On Top of the World

Australia’s Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat came up trumps (if you’ll pardon the poor pun) yet again yesterday when the global winners of the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards (WTA) were announced in London, albeit somewhat eclipsed by other winners across the Atlantic.

Inaugurated in 2014 by Spafinder Wellness, the awards recognise hotels, resorts, destination spas and retreats offering the best wellness vacations and experiences around the world.

This year, 388 finalists competed for top honours, and consumers cast over 130,000 ballots for their favorite properties, more than twice as many as were cast in 2015.

Spafinder Wellness CEO John Bevan presented WTA Crystal Awards to the top properties on six continents and Country Awards to the top properties in 41 countries and regions.

Category Awards were given to the top 10 properties that offer exceptional wellness experiences in each of 20 categories:



Best in Africa: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat, South Africa

Best in Asia: Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa, Thailand

Best in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania: Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia (its Infinity Pool pictured at top of page)

Best in Europe: SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain

Best in North America: Rancho La Puerta, Mexico

Best in South and Central America: Lapinha Spa, Brazil


United States: Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Arizona

Germany: Brenners Park-Hotel and Spa/Villa Stéphanie

France: Spa, The Peninsula Paris

Japan: Amanemu

Austria: Bio-Hotel Stanglwirt

Canada: Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa

Italy: Verdura Resort

Switzerland: Clinique La Prairie

China: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

UK: Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa


  • Spas and Rancho La Puerta, Mexico (9 awards)
  • Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa, Thailand (9)
  • Canyon Ranch in Tucson, US (6)
  • Como Shambhala Estate, Indonesia (6)
  • New Life Hiking Spa, US (6)
  • SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain (6)
  • Ananda in the Himalayas, India (5)
  • Chiva-Som Health Resort, Thailand (5)
  • Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa, Canada (5)

Four Seasons was the brand standout, with nine awards.

Click here to see all Wellness Travel Award nominees, finalists and winners.

Wellness Travel Award finalists were selected by a panel of 39 travel and wellness industry editors and experts, who first nominated 605 properties for consideration before narrowing the field.

Consumers around the globe then voted for their favorite locations across 20 categories. A combination of nominations and scores by the panelists and consumer ballots was used to select winners.

“The growth in wellness travel and the vast range of healthy travel options offered by these exceptional properties is remarkable,” said Spafinder CEO John Bevan.

“We are honoured that the Awards are supported by World Travel Market London and curated by an outstanding panel of travel editors and experts, along with travellers around the globe.

“Without question, they are the most objective awards in the industry and every nominee, finalist and winner deserves recognition for their accomplishments.”


Spafinder Wellness is the world’s largest marketing, gifting, incentives and rewards company for the spa and wellness industry and the leading consumer resource for feeling good and living well all year round.

With now over 25,000 wellness partners worldwide, including wellness travel destinations, spas and salons and fitness, yoga and Pilates studios, millions of people find the resources and inspiration to keep well every day via Spafinder’s websites and The Wellness App.

The company’s widely distributed gift/wellness cards are available online and at 40,000-plus retailers worldwide, as well as through corporate incentive/rewards programs. Visit SPAFINDER.COM, SPAFINDER.CO.UK and SPAFINDER.CA.