It is now easier than ever to host a well-organized, transformative Aruba wellness retreat. Whether your focus is yoga, meditation, clean healthy eating or women’s empowerment, and everywhere in between, you’ll find that Aruba meets all your requirements and much more. The Dutch Caribbean island is increasingly in demand for healing getaways.
Aruba has been put on the map recently as a coveted, new hot spot for yoga and transformational retreats. A lot of this is due to the impact of Yoga Girl- Rachel Brathen living and starting her studio on the island. An estimated 350 participants that come through her studio for retreats alone. However, Aruba has been a hot spot for tourism since the 1980s and 1990s. By the mid-80s, tourism was second only to oil in Aruba, with wide beaches, warm ocean waters, and easily developable land. Fun fact: my parents went to Aruba for their honeymoon in the late 70s. In addition, more hotels and resorts recently have begin opening their services and coordination up to group bookings, events and retreats. The market is in a huge growth mode in Aruba and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. So catch the wave & see if hosting your next transformational retreat or event in Aruba is a fit for you.
With Aruba’s emphasis on wellness and campaigns by their tourism board to encourage self-care, this island is the ideal spot to soak up the sun, sand, and surf.
Known as One Happy Island, it is a gem of a destination located off the coast of South America, north of Venezuela and Colombia, and next to the island of Curaçao. Aruba is celebrated for its stunning white sand beaches and always friendly locals, Aruba is an easy flight from the Americas and even Europe. Many large metropolitan cities like Toronto and Miami, offer non-stop flights to this popular vacation spot.
Daily temperatures maxing out at 85F (30C) and there is a constant ocean breeze. This makes Aruba perfect for those who want to be highly active, think yoga or fitness classes, as well as those who are craving gentle movement, dance and lots of beach time.
Aruba is also a great place for vegan travelers. There has recently even been an island-wide movement, led by Meredith Marin of Vegan Aruba, to get most restaurants and hotels to offer a delicious vegan menu along with their traditional surf and turf for tourists and locals. If healthy, plant-based meals are a key part of your retreat, you won’t be disappointed. Aruba is evolving to have you and your attendees covered.
Furthermore, if relaxation is the name of your game, you cannot beat Aruba for its spa experiences. Every resort offering an extensive spa menu and there are also competitively priced local fun healing spots. There is, therefore, no shortage of opportunities for a rejuvenating massage or treatment to add to your retreat transformations.
Leading an Aruba wellness or transformation retreat is easy for international guests, especially Americans since almost all locals speak English. However, learning to say thank you (Danki) in the local language, Papiamento will get you far! And also smiles from appreciative locals.
You’ll be happy to know that businesses accept USD throughout the island and Aruba is also known as one of the safest islands in the Caribbean. Your retreat guests will feel right at home with currency and secure walking or taxi-ing around if you offer them free time.
Expect that prices here may be a little higher than normal cheap tropical vacation due to Aruba’s island location and almost complete lack of local agriculture for ingredients. This means all the food and supplies have to be imported and thus they are taxed heavily. The Aruba ‘One Happy Island’ experience you and retreat attendees will get, however, is all worth it and completely unforgettable.
We have saved you the Googling and wondering which is a perfect spot for my next retreat. Anika Severns, a member of The Experience Experts, lived on the island and shared her top recommendations as a local. Here are some of the very best locations to host for your next wellness, yoga or transformational retreat experience and why we think you should consider them. Happy hosting!
Manchebo is a beautifully-situated resort in the low rise section of Aruba’s Eagle Beach. Nestled at the southern end of the hotel area, Manchebos beach is big, clean, and always less busy than other areas of the island. A huge bonus for more intimate retreat experiences! Manchebo also boasts Aruba’s first-ever outdoor yoga deck, a beautiful open-air space that can fit 30 practitioners comfortably. There is also a smaller shala for more intimate groups. With a full capacity of only 72 guest rooms, the resort is never crowded or overwhelming.
Manchebo is also a favorite location because it offers daily yoga and pilates classes. This is great for those retreat leaders who want to allow their attendees to make their own schedule. It is also perfect if you want to utilize the resort’s teachers to add to your retreat schedule.
Manchebo’s Spa, Spa del Sol, is one of the best on the island and offers beach-front services in your very own private cabana. This presents another opportunity for rejuvenation.
Photos courtesy of Manchebo
Island Yoga was opened in 2017 by Rachel Brathen (Yoga Girl) as a heart-led space for retreats, training, and community yoga classes. You can host your own retreat here or join one of their many week-long events.
Their main Luna Shala can accommodate up to 52 yogis – plus the teacher! Located in the center of Noord, Island Yoga partners with the beautiful Costa Esmeralda resort, just a short walk away. Their gated boutique hotel is the perfect place to lounge between classes with two pools and lush gardens. Island Yoga also offers SUP Yoga; an absolute must-try on the blue Caribbean Sea.
Their on-site cafe, Nourish, is a fully vegan dining experience. It has a menu that is sure to please with fresh smoothies, a vegan lox bagel (a crowd favorite!), and yummy desserts.
Booking a hosted group at Island Yoga is fully customizable. You will be led through the process by your own on-site program manager before and during your stay. Generally, hosted groups at Island Yoga bring their own yoga teacher. However, you can choose from meal plans, optional SUP yoga classes, and adventures around the island, all organized in advance.
Photo courtesy of Island Yoga
The first true boutique hotel on the island, Ocean Z is located just steps away from the water on Malmok Beach. Consisting of only 13 rooms, this is the perfect location for an upscale and private retreat or transformational event. Ocean Z takes care of all retreat details for you, including delicious healthy food, and works with you as a host to design a truly luxurious experience during your participants stay. With each retreat being a bespoke event, you can be sure it will be truly unforgettable with the help of Ocean Z.
With wellness becoming a bigger part of the Aruba experience, there are more options than ever to create your own yoga retreat or transformational event from the ground up! There are rental locations all around the island, and building your own retreat is easy. One of the most famous spots is Villa Royale Aruba, a modern mansion complete with its very own pool, that can host up to 25 people.
Photo courtesy of Villa Royale
Whether you choose an established retreat location or you opt to build your own even from scratch, Aruba will tick all the boxes. With more and more retreat leaders and wellness tourists flocking to the island, it is becoming one of the hottest yoga and wellness destinations. Be sure to add it to your list!
5-Step Guide To Marketing Success
GET MORE BOOKINGS GUIDE
Want consistent reservations in your luxury travel business? Generate more revenue by hitting your targeted guest booking goals. Our team experts will help you build strong branding, calls to action, implement customized marketing strategy and successfully get more group bookings by expanding your property to the global marketplace online.