alignment and builds core strength. Take your post-workout glow to THE ELK West Village for a light brunch, then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the Whitney Museum of American Art and Little Island at Pier 55. Depending on your energy level, walk or take a cab uptown to Clean Market for a nourishing IV drip, cryotherapy and a session in the infrared sauna. A short walk to Twentyonegrains for a slice of naturally gluten-free avocado toast or a nourishing quinoa bowl and it’s time to call it a night.
Rise early for day three of your retreat and head straight for Central Park. Bike or walk the full 6.1-mile loop around the park for excellent people watching and a break from the bustle of city life. Next, head for THE WELL to rejuvenate and nourish. Start with a Rose Lassi or Daily Dose smoothie at Kitchen & Table, then head downstairs for a meditation or all-levels Embody yoga class followed by the East-Meets-West Acupuncture Facial and Foot Rub with Reflexology. Take your time in the well-appointed relaxation lounge, then head back upstairs for a nourishing lunch of Fall Kitchari with Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewer and a mug of Ayurvedic tea to balance and soothe. Take your leftovers to go and head to The Museum of Modern Art to spend the evening with Van Gogh and Warhol. It’s a good idea to double-check visitor information and hours before your visit.
Upon waking, take a moment to reflect on your wellness experience so far. Dress comfortably and head downtown for a visit to Matchaful’s Canal St. café for a signature organic matcha latte and a light bite. Then, trek to Forward_ _Space for a sweaty, energizing session of dance meets cardio. Stop into Credo Beauty to treat yourself to a complimentary skin care consultation, then make your way to abcV for a vegetarian lunch that’s as tasty as it is beautiful. Make your way to Anima Mundi Soho for a medicinal herbal tonic followed by one last visit to Le Botaniste around the corner on Grand St. for travel snacks, then begin the journey back home. Allow yourself a slower pace upon reentry into your life post-retreat; make time for meditation, deep breathing and journaling to let this special experience settle.
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