Puyssentut: an inspirational retreat in France for people with cancer 

Retreat

In Short: A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer. Puyssentut means ‘protected high place’, and this retreat is nestled in the glorious rural countryside of Commune of Homps, in South West France, just an hour away from Toulouse. Your base is a carefully restored, beautiful 14th Century Chateau in the middle of fields of sunflowers, with just 10 super ensuite rooms. Week-long group retreats run four times a year, in May, June, September and October. It’s a truly special place, offering calm and inspiration, and comes highly recommended. For those who want to go on retreat but can’t afford it, financial help is also available from The Puyssentut Foundation.

crown-pinkRead about our experience at Puyssentut

crown-pinkSee other healing retreats we recommend

Check out www.puyssentut.org

Puyssentut health retreat France for people with cancer

A remarkable project created by English-Dutch couple Angela and Dirk, Puyssentut is a specialist retreat that offers a wonderfully restful environment for anyone wanting to get away from the rollercoaster that is cancer.

Finding deep rest on a cancer retreat at Puyssentut in France

Retreat

Puyssentut health retreat France for people with cancer

‘By the end of the week I had almost forgotten that I was there because of my cancer diagnosis – a testament to how rested I felt both mentally and physically’ – Liz Veats experiences Puyssentut

Six Senses yogic programmes: luxury yoga all over the world

Retreat

In Short: The Queen of Retreats team rather likes the Six Senses resorts – they choose rather remote locations and build little eco-lux villages from scratch on them, all so that you can walk around barefoot without the risk of stepping on anything you wouldn’t want to. They’ve popped up all over the world, and now offer yogic programmes at many of them, designed for anyone who wants to find body/mind balance in a lovely, healing location with lots of one-to-one attention. The three programmes – Discover Yoga, Yoga Detox and Yogic Sleep – begin with an initial Ayurvedic lifestyle consultation and programmes run for up to 14 nights, which includes five personalized hatha yoga sessions.

crown-pinkSee other yoga holidays we recommend

Check out www.sixsenses.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Six Senses yogic programmes

The Queen of Retreats team rather likes the Six Senses resorts – they choose rather remote locations and build little eco-lux villages from scratch on them, all so that you can walk around barefoot without the risk of stepping on anything you wouldn’t want to.

Shanti-Som: a boutique hilltop health hotel in Spain

Retreat

In Short: Shanti-Som is a peaceful, boutique health hotel in a remote location about a 45 minute drive from Malaga airport. Come and enjoy a spot of healthy B&B, or book from a choice of rolling wellbeing packages throughout the year which focus on weight loss, yoga or detoxing. The hotel’s decor and architecture is inspired by the Far East, with landscaped outdoor areas and tasteful Buddhist-inspired artworks. Expect healthy food in the restaurant, and rooms which are comfortable enough to hang out in. The hotel is not overloaded with activities, though there are twice daily yoga classes, personal training and stretching, and the option of adding luxurious health-promoting treatments. A well situated outdoor pool will satisfy those who just want to relax beneath the Spanish sun. Shanti-Som also offers day yoga and spa packages for people not staying at the hotel. For an immersive yogic experience, Destination Yoga runs a few retreats here.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Shanti Som

crown-pink See other yoga retreats we recommend

Check out www.shantisom.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat Spain

Shanti-Som is a peaceful, boutique health hotel in a remote location about a 90 minute drive from Malaga airport at La Huerta el Noque in Spain.

Tea, tiffin & transforming ayurveda at Ananda in the Himalayas

Retreat

Ananda Himalayas luxury spa hotel health retreat

‘Four hands swirling and kneading in unison are too much for the brain to keep track of; there’s really no better way to journey into the senses and out of the mind’ – Rosie Walford experiences Ananda in the Himalayas.

Getting a fix of the east at Shanti-Som in Southern Spain

Shanti Som spa yoga health detox retreat Spain

‘Mourad is a patient yoga teacher and approaches the kriyas with a sense of humour and a smile on his face’ – Ruth Rosselson experiences Shanti Som

Ananda in the Himalayas: palatial wellbeing in India

Retreat

In Short: Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet. Everyone floats around in fine white pyjamas but there’s no asceticism here. Instead there’s marble, personalized yoga teaching, a phenomenal array of topnotch treatments in fastidiously comfortable private rooms, and often four hands working on you simultaneously. The restaurant is far too good to obey the ayurvedic doctors’ guidance. Visiting speakers teach non-materialistic Indian spiritual concepts nightly, yet the overall feeling is of a grand, indulgent hotel.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Ananda in the Himalayas

crown-pink See other spa holidays we recommend

Check out www.anandaspa.com

Ananda Himalayas luxury spa hotel health retreat

Literally palatial, this mammoth complex on the foothills of the Himalaya lords over thousands of km of plains below. You are treated like royalty – staff bow when they pass you, and say prayers whilst washing your feet.

Mindfulness Journeys: meditation holidays in Greece, Italy and Morocco

Retreat

In Short: Mindfulness Journeys was set up by American Tibetan Buddhist Brian Hilliard and his partner Shannon van Staden, a former stylist from South Africa. Aimed at anyone interested in meditation from any walk of life, their holidays seek to make meditation and mindfulness more accessible by removing the jargon and approaching it in a lighthearted way. The date-specific group journeys run twelve times a year at locations chosen for their tranquility, style and comfort: Urania Luxury Villas in Greece, at an agriturismo in Umbria, Italy and at two boutique locations in Morocco. You can expect morning and early evening sessions dedicated to meditation, with afternoons generally free for swimming, sunbathing, reading, exercising or perhaps a cheeky nap. You don’t have to forego good food and wine – there is plenty of both. Evenings tend to be sociable, with founders Shannon and Brian’s relaxed approach setting the tone. From €800 – €1785 per person depending on the location.

crown-pink Read about our experience with Mindfulness Journeys

crown-pink See other meditation retreats we recommend

Check out www.mindfulnessjourneys.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Mindfulness Journeys meditation holidays Greece Italy Morocco

Mindfulness Journeys was set up by the lively yet laid back couple Brian Hilliard, a Tibetan Buddhist originally from Vermont, US and Shannon van Staden, a former stylist from South Africa.

Getting in touch with our inner Inca in Peru’s Sacred Valley

Retreat

High Lives wellness holidays South America Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Chile Argentina

‘Whatever you believe in, the ceremony is moving and educational when conducted by a genuine shaman’ – Paula Dear experiences a HighLives Travel Wellness Holiday in Peru.

HighLives Travel Wellness Holidays: high-altitude health in South America

Retreat

In Short: HighLives Travel specialises in organised and tailor-made trips to the South American countries of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, with a strong emphasis on the Andes. Their Wellness Holidays are travel adventures with a wellbeing slant – such as spa, yoga, fitness and detox – and they mostly take place at relatively high altitudes, such as heights of 5,000m (16,400ft) in the Bolivian altiplano. The clue’s in the name. Whatever kind of trip you take, HighLives Travel advocates the benefits of being at altitude as a wellness activity in its own right, citing weight loss and increased athleticism as examples of the potential pluses of being up high.

crown-pinkRead a word from the queen on a HighLives Travel wellness trip in Peru

crown-pinkRead a word from the king on a HighLives Travel wellness trip in Peru

crown-pinkSee other healthy holidays we recommend

Check out www.highlives.co.uk

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

High Lives wellness holidays South America Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Chile Argentina

HighLives Travel specialises in organised and tailor-made trips to the South American countries of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, with a strong emphasis on the Andes. Their Wellness Holidays are travel adventures with a wellbeing slant – such as spas, yoga, fitness and detox .

Casa Ana: boutique B&B and wellbeing retreats in Andalucia

Retreat

In Short: Casa Ana is a gorgeous, low-key guesthouse in the fantastically secluded village of Ferreirola, the last white-washed village on a long and winding road through the Alpujarra mountains in Andalucia. It’s a classic retreat spot run by a personable English woman Anne Hunt, who has lived here for years and who offers year-round B&B so you can come to just relax, eat healthily, go hiking locally and book treatments with an excellent local therapist. Various life coaching, cooking, creative writing and walking holidays take place here throughout the year, and the property is available to hire as a venue.

crown-pink Read about our experience of a coaching retreat at Casa Ana

crown-pink See other wellbeing breaks we recommend

Check out www.casa-ana.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

Casa Ana boutique B&B and wellbeing retreats Andalucia

Casa Ana is a gorgeous, low-key guesthouse in the fantastically secluded village of Ferreirola, the last white-washed village on a long and winding road through the Alpujarra mountains in Andalucia. It’s a classic retreat spot run by a personable English woman Anne Hunt, who has lived here for years and who offers year-round B&B so you can come to just relax, eat healthily, go hiking locally and book treatments with an excellent local therapist.

The Pause: soulful, thought-provoking UK life coaching retreats

Retreat

In Short: The Pause is an invitation to stop and take a look at your life – at what’s working and what really isn’t. Danielle Marchant is a beguiling leader – a refreshing mix of pragmatic and soulful – and she facilitates with a light hand and an engaged heart, creating a space where people can bring their ‘stuff’ and leave lighter, whether it’s an hour’s coaching by Skype, a one-day ‘Instant Pause’ in London or a three or five-day residential ‘Deep Pause’ in rural Berkshire or Cornwall. We loved its integrity, its soulfulness and its pure magic. It runs in the UK, but there are plans to take it to the Far East in 2015. From £129 pp for The Instant Pause.

crown-pinkRead about our experience at The Pause

crown-pinkSee other coaching retreats we recommend

Check out www.lifebydanielle.com

Interested? Enquire or ask our advice.

The Pause health retreat for professionals Danielle Marchant Cornwall

The Pause is an invitation to stop and take a look at your life – at what’s working and what really isn’t. Danielle Marchant is a beguiling leader – a refreshing mix of pragmatic and soulful – and she facilitates with a light hand and an engaged heart, creating a space where people can bring their ‘stuff’ and leave lighter, whether it’s an hour’s coaching by Skype, a one-day ‘Instant Pause’ in London or a three or five-day residential ‘Deep Pause’ in rural locations.

Jessica McGregor Johnson: mentoring & coaching retreats in Spain

Retreat

In Short: Mentor and guide Jessica McGregor Johnson is a highly qualified coach who has helped all sorts of people find the right way forward in their personal and professional lives over the last 10 years. Based in Spain, she’s grounded, light of heart and easy to be with, and particularly good at helping you access a truer path in any given situation if you feel you’ve chosen something that you think you should do rather than what suits you better. You might need help deciding something small, such as what to say at a business talk, or something big, such as whether to leave your job or relationship – or you might just want to check you’re on the right path. Have sessions with her by skype or attend a private one-to-one mentoring and coaching retreat with her at Casa Ana, a glorious, boutique guesthouse in the white washed village of Ferreirola in the Alpujarras in Spain. Jessica can also run group retreats here when there are a minimum of six people. Private retreats cost £1964 pp for 3 nights, group retreats cost £1475 pp for 6 nights.

crown-pink Read about our experience of Jessica’s private coaching retreat

crown-pink See other coaching retreats we recommend

Check out www.jessicamcgregorjohnson.com

Casa Ana terrace credit Caroline Sylger Jones

Mentor and guide Jessica McGregor Johnson is a highly qualified coach who has helped all sorts of people find the right way forward in their personal and professional lives over the last 10 years.

Getting clarity in the Spanish mountains with Jessica McGregor Johnson

Retreat

Jessica McGregor Johnson mentoring coaching retreats Spain

‘It’s just her and me, a graceful staff and those mountains’ – Caroline Sylger Jones experiences a private retreat with Jessica McGregor Johnson.

A recipe for deep rest at Newbold House, Scotland

Retreat

Newbold House health retreat Scotland

‘It gave me a sense of immense satisfaction to see the red mustard leaves I’d plucked from the polytunnel in my lunchtime salad’ – Karen Higginbottom experiences Newbold House.

Newbold House: wellbeing retreats in Forres, Scotland

Retreat

In Short: A grand Victorian mansion surrounded by acres of beautiful woodland in Forres, North-East Scotland, Newbold House is a workshop and retreat centre run by a small community whose focus is sustainable living. It offers personalised, private wellbeing retreats and a range of other relaxing and rejuvenating breaks, courses and events which support wellbeing and living sustainably. Families are welcome. Bespoke wellbeing breaks costs £285 per person for two nights, £475 for four nights and £730 for seven nights.

crown-pink Read about our experience at Newbold House

crown-pink See other wellbeing breaks we recommend

Check out www.newboldhouse.org

Newbold House health retreat Scotland

A grand Victorian mansion surrounded by acres of beautiful woodland in Forres, North-East Scotland, Newbold House is a workshop and retreat centre run by a small community whose focus is living sustainably.

Essential Ayurveda: pure privacy in Lincolnshire

Retreat

In short: This is a rare treat. A comfortable, 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside where two expert ayurvedic practitioners offer bespoke retreats lasting 3, 5 or 7 days. Andy and Laura Shakeshaft are genuine, kind and full of integrity, and have created a real haven of calm. Cleanse body and mind with daily oil massages and steam therapy, one to one yoga and qigong sessions, optional cranio-sacral sessions, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling, cooking demos, simple meals – and total peace. It costs from £825 per person for a 3 day retreat, which is fully inclusive of everything including lots of one to one attention, beautifully cooked ayurvedic food and bona fide ayurvedic treatments, so it’s pretty good value.

crown-pink Read all about ayurveda here

crown-pinkSee other ayurveda retreats we recommend

Check out www.essentialayurveda.co.uk

Ask a question or book direct

Essential Ayurveda

This is a rare treat – a comfortable, 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside where two expert ayurvedic practioners offer bespoke retreats lasting 3, 5 or 7 days.

Meet Retreat Liaison Sarah Garbett

Queen of Retreats Virtual Assistant Sarah Garbett

Sarah looks after our relationships with all the retreats featured on Queen of Retreats, making sure all the information alongside our independent reviews is accurate and interesting. Her role also includes creating our weekly newsletters, managing our social media and other site maintenance. After graduating in English Literature, Sarah worked for 9 years in communications and relationship 
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Detox with The Body Retreat in Dorset

A detox always feels better in stylish surroundings

This four-night detox is run by The Body Retreat at a stylish house in Dorset.

The Island Experience: healthy weeks in Brazil

Retreat

In Short: The Island Experience is a week-long healthy holiday set amidst the stunning rainforest and pristine beaches of Ilha Grande off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. You stay in a stylish, rustic lodge overlooking a lagoon and have on offer twice-daily yoga, daily hikes or kayaks, three massages during the week and healthy meals in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. The holiday runs on specific weeks from March till the end of November, and only takes a maximum of 12 guests at a time. Each healthy week starts on a Sunday evening, and you are welcome to do two weeks back-to-back when they are running. From $2300 (about £1370) per person in a shared room for 6 nights, including all activites, food and transfers.

Upcoming dates in 2014:

2-8 November

9-15 November

crown-pinkRead about our visit to The Island Experience

crown-pinkSee other fitness & weightloss holidays we recommend

Check out www.theisland experience.com

Ask a question or book direct

The Island Experience health fitness yoga retreat Brazil

The Island Experience is a week-long healthy holiday set amidst the stunning rainforest and pristine beaches of Ilha Grande off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. You stay in a stylish, rustic lodge overlooking a lagoon and have on offer twice-daily yoga, daily hikes or kayaks, three massages during the week and healthy meals in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.