Looking for a quiet nook of the world to re-energize your mind, body, and soul? Whether you’re hoping to master your breathing techniques in Thailand or improve your yoga prowess in the Himalayas, heading to a dedicated meditation retreat can be a wonderful (and often life-changing) way to get in touch with your peaceful side. Read on to discover Savoir Flair’s roundup of the seven most luxurious meditation retreats in the world, all guaranteed to help you find your inner zen.
Surrounded by the peaceful Sal forests and overlooking the spiritual town of Rishikesh, Ananda is a decadent destination nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northern India. The retreat integrates the traditional Indian practices of Ayurveda and Hatha yoga into its wellness regimes and offers over 80 body and beauty experiences to accommodate all types of lifestyles.
Our tip: Complement your wellness stay with an adventurous safari trek through Rajaji National Park, where elephants, tigers, and panthers can be seen alongside over 400 species of birds, Himalayan bears, and more.
Retreat packages from AED 3,085/SAR 3,150
(+91) 124 451 6650
OSHO International Meditation Resort
Allow your mind, body, and soul to rest at the serene OSHO International Meditation Resort, the world’s largest center for meditation and personal growth. Located in the Indian city of Pune, the resort reflects the meditative qualities of Zorba the Buddha, offering a wide array of courses and therapeutic approaches. Be sure to experience the Basho Spa and Osho Teerth Park (a 12-acre plot of barren wasteland that was transformed into a sprawling garden) during your visit.
Our tip: “OSHO Dynamic Meditation” is a unique, five-stage spiritual experience that takes place in OSHO Auditorium, the largest meditation hall in the world. The practice consists of deep breathing, grounding, centering, and silence practices.
Meditation passes from AED 229/SAR 233
(+91) 20 6601 9999
The Buddhist Retreat Centre
The Buddhist Retreat Centre is a tranquil environment for the study, practice, and meditation of Buddhist culture (not to mention, a bird-watcher’s paradise). Set on the hilly grasslands near the village of Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, the center offers two types of retreat styles: “Conducted Retreats” are carefully curated with a meditative component, while “Self Retreats” are more flexible and offer ample time to read, reflect, walk, meditate, and rest.
Our tip: For a particularly reflective experience, participate in one of the retreats where “noble silence” is maintained throughout the duration of the visit, which can be up to five days.
Day passes from AED 300/SAR 306
(+27) 39 834 1863
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Cultivate a deeper sense of self at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, where the teachings of Buddha and insight meditation – the practice of mindful awareness – are at the heart of all programs. Set in the secluded hills of West Marin County in California, the center is a refuge for those seeking time to simply enjoy the moment. Meditation programs cover everything from drop-in classes and day-long events to silent residential retreats ranging in duration from three days to two months.
Our tip: One of the most valued parts of the retreats is the chance to speak with a teacher on a one-on-one basis. The teachers here regularly hold individual and group meetings to answer questions, discuss problems, and provide guidance in meditation practices.
Retreat packages from AED 5,263/SAR 5,374
(+1) 415 488 0164
Perched on the west coast of Scotland, Holy Isle has an ancient, spiritual heritage dating back to the 6th century. It hosts retreats with various mindful and meditation courses at the Centre for World Peace and Health. Founded by Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, a Buddhist meditation master from Tibet, the center is open to guests between April to October as long as all visitors follow the “Five Golden Rules” and take part in the island’s aim of promoting world peace and health.
Our tip: During your stay at Holy Isle, don’t miss a visit to the nearby holy well, which is accessible from the retreat by foot. For centuries, people used to flock here to drink its crystal-clear waters that are said to have healing powers.
Retreat packages from AED 996/SAR 1,017
(+44) 017 7060 1100
Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage
Located in Thailand, Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage was founded by Ajahn Buddhadasa, and is the definitive place for those looking for a serious meditative getaway – or more specifically: a silent, ten-day meditation retreat. Since its launch in 1989, more than 25,000 people from all walks of life have visited the hermitage and devoted time for study, contemplation, and meditation.
Our tip: This is the ultimate digital detox. The Wat Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage has a strict policy that your phone, tablet, and laptop must be deposited for safekeeping prior to joining the retreat. No exceptions.
Retreat packages from AED 221/SAR 216
Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
Ground yourself at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the quaint little town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This non-profit educational organization is undoubtedly one of the most established retreat centers for yoga, health, and holistic practices in North America. Programs here focus on techniques of optimal living and empowerment that you can apply to your everyday life. Topics range from health and wellness, Ayurveda, and personal growth to meditation, creativity, and spiritual practices.
Our tip: Tailor your own experience with Kripalu’s “R&R Retreat”, a customized stay that features a flexible schedule of introspective workshops, yoga classes based on your skill level, outdoor activities, and walks at dusk.
Day passes from AED 459/SAR 468
(+1) 413 448 3152