Sleep-Themed Vacation

Wellness tourism has been around for years — long before Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love rose to fame and well before the rise of luxurious spa resorts that invite you to soak in hot tubs and indulge in fancy massages. In the last few years, specifically, wellness-focused travel has enjoyed a mighty boom. 

Maybe it’s that people are trying to find a sense of calm following a fraught pandemic era, or maybe it’s just that we’re all burnt out from the rigamarole of life in general. Whatever the case, everyone’s tired. Enter: sleep tourism. This emerging travel trend has piggybacked on top of wellness-focused travel, and it’s all about helping you get the best sleep of your life. 

The ultimate goal of a sleep vacation is to do whatever it takes to make sure you’re relaxed, well rested, and able to slumber deeply. It still includes other aspects of wellness throughout the day, such as fitness, healthy eating, and meditation, but it goes one step further to really ensure you catch plenty of Zzz’s come nightfall. 

“I think sleep tourism is a natural next step in the growing wellness trend,” says Kristin Heggli, director of communications for Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley, Ariz., which offers a Moon and Stars Sleep Package. “A significant portion of travelers are just starting to consider how much sleep impacts their wellbeing, and are looking to enhance their sleep experience while away from home.” 

Dr. Marcus Coplin, medical director at The Springs Resort in Pagosa Springs, Colo., agrees. He reminds us that sleep is the one block of time in our day that offers a sustained period of rest for our bodies and minds. 

“Lack of good sleep is endemic in our culture, and even a few nights of disturbed sleep can lead to issues with blood sugar, immune function, decision making capability, and mood,” Dr. Coplin notes. “Hospitality interests around the world know that the time their guests are with them is a time they can nurture them and help them into a rhythm of deep and restorative sleep, and this is why we are seeing sleep becoming a major trend at the moment.” 

He goes so far as to argue that sleep ought to be a cornerstone to any hotel that prioritizes a health and wellness experience for guests.

Hotels & Resorts With Sleepy Offerings

cookies and milk before bed at sky rock sedona
Courtesy, Sky Rock Sedona

Most high-end hotels provide restful accommodations that allow you to relax and get some great sleep. However, destinations that prioritize sleep, in particular, go above and beyond to make sure that you walk away feeling like you’ve just had the best night(s) of sleep in your life.

Mountain Shadows, Scottsdale, Arizona 

Mountain Shadows’ Moon and Stars Sleep Package (mentioned above), is an excellent example of sleep tourism. The package includes things like Golden Moon Milk to help you slumber, a sleep journal, “star dust” pillow mist infused with a relaxing blend of lavender floral water, cedarwood, and Himalayan salt, as well as a constellation silk eye mask to block out the light for extra deep sleep. Along with these sleep-inducing perks, the hotel also provides relaxing treatments such as private, in-room sound baths and seriously luxurious bedding.

Six Senses Ibiza, Spain

spa room at six senses resort ibiza
Courtesy, Six Senses Ibiza

Opened in July 2022, this sustainable Spanish island wellness resort — like others in the portfolio — takes a multi-pronged approach to wellness and transformation, creating distinct retreats that tackle different problem areas and aim to give guests tools and techniques to take home in order to stay the course. Available in three-, five-, or seven-night increments, the Sleep Itinerary falls under the purview of the on-site Sleep Doctor who oversees an intake screening, personalized consultation, and a wrap-up, basing much of his advice on the data pulled from your provided sleep tracker. Also on the schedule is yoga nidra (aka yogic sleep) or pranayama, a dreamcatcher massage, and cryotherapy.

The Springs Resort, Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Also leaning into sleep tourism is Colorado’s The Springs Resort, which offers Sleep Ritual Trays. Developed by Dr. Coplin, the trays include all the essentials for restorative deep sleep, including advice on a combination of contrast bathing circuits provided at the resort, nighttime soaking recommendations, and deep-sleep techniques. The resort provides a light-touch, Deep Sleep Treatment massage and a Deep Rest wellness session that combines sound therapy with guided mind and body relaxation to guide you into a renewed sense of vitality. There’s also an AquaZen massage you can book, which combines the sedative effects of warm water with a gentle massage.

Hotel Figueroa, Los Angeles, California 

relaxing bedroom at the hotel figueroa in california
 Courtesy, Tanveer Badal via Hotel Figueroa

Once you settle into The Rest & Recovery Suite — a decked-out den of zen on the 12th floor of this century-old boutique hotel high above the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles — we don’t foresee that “Do Not Disturb” sign coming off the door anytime soon. The suite was assembled as a thoughtful response to the havoc of the world, and no detail is left unturned. For starters, Fig next-leveled the pillow menu by partnering with local, woman-owned Pluto Pillow. Before your trip, you fill out a questionnaire and the company builds a custom pillow based on your sleeping habits and body stats, which is yours to keep. It’ll be waiting for you atop the Eight Sleep dual-zoned Pod thermo-regulated mattress. Treat your muscles to a restorative massage with provided Hyperice recovery tools including leg sleeves and wake up with supplements from Beam.

YO1 Youvan Health Resort, Catskills, NY

acupuncture at the youvan health resort in catskills new york
Courtesy, YO1

Nestled on 1,300 serene acres in the Sullivan Catskills, this lakeview, health-focused hideaway (its name means youthful in Sanskrit) starts working its antidotal magic the instant you walk through the door. But it’s the focus on in-depth programs to treat disorders like anxiety, infertility, and insomnia that take the harmonic healing up a notch. Offered year round, the resort’s four-day Insomnia Management Retreat focuses on eastern remedies and treatments to cure sleep issues. The program starts with a wellness consultation and includes daily acupuncture, dosha-balancing Ayurvedic techniques, aromatherapy, shiro-pada abhyanga (translation: head massage) meditation, cleansing, and fatigue-reducing yoga styles like trataka or nidra.

Sky Rock Sedona, Sedona, Arizona 

When you talk about wellness-focused travel, Sedona is easily one of the first places that comes to mind. With its red rocks glowing under the moonlight and nature’s perfume of creosote wafting through the air, it’s hard not to fall into a peaceful slumber. Sky Rock Sedona takes things a step further with its Sweet Sedona Dreams Package, a turn-down surface that includes a tasty cup of Moon Milk and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, along with a curated sleep ritual kit and two plush robe sets for optimal comfort.

The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, London, England 

bedroom suite at the cadogan belmond hotel in london
Courtesy, The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel

God save the Queen… bed. This chic stay in Chelsea London responded to the issue of pandemic-related insomnia by partnering with Harley Street hypnotherapist Malminder Gil to introduce The Sleep Concierge program. This includes access to a meditative recording by Gill, a variety of pillow choices, weighted blankets, scented pillow mist, and bedtime tea service. Guests can also book a one-on-one hypnotherapy session with Gill to reclaim their sleep.

Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, British Columbia, Canada

Courtesy, Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa

There may be nothing more restorative than putting down the phone, avoiding screens, and heading into the great outdoors. One of the best places to do that if you’re an alpine aficionado is the Canadian province of British Columbia. This all-inclusive fitness and wellness haven promises to elevate (both figuratively and literally) your melatonin levels through a week of fresh mountain air, wilderness hiking (usually three hours a day), forest bathing and therapeutic yoga, and hot tubbing before retiring to a lodge decked out with nature sound machines, blackout curtains, and relaxing, clearing Himalayan salt lamps. The exercise is complemented by workshops covering sleep health, stress management, and metabolism.

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, Champagne, France

If the vineyard views of future bubbly lining the surrounding hills isn’t enough to induce sweet dreams, the 46-room contemporary wine country retreat in Champagne — 45 minutes outside of Paris — has a new plan B. Created in conjunction with the French beauty brand Aime, the Royal Sleep Experience starts with the company’s Sleep & Glow set which contains essential oil spray and melatonin drops. Each evening, the staff preps the chambers with sleeping mist, closed curtains, turned-down beds, house-made herbal tea, sweet and petite nibbles, and a satin eye mask. A screen-free Morphée meditation device puts 210 guided meditations and sophrology sessions at your fingertips. The package also includes a candle massage and dinner at Le Bellevue with a dedicated menu and the Sleeping Beauty mocktail (fresh cucumber, mint, cranberry, hibiscus and black currant).

Saratoga Arms Hotel, Saratoga Springs, New York 

Saratoga Arms Hotel, located in Saratoga Springs, New York, has crafted the Deep Sleep Package “designed to calm the nervous system and create an immersive sleep experience,” notes Rachel Boggan, the hotel’s general manager. “Sounds, scents, and tactile elements ensure their needs are considered and cared for, and all of the package pieces combine to create a truly restful retreat in each guest room.” Guests receive a weighted blanket, white noise machine, weighted sleep mask, Loop Quiet earplugs, KOS melatonin sleep gummies, and more.

Equinox Hotel, New York City, NY

the equniox hotel in new york
Courtesy, Equinox Hotel

As an extension of the same-named global gym giant, this Hudson Yards hotel knows a little something about sleep’s key role in fitness recovery and overall health. To that end, the heavily soundproofed rooms here were designed to be ideal sleep cocoons. Each is equipped with the proprietary Sleep System — a handmade natural-materials mattress covered in luxe silk and Egyptian cotton pillows, duvets and linens, and sitting atop wooden slats for increased air filtration — and with Dark.Quiet.Cool mode. Push the button and the lights soften, the blackout blinds lower, and the thermostat sets to 68 degrees, the optimal sleeping temperature according to numerous scientific studies. 

Furthering your quest to sleep like a log, the rooms are stocked with CBD creams, Grown Alchemist shampoos and body washes in AM and PM formulas, and custom Power Down tea that contains tranquilizing valerian root, lavender, and chamomile. And if you are still having a hard time riding the rainbow to dreamland, try flowing through the PM stretching and breathwork ritual or booking some time on the spa’s Wave Table, a high-tech bed that tricks your body and mind into thinking a 30-minute nap equals three hours of sleep.

The Takeaway on Sleep Tourism

Obviously, being able to indulge in a sleep package at a beautiful resort or hotel is a luxury versus nightly occurrence. The ultimate goal here is to take a moment — a day, a weekend, or a week — to prioritize your wellness and to remind yourself just how important and restorative rest is for our mind, body, and spirit. You can then take these practices and techniques and incorporate them into your everyday life to continue fostering good sleep. 

Featured image courtesy of Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa

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