May 25th 2023
The Best Vegan Hotels and Spas Around the World BY Isabel Putinja
Looking for a plant-based holiday with a good dose of relaxation and rejuvenation thrown in? We’ve explored the options and come up with our shortlist of the best hotels and vegan spas across the globe. These cruelty-free hotels and resorts offer a restful escape in exceptional natural settings, with vegan credentials that extend beyond the kitchen.
Mexico: Palmaïa – The House of AïA in Playa del Carmen
This eco-resort and spa on the Riviera Maya coastline is nothing short of a Caribbean vegan paradise. Hidden away in a lush and plant-filled jungle setting is the resort’s Atlantis Spa, boasting a huge menu of wellness treatments. These range from therapeutic massages, to rejuvenating beauty treatments, as well as energy healing therapies inspired by Mayan traditions.
Luxury and ethics come together in this vegan-owned resort completely free of animal products or any that have been tested on animals. Choose an ocean front suite to wake up to the sunrise, or a swim-out suite to hop from bed straight into the infinity pool. Foodies have four restaurants to choose from here, all with menus of plant-based dishes served up with a sea view. www.thehouseofaia.com
Indonesia: Fivelements Retreat in Badung, Bali
Balinese healing, sacred arts, and plant-based cuisine are intertwined at this eco-conscious wellness retreat. Set on the Ayung River in Badung, Bali, this naturally stunning location is lush and tropical, complemented by the cottage-like bamboo and thatched-roof suites, some with private pools.
The innovative treatments and healing therapies on the menu here take a holistic approach to health by aiming to align mind, body, and spirit. The Panca Mahabhuta (five elements) program aims to attune the physical, emotional and spiritual levels, while the Tri Kaya Parisudha is a cleansing program promoting purity of thought, speech, and action. Also on offer is a unique culinary retreat called Cuisine for Life™ with a focus on living foods and how to use a variety of techniques to preserve their healing nutrients. www.fivelementsbali.com
Italy: La Vimea Biotique
Italy’s very first vegan hotel is tucked away in the Alpine mountains of the Val Venosta Valley. The mountain air and pine forests provide a healing natural setting for a quiet meditation session, or yoga on the sun deck. Guests can take an invigorating dip in the indoor saltwater pool, or outdoors in the natural swimming pool filled with energized water. Sauna lovers can choose between the Finnish or bio-sauna, or a third sauna set outside in the forest.
A variety of healing treatments are also available, from Thai and detox massages, to marma therapy focusing on energy points of the body, and life energy treatments. Those who prefer nature as their therapy can sign up for Nordic walking, hiking, rock climbing, or mountain biking with the mountains as a backdrop. A stay here includes breakfast and dinner at the on-site vegan restaurant serving up organic dishes prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. www.lavimea.com
USA: Stanford Inn, California
This rustic boutique hotel in Mendocino, California, backs onto the Big River Estuary, and is surrounded by majestic redwoods. On the wellness menu are massage treatments, Ayurveda therapies, and classes in yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. Guests can unwind by having a soak in the hot tub, sweating it out in the sauna, or with a few laps in the pool.
The gourmet meals dished up at the on-site Raven’s restaurant are naturally 100 percent plant-based and organic. The hotel is also the venue for regular retreats on plant-based living covering topics such as nutrition, vegan cooking, and ethical issues. www.stanfordinn.com
Puerto Rico: Finca Victoria
Dreaming of a plant-based island getaway? Finca Victoria is an exclusive adults-only retreat situated on the tiny island of Vieques, and surrounded by lush gardens full of herbal and medicinal plants. The vegan dishes cooked up in the kitchen are prepared according to Ayurvedic principles, with many ingredients grown on-site.
Guests can begin each day with a complimentary yoga class in the morning sun on the sun deck, before tucking into a vegan breakfast. The rest of the day can be filled with rejuvenating massage or Ayurvedic treatments, or a healing session of Chinese medicine, or water therapy. Accommodation here is made up of cosy cabins with dreamy details like hammocks, and outdoor showers. www.lafinca.com
Greece: Ethos Vegan Suites
With deep-rooted love and respect for nature, Ethos Vegan Suites resonates with the islands tenor and values and was the first hotel in Fira using entirely vegan materials and fittings. Designed by Kapsimalis Architects, the small hotel occupies a typical, 20th-century house that was completely renovated. The owners chose the building for its structural integrity, suitable layout and the typical characteristics found in the island’s architecture following the 1956 Santorini earthquake. As part of the reconstruction, the building’s appearance was stripped for a simplistic look that aligns with the cubist architecture in Fira.
In 2022 Ethos was recognized and included in the eco-friendly collection of Travelmyth, the hotel recommendation engine for sophisticated travelers seeking unique holiday experiences. In 2023 Ethos received the Vegan Gold Hotel Award and Booking.com Travel Review Award. www.ethos-santorini.com