The Eco Sanctuary
ChoZen Retreat, Sebastian
Nature enthusiasts and wellness seekers can rest easy upon entering ChoZen Retreat, where an abundance of Florida’s most diverse flora and fauna greets visitors on a 22-acre nature preserve alongside the St. Sebastian River. ChoZen acts as host to a different retreat facilitator each month, providing up to 26 guests at a time with a unique opportunity to learn, recharge, and disconnect through wellness programs, nature immersions, culinary experiences, and adventure excursions.
“We really focus on regenerative living,” general manager Karlie Dean says of the campus’s biodiversity and self-sustainability efforts. “We have a rainwater catchment and solar power, and we love to share the ways we are existing as an opportunity to inspire others.”
Depending on the facilitator, retreat guests can expect a combination of yoga, meditation, movement, and dance classes led by a team of instructors; guided river and wildlife tours; and permaculture, gardening, and culinary lessons with ChoZen’s in-house chef and permaculturist. A recent five-day women’s self-care retreat included daily dance classes, sound healing therapy sessions, a kayak tour of the St. Sebastian River, and time for
meditation, journaling, and art. The property also has a saltwater pool, a firepit, and nature trails guests can take advantage of during their stay.
Although activities vary from retreat to retreat, visitors can always expect seasonal, locally sourced farm-to-table meals and a variety of accommodation options. Four custom-designed geodesic domes allow guests to fully embrace their lush, tropical surroundings, while seven safari tents provide space for singles, couples, or groups. An Airstream
camper and a four-bedroom villa round out the housing choices.
Where: Sebastian, FL (exact location provided after retreat registration)
When: Retreats of varying lengths offered year-round
Cost: Varies depending on retreat length and accommodation choice but typically starts around $1,800 (meals included)
The Boot Camp
Vita Vie Retreat, Delray Beach
If you’re ready to ditch the gym for a bit but still want to keep fitness and nutrition top of mind, Vita Vie Retreat in Delray Beach can help you reset your mind and body with a mix of indoor and outdoor boot camp–style training sessions. Home base is The Seagate Resort and Spa on Atlantic Avenue, with boutique-style single and double rooms on the beach and plenty of space to unwind when you’re not in motion.
“[Vita Vie] forces you to slow down, take time out for much-needed self-care, and really guides you to better understand the concepts of fitness, health, and nutrition,” marketing manager Stephanie Rice says of the retreat’s mission.
Activities vary depending on retreat length (up to six nights) but typically include beach workouts like Vinyasa yoga and Pilates, toning and core training, mindfulness workshops, and dance classes like Salsa Mix and Ballet Tone. And if you’re just starting your wellness journey, Vita Vie instructors can modify classes for all fitness levels.
Guests receive a $60 daily food credit to use at the resort, which provides retreat attendees with a special menu and an “intuitive eating” guide (attendees can also order from the regular menus at the resort’s restaurants or walk to a number of eateries in town). Individual nutrition appointments with a registered dietitian are available for an additional fee.
Each retreat session is capped at 10 guests and includes up to five hours of daily activities, plus either a one-on-one personal training or health coaching session or a 50-minute spa treatment. Private retreats are also available if you’re a beginner or just want a more tailored workout experience.
Where: 1000 E. Atlantic Avenue, Delray Beach, FL
When: Three- to six-night retreats offered year-round
Cost: Three-night retreat starts at $2,390 for single room ($60/night food credit included)
The Healing Farmstead
Casa Wellness Retreats, Miami
Situated within a 3-acre subtropical animal sanctuary a few miles west of downtown Miami, Casa Wellness offers guests the ultimate combination of adventure and relaxation. Enjoy group yoga sessions, mindfulness workshops, and breathing exercises led by a team of instructors in a unique outdoor setting near Aguacate Sanctuary and Rescue, with plenty of “me time” for journaling and meditation. The animal rescue sanctuary alongside the retreat property offers guests the opportunity to ground themselves with nature by working with its resident cows, goats, tortoise, and other four-legged friends during their stay.
Aside from the static itinerary, each four-day retreat may include a variety of additional activities such as pottery workshops, silent discos, sound bath therapy, bonfires, movie nights, nutrition classes, and full moon ceremonies. A small group of up to nine retreat attendees at a time share the multiroom guesthouse, picnic area, and zen garden on the property.
“Everything is an option,” says coordinator and cohost Erin McIntosh of the retreat’s choose-your-own-adventure agenda. “People can sit in the zen garden and read all day if they want.”
Meals are included in the cost of your stay, and the menu is equally as impressive as the agenda. Enjoy three plant-based dishes, three juices or smoothies, and one wellness shot (the Energizer is made with sweet lemongrass tea and matcha powder) daily from the on-site Aguacate Cafe. If you’re in the mood for a vegan twist on Miami fare, try their take on pan con lechon…. Wellness never tasted so good!
Where: 12100 SW 43rd St., Miami, FL
When: Monthly four-day retreats offered year-round
Cost: $1,200 for a single bed in a shared room; $1,300 for a private room with queen bed (meals included)
The Great Escape
Blackberry Farm, Knoxville, Tennessee
Just a two-hour flight from Palm Beach to Knoxville, Blackberry Farm is a luxury destination in and of itself. Located a few miles from Knoxville in the community of Walland, the site is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. Blackberry Farm hosts several events throughout the year at its farmstead, brewery, and well house, all situated on a sweeping 4,200-acre property. Take full advantage of Blackberry’s stunning scenery during its two annual wellness retreats: The Enneagram Retreat happens each summer, and the Deep Healing Woods Retreat takes place in the fall.
If self-discovery is your passion (or you just want to learn more about yourself and others), the Enneagram Retreat provides an intimate setting for expert-led meditation, time in nature, and self-reflection. Daily “discovery workshops” guide partici- pants through several Enneagram activities, while group gatherings and meals take place throughout the property. A highlight is the final dinner in the barn wine cellar, which stocks more than 170,000 bottles from around the world, prepared by James Beard–nominated Executive Chef Cassidee Dabney.
Those seeking solace in the natural world will enjoy the Deep Healing Woods Retreat, which centers around outdoor yoga, meditation, and hiking. Guests spend the majority of their time basking under a fall forest canopy and dining alfresco on seasonal, farm-to-table fare (including a fun wellness-themed cooking demo on day two), with plenty of opportunities to simply bask in nature’s healing power. Highlights include an optional sunrise yoga session and a guided foraging hike through the woods—two events that make this mountain getaway a true gem.
Where: 1471 W. Millers Cove Road, Walland, TN
When: Enneagram Retreat July 23-26; Deep Healing Woods Retreat Sept. 24-27
Cost: Retreats start at $1,200, plus room and board (meals included)