If your New Year’s resolutions include bringing balance back into your life, it may be time to step out of the daily grind and plan a wellness retreat for 2023. Practices such as meditation, yoga, heat therapy and massage reduce stress hormones, slow heart rates and clear our thinking. They activate the parasympathetic nerves to shift bodies out of fight-or-flight mode into a restful sense of wellbeing. Fortunately, finding that zen doesn’t require traveling far. Between the high desert to our east and the lush valley to our west, Central Oregon is home to a wide range of destinations to help jumpstart healthier new habits.
High Desert Havens
Twenty miles northeast of Bend, Juniper Preserve offers an oasis where self-care meets luxury. Formerly known as Pronghorn Resort, the lodge recently shifted to put wellness at the heart of the golf community. “We want transformational experiences that maintain health,” said Maddison Katchem, director of wellness. Integrating experiences into the high desert landscape means yoga in the lava cave, sound baths on the island, or meditation in the serene interior of a teepee, followed by Ayurvedic-inspired massage or energizing gemstone facials. Golfers needing a meditative break might discover a rock labyrinth tucked behind the 15th green. See juniperpreserve.com. (First image shown is of Juniper Preserve.)
Silvies Valley Ranch
Part dude ranch, part retreat, Silvies Valley Ranch is an escape from the stress of a fast-paced world. The remote location north of Burns makes it easy to unplug and get grounded, according to Sandy Campbell, co-owner of the ranch. “Spending time in the meadow, the old growth timber, along the river…this place nurtures your soul,” said Campbell. Balance that quiet contemplation with ranch activities such as goat herding and horseback rides, followed by bodywork in the Rocking Heart Spa. This year the ranch reopens in late spring. If the goats cooperate, opening weekend may include caring for the baby goats, followed by a massage and dinner. See silvies.us.
Nurtured by Nature
Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat
Wellness has been central to the Breitenbush mission since it began in 1977. As the Breitenbush community rebuilds what was lost to a wildfire two years ago, a restoration theme holds more meaning than ever before. Even while under construction, Breitenbush is open for guests. The lodge, sauna and kitchen survived the fire, allowing them to resume daily yoga sessions, massage services, special events such as a sacral chakra and chocolate meditation or frequent live music. Best of all, the tradition of soaking in mineral hot springs remains unchanged. While Breitenbush is WiFi-free, substance-free, and occasionally clothing free, it is abundant in soul-nourishing experiences. See breitenbush.com.
Green Rock Retreat
Between the rimrock cliffs of the Crooked River Canyon and the rushing waters below, the Green Rock Retreat creates a refuge that is both calming and energizing. Meander the trails and you’ll find a soaking tub with a panorama view, an intricate labyrinth adorned with gemstones, and an abundance of inspiration for reflection and meditation. From May through October, raised canvas wall tents provide unplugged glamping at its best. Guests gather on the outdoor patio for meals, drawn by the scent of the wood-fired oven, and the lodge meditation room offers indoor space for yoga or group sessions. Plan now for a Green Rock retreat scheduled this spring and summer, or plan an individual getaway. Once you experience the magic here you’ll come back again and again. See greenrockretreat.com.
FivePine Lodge, Sisters
Where wellness meets romance and adventure—that is how Beverly Garcia, lodge manager, likes to describe FivePine Lodge. Wellness weekends here begin with a serenity cabin, where the soaking tub looks out over the forest. Next comes a dose of nature, with a snowshoe trek on the Peterson Ridge trails. Let the Himalayan salt stone massage at Shibui Spa work its magic. For an added boost to circulation, immunity and mood, follow a soak in the spa’s hot pool with the cold plunge shower. “The wellness weekend is designed for anyone feeling overwhelmed. It’s a lovely baby-moon for expecting parents, or an early-moon to relax before a wedding,” said Garcia. See fivepine.com and shibuispa.com.
Sunriver Resort, Sunriver
Known for family fun that spans generations, Sunriver also encourages taking self-care breaks from busy vacations. Escape for a few hours at a Sage Springs Spa’s signature massage with CBD and arnica. Step out of the hustle and bustle in the Oasis Room, where custom herbal blends infuse the soaking tub. Follow that with an infrared sauna session—a bonus for detoxing skin, improving circulation and supporting sleep quality. With yoga classes that can adapt for a variety of ages, Sunriver may be the place to introduce wellness to the whole family. See sunriverresort.com.
A Hotel to be Well
This newly renovated historic Redmond hotel also hosts co-working spaces and community gathering spots. SCP stands for Soul-Community-Planet, and wellness is a natural fit with their holistic hospitality brand. The hotel’s “peaceful rooms” are designed for rest and focus. Instead of televisions and clocks they include yoga mats, meditation pillows and sound machines. Add local yoga and healthy smoothies, and their wellness package hits the mark for staycationers and business travelers seeking a reboot. Mindful nutrition is easy here: Terra Kitchen offers plant-forward field-to-table dining, and Wayfarer has a full bar with a creative menu of mocktails and low alcohol cocktails. See scphotel.com.