Massage appointments, Pilates classes and lectures about hormones: It’s all in a day on a menopause vacation. Resorts, destination spas and wellness practitioners are offering new retreats and services to...

Massage appointments, Pilates classes and lectures about hormones: It’s all in a day on a menopause vacation.

Resorts, destination spas and wellness practitioners are offering new retreats and services to help women in midlife navigate menopause and cope with its symptoms, which include hot flashes, insomnia and mood issues. These trips are cropping up at a time when menopause is becoming a hot topic of public conversation and is gaining notice from entrepreneurs and investors eager to attract a cohort of women who have money to spend.



Based in an elegant, wooden-floored mansion house in an ancient thermal spa town and surrounded by the Pyrenean mountains, these magical, deeply nourishing five-day retreats educate women about what to eat and how to support themselves optimally before, during and after the menopause. Expect gentle therapy, calming, tender coaching and nutritional advice in a highly relaxing, nurturing environment in the heart of Cathar country. You’ll have time and space to recalibrate, rest and think before creating a new vision for your next chapter.

Lake Austin Spa

Understand the power of food along with exercise to optimize personal health and meet some of the challenges that come along with menopause and beyond.

“The consumer that has been going to spas is aging,” says Lynne McNees, president of the International Spa Association. “We are going to have to shift our programming.”

Onsite, the glorious Foxhill Manor will host a new menopause retreat led by medical specialists. The aim is to help women improve their hormonal and mental well-being with doctors, yoga teachers, nutritional therapists, and stylists.

The Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds in England is hosting “Pause!” a women’s menopause retreat next year with yoga classes and sessions with a physician and nutritionist. In the spring, the Amilla Maldives is launching a series of five-day menopause programs run by a naturopath, which will include talks on stress reduction and healthy eating as well as intuitive dance sessions and “tree hugging therapy.”

Beginning this summer, Lake Austin Spa Resort in Austin, Texas, has a “Nutrition for Menopause and Beyond” session with a registered dietitian, priced at $190 on top of nightly rates, which run about $595 a person. At Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., a new workshop addresses the sexual problems that can occur during this time of a woman’s life.

The new retreats and services reflect recent attention to menopause and perimenopause, the years leading up to the last menstrual period that are marked by dramatic fluctuations in hormone levels.

With Gen Xers firmly in midlife and the oldest millennials now in their early 40s, the attention makes business sense. Global sales of menopause products such as dietary supplements reached $15.4 billion in 2021, according to market analyst Grand View Research. Wellness travel, of which women in middle age are the most active participants, grew 8% annually from 2017 to 2019 and is expected to reach $815.5 billion in 2022, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit research and advocacy group.

Many women taking menopause vacations aren’t getting the information they need from their doctors, says Beth McGroarty, vice president of research at the Global Wellness Institute. “Traditional medicine has underserved women in these issues,” she says.

Canyon Ranch’s wellness resorts have seen a 50% increase in the number of inquiries about menopause-related concerns over approximately the past three years, according to Stephen Brewer, the company’s director of medicine.

Doctors who specialize in treating menopause symptoms say that some of the approaches touted at retreats, like certain vitamins, minerals and herbs and particular types of exercise, aren’t backed by science.

For example, there’s no evidence that dietary supplements help with symptoms like hot flashes, says Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society and the director of Mayo Clinic Women’s Health. (Nor does exercise, she says, though it has other benefits for menopausal women.)

Nutrition advice is a popular topic at retreats, and Dr. Faubion says there is some evidence that a vegetable- and soy-heavy diet that promotes weight loss may reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes. Reducing stress can alleviate menopause symptoms, too, she notes.

“If women are really working on stress management on these retreats, it’s conceivable that would help and the community, being with other women in the same situation, helps,” says Dr. Faubion.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Find your tribe

Connect and join a community of women over 45 who are dedicated to traveling and exploring the world.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This