Last updated September 5, 2023
Say the words Burning Man. Upon utterance you will feel warm desert tones and sands whipping in the winds. Music fills the space so there is free-flow dancing until the wee hours of the night. A hedonistic adventure. A free-spirited wellness retreat.
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First things first. What is Burning Man? Going off of the vision above, it seems to be a location. Burning Man is a global ecosystem of community, art, self-expression and self-reliance held in the western United States. Many people have adopted it as an aesthetic. Within the past few years, tens of thousands of people gathered at Black Rock Desert, Nevada, for the annual event.
If you haven’t been, stress-free your meditating mind. Here are seven free-spirited wellness retreats in North America. These wellness retreats encourage you to fulfill your inner artistic desires.
1. The Joshua Tree House—Joshua Tree, California
The Joshua Tree House was originally a fixer-upper posted on Craigslist. After designing and renovating The Joshua Tree House in 2015—located in the heart of the Mojave desert—couple Sara Combs and Rich Combs fell in love with designing spaces for others to reflect, reset and create.
Unfortunately, you won’t find the couple starring in their own HGTV series. The Combs are to the West Coast what Chip and Joanna Gaines are to Waco, Texas. Minus the Magnolia Market and 5 kids. Nothing thrills these couples more than homemaking, despite different lifestyles.
This free-spirited wellness retreat hosts personalized rentals on Airbnb. The Joshua Tree House, La Hacienda, La Casita or the suite in Tucson, Arizona are all available.
More of a privatized wellness retreat, enjoy hiking, cooking in the fully equipped kitchen (or hire a chef), swimming in the in-ground pool, reading vintage desert books, snoozing in a hammock—and don’t miss a sunrise or sunset.
2. Palmaïa, The House of AïA—Playacar, Mexico
Nos vamos a la Riviera Maya, Mexico! Located in a private area of Playa del Carmen called Playacar, Palmaïa is a tropical jungle free-spirited wellness retreater’s playground. The vibes themselves ooze with Burning Man appeal, even down to the decor.
With an outdoor meditation, yoga and Shamanic healing deck, waterfront property in Quintana Roo on the cusp of plush jungle greens, you’ll find yourself barefoot for a majority of the time you’re on property. You can participate in a full schedule of activities. Yoga, meditation, art, healing and more with nightly music and dance infused with a bonfire beachside.
3. L’Auberge de Sedona—Sedona, Arizona
Located in Sedona, Arizona, the L’Auberge de Sedona is built on a foundation that inspires and creates change. A perfect intention for any free-spirited wellness retreat. The values align most directly with artistic souls. The retreat is nonpareil for guests with an interest in visual arts, fine arts, decorative arts and commercial arts. The desert landscape crafts the outdoor cedar showers, dining tables and immersive experiences.
Connect with local artists as they create on property. Tap into metaphysical experiences and classes. Clear your itinerary for a day to explore the Grand Canyon.
Further introduction of the Grand Canyon is unnecessary, and so is a detailed description. It is one of the great wonders of the world!
4. CIVANA Wellness Resort & Spa—Carefree, Arizona
Located in Carefree, Arizona, the location says it all. Truly an energetic source in the desert with a magnetic pull for healing and creativity, you’ll find yourself forgetting about whatever was left at home and simply taking in the mystical wonder of a sunset over the mountains in the far-off distance.
Hosting 70+ classes weekly, there are a variety of personal growth, spiritual and physical fitness classes for a soulful experience. As a regular to CIVANA, I recommend checking out the Introduction to Feng Shui, pickleball class held on the nearby courts and restorative Lifestyle Facial at The Spa (head in early to enjoy the Water Therapy room, complete with hot and cold plunge, sauna and whirlpool).
5. Amangiri—Canyon Point, Utah
Lux up the desert with this Utah locale. Amangiri is part of the high-end Aman chain. Don’t be mistaken by the word “chain.” Each one of the Aman properties is built and contrived with its surroundings in mind. Amangiri blends the vastness of the desert landscape claiming 600 acres of the Colorado plateau.
There’s plenty to do on your own free-spirited wellness retreat adventure—the Aman Spa is known as one of the tops in the world, with signature healing traditions of the Navajo, along with a yoga and pilates studio, multiple pools, flotation pavilion, steam, sauna and more—you can choose a guided Journey to Peace for Meditation or Silent Retreat to attend.
6. Hotel El Ganzo—San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
Ocean-front property on the western coast of Mexico, Hotel El Ganzo is a San Jose del Cabo destination that hits every aspect of fun, sun, art and well-being. A bit less remote, there are plenty of local attractions to explore in the city center if you want to be more in the mix.
This hotel offers many activities for the hyperactive traveler. Are you more laid-back? The resort offers plenty of quiet time for the more laid-back individual. The remote experiences within this Boutique Art Hotel to keep your mind zen.
With a full spa offering holistic treatments, indoor gym, therapy pool, sauna, steam, and more, your free-spirited healing journey has time to restore. This hotel has a full music and sound studio for recording. As an observer you can experience and listen to the tunes of the creatively inclined with some poolside sessions.
7. Miraval Austin Resort & Spa—Austin, Texas
Named the best resort in North America for a wellness retreat destination, we couldn’t leave this Texas Hill Country beauty off the list. Craft your own one-of-a-kind journey based on your intention, pick a package that’s already outlined or just enjoy on your own terms and intuition.
Your Texas-inspired, free-spirited wellness journey of selection includes a resort credit, a choice from over 60 spa services, 50 daily wellness activities, and three daily gourmet meals plus snacks, smoothies, teas and coffees. Can’t decide? Neither could we. You can connect with a concierge to best plan what suits your needs.
Feeling a bit better about missing Burning Man? I’m personally over it. That being said, there are always choices for a free-spirited wellness retreat. And we’ve definitely sparked our own inquisition to get out and explore alternatives to keep on experiencing the free-spirited lifestyle and adventures.
Is a free-spirited wellness retreat on your bucket list? Considering all the options, go ahead and cross it off now. Vacayou’s travel concierge team can help you discover, book and plan your next free-spirited wellness experience.
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No matter how far or how adventurous, our team scours the globe to curate the best in wellness travel. But the booking process can often be time-consuming and complicated. We’ve made it much easier for you to search, discover, and book wellness and active vacations. With Vacayou’s Instant Book, your dream wellness getaway is now just one click away.
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