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This Hawaiian Wellness Retreat Is One of the Best in the World

When it comes to mastering “the art of unwinding,” Sensei Lāna’i, A Four Seasons Resort — a five-star, wellness-focused haven on the remote Hawaiian island of Lanai — reigns on top.

Visceral decompression from the hustle & bustle of life starts upon descent of your semi-private air flight from Honolulu to the island, the main way guests from the mainland can get to the hotel. You look outside your window and see mountains blanketed in trees plus a curvaceous coastline.

Once arriving at the resort, that sense of calm increases: a former hunting lodge, the grounds sport Japanese-inspired gardens and eclectic art. The spacious lobby employs oat-like tones, plus high floor-to-ceiling windows peering out at the landscape and the hotel’s restaurant, Sensei by Nobu.

 While the scenery oozes escapism, the hotel’s Guided Sensei Experience is unlike any other wellness program. Starting with a pre-voyage questionnaire that assesses your trip goals, wellness specialists curate personalized itineraries with various one-on-one sessions and experiences catered towards each guest’s intentions, from sleep improvement to dietary changes. You’ll get access to many classes and receive $600 daily credit towards experiences of your choice, from a private yoga session to thermal body mapping.  

Opt for an eye-opening, one-on-one session with an embodied psychologist, who explains the mind & body connection. Guests undergo a guided mediation while hooked up to a heart-rate monitor — upon completion and opening their eyes, they can see how the practice & its breathing techniques resonated with their body.

Designed to fuse the body’s natural healing processes, opt for a Lomi Lomi treatment: a traditional Hawaiian-style bodywork massage generationally passed down. Ask about a belly massage — the gentle palpations may help relieve abdomen pressure. Massages & facials, such as this, are done in the spa’s stunning hales: individual Hawaiian-style houses that each open up to a private spring & waterfall where guests can take a dip after their session. 

On days when you don’t have spa treatments and want to get out of your room (you might not want to as many of them have desirable private decks that are perfect for reading and listening to the rain), take one of the regular shuttles to the island’s other Four Seasons, which is right on the beach.

The bottom line is that you end your time here with a heightened importance for self-care & wellbeing — an unrivaled souvenir.

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