Wellness By Erica Moody

Perfect Places to Relax

Science has shown that one's environment has a direct impact on well-being, a fact that anyone who's spent significant time in the mountains or by the sea can attest to. There's just something about being by the ocean, hearing the crashing waves and feeling the sea breeze against your face; or being in the desert, hearing nothing but the chirp of an odd bird and seeing nothing but an endless landscape of majestic rock that makes you leave all your worries at home and let yourself breathe. The following locations will make even the most stressed-out individuals find their bliss.

Palms tree on the beach


A big part of resetting your mind is learning how to slow down, and the laid-back vibe of the Caribbean may be just the place for those needing a break from the fast-paced frenzy of their lives. Once you step off the plane in Nassau or Punta Cana and breathe in the ocean air, look out at the turquoise sea and walk barefoot through the smooth white sand with a cool daiquiri in hand, the bothers of daily life are all but forgotten. Choose from a multitude of swimming pools to wade in or sit under palm trees with book in hand and ocean in view. Play a few rounds at a signature Jack Nicklaus golf course, and wander to a conch shack for fresh delicacies prepared on the spot. And if shopping relieves stress for you, pop into the high-end boutiques of Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana for a little retail therapy.


It's no surprise that some of the wealthiest people in the world, who could live anywhere they want, choose to settle down in towns like Santa Monica, California or Palm Beach, Florida. These locales provide easy access to major cities in the U.S., so traveling to and from is not an issue. And once you're there, the towns are bursting with modern luxuries and convenience, while remaining pristine in appearance. Manicured lawns rest in front of mammoth mansions and five-star resorts with seaside spas and fine cuisine are plentiful. Walk straight from your oceanfront hotel to a secluded beach below for sunrise yoga, experience in-suite spa treatments, indulge in healthy Michelin-star meals and cycle to town on complimentary bicycles at the impressive resorts that make up America's chic coastal getaways.

Yoga on the beach
Palm Beach, Florida


"There are blessings in the desert," said writer Anne Lamott. "You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise." Indeed, the beauty of the desert is as endless as its ranges, the perfect setting for days of quiet contemplation. What better way to treat yourself in this day and age of constant noise and endless obligation? In the desert, nobody cares if your inbox is zero. And in the desert, the mountains call for you to climb them, bringing an organic opportunity to focus on physical as well as mental health. Take a hike and feel the full-body relaxation and restful sleep that follows a day of exercise. Soothe your muscles in a private outdoor soaking tub at a desert resort, align your body at a top-ranked spa and dine on fresh seasonal cuisine while sitting on an outdoor dining deck facing the expansive mountains of the aptly named Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Tropical Getaway

Spirituality seekers have been known to visit Hawaii for the healing properties that only a tropical paradise can bring. Whether or not you believe that the islands' volcanic energies are operating at higher chakra frequencies, it can't be denied that the unique beauty of its verdant jungles and rolling hills existing in the same space as the bluest ocean waters and clear skies possess a special soul-soothing quality. Make time to try a Lomi Lomi massage, take sail on the waters of the Pacific, enter an infinity pool that looks out on the ocean and commune with nature in a protected wildlife reserve, and you'll return home invigorated.

Infinity pool in Hawaii
Palm trees on the beach


These luxurious properties are situated in utopic destinations across the U.S. and the Caribbean. Plus, you'll enjoy the bonus amenities available through these Protravel SELECT Hotels & Resorts: