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Wellness Travel - Virtuoso Travel Agency - Vancouver - Luxury Wellness Travel

A Recipe to Health and Healing: 2 Parts Gratitude 1 Part Love

Emoto water crystalsOnce of my favourite books is “The Hidden Messages in Water” by Masaru Emoto. This book bosts research that can transform our health and I highly recommend it. Using high speed photography Dr. Emoto takes pictures of flash frozen water crystals after they have been exposed to words, pictures and music. Words like gratitude and love form beautiful water crystals and have the power to change the structure of water. Knowing that the human body is made up mostly of water I really start to understand how our words and thoughts influence our health both physically and mentally.

Read more: A Recipe to Health and Healing: 2 Parts Gratitude 1 Part Love

Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort: Italy

Terme di Saturnia Mineral Pool Italy I am glad that Hydro-Centric Cures are being rediscovered and becoming a recent trend in travel because I love hot springs, mineral pools, spring water hunting, scuba diving and polar plunging! What I love most about sharing these visceral experiences with my clients, friends and loved ones is that these are anceint pratices; It has been "since the dawn of time that humans have refueled their life force with nature's original elixir". I wanted to share an exerpt about Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort  which was recently highlighted in the Virtuoso Traveler Magazine. Here's what they said about it.... 

Read more: Terme di Saturnia Spa and Golf Resort: Italy

Up Close and Personal with Andy Thesen Owner of Hermitage Bay

\"WellnessJust before Virtuoso week 2013 I was put in contact with the owner of Hermitage Bay Hotel in Antigua over twitter. At this time I knew little about the island of Antigua, I knew nothing about Hermitage Bay but I believe everything happens for a reason so I was intrigued to set up a meeting with Andy Thesen the owner of Hermitage Bay. After our first meeting in 2013 Carly and I knew we were kindred spirits with Andy. One year later we met again at Virtuoso Week 2014 and we wanted to get up close and personal this time with Andy and learn the heart behind Hermitage Bay.

The hotels and resorts in the Virtuoso Collection have all gone through a rigorous screening to be included in the list of the world’s Best of the Best. Therefore Carly and I know that the rooms, bathrooms, décor in the hotel and service all reach a certain level but we want to know what makes each hotel property different. Is it an independent hotel? Is it a trusted global brand? Does it have a sense of place? Is it boutique? Is it grand? The questions go on and on for what can set each luxury hotel apart from the next.

Andy discovered Hermitage Bay when he was looking for property for a home for himself. What exists now is nothing of what he thought it was going to be originally. He now offers the most powerful sense of wellbeing at a luxury resort with the top priority of taking care of their guests.


What is your definition of Wellness?


-Very conscious of what one eats, wanting to know where it comes from, no processed food, no farmed fish, fresh produce etc. I like creating my own kefir and sauerkraut. The kefir I make comes from raw goats milk that I get at a biodynamic farm near my house in the UK.

-Staying Active and having an exercise routine that works for you

-Spiritual Wellness; taking that time in the day to meditate and reflect.

What is your definition of Luxury?\"Hermitage

-It’s not marble bathrooms and gold taps…. It is a feeling of human connection and being part of a bigger thing.

Hermitage Bay has been given rave reviews for the service, what is the philosophy behind your impeccable service?

-Hermitage Bay is an entity, it is a being and has become what it is by the people who work here. I have hired all local staff. We recruit people with good hearts and we teach the rest!

-The GM, Rachel, is a community builder and she doesn’t even know it. It is in her DNA and comes from the fact that she grew up in a commune in BVI. She has created a sense of culture and sense of family amongst the staff. They know they are all in this together and help each other out without asking.

-I have also had group therapy sessions with the 100 staff at Hermitage Bay because it allows us to have the most open and honest communication possible. The therapy allows us to continue to grow and be the best we can be. It comes not from a place where there is something to fix but more from a place similiar to the fact that Roger Federer probably has tennis lessons!

-This sense of community and love within the staff naturally trickles to love and appreciation of every guest that stays at Hermitage Bay. The staff give out genuine authentic care without anything in return. When I am on property if I can see the guests are open to it I love chatting with them and learning their story.


What kind of environment have you created at Hermitage Bay?

-The environment is conducive to anyone who is looking to relax, disconnect and be present. We offer a low stress environment for those looking for peace and to connect back to oneself. We have no man made noises on property, we enjoy the natural sounds!


Did you come up with the name Hermitage Bay?

-No, it came with the name and it is very fitting. Hermitage Bay….literally a place for people to hermit. 


What Carly and I got from Andy was raw and left us in tears for just how beautiful, transformative, and powerful a stay at Hermitage Bay can be. I left off the amazing guest stories that Andy shared with us so if you are interested in learning about them feel free to contact me or Andy (twitter @HermitageBay)….or better yet how about experience it firsthand! #AntiguaAwaits


Como Shambhala Estate: Arrive, Breathe, Relax

Como shambhala Wellness Retreat Bali UbudNestled above a jungle covered gorge in near Ubud, Bali is COMO Shambahala Estate, COMO hotel's flagship residential wellness sanctuary that promises total commitment to your improved wellbeing. Through their holistic 360 degree approach, the Estate provides comprehensive lifestyle and curative programmes tailored to your individual aspirations - all designed to mend mind, body and spirit. Their Wellness Programs are desgined for stays fo different lengths - three, five or seven nights - with therapies focused on different purpses such as: Ayurvedic, Cleanse, Be Active (get fit), Stress Management, Rejuvenation and Oriental Medicine.

Read more: Como Shambhala Estate: Arrive, Breathe, Relax

Share with us what is on your Bucket List!!!

I am an advocator of goal setting and creating vision boards. As I look back at my past vision boards that are composed of magazine cut outs of images and words that I want to bring into my life, I am surprise at how real those dreams have become. I really do believe that what we dream about, think about and talk about becomes our reality without us even knowing it! 

Read more: Share with us what is on your Bucket List!!!

Chiva Som: Haven of Life

Chiva SomA secluded world of beauty and serenity, Chiva-Som translates to mean “Haven of Life.” This beachfront health resort represents tranquility at its best with luxurious accommodations nestled within seven acres of lush tropical gardens. Chiva-Som welcomes you with unique Thai hospitality. Located in the Royal city of Hua Hin, the resort is less than three hours by car south of Bangkok.

Dedicated to revitalizing mind, body and spirit for total well being and vitality Chiva-Som offers extensive fitness, spa and holistic health facilities to help you relax, restore and rejuvenate.

Read more: Chiva Som: Haven of Life

The Enchantmet Resort & Mii Amo Spa: Sedona

Mii Amo Spa has been voted the best destination spa in North America, Mexico and Caribbean by Conde Naste for two years in a row, and it is easy to see why. Located in Sedona, Arizona the Enchantment Resort and Mii Amo Spa has a special transformative energy about it. In Sedona, there are 4 energy vortexes and one of them is located on property. The Resort is nestled handsomely into the red rocks and therefore outdoor activities are plentiful in the area. There are hiking trails accessed on the property, mountain biking trails located nearby, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pools, croquet, pitch& putt and even hula hooping. In addition to all these activities one can do on property, guests can take excursions to the Grand Canyon, the mining town of Jerome or learn about the history of Sedona with the famous Pink Jeep Tours.

mii amo red rocks sedona destination spa virtuoso

Read more: The Enchantmet Resort & Mii Amo Spa: Sedona

Polar Expedition Travel with Quark Expeditions

Antarctic Explorer Quark Expeditions Travel AdventureExpedition travel by nature is for curious people who want to actively explore these pristine environments, embrace the unexpected and revel in the humbling beauty of the untamed wildlife. Quark Expeditions are the leaders in Polar Expeditions and offer both Arctic and Antarctic Voyages. It has been almost 25 years that Quark has been taking passengers to the two most extraordinary and inaccessible regions of the world.

To travel with Quark means you will be accompanied by like-minded adventurers and led by a passionate veteran expedition team who will enrich your understanding, ensure you get the most of your experience and have amazing memories to share. The idea for Quark Expeditions was born after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 by Lars Wikander and friend Mike McDowell. It was this time that many Russian ships became available for charter as they were purpose-built for the Polar Regions. The Quark fleet currently includes 5 ships ranging from guest capacity of 111 to 189.

Read more: Polar Expedition Travel with Quark Expeditions

Interview with the Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu California

Carly and I had a chance to sit down with the owners of The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, Alex and Sue Glasscock. The Ranch at Live Oak offers a week long intensive program that allows you to unplug, return to nature, connect with like minded people and improve your overall physical and mental capacity. The Ranch offers a completely open and non judgemental space for you to release stress and tension that has been affecting your overall health and wellness. After the one week you will take these new skills and most importantly the motivation to lead a healthier life back to your everyday living. 

Here is a little insider information on Sue and Alex and their journey with The Ranch:

Wellness, Hotel, Retreat, Travel, Hiking, Weight loss, health, yoga, detox, weight loss, vegetarian, china study

How long have you been married?

-23 years

When did you start the ranch?

-October 2010

What was your previous career?

-A: development, real estate and finance

-S: interior design….Sue did the design for the Ranch.

What inspired you to start your own hotel?

-S: It was born of our own desires, passions and wishes. We created a property that we wanted to go to.

-A: Wanted to help people lead a more fun, balanced and happy life.

How do you define luxury?

-A: Heath is the ultimate luxury. It is getting physically fit and maintaining that fit energetic body in an amazing setting followed by celebration with people you love.

-S: It is a luxury to be in the present moment. In this day of age, it is important to be able to enjoy these peaceful moments while being completely present.

Read more: Interview with the Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu California

Getting Naked....A Business Fable

I recently returned from Virtuoso Week, an annual luxury travel conference where the best of the best in the tourism and hospitality industry come together to exchange information. Every year Virtuoso has incredible speakers at the opening ceremonies and this year I listened to Patrick Lencioni, author of “Getting Naked…A Business Fable:”. He was truly inspirational to me. I did not study business in university nor did I ever see myself in a “sales” position. My passion is health and wellness and I want to help people, not sell them things. In the last 3 years as I have transitioned from the life of a university student to a builder of my own personal Wellness Travel brand under Renshaw Travel my interest in “business” has completely shifted. Whether one is a farmer, a yoga teacher, a doctor, a psychologist, a car salesman, a realtor or a travel advisor something is being sold. This something may be a service, product, a life changing experience or a necessity such as food and therefore business is involved.

Read more: Getting Naked....A Business Fable

Miraval vs Canyon Ranch: Tucson, Arizona

In Tucson Arizona lies two Wellness Resorts each on one side of the Catalina Mountain Range. Carly and I have been able to experience both properties for a multiple night stay. We made sure to delve into the wide range of activities offered at the resorts to fully understand what makes them each special. Everyone we talk to want to understand for themselves what the major differences are. We have done our best to share with you our two experiences.

Let’s start with the history

Canyon Ranch HikingCanyon Ranch was started by Mel Zuckerman. He grew up with health issues as a child and was told he would never run due to his asthma. At one point in his life his doctor told him he needed to make a change in his lifestyle quickly or he wasn’t going to have too much time on this earth. Mel went to a health resort in the early 70’s and after been taken under the wing by a fitness instructor he learned the benefits of removing himself from his current environment and immersing himself around positive people looking to change their health. Soon after this experience he decide that he was going to start his own health resort. He took over a former working dude ranch and created a place for people from all over the world to improve their well-being. It was in 1979 that the first Canyon Ranch located in Tucson was created. Canyon Ranch has other locations in Lennox, Massachusetts, Miami, Florida, spas in the Palazzo in Las Vegas and aboard the Oceania Cruise Ships and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Ships.

Miraval is located on the other side of the Catalina Mountain Range and was first the location of Sierra Rehabilitation Centre. 15 years ago it was transformed into a health and healing resort and named Miraval. Most recently Miraval was bought by Steve & Jean Case who were first guests of Miraval and found it a truly transformative experience. For almost a decade now, Steve & Jean Case have had the pleasure of building on Miraval’s tremendous legacy, with the goal of taking the life-changing Miraval experiences to more people in more places.

The Similarities

Read more: Miraval vs Canyon Ranch: Tucson, Arizona

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