Last updated August 2, 2022
The magic of Hilton Head Health is immediately apparent as you walk through the entrance. I had barely checked in and grabbed a light snack before it felt like my blood pressure had dropped 20 millimeters.
The atmosphere is relaxing. The staff is calm and never pushy. Even at first impression, you feel welcome. It looks and smells fresh, crisp and inspiring.
There’s no way not to fall in love.
For more than 40 years, this all-inclusive getaway has been helping thousands of people lead a healthier lifestyle, by connecting them with nutritional workshops, healthy food, custom workout plans, relaxing spa treatments and a much-needed reset to help kickstart a new chapter in life.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s never been a more important time to focus on health. Not to mention the very real need to get away from it all for a while.
Hilton Head Health is the ultimate healthy vacation. It’s no surprise that it has earned many awards (best health and wellness resort in America, best for weight loss) and has been recognized by many travel and health experts.
This medically-based, whole-health resort hits all the points needed to make long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes—or just give you a boost. It even offers mental and emotional support, which is why it is known for evoking lasting results.
Plus, it’s simply exquisite to visit.
Rest and recharge
Stay in the brand new Sweetgrass Inn, with cozy bedding, cheerful gathering areas and a relaxing oasis on the south end of the resort’s grounds.
The rooms are one of the many ways the resort shows that it cares about its guests.
The spacious guest rooms are stocked with everything you could need: coffee, a microwave, a great shower, a little make-up mirror, a large refrigerator and a great bed with high-thread-count linens and the choice of four pillows.
With a comfortable space like this, it would be easy to stay for long periods of time. I was missing a robe in my room, but the spa was gracious enough to let me borrow one while I was there.
Overall, I was delighted by the laid-back, Lowcountry healthy lifestyle, with just the right balance of relaxation and action. It provided enough to do to never feel bored and to keep you motivated and invigorated. But not too much to create pressure or stress.
Enjoy the flowers and greenery as you stroll through the grounds, or better yet, go on a bike ride. I went on a seven-mile bike ride, and that was one of my favorite experiences.
Afterward, I enjoyed a deliciously light chocolate peanut butter smoothie! There are bike routes all over Hilton Head, where you can enjoy lots of wildlife, beautiful Spanish oaks, chirping birds, turtles and even a few alligators.
The paths are lined with full trees, which helps protect you from the sun.
I hit the navigation on my phone and cruised all over the neighborhood. Since it’s a gated community, I felt safe. I felt at home like the hotel was my house and I was surrounded by family.
In addition to biking, you can sign up for yoga classes. I tried two different yoga classes in one day, and neither one was in a predictable yoga studio.
First, I did beach yoga, which should be on your bucket list. I have checked off this experience a few times, but it was the first time for my friend Lisa who joined me.
It felt so special, breathing and moving right on the oceanfront, taking in the blue sky, listening to birds. It was a happy, special moment that I will remember forever.
Then, I did aqua yoga. I’m not even a yoga person, but the two yoga classes I attended are among my greatest experiences at the resort. There was also a barre around the entire pool for stability. The water felt so good after a warm day on the beach.
Hilton Head Health also offers an authentic and effortless community feeling. Everyone rallies for each other, and it is not competitive or intimidating whatsoever.
The support is encouraging, and it’s always nice to make new friends. The staff quickly becomes friends, too; the concierge at the front desk will be your lifeline.
Retreat and rejuvenate
A wellness vacation is not complete without time at the spa, and Hilton Head Health has the Indigo Spa, which has been named one of America’s top 100 spas.
The luxurious spa and salon offer custom services to enhance its wellness and weight-loss programs; everything is about restoration and health.
You will find treatments to relieve stress, reduce signs of aging and help you age well, help you recover from your workouts, and more.
I got a facial and the best massage I’ve had this year by a therapist named Lauren. If I lived nearby, I would return to her as much as possible.
Make sure you arrive at the spa at least 30 minutes early, not for their benefit but for yours, so you can relax and enjoy the artwork and the relaxation lounge.
The Indigo Spa is all about recovery. The spa realizes that relaxation and recovery are just as important as exercise when building a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.
Please your palate
Of course, a healthy mind, body and spirit are also intertwined with fueling your body with healthy food. Hilton Head Health delivers just that.
I eat plant-based, which requires a little more effort and creativity, but if you look around or ask the server, they can help you create meals that meet your dietary needs.
Many guests here learn healthy cooking skills that they can then bring home and use in their daily lives.
Take a few days off the regular routine here, and treat yourself to the chef’s table experience. Here you get to soak up both cooking tips and delicious food with the help of their head chef. The chef’s table is lovely and also offers wine with your meal.
Hilton Head Health is definitely a place I feel like I could stay for a month if it was for the betterment of a healthy lifestyle.
The resort is comfortable and extremely welcoming. They reminded me to breathe. They reminded me to look at the blue sky and take it in. They urged me to enjoy my surroundings and feel at home. To really be present.
This wellness retreat is not only a destination, but it’s easy to access via a road trip. I met many people from the East Coast, Washington, D.C. and all the way from Tampa, Florida, to New Hampshire.
Most guests stay for longer periods of time (two weeks or so), but you can also purchase a day pass.
I do have a friend who lives nearby, and the next time I visit her, we might just spend some time here. As I left, I felt like I was leaving my family. I wish I had stayed much longer.
Thanks to Hilton Head Health, I feel like I was slowly rocked out of the rut I fell into in 2020.
It was a gentle awakening, like one of those alarms that play soft music to subtly stir you from your slumber. I have been ignoring my wellness lately, working too hard and burning the candle at both ends.
I needed to get back and focus on myself, but that’s the irony: I spend so much time writing, talking and researching wellness that it can be easy to forget to actually live wellness.
We all had a stressful year (or a couple of years), but that is no excuse to ignore yourself. It is time to take a step into a healthy lifestyle along with self-care.