The World’s Best Luxury Sleep Retreats
By Gemma Askham | May 17, 2021
Hospitality pros have long known about the allure of a melt-into mattress (it’s the reason why many top-tier hotels actually offer their beds for sale), but now, sleep-focused retreats are turning shuteye into a skill you can hone during a stay. Bedrooms are designed for the hours when you can’t see them (soundproofed walls, pre-bed meditations), while “sleep concierges” will coax you to sleep with the finesse of securing a restaurant reservation. This is up-skilling for the frazzled, and these are the best tutors...
Best for: switching off a whirring brain
Relaxation stage one: check into your villa overlooking the Indian Ocean. Stage two: begin the Shanti Sleep package which, over five or seven days, dives your mind and body into a state of relaxation even deeper than that ocean. The course pairs personalized yoga instruction in tranquil disciplines such as Yoda Nidra and pranayama (breath regulation) with energy-balancing spa treatments, including Tibetan sound massage, reiki, and foot reflexology. The result is a sleep reset that’s the equivalent of turning an overloaded brain off and on again.
Best for: recalibrating an out-of-sync sleep cycle
Every aspect of your nightly – and daily – routine at Revivo is tailored to regulate disrupted sleep patterns. In your room, wake to stimulating blue light that dims to soft amber in the evening, or try sleep-beckoning activities, from meditation podcasts and journaling to a lavender face-cleansing ritual. Menus feature foods known to be conducive to sleep, or to energize, such as zingy warm lemon juice with ginger turmeric and kombucha. Leave rested, and with a bespoke plan of what to do at home to get the same easy-Zzz effect.
Best for: a well-rested layover
Sleep Cocoons at Zedwell, London
While many hotels pile on the chintz, Zedwell does the opposite – bringing Apple Store levels of minimalism to its cocoons (no “bedrooms” here) in order to cut out sleep-impeding distractions. Rooms are intentionally TV-free and windowless, with walls, floors and doors all soundproofed to 60 decibels (roughly as loud as a conversation). Inside, there’s purified air, self-warming eye masks, simple oak furnishings, and a deliberate lack of stress-triggering clutter and tech switches. Zedwell is currently open at Piccadilly Circus, with three more central London addresses launching by the end of 2022.
Best for: getting eight hours in the city
New York may be the city that never sleeps, but hoteliers are catching on that many of its guests really do want to. Cue: The Benjamin’s collaboration with Harvard Medical School sleep researcher, Dr Rebecca Robbins, who has trained staff on sleep behaviors (meaning they can advise you 24/7, even in the throes of insomnia) and has provided an arsenal of in-room sleep aids, such as a body pillow, white noise machine, on-demand meditations accessed via the room phone, weighted blankets, soporific pre-bed snacks and a “work-down call” to remind you to power down electronics.
Best for: scientific analysis of what’s keeping you up
Sleep Medicine at CanyonRanch, Lenox, MA
CanyonRanch’s four luxury US retreats are renowned for tackling the root of health issues, from the gut to cognitive function, and Lenox is where sleep issues are finally, um, put to bed. A doctor will assess your sleep troubles, be it waking during the night or daytime drowsiness, and can even recommend a night in the sleep lab, where a device will monitor your wake/sleep states. You’ll receive bespoke treatment suggestions, plus access to complementary therapies such as hypnotherapy, acupuncture and aromatherapy.
Best for: a Chinese medicine-inspired approach
In classical Chinese medicine, insomnia is defined as an imbalance of energy concentrated in the head, triggered by hormonal changes, digestive disorders and anxiety. Lefay’s five-night program redistributes this energy blockage, using massage to shift energy from the head towards the feet (nixing neck tension in the process), aroma-hydrotherapy to stimulate meridians that can rebalance energy flows, and ‘moxa’ treatments, which apply heat to acupuncture stress-relieving points. Your sleep squad will also feature a PT and a nutritional consultant.
Best for: a grogginess reboot
Sleep with Six Senses, available at 10 resorts worldwide (pictured: Six Senses Duoro Valley, Portugal)
Can’t remember the last time you felt properly refreshed? That’s what Six Senses aims to put right with its Sleep program, which combines data from a sleep-pattern tracker with a bespoke schedule of yoga, meditation, low-intensity training and relaxing spa treatments, such as Indian head massage. Advice comes from a trusted in-resort sleep doctor, with retreats available over two, five and seven nights – depending on the level of top-to-toe refresh required.
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