Editor’s Letter: The Many Kinds of Wellness Travel

Matthieu Salvaing

It has been astonishing, in the 10 years that I have been involved exclusively in travel journalism, to see the way that wellness travel has exploded and diversified. Some trends, like forest bathing and adaptogenic smoothies, have carried with them a whiff of faddishness, but so much of what we have come to think of as wellness travel has felt so useful for helping us navigate this chaotic, confusing world: programs to better our sleep and nutrition, to practice mindfulness, even to improve sexual health. I myself desperately need some help with sleep, which I am eager to focus on when I visit the just-opened Mexico outpost of the acclaimed Spanish wellness clinic Sha later this year. You'll find a little more on the retreat in our What Wellness Is package, which explores some of the latest offerings in the category, from surviving the slings and arrows of menopause to building confidence to become a better leader back home. These stories are part of our greater push around wellness this year; look for continuing coverage on our new dedicated Travel Well vertical on our site.

I am fond, however, of saying that many kinds of travel can be wellness travel, if you do it right, and in that spirit I'd like to put in a plug for visiting Paris as an act of self-care. I spent 48 hours in the city in December and found it such a balm for my soul. It was my first visit in more than a decade (I know, I know, what kind of travel editor am I?), so I headed to the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which didn't exist the last time I was there, and reveled in the glory of the Mark Rothko exhibit and the vistas from the wind-whipped roof of the wild Frank Gehry building. I stayed in a gorgeous suite with a pitched roof and a view of the Eiffel Tower at the iconic Le Bristol, where Christmas bunting was being put up. I had a wonderful long lunch at the French Andalusian restaurant La Chambre Bleue, in the courtyard of the new Maison Delano Paris, and a late dinner at the bar of the colorful Boubalé, the Ashkenazi-inspired restaurant inside Hôtel Le Grand Mazarin, a delightfully maximalist new hotel in the Marais. I soaked up the history of Paris at the riveting Museé Carnavalet, a few blocks away. I went home happy. As you choose the wellness experiences that are right for you this year, remember: You'll always have Paris.

This article appeared in the March 2024 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.

Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler