By Julie-Ann Sherlock

If you are anything like me, you have seen lots of tv shows and movies of people skating beside the humongous Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Centre in New York and dreamt of spending time in this winter wonderland. Undoubtedly, the Big Apple offers the perfect location for a winter break. The city is decorated from head to toe in twinkling lights and seasonal ornaments, while the cold air nips your nose as you sip a creamy hot chocolate or a warming mulled wine. It makes you feel good to be alive. 

But did you know there are other ways to raise your serotonin levels with a visit to the city that never sleeps and its state? Let me tell you, like most things in the US of A, wellness is BIG business. Everything from spiritual retreats to Olympic skiing is available in New York. 

Take a look at our suggestions below and start planning a winter break that could change your life. 

New York, New York 

They say the city’s so good they named it twice. While wandering through crowded streets with locals pushing past you might not seem like a great way to relax, sublime delights await behind some of this city’s facades. 

NYC has it all, including my favourite form of therapy—retail! However, if you want an urban spa to relieve stress and help you feel more centred, The Equinox Hotel, located just a few blocks from the Empire State Building, offers unique packages focusing on your wellbeing. 

If sleep is an issue, they have an immersive sound and harmonic resonance therapy to help you find deeper, more healing rest. Using the latest technology such as wave beds, cryotherapy and NutriDrip IV Drip Therapy, this boutique hotel and spa with views of the River Hudson will have you fighting fit and ready for whatever 2023 decides to throw at you.

Global hotel and wellness group, Aman, are opening a flagship resort in New York, close to Central Park. With a three-storey spa and Japanese-inspired zen decor, the Aman New York will provide a soul-soothing retreat from the bustling streets. 

Another great option in Manhattan is The Well, a retreat and wellness centre in the city’s heart. Offering beauty treatments, medical coaching and vibrational energy healing, this holistic centre takes care of every aspect of your wellbeing. 

Just across the East River in Brooklyn, the Maha Rose runs workshops in Reiki, sound healing and meditation in the city. The company also has a centre in the Catskills Mountains foothills and is building a retreat centre in Mexico. 

Escape The City

For a more relaxed wellness break, head out of NYC. Embrace the Japanese relaxation vibes at Shou Sugi Ban House in the famous Hamptons. With its tranquil, 3-acre setting, enjoying guided hikes, forest bathing, and ceremonial fire circles is part of the experience here. Add some spa treatments and quiet meditation moments, and you will come home totally refreshed and rejuvenated. 

If you feel spending time in the mountains will recentre you, the Catskills in upstate New York has some great options. Indulge in mountain sports at the Windham Mountain resort, with biking, skiing and snowboarding all fantastic ways to feel alive by getting the adrenaline pumping. 

Or take your wintersports up a notch by visiting Lake Placid, the venue of the 1980 Winter Olympics and stay at the Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa. Take lessons from the resort’s co-owner and Olympic skiing medalist Andrew Weibrecht, go on invigorating hikes, skate on the resort’s private ice rink or enjoy a pampering session at the in-house spa and salon. 

Does a yoga session at a Victorian Castle in the mountains sound like your kind of bliss? Then the Mohonk Mountain House is your perfect escape. Nestled amongst 40,000 acres of forestry on the banks of the Mohonk Lake in the Hudson Valley, this resort offers more than just its award-winning spa. Stunningly scenic walks and hikes meander through the estate, with options to go horse riding, mountain biking or learn about the area’s history, among the other activities available. 

Perhaps working on your inner being using a chilled-out approach is more your thing? If so, check out the Peace Village Learning & Retreat Center for spiritual wellbeing packages. 

Getting in touch with who you are and finding inner peace has never been more vital than in today’s manic world. Whether you find that serenity through extreme sports or deep relaxation, taking the time to enjoy magical moments is essential for your wellbeing. 

New York City offers the buzz of one of the world’s most loved cities, top-class wellness options and, of course, my favourite kind of therapy—retail! The vast state is also home to various health-promoting sanctuaries ready to help you forget the stresses and strains of your everyday life. Do yourself a favour and book a winter escape to New York.