Discover: Balance Holidays

With demand for wellness travel continuing to skyrocket, the now $639 billion market has become a hotbed for options catering to the health-conscious traveller. Taking advantage of this growing momentum, Balance Holidays aims to cut through the noise and take the guesswork away from consumers.

Founder and luxury brands expert Livia Manca di Villahermosa, says she’s plugging a gap in the market for natural retreats backed by a 5-star experience — something she once struggled to find. 

Due to fragmented information and a strong online content gap, the entrepreneur reveals she found herself unable to make sense of the options available to her, and so Balance Holidays was born — an online portal offering never before experienced retreats in ultra-high-end resorts, set in memorable and tranquil locations.

“We curate a collection of short breaks designed to provide the tools for long-term positive self-care and wellbeing,” Manca di Villahermosa tells Welltodo.

“We look for hotels and resorts in memorable and often undiscovered destinations. From outdoor activities in stunning natural settings to yoga, creative workshops and more, we strive to help individuals learn life-enhancing coaching techniques to accommodate the new dynamics of the modern lifestyle.”

wellness travel retreats
Image: Balance Holidays

In an increasingly competitive market, the brand is also aiming to set itself apart from its peers by offering experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. A forest bathing treehouse retreat just outside of Paris and an energy awakening lake lodge retreat in Provence are just two of the programmes the brand has recently run. 

In September of this year it will hold a retreat in Tuscany, at Il Borro, an eco-sustainable estate owned by Ferruccio Ferragamo. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and cypress trees, the historical eco-sustainable estate, which is dedicated to wellbeing and the art of reconnecting with nature, will play host to a programme featuring Odaka flow yoga, mountain bike excursions, truffle hunting and traditional Tuscan cuisine.

Carefully designed for guests to ensure high-quality standards in terms of experts and accommodation, as with each of Balance Holiday’s programmes, it will also incorporate elements of the resort’s surrounding nature and culture, to ensure the destination is just as much a part of the experience as the wellness practices themselves. 

And when it comes to incorporating trends, the retreat will focus on answering the concerns that are arising due to the new dynamics of modern life rather than following fads, says Manca di Villahermosa. 

Highly aware of the high-pressured and time-poor lives many of its customers are restricted by, Balance Holidays short retreats focus on kick-starting guests wellbeing journey rather than claiming to offer a ‘quick fix’. By providing guests with the tools needed to carry on with self-care once back home, customers are encouraged to take a more sustainable and life-long approach.

wellness travel retreats
Image: Balance Holidays

“We develop strong relationships with each guest to support them through their wellbeing journey. As they progress forward, we then recommend their next retreats based on what they have already learnt, to help them continue building a bank of skills and knowledge to maintain wellbeing,” Manca di Villahermosa tells Welltodo.

“We want to work with those that want to follow a ‘life long trend’, re-learning the art of simple things that we’ve forgotten along the way and that can be applied in a sustainable way in the everyday busy lives we all have,” she adds.

As the wellness travel market continues to boom, a growing number of tour operators and hotels are setting up their own retreats to capitalise on the movement. These companies benefit from having an established brand name behind them and often much larger marketing budget to maximize exposure through larger channels, but Manca di Villahermosa is confident that Balance Holidays can carve out a niche for itself.

“Along with our partners (both hotels and experts), Balance Holidays is proud of its ability to react to the rapidly evolving market and constantly adapt to the needs of its audience,” she says. 

“We’ve noticed that particularly in the wellbeing arena, potential guests are moving away from the large corporate brands and instead favouring boutique companies like ours, as we open up the doors to new undiscovered destinations and properties. Environmental impact of travel is also high up on the agenda for consumers and we are all about going back to nature and roots,” she concludes.

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