For the 50+ Traveler
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It’s a brand-new, beautiful year. One of my goals for the year is to get to know myself better. I want to spend time in true self-reflection, free from the daily mundane stuff that life can sometimes be. I also want to take time for the self-care that is so important but usually gets pushed to the back burner.

Maybe you’re thinking about shaking things up this year and trying something totally new and different. As adults, we so seldom get to do anything completely new! Whether you’re looking for a place to meditate and self-reflect or you're just looking for a brand-new experience, there are some fabulous retreats out there that you should check out.

When researching this article, my criteria was to find retreat centers and resort spas in the United States that offered unique programs and holistic therapy; and a price point of less than $500 per night. All the centers are quite different, yet all are appealing in their own way. Some of the centers are all-inclusive, and some aren’t yet. They all have scrumptious food options. I didn’t include any wellness centers that were about fasting or cleansing because I want an enjoyable retreat, and to me, that includes real food!

1. Blue Sky Retreat Center

Taos, New Mexico

Owned by yoga teachers and studio owners from Houston, Texas, Blue Sky Retreat Center is a combined Retreat Center and bed and breakfast. There are all types of wellness retreats scheduled during the year, and the property is also open as a bed and breakfast. Their goal at BlueSky is to help people disconnect from technology, enjoy the area's natural beauty, and get to know ourselves just a little bit more.

Small and homey, the space has a very Southwestern feel, which makes sense as it’s located in beautiful Taos, New Mexico. Located in the historic San Geronimo Lodge, the center has less than 20 guest rooms, a pool, a hot tub, and a labyrinth. One option is to book a room for a few days and experience the lodge offerings, then stick around to explore the Taos area on your own. Prices here are very reasonable, starting at around $100 a night with free breakfast.

Or, if you’re like me and want to do something totally different this year, sign up for one of their retreats. Maybe your New Year’s goal is to tap into more of your creative self. If so, the Creativity and Yoga Retreat In The High Desert may be just what you’re looking for. Included in this 4-day retreat is daily yoga, most meals, as well as a creative writing practice to get you thinking in new ways! Plus, you’ll get admission to the nearby Georgia O'Keeffe Ghost Ranch and see for yourself how the sacred beauty of the Southwest inspired this premier American artist. This is sure to be a life-changing retreat and one that is on my personal bucket list!

2. Sedona Mago Center For Well-Being And Retreat

Sedona, Arizona

Owned and operated by the Tao Fellowship and founded by Ilchi Lee, a meditation expert, the Sedona Mago Center for Well-being and Retreat is a non-profit organization created to share the ancient tradition of SunTao. Located in the midst of the red rocks of Sedona, the center offers transformational programs that will restore, rejuvenate, and help you choose your path to move forward.

If you want to dig deeper this year into seeing what makes you tick, The “Finding True Self” retreat may be perfect for you. One of the many spiritual retreats you can attend here, you'll delve into discovering your authentic self.

If you prefer not to participate in a traditional retreat, you can reserve your own casita for a couple of nights and decompress in the beauty of the Arizona desert. Each casita has its own private bathroom, and rates are less than $200 per night, including meals! Plus, for an extra charge, you’ll have the opportunity to choose different spiritual healing practices to try like Chakra Healing and Balancing. You can also spend your time hiking around the property, swimming in the pool, or simply meditating.

3. Westglow Resort And Spa

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Situated in the Blueridge Mountains, The Westglow Resort and Spa offers breathtaking views and top-notch amenities. Originally the summer home of famed artist and writer Elliott Daingerfield, the resort offers a few different lodging options, with stays at the Lodge being the most economical. Rates here will only set you back around $400 per night, depending on the season. You could opt to rent the entire Westglow Mansion if you have a larger group and deep pockets, as the mansion will set you back around $2,000 per night. But it may well be worth it to get a look inside this home that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.

While you’re here, you'll want to take advantage of all the services offered at this top-rated spa. You’ll be able to enjoy the indoor pool, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and tennis. You can also book an appointment for a spa service like a mud wrap or a detox body wrap, the Westglow body brush, raindrop therapy treatment, or perhaps a calming facial. They also offer a wide variety of fitness and wellness classes. Be sure to leave plenty of time to do nothing except take in the spectacular views of the mountainous countryside.

4. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Miami, Florida

If you’re looking for an inviting, luxurious retreat, look no further than the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. The resort offers a stunning beachside location and features more amenities and services than you could possibly use. They’ve really thought of every kind of wellness offering imaginable here at Carillon. They focus on innovation experiences for the mind and body and offer a full listing of services that touch on each area. For mental wellbeing, a partial list of the services offered includes nutrition counseling, life coaching, wellness lectures, and couples counseling.

For physical wellbeing, think everything from anti-aging spa treatments to cryotherapy to salt flotation therapy. And, don’t forget facials, massages, and a full salon on site. Plus, they offer a plethora of fitness classes in the on-site studio or on the private beach. While not all-inclusive, this resort offers multiple dining options, so you’ll never go hungry.

Spacious, one bedroom luxurious apartments with two double beds and a full kitchen can be found for less than $400 a night during the off season -- with an ocean view! The apartments feature tons of natural light and a completely separate living area where you can relax, and you’ll have access to the resort’s own private beach and swimming pools.

If you’re planning a girls’ retreat, splitting the cost with your bestie brings the price down to a pretty affordable $200 a night. Keep in mind that many of the resort amenities are complimentary with your stay, but some options do have an additional charge. The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is at the top of my list for my next wellness retreat. What could be better than a spa trip to warm and sunny Florida, especially when staying at the luxurious Carillon!

5. Ojo Santa Fe Spa Resort

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Ojo Santa Fe is a unique spa and healing center located about 20 minutes outside of Santa Fe. Set on 70 acres, this is a full-service resort and spa in a beautiful desert oasis. The spa offers all the typical spa services, including massage therapy as well as more unusual services like sacral cranial therapy to relieve stress in the head and neck. In addition, the resort offers many complimentary activities to keep you occupied, like yoga, archery, hiking, and their unique silkie chickens.

While everything here is appealing, the real star of the resort is the water! Ojo Santa Fe offers lots of different water options to promote your total wellness, including thermal soaking pools, a saltwater pool, a saltwater floating tank, and ojitos, which are private outdoor soaking pools. Natural spring water, free from any pollutants, fills the soaking pools, tubs, and ponds on the resort grounds.

Foodies will appreciate the farm-fresh food served at the onsite Blue Heron restaurant.

You can choose to stay in a regular room for around $225 a night or splurge for a private one-bedroom casita that includes a private bath and cozy fireplace for around $300 per night. Whatever accommodations you choose, you’ll be mesmerized by the beautiful, lush, and serene grounds of Ojo Santa Fe.

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