The concept of wellness is transforming almost every aspect of travel, with individuals in constant search of the best ways in which not only to unwind but to take time for reflection and discover methods and lifestyle habits to cope with the stress and burnout of everyday life.
With the growing desire to improve one’s wellbeing wherever we are, Aman has curated holistic experiences with physical and mental wellbeing at their heart. From highly personalised Individual Wellness Immersions at Amanzoe in Greece and Amanyara in Turks and Caicos, to insightful and meaningful retreats at Amankora in Bhutan, Amangani in Jackson Hole and Amangiri in Utah, 2020 will see the naturally restorative and mesmerising Aman destinations introduce a calendar of new holistic experiences designed to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and re-energise.
JOURNEY TO PEACE RETREAT
January & February 2020
This January and February, renowned Buddhist spiritual master and scholar Geshe Yong Dong (Geshe La) will be at Amangiri, Amangani and Amanyara to guide guests on a journey to spiritual enrichment and lasting inner tranquillity on the Journey to Peace Retreat. The retreat will take place at Amangiri (21-25 January & 3-7 February) in Utah, Amangani (29 January-2 February) in Jackson Hole, and Amanyara (18-22 February) in Turks and Caicos. Guests can choose to join a four-night retreat at one resort, combine two resorts, or join the whole programme across the three destinations.
The programme will include Tsa Lung breathwork and meditation, as well as two individual 90-minute sessions with Geshe YongDong, a therapeutic spa treatment and a 60-minute evening session of chanting, mantra recitation and meditation. After each retreat, Geshe YongDong will stay on as a specialist in residence for two days, offering guests further opportunity to draw on his wisdom in private one-on-one sessions.
REIKI HEALING RETREAT AT AMANDARI
March to December 2020
March 2020 will see Amandari introduce a three-night Reiki Healing Retreat. Reiki is a non-invasive form of healing during which a practitioner channels positive energy into the body through gentle touch to restore a general sense of wellbeing, aiming to cleanse the mind and body, to revive the senses and achieve greater happiness and health.
The retreat will be led by Reiki Master Pak Warmana, who has spent the past two decades studying meditation, hypnotherapy and Reiki, and who is a Balinese local. During the stay, guests will be offered daily herbal teas and cleansing juices and a ‘conscious menu’ of carefully chosen nutritious fare, as well as experiencing daily group yoga, Qigong and meditation classes, Reiki healing sessions, two 90-minute Aman Signature Spa Treatments and a Balinese blessing ceremony. A Reiki initiation class will also be offered to guests, so that they may continue to practise the art at home and understand the theory behind Reiki to maintain the cleansed state.
ANCIENT WISDOM OF JAVA RETREAT AT AMANJIWO
April to December 2020
In April, Amanjiwo will introduce the Ancient Wisdom of Java Retreat, inspired by the rich heritage of Javanese healing traditions and ceremonies. Located just two kilometres from the UNESCO site of Borobudur – the ninth-century Buddhist temple and the world’s biggest Buddhist monument – Amanjiwo is a timeless sanctuary in central Java. Named ‘Peaceful Soul’ for the serenity, privacy and beauty of its setting, the resort provides the ideal location in which to focus on wellbeing.
The three-night itinerary, available year-round from April, will include sessions with Javanese healers, lectures on Javanese spirituality led by the resort’s resident anthropologist and a visit to the historical site of Borobudur at sunrise, which is renowned for being an enlightening and magical experience. Guests will also enjoy one Semedi meditation session, which includes a series of ancient exercises to calm and focus the mind, and one 90-minute traditional Javanese Pijat deep-tissue massage.
In addition, guests experience a Purnama Purification ritual on full-moon dates. An ancient Javanese ritual held under a full-moon night sky, the Purnama cleanse is intended to return a balance of energy to the body, spirit and mind of the participant. The first step of the ritual is a water-purification ceremony (Tirtayatra) which is followed by a short procession led by local healer Pak Sugeng, who will recite mantras and guide a final meditation. The experience is rounded off with guests learning about Jamu, a centuries-old Indonesian herbal- medicinal tradition that uses specific natural ingredients, such as lemongrass, tamarind, and galangal, combined with Javanese prayers and rituals, to treat skin and health issues.
FOREST BATHING AND ONSEN RETREAT AT AMANEMU
April 2020 onwards
A relaxed, peaceful and contemplative destination, Amanemu embraces ‘omotenashi’, the Japanese welcoming spirit blended with warmth and respect. New from spring 2020, the property will offer guests a restorative four night retreat experiencing the ancient Japanese bathing tradtion of onsen (mineral hot springs) and forest bathing along the Kumano Kodo – a series of five ancient pilgrimage routes which converge at the heart of the nearby remote Kii Mountains.
Amanemu has developed hiking routes which will lead guests through parts of the Kumano Kodo with an abundance of streams, rivers and waterfall-laced mountains, past cedar and cypress forests to sacred shrines such as Kumano Sanzan, Yohshino and Omine and Koyasan. Together these sites, the connecting pilgrimage routes, and surrounding forests form a cultural landscape that reflect the fusion of Shintoism with the ancient tradition of nature worship in Japan. The exquisite setting of the UNESCO world heritage route of the Kumano Kodo serve as a serene setting for forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) experiences. A Japanese term coined in 1982, Shinrin-yoku means ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’, and the practice is said to combine the healing benefits of mindfulness and nature. Shinrin-Yoku sessions at Amanemu involve walking through the local trails in a mindful way whilst absorbing the tranquillity and drama of nature and the resort’s setting.
Amanemu, Aman’s first mineral hot spring destination is heavily influenced by the abundance of natural hot springs and the therapeutic powers of water; the 2000-square metre spa has a large central onsen for communal bathing, plus two private spa pavilions each with their own indoor and outdoor onsen, perfect for easing muscles after a day of trekking and forest bathing.
This new four night retreat includes healing by onsen bathing, breathing practice, Zazen meditation, the physical practice of shiatsu and acupuncture and moxa, aquatic body work treatment and exquisite Japanese cuisine using macrobiotic ingredients.
AMANYARA AND AMANZOE LAUNCH INDIVIDUAL WELLNESS IMMERSIONS
Available Year-Round (Amanzoe’s season starts on 1 April 2020 and ends on 30 November 2020)
In 2020 sees Amanyara (February) and Amanzoe (April) become the fifth and sixth Aman destinations to introduce Individual Wellness Immersions. Three life-enhancing, multi-day personalised programmes will launch at the resorts in Turks and Caicos and Greece, promising guests expert guidance and time in which to reflect, recalibrate and reset the course of their long-term wellbeing.
Targeting specific wellness goals, the Immersions will last three nights (or more, depending on guests’ preferences) and include three different pathways: Weight Management & Transformation; Detox & Cleansing and Mindfulness & Stress Management.
Following a thorough 60-minute consultation and numerous assessments led by internationally recognised Wellness Specialist Zoe Nash at Amanzoe and Wellness Immersion Manager David Melladew at Amanyara, every individual’s personalised programme will include a comprehensive and bespoke nutrition plan, one daily specialist wellness session (myofascial release, meridian therapy, acupuncture, reflexology), one daily private movement class (including yoga, Pilates and Watsu) and one daily 90-minute spa treatment, all tailored to specific needs.
In addition to year-round Wellness Immersions, Amanyara will welcome nine different wellness experts to the resort in 2020 to impart their unrivalled wisdom and teachings to guests during select weeks throughout the year.
HIGH ALTITUDE TRAINING AT AMANKORA
Summer Training: 1 May to 31 August 2020
Winter Training: 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021
Amankora’s five unique lodges are spread across different valleys within the mystical Kingdom of Bhutan, a spiritual and wild kingdom of soaring 7,000 metre Himalayan peaks, where happiness is revered and tranquillity reigns throughout. For the ultimate adventure in 2020, Amankora will offer guests the opportunity to push their physical, mental and spiritual boundaries to discover their true potential with the intense 10-night High Altitude Training across the different valleys, discovering Bhutan’s natural and cultural treasures. Each valley will offer a new challenge, with guests covering 800 kilometres through hikes and cycle rides, with opportunities to relax and soothe tired muscles in the evenings in each lodge’s Aman Spa.
The experience begins with a consultation where blood pressure and current physical status are checked and assessed. Meals during the training will be designed by Amankora’s Executive Chef, with a daily menu tailored to nourish the body and energise the mind, carefully considering health, age, lifestyle and food preferences.
The High Altitude Training will commence at Amankora Paro with a Sungkey Buddhist Blessing at which a monk from a nearby monastery will sprinkle guests with holy water. Amankora Paro’s spa will also offer guests a 60-minute Himalayan Oxygen Treatment combining oxygen inhalation with a cutting-edge hyperbaric oxygen facial treatment to maintain adequate oxygen levels in the body for enhanced physical stamina and endurance and to prepare guests to fight altitude sickness and fatigue.
The retreat will include several hikes, which reward guests with spectacular views, unique insights into Bhutanese culture, architecture and spirituality as well as access to monasteries, including the famous Tiger’s Nest. Other physical challenges include cycle rides on winding mountain trails soaring above the clouds, Kabney Martial Arts Training – using the traditional Bhutanese white silk scarf to manipulate the body gracefully and soothe the mind – and laps in the infinity pool at Amankora Punakha above the rice fields and surrounding orchards. In the winter months, the Po Chu and Mo Chu Rivers in Punakha offer the perfect conditions for an exhilarating rafting experience. Spiritual practices include guided Pranayama breathing and meditation sessions, forest bathing in old-growth rhododendron forests, Bhutanese hot-stone bathing at dusk and singing bowl meditation.
The training culminates with a challenging hike to Bumdra Monastery, located 4,000 metres above sea level, for magnificent views of Paro Valley. Guests will enjoy a well-deserved picnic among prayer flags on the mountain pass before descending to the valley floor. The final night of the journey sees Amankora Paro host guests for a Bhutanese tented dinner surrounded by flickering candles and lanterns and accompanied by a traditional dance performance. Guests are also awarded a pine-tree seed on completion of High Altitude Training and are invited to plant the tree, which will be named in their honour in recognition of their personal achievement.
KEKSEL RETREAT AT AMANTAKA AND AMANOI
AMANOI: 31 May to 7 June 2020, 30 August to 6 September 2020
AMANTAKA: 10 to 16 June 2020, 8 to 14 September 2020
In 2020, Amantaka and Amanoi will host a six-night Keksel Retreat in the spiritual surrounds of Luang Prabang in Laos and the pristine jungle of Núi Chúa National Park in Vietnam. Keksel is defined as the purification of obstacles. ‘Kek’ is translated as obstacles and ‘sel’ as purification. This process can be understood on three levels: external; inner and secret. External kek are physical obstacles such as sickness, pain, disease, body aches and energetic imbalances. Internal kek include the emotional afflictions such as greed, anger, attachment, desire, pride, jealousy and hatred. Secret kek are the delusional views that keep us from seeing the empty luminosity of our nature of mind.
During the Keksel Retreat, guests will embark on a journey with internationally renowned Tibetan Bon Buddhist Monk Geshe Chapur Rinpoche to learn how practising Keksel can enable one to identify and alleviate physical discomfort or pain, as well as emotional and mental disturbances.
The retreat will include one 90-minute Aman Grounding Massage, daily 60-minute group morning breathing exercises with Geshe, two daily 90-minute group Keksel training sessions and daily group evening chanting and mantra meditation.
5 ELEMENTS QIGONG RETREAT AT AMANKILA
31 May to 6 June 2020
New for summer 2020, Qigong Master Tevia Feng will host a six-night 5 Elements Qigong Retreat at Amankila in Bali from 31 May until 6 June. Developed over thousands of centuries in China, Qigong is a holistic understanding of movement, in which ancient techniques are employed to still the body and mind and achieve healing. Master Tevia has spent decades practising the art of Qigong, travelling across China seeking greater knowledge of the practice whilst training under Qigong masters and receiving expert teachings from anatomy specialists, Olympic sports figures and Chinese Medicine practitioners to acquire rare skills, such as unique breathing exercises.
Master Tevia will guide guests through the five forms of movement of Qigong, with an additional focus on meditation and breathing techniques to focus and strengthen both body and mind. The retreat will include daily 60-minute theory classes and 60-minute movement sessions, with a five-elements tea ceremony and one 90- minute Aman Signature Massage during the stay.
FITNESS IN NATURE AT AMANOI & AMANPURI
For those who like to maintain their fitness regime whilst on holiday or who want to utilise their time off to improve their physical fitness, Amanoi in Vietnam and Amanpuri in Thailand will introduce a ‘Fitness in Nature’ experience from February this year. Lasting two days or more and available year-round, the short yet effective itinerary will consist of both strength-building and aerobic exercises, most of which take place in the spectacular natural surrounds of each resort.
With mother nature providing the backdrop, guests will be set personal fitness goals to challenge them, which will also enable a deeper exploration of the local environment, as active eco-adventures await. At Amanoi, the picturesque landscape of Núi Chúa National Park provides the framework for activities including invigorating hikes and jungle runs, whilst at Amanpuri the white sands and blue waters of its secluded beach provide a paradise-like setting in which to enjoy activities such as beach training, aqua aerobics and alfresco yoga.
To ease aching muscles, this experience will also include two invigorating and soothing Aman Signature Spa treatments and will also have a dedicated wellness menu, along with healthy minibar options in guestrooms.
HEALING THROUGH LUNAR FORCES WELLNESS EXPERIENCE AT AMANERA
The three- and five-night Healing Through Lunar Forces Wellness Experience at Amanera will enable guests, under the guidance of a local therapist, to attune themselves to nature, learning how the forces of the moon govern and empower the human physical and emotional healing. Embodying the ancient Taíno methods of medicinal herbal wisdom, guests will discover the abundant flora and fauna surrounding Amanera through various outdoor excursions. Activities include sunrise yoga and meditation, a cacao eco tour, boat trips to bird sanctuaries or mangroves and jungle hikes embracing nature and its healing, restorative qualities.
The experience is guided by the cycle of the moon, with different stages offering varying healing qualities. During a new moon guests will enjoy a Palo Santo smudging ceremony and deep tissue massages using warm therapeutic herbal mixes made with honey and aloe vera. A waxing moon instils greater energy, and as a result, guests are invited to awaken their senses with a full body coffee exfoliation blend with black pepper and rosemary and an invigorating firm massage using local cocoa butter. A full moon brings a state of glorious fullness and enlightenment, and with it a synchronized four-hand massage, using coconut oil infused with other therapeutic herbs to realign and re-energise the body.
The wellness experience will include a dedicated healthy menu with local ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits based on the current moon cycle. Guests will also be invited to enjoy a cooking class during the stay.
VISITING PRACTITIONERS AT AMAN VENICE
Set on the banks of the Grand Canal in a 16th-century Palazzo, Aman Venice provides the perfect haven for an indulgent wellness escape. In 2020 the hotel will welcome three different wellness specialists during select weeks throughout the year to offer personal consultations and expert wellness advice to guests. Beauty Expert and Facialist, Katrina Valente, will begin the journey and is in residence at Aman Venice from 14 to 23 April. Drawing on her traditional beauty training, Katrina combines superb skincare techniques with head massages and reflexology, leaving guests feeling youthful and more vibrant.
From 27 July to 6 August, Aman Venice will host Elizabeth Bright, a highly-acclaimed expert in Osteopathy and Naturopathy who uses body adjustment techniques to reduce physical pain and to bring balance and harmony to body and mind. Elizabeth will offer 60-minute Osteopathy treatments to improve postural alignment, blood circulation and reduce stress and 60-minute Naturopathic treatments to restore energy and resolve digestive issues and ensure the removal of toxins from the body.
In autumn, from 19 to 28 October, Aman Venice welcomes back Cranial Osteopath John Loftus. John has been working internationally with Aman for over seven years, assisting guests in the release of body strain and tension. He works gently to mobilise the head and body, correcting musculoskeletal problems to enable comfort and ease pain.