A Revolution in Travel: Healing Hotels

A Revolution in Travel: Healing Hotels

Many people go on vacation to de-stress and recharge their batteries, but spend most of their time laying on the beach, eating greasy food and sipping margaritas. After two weeks they may feel a little more relaxed, but when the holiday is over, they quickly return to the same level of stress and disease they had before they left.

But conscious travelers are demanding more.

”The biggest trend in travel today is healing,” says Anne Biging, healing travel expert and the founder of Healing Hotels of the World, the only global boutique holistic hospitality brand, with over 100+ luxury sustainable hotels around the world dedicated to offering guests transformative healing experiences. Over the past few decades in the U.S. and around the world, the interest in wellness and alternative medicine has steadily increased. “People are discovering that it is not enough to fix a health problem, that the path to wellness requires going to the source of the problem, using more subtle means than allopathic medicine can offer,” says Anne.  In fact, “consumers today make more visits to complementary therapy providers than to primary care physicians and nurses.”

According to Anne, part of the interest in wellness is due to the digital revolution and globalization, which has sped up our lives and forced us to face more life-changing uncertainties on a 24/7 basis. “We receive news from all parts of the world instantly, leading to information overload, which has an emotional impact. Healthy boundaries between our personal and professional lives have dissolved. All these factors are challenging and cause stress, burn out, depression and excess weight gain, contributing to numerous illnesses. In addition, the world’s increasing aging population is seeking travel as a means to stay fit and healthy as they age.”

Multiple yoga and meditation classes are offered each day at the luxury Ananda in the Himalayas in Rishikesh, India, one of Healing Hotels of the World’s premium members.
Healing Ayurvedic Abhyanga oil massage at Ananda in the Himalayas.

Contrary to conventional holiday getaways, conscious travelers today are beginning to rethink the idea of vacation, seeing it less as an escape from the stress of everyday life, and more of a chance to find balance, heal and learn how to manage stress so they can be healthier and happier long term after returning home. Travelers are seeking out mindful retreats that offer a silent space to detox from distracting digital devices, to go within and find meaning, and to connect to a deeper life purpose or spirituality absent religious dogma. As a result, many hotels are beginning to offer wellness journeys for guests.

A Step Beyond “Wellness”

But for Anne and her business partner, Elisabeth Ixmeier, wellness is just the first step: “’Wellness’ implies that you might be able to re-balance yourself and feel better in the short term. But, you might not have the tools to improve your health and stay in a healthier state of body and mind for the long term.  Specific health issues are not considered. There is no diagnosis and consultation, and no guidance in the choice of your treatments.” Taking a bold step beyond wellness hospitality, Anne and Elisabeth created Healing Hotels of the World, a group of luxury hotels that are setting the bar high for a new standard in healing travel.

View of the Northern Lights from Iceland’s Ion Luxury Adventure Hotel in Selfoss, built with environmentally sustainable materials in lava on the base of a glacier near. Luxurious sustainable decor adorns each room, and guests are offered numerous healing treatments, including a nutritional menu and dips in their on-site thermal baths.

“Healing implies an active process of change in order to achieve better health and a better life. For healing you have to learn what is necessary to improve your state of well being physically and mentally. It is sustainable because you learn what to do to stay healthy. Many Healing Hotels offer modalities that cater to specific health issues, as long as they are not severe medical problems. Healing hotel offerings in the realm of alternative, natural and ancient medicine can treat specific health issues often more effectively than allopathic medicine, especially for lifestyle related diseases. The result of a healing journey is the improvement of one’s health and mental and spiritual growth by learning and understanding how to live a better, more purposeful and meaningful life.”

A Healing Hotel is much more than a hotel simply outfitted with a dedicated wellness center,” says Anne, “But rather the entire hotel serves the purpose of healing and contributing to the guest’s overall well being. This includes the hotel’s environment and atmosphere, environmental materials used to construct the hotel, the quality of food and nutrition presented, and the guidance offered by trained professionals. Healing Hotels of the World offer the highest standards in all of these areas, and are competence centers for alternative, natural healing practices, staffed by world-class experts and practitioners.”

The 5th Annual Healing Summit, March 5-6

Many of these cutting-edge experts and practitioners will be gathering March 5-6th in Berlin, Germany, for the 5th annual Healing Summit. This two-day global conference is a spirited forum for leading business luminaries, shining souls, free-spirited thinkers, and healing hoteliers to collaborate, raise awareness and inspire personal and professional change using the principles of healing, wellness and wholeness. Topics include: insights into a healing lifestyle, sustainable practices, charity projects and the paradigms of business rooted in a soulful economy.

With a powerful theme of “Revealing the Secret of Healing”, this year’s summit will feature the latest scientific evidence on holistic health practices, global business leaders sharing experiences on how to create successful enterprises rooted in values, and experts providing a global view of the latest trends in the healing tourism industry as well as deep insights into the key components of a transformative healing journey.

Along with their partners and member hotels, founders Anne and Elisabeth launched the HEALING SUMMIT five years ago in order to support people around the world yearning for deeper ways to live a more fulfilled life while providing opportunities for others. Anne states: “Five years ago, we knew intrinsically that there was a real need to bring together people from all corners of the globe and from completely different cultures to share concepts and ideas about how to become better, more joyful individuals, while being mindful of those in need around us.”

Healing Hotels of the world founders Anne Biging and Elisabeth Ixmeier (far right), at last year’s Healing Summit with HHW Director of Global Brand Strategy Valerie Smaldone (left).

Conscious Living is honored to be a media sponsor and presenter at this year’s HEALING SUMMIT. For more information on the event, or to come and be part of the woke crowd from all over the world, visit www.healingsummit.org.


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