Belly dancing, yoga in the forest, traditional Chinese medicine and meetings with a nutritionist.
These are some of the activities that can be found at menopause retreats, a wellness trend carving a new niche in the tourism industry.
Menopause retreats are tailored to help women navigate the different stages of perimenopause and menopause, and the array of symptoms that come with them — from hot flashes and night sweats to achy joints.
Wellness retreats aren’t new, of course, but ever since the pandemic, more resorts are promoting menopause-focused vacations — and more women are signing up for them.
“Consumers realized they need to take care of themselves. They are responsible for their health. So instead of just going on a spa retreat, people started going on very specific purpose-driven retreats,” Lisa Starr, a spa business consultant at Wynne Business Consulting and Education told CNBC Travel.
Plus, “there’s so many women that are menopausal,” she said.
According to the Global Wellness Summit, the menopause market will be worth $600 billion by 2025, with more than one billion women reaching perimenopause between now and then.
“Women have [gone] to the spa, we got a facial massage, and body treatments. “Women have
to the spa, we got a facial massage and body treatments. I think Covid accelerated this,” said Starr. And I think this was accelerated by Covid,” said Starr.
One of them is 53-year-old Emily, who signed up for Combe Grove’s metabolic health retreat for menopause six weeks ago in Bath, England.
Emily spent six days at Combe Grove’s manor house estate, talking with a nutritionist, learning how to belly dance, practicing yoga, and meditating in the woods, alongside seven other women.
A happiness teacher, coach and alternative practitioner of psychotherapy meditating with a client.
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“Menopause had happened for me coinciding with Covid and lockdown. Emily, who refused to reveal her last name, said on CNBC that it was a difficult combination. “It is quite liberating that people are now talking about menopause,” Emily said. Her retreat, which cost around $2,400, also included treatments like reflexology and cranial osteopathy.
Amilla Maldives’ menopause-focused ‘Pause Retreat’ allows guests to opt-in for guided reef snorkeling tours, cycling and mixology classes. Single rooms start at $8,610. Five-night packages are available starting from $8,610. Ananda, in the Himalayas, introduced a retreat for women and men in 2022. Prices start at $990 per night for an entry level deluxe room and go up to $4,250 per night for a two-bedroom villa. The price of these retreats can be a deterrent to people. And why are people willing to shelve out so much?
Guests can bring back cognitive behavioral techniques like meditation, breathing and lifestyle changes that can help with their symptoms, said Dr. Heather Hirsch, who specializes in women’s health and menopause treatment.
But the benefit may be more psychological, said Hirsch, who built the menopause and midlife clinic at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital before founding her own private practice.
“You’ve got hot flashes, you’ve got brain fatigue, brain fog, and you don’t have energy, and you want to do something about it,” said Starr, who cautioned against programs that include extreme diets or lifestyle changes.
“So I think that that makes people more willing to spend, because they feel they will
skills to cope with it,” she added.
A menopause retreat is no “cure,” she said.
“No one thinks they are going to go on a menopause retreat and come back and not have menopause, right?,” she said. She said that a menopause retreat is not a “cure.” “