Five Luxury Retreats in Blue Zones for Wellness and Longevity

Advisor - Heather Budd
Curated By

Heather Budd

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  • Okinawa

  • Japan

  • Puglia

  • Sardinia

  • Italy

  • Costa Rica

  • Wellness Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Relaxation

  • Spa

  • Multi-Country

Five Luxury Retreats in Blue Zones for Wellness and Longevity
Curator’s statement

Blue Zones are regions around the world where people live longer, healthier lives, often attributed to factors such as diet, lifestyle and strong community ties. Blue Zones also happen to offer some truly amazing places to escape for luxury retreats, focused on wellness and rejuvenation. In this guide, we delve into some of the most outstanding options you’ll find in these regions.

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Where to stay

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Halekulani Okinawa

Exquisite luxury on the shores of Okinawa with unparalleled oceanfront views.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage or spa credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Borgo Egnazia

Experience luxury and tranquility at Borgo Egnazia, where elegant accommodations, a picturesque village setting and world-class amenities create an extraordinary stay in Puglia, Italy.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Baglioni Resort Sardinia

Baglioni Resort Sardinia is a luxurious seaside retreat nestled on the captivating coastline of Sardinia, Italy. This exclusive resort combines Mediterranean charm with contemporary elegance, offering guests a tranquil escape surrounded by pristine beaches, lush landscapes and world-class amenities.

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Advisor - Heather Budd

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Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa, Japan is celebrated for its longevity attributed to the "Okinawa diet" which emphasizes plant-based foods and low-calorie, nutrient-rich dishes like sweet potatoes and tofu. Additionally, the Okinawan culture values active lifestyles, fostering connections within tight-knit communities known as moais, contributing to the exceptional health and vitality of its residents.

Halekulani Okinawa
With its beachfront location within the scenic Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park, this delightful luxury retreat contributes to Okinawa's reputation for longevity and renewal. Attentive staff offer diving and snorkeling tours and classes on local culture and history. Plus, summer visitors can take an evening excursion to Yambaru National Park to witness the island's captivating firefly displays.

The SpaHalekulani at Halekulani Okinawa is recognized as the only five-star spa in Okinawa by Forbes Travel Guide's 2024 Star Awards. The extensive Wellness Retreat program at SpaHalekulani integrates distinctive spa treatments and therapies with Reash 4 Stance Theory, offering a pioneering and carefully crafted method for personal training that achieves optimal results while minimizing strain.

Puglia, Italy

Puglia, Italy, has gained recognition for its long-lived residents who enjoy a Mediterranean lifestyle and diet rich in fresh produce and olive oil. This region's strong sense of community and vibrant social connections contribute to the well-being and longevity of its inhabitants.

Borgo Egnazia
A luxury retreat inspired by the essence of a traditional Puglian village, all warm limestone houses and bright bougainvillea, and since opening in 2009 has garnered acclaim as a coveted luxury destination.

Enjoy meals prepared with fresh ingredients sourced straight from the fields all around, including at the Michelin-starred restaurant Due Camini.

The hotel's award-winning Vair Spa offers "Happiness Breaks" which include different movement and mindfulness classes, cooking lessons, picnics, and spa treatments.

Sardinia, Italy

Nestled in the Mediterranean, Sardinia is a much loved destination known for its rugged beauty, pristine beaches, and the longevity of its inhabitants, who thrive on a diet rich in local delicacies like carasau bread and Cannonau wine. Beyond its gastronomic delights, Sardinia's tight-knit communities and timeless traditions underscore its status as a region where life is lived with vitality and purpose.

Baglioni Resort Sardinia
Located within the protected marine area of Tavolara on one of the finest beaches on the island, this sleek and contemporary luxury retreat offers opulent accommodations and amenities to immerse guests in the natural splendor of Sardinia. Embracing Blue Zone principles of natural living, the resort features a beautiful spa offering a range of treatments, a large pool surrounded by lush gardens, and two Italian restaurants serving impeccable cuisine crafted from local ingredients. Despite the attractions of nearby towns, many guests don’t feel the need to venture outside of this idyllic coastal haven. With a Finnish sauna, Turkish baths, the azure waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea, bars, restaurants, and comfortable, stylish accommodation, why would anyone ever want to leave?

Nicoya, Costa Rica

Hop on a bicycle and explore the scenic path along this Pacific coast peninsula, with secluded beaches, bohemian fishing villages, and residents who are twice as likely as Americans to reach a healthy age of 90. Could it be something in the water? The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is a Blue Zone where residents' strong sense of purpose, hard water high in calcium, emphasis on family connections, and practice of eating lightly at dinner make for a holistic approach to wellbeing that fosters longevity and contentment.

Andaz Costa Rica Resort At Peninsula Papagayo
Perfectly placed where the Gulf of Papagayo meets the rainforest, this luxury retreat surely embodies the essence of "pura vida", the Costa Rican phrase encompassing a laid-back, welcoming spirit. Designed by Costa Rican architect Ronald Zurcher to blend in with the natural environment and immerse guests in the lush surroundings, howler monkeys, tropical birds, and other jungle wildlife can often be seen during the day and heard at night. The ONDA Spa provides tailored treatments incorporating water therapy, local ingredients, and organic ancestral remedies, with guests selecting personalized soundtracks from a curated menu. Treatment rooms offer stunning forest and sea vistas, and the spa menu includes a range of therapeutic treatments, fitness facilities, and an outdoor plunge pool. The four restaurants variously offer views over Culebra Bay, mixology menus, sushi, Latin American dining, wellness, vegetarian and vegan menus.

Four Seasons Costa Rica
This incredible luxury retreat allows guests to fully immerse themselves in a world where wellness and adventure intertwine seamlessly. From sunrise yoga on stand-up paddleboards to therapeutic volcanic mud treatments, every experience is designed to rejuvenate both body and soul against the backdrop of the lush tropical surroundings. The resort also offers guest experiences, such as a guided Blue Zone road trip to explore traditional villages and agricultural areas for a distinctive perspective into the land and its culture.

Need to Know

When to go?

Sardinia: Once the busy summer season is over some shops, bars, restaurants, tour operators and hotels close up for the winter, so this is important to bear in mind if considering going during off-peak season.

Costa Rica: The best time to visit the Pacific region is from December through April, when the weather is dry and skies are bright. See the Fora article on the Best Time to Go to Costa Rica for more details.

Puglia: Peak season is between June and August and sees the most visitors and the highest temperatures (and prices). May, June and September are lovely times to visit, with dry weather and temperatures being warm but not uncomfortable.

Okinawa: Typhoon season in Okinawa starts on June 1st runs through the end of November. While this is the most likely time for typhoons to occur, they can happen any time of the year if the right conditions are right. March is when the sea is warm enough for swimming the my favorite time to go would be spring time in April or May.

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on wellness travel. In need of further inspiration? Check out Elizabeth Kaczka’s trip report, Chasing Northern Lights & Lavish Stays: Iceland Luxury Hotels.

Advisor - Heather Budd

Travel Advisor

Heather Budd

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