There are relaxing retreats and then there is the first-ever wellness week on offer at Jumby Bay Island, an Oetker Collection resort on a private Caribbean isle just off the Antiguan coast. Between the two lies a world of difference in the shape of countless regenerative rituals exclusive to the hotel.
Listen, we’re no strangers to the word ‘cleanse’. It pops up in spa menus and holiday brochures, and each time we come across it, our eyes roll a little further towards the back of our heads – don’t get us wrong, we love a good detox, but the use of the idea is so inflationary by now, we’ve seen it printed next to things as banal as coffee grounds and cucumber slices. What’s often missing from the conversation is that a proper cleanse shouldn’t merely revolve around what you’re eliminating from your system, but also assist with what you’re putting back in (after all, the saying goes ‘out with the old, in with the new!’). With its Journey Through The Senses renewal package taking place from 10-17 November, Jumby Bay Island promises to provide more holistic input in a week than many of us get in a year.
The seven-night program was exclusively developed in collaboration with the luxury travel consultants and sensorial wellness aficionados at Paper & Diamond, whose team of experts will guide guests through a myriad of bespoke activities set across the island’s 300 secluded acres (car-free and reachable only by boat, should you worry about air pollution). There are all the usual undertakings, like CBD-infused spa treatments, kundalini yoga and healing reiki crystals, but Paper & Diamond’s innovative approach to wellbeing takes therapy out of the spa and into the pristine landscapes of Jumby Bay Island. How about a beachside crystal alchemy sound bath as the new moon rises, for instance? Or you could engage in some Hatha breathing work to open the body’s chakras before boarding the resort’s private catamaran for a nighttime intention setting ceremony – frankly, it’s whatever floats your boat.
If the above sounds a bit too ‘goop’ for you (sorry, Gwyneth), don’t feel discouraged. What sparked our interest in the retreat are the many tangible experiences rooted firmly in science: in particular, our inner vegan is looking forward to the itinerary’s strong focus on plant-based, Ayurvedic cuisine paired with educational sessions and daily culinary workshops to hack our microbiome and boost gut health. And to help you stay on track upon departure, the retreat also comes with a generous gift bag filled with self-care products courtesy of Paper & Diamond’s exclusive partners, as well as an e-book promoting lasting change and continued learning long after your tan has worn off.
What’s crucial about a cleanse done right is arguably that it’s never actually done. Rather, a new start for mind and body should be understood as an ongoing process. The idea that travellers can sneak away to a remote island and simply stretch and meditate away the trials and tribulations of yesterday just doesn’t quite cut it for us (we don’t know about you, but there’s no lack of drama in our lives!). Instead, the upcoming wellness week at Jumby Bay Island promises to give visitors practical tools and valuable knowledge to facilitate true change; the kind that comes from within and challenges us on a daily basis to make decisions that are better for ourselves and the world around us. Add to that a spectacular Caribbean White Night beach party send-off and a guided journaling session with a personal healing coach to commemorate the occasion, and this Journey Through The Senses is something we’d be more than happy to call a proper cleanse. Cucumber slices, who?
Photography by Romain Reglade and courtesy of Oetker Collection