Allianz - Travel
Travel Resources

The Best Affordable Wellness Retreats

Allianz - affordable-wellness-resorts

Arizona’s Canyon Ranch has everything you can want in a wellness resort: stunning desert scenery, luxurious spa treatments, scrumptious food, advanced fitness facilities and a team of health experts to help you live your best life. The only downside is the cost: around $1,000 per night.i

Don’t sacrifice your wallet’s wellness for a healthy vacation! It’s entirely possible to plan a retreat that costs less than $200 per person per night, depending on where you travel and what you’d like to do. We’ve even found some you can visit for free.

Just remember that travel insurance is essential to protect your peace of mind. There’s a plan for every traveler and every budget — to find yours, get a quote for your next vacation.

Affordable Wellness Resorts in the United States

In rural central Virginia stands the Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville retreat, founded in 1980 by the spiritual leader Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev). Its centerpiece is the colorful, lotus-shaped Light Of Truth Universal Shrine. Around 200 people live there, but Yogaville also serves as a low-cost retreat for visitors who want to come and practice yoga or meditate. Tent sites start at $50 per person per night; a shared room in a dormitory starts at $75; and a private room with a private bath starts at $125.ii These rates include all meals, meditations, yoga and other activities, making Yogaville a supremely affordable retreat.

The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is a 250-acre retreat center in Rhinebeck, N.Y. More than 23,000 people come each year for intensive retreats or restful weekends. A typical day might include a yoga or tai chi class, a hike in the woods, an evening concert or a massage.

The cheapest options are camping ($246 per person for a weekend) and shared tent-cabins ($292 per person for a double).iii  All rates include accommodations, meals and amenities, such as a sauna, hiking trails and access to the canoes and kayaks for lake paddling.

Maybe you don’t want to practice yoga or meditate; you just want to soak your stress away. Book a room at The Healing Waters Resort and Spa at Pagosa Springs in southern Colorado. This classic resort offers affordable rooms, bunk rooms and cabins that include access to the naturally heated swimming and soaking pools. Rates start as low as $80 per night, and you can get the best deal during the fall and spring seasons. 

Affordable Wellness Resorts Overseas

You can find cheap rates at wellness resorts in countries where the cost of living is low. One favorite is the Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua, a lush resort on the Pacific Ocean with its own private beach. It’s the perfect spot for people who like serenity sprinkled with adventure: There’s fishing, hiking, diving, snorkeling, kayaking and great surfing. While the luxury accommodations can be pricey, we found special deals that drop the nightly rate to less than $100 for a forest-view tree house room, with yoga included. Do check the U.S. State Department’s most recent travel advisories for Nicaragua and assess the risks before planning your trip.

Another inexpensive option is the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas, founded on the principle: “Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. Realize.” In summer, which is the low season, a deluxe beachfront room is $160 per person per night. Dorm accommodations are just $107, and a simple shared beach hut starts at $120. Rates include two daily meals, yoga classes, satsangs, and daily workshops.iv Each day begins with a meditation at 6 a.m., followed by yoga at 8 a.m. Attendance at two daily satsangs and yoga classes is expected, but you do get free time to sunbathe, snorkel and relax.

Wellness Resorts Where You Can Stay for Free

The wrong way to get a free resort stay: Claim you’re a famous Instagram influencer and demand a comped room.

The right way to get a free resort stay: Offer your services as a volunteer.

Blue Osa Beach Resort & Spa is a yoga-centered wellness resort on the lush Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica. Nightly rates (which include three healthy meals and yoga classes) start at around $209, but there are limited opportunities to stay free in exchange for 30 hours of volunteer work per week in the office, gardens or kitchen. Volunteers are required to follow the code of conduct and pitch in for additional duties as needed. If you’re certified to teach yoga, you have a higher chance of being accepted.v

The Art of Living Retreat Center in the mountain town of Boone, N.C., offers fellowships for volunteers that last from three to 12 months. You’re asked to contribute 35 hours per week in various areas of service, such as gardening, housekeeping, guest services, or trail maintenance. In return, you receive free meals and housing in a single-sex dorm. After three months of service, you can take the Art of Living Silence course for free, or the Art of Meditation retreat at a discounted If you’d prefer to attend as a guest, not a volunteer, Art of Living is still one of the more affordable wellness retreats. Daily room rates start around $150, with extra fees for meals and activities. Or, you can choose a retreat package that’s all-inclusive.

RetreatFinder has a long list of wellness retreats around the world that offer work exchange/volunteer programs. Just be aware that most wellness retreats expect a high level of commitment from volunteers, and that there can be a lot of competition for available spots.

Related Articles

Allianz - AZ_OPM_Insurance_Partner

Nov 06, 2018