Easy does it: True Travel’s wellness collection offers the new-year reset you need

From the Indonesian coast to the wilds of the Amazon, here’s how to re-centre yourself for 2024

A new year, among many things, is well known as a time to re-boot, whereby one’s mindset is focused around the idea of shedding the ardour of the previous 12 months and beginning afresh, whether that be taking on new, healthier – perhaps more productive – habits, or, simply, approaching daily life at a slower pace.

For True Travel, the luxury tour operator whose spirit is fuelled by preserving the lost art of creating truly bespoke journeys, a January reset can play out in the form of escape, something offered within its wellness collection. Billed as The Art of Wellness, one of the company’s six distinct series that’ve been carefully curated by its team of in-house designers, this specific set of travel inspiration is aimed to ground the person in the moment, a commodity that’s becoming more coveted in an age in which being constantly plugged in is considered the norm.

Nihi Sumba coast

Notably, there’s the option to indulge in the Spa Safari™ at NIHI Sumba, Indonesia, a coastal five-star escape defined by its seemingly unending fields of inland greenery and its stretch of pure-blue water out front. Angled as a half or full day to 'compose your own wellness concerto', you’ll be whisked to your experience by horse, safari Jeep, or on foot during a sunrise trek across dipping hills and rice fields; mornings are likely to begin with a life-affirming swim in the sea before a refuel on breakfast, cooked on an open fire; and wellness treatments take their cues from the country’s deep history of healing traditions.

Sailing along a river though the forest

Stretching to the other side of the world, globetrotters can also be taken to Peru, for a retreat in the Amazon. On the edges of Puerto Maldonado, situated far-west of Lima, is where you’ll find Vanessa Frias, a young leader of a wellness centre within the jungle. As part of the experience, you’ll walk amongst the Amazon’s hinterland of biodiversity, go on nature drives, partake in workshops with a yoga master, and be sustained on fare that’s been sourced locally and organically.

Heckfield Place Gardens in Spring
Heckfield Place Sauna

Over in the UK, meanwhile, you'll find bucolic pleasures at Heckfield Place, situated within the Hampshire countryside and famed for its elegant stylings, classic English rural setting, and cuisine overseen by farm-to-table doyenne Skye Gyngell.

With True Travel, the experience will revolve around The Bothy by Wildsmith, home to a glass-walled pool area that looks out to the wild landscape; a bevy of down-home treatment rooms; a ‘Sun Room’, in which seasonal produce, grown yards away, is served; a courtyard thick with magnolia, Japanese allspice and pale-purple cornflowers; and a light-filled cardio centre, fitted with shock-absorbent floors and a comprehensive suite of Technogym gear.

Marocco Spa Room

One can also scrub off life’s stresses with a hammam ceremony in Morocco, that most traditional of the country’s grooming rituals, which comprises several stages of exfoliation, rinsing, slicks and massages and whose benefits are said to include a boost to the immune system and a complete relaxation of body and mind.

Ducks being herded along the waterway in Kerala

Then, of particular note is The Odyssey, the wellness collection’s marquee journey that sets travellers on a journey to south India, an experience that offers insight into – and experience of – the country’s strong affiliation with Ayurvedic practices.

A route that is entirely bespoke, the course can encompass myriad options. Past successes have included a starting point of Kerala, from where you’ll make an initial two-night stop at Phillipkutty Farm, an island beloved by creatives that’s only accessible by boat and whose aim is to help elevate your ‘sense of place’ during the stay, whether that’s during a calm moment of gazing at the fireflies in the depth of night, or taking a gentle ride on a vallam boat, winding through the canals. Grounding you further will be a yoga master, who will educate you on the discipline’s fundamentals.

 Man looking out on the river from a house boat in Kerala

Following the short stay, guests can then journey on the Spice Coast Cruise, a revamped and restored traditional houseboat that provides the perfect bridge between person and nature; onboard you can wake up to a sunrise that appears to be whisked from a JMW Turner painting, or fall into a deep slumber to the gentle soundtrack of water against wood.

The on-water sojourn could then lead to the Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort, set on the shores of the Arabian Sea and flush with a network of villas that showcase the best of contemporary and traditional local architecture. From the rich selection of rejuvenation programmes here, we’d suggest plumping for the elakizhi, which makes use of herbal and medicinal plants; pizhichil, an oil-heavy treatment favoured by the royal house; or abhyangam, labelled as the ‘greatest expression of self-love’.

Since its 2013 founding by Henry Morley, True Travel has set out its stall with an ethos that eschews a conventional package-tour-operator approach to itinerary-making – which is to say making a beeline for the usual-suspect, tourist-rich cities and regions – and, instead, goes to off-radar and ‘at times, untamed’ locations while focusing on particular client needs, hopes and flavours, from the style of trips they wish to embark on; the size of group they’ll be in; what they hope to see and experience on the journey; and minutiae, such as how they’d take their tea. It’s a style that the company bills as ‘a hand-held, detail-oriented approach to global travel.’

To that end, search engines and algorithms are shunned in favour of guidance from local experts, of which True Travel has built up a solid network across Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia, in order to show each journey-goer large pockets of untouched beauty.

So, if you’re looking for something that’ll set you on the right foot for the year ahead, consider any one of True Travel’s wellness offerings – journeys that, luggage allowing, will leave you feeling weightless when you arrive home.

True Travel

True Travel

Learn more

Want more from True Travel? We take a deep-dive into the brand's ethos...

Become a Gentleman’s Journal Member?

Like the Gentleman’s Journal? Why not join the Clubhouse, a special kind of private club where members receive offers and experiences from hand-picked, premium brands. You will also receive invites to exclusive events, the quarterly print magazine delivered directly to your door and your own membership card.

Click here to find out more