We all deserve to take some time off from our hectic lifestyle every now and then. And though regular beach vacations are, definitely, an amazing way to recharge, more and more people have started choosing wellness retreats over all-inclusive hotels and pina coladas at the swimming pool.
Retreats are often marketed as enriching getaways that provide a safe sanctuary to allow a deep emotional and physical withdrawal from the stresses of everyday life. Wellness-oriented destinations understand how uncomfortable it can be for LGBTQ+ individuals to not be surrounded by like-minded people. Thankfully, over the years, quite a few outstanding gay-specific wellness getaways have emerged all across the world.
Below, you will discover some of the best gay wellness retreats and find out what’s so special about these gatherings.
Why Go on a Gay Wellness Retreat?
When you’re trying to relax, you naturally want to be surrounded by like-minded people. You wouldn’t want to spend your energy thinking whether the person next to you is okay with who you are or not. Furthermore, the chances are high that you will be showing your vulnerable side over the course of the retreat, and that simply won’t be possible, if you don’t feel 100% safe.
If you choose a gay-specific wellness retreat, there would be no need to step back into the closet – you will have the freedom to be open about who you are.
Thankfully, the owners of wellness-oriented getaways understand that. And that’s why they started offering gay-specific programs. Though there are still not enough products of this kind on the market, the industry is developing rather quickly, and very soon, you’ll have even more options to choose from.
With that being said, plenty of wonderful gay wellness retreats have already opened their doors all across the globe. So, why not see what those have to offer?
8 Best Gay Wellness Retreats
Don’t expect the following wellness retreats to be fueled by gay stereotypes, like gossip, drama, and surface-level communications. Such getaways aim to help you become a better version of yourself, and if you manage to go through a transformative experience while constantly feeling a sense of belonging and freedom, then the goal will be achieved.
1. Frog Meadow, Southern Vermont, US
Frog Meadow is a country bed & breakfast and massage oasis for men located about a 2.5-hour drive from Boston.
Many different workshops and retreats are held in this private paradise. All the programs are based on the belief that strong and educated men can help create a loving and more supportive community.
The workshops take place in a safe environment and are conducted by certified professionals. You can choose to focus on:
- Spirituality, meditation, and conscious breathing
- Yoga and pilates
- Eros, sexuality, and tantra
- Healing touch, massage, and bodywork, and a lot more
Workshop participants come from all over the world and typically range in age from about 30 to 60. By the way, 75% of the participants are usually single.
Workshop programs are limited to 12-15 residential participants. During your stay, you will be able to enjoy comfortable accommodations and delicious meals that come from the gardens or are sourced locally.
2. Easton Mountain, Upstate NY, US
Easton Mountain is a retreat center and sanctuary that has been created by gay men as a gift to the world. Through the various workshops, events, and programs, you will be able to transform, celebrate, heal, and integrate your body, mind, and spirit.
There is a new event happening every month, so you can pick whatever your heart desires. Singles Weekend, Kink Odyssey Retreat, and The Gift of Touch – these are just a few examples.
The retreat has a wide range of different accommodations, starting from private cottages and ending with tent camping, so the chances are high that everyone would be able to find something to fit their budget.
3. Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat, California, US
Gay Men’s Spiritual Retreat is an annual event that takes place every summer. The main mission of the retreat is to help everyone set aside the preconceptions and fears that might be separating them from true spiritual freedom.
Through individual and group workshops and activities, like-minded gay men will be able to improve their spirituality in a supportive environment.
The event takes place in Camp Stevens which is located on 256 acres of woodland, offering gorgeous scenery and miles of hiking trails.
If you can’t wait until summer, you might want to check out the fun events leading up to the retreat (like a pool party or Bonfire).
4. Provincetown Gay Men’s Retreat, Massachusetts, US
This retreat is a lovely 5-night all-inclusive event that includes yoga, meals, excursions, accommodations, and a lot more.
It typically takes place at the end of June, but the sooner you register, the bigger the discount you might get.
The stunning retreat house has 6 bedrooms with 9 beds and multiple decks with harbor views that overlook Provincetown’s West End and the Wildlife Sanctuary. During your stay, you will be able to take advantage of daily yoga and meditation classes, as well as guided hiking and a sunset dune tour.
5. Mykonos Active, Greece
If you have the budget and you’re not against having an eye-opening wellness experience in Europe, consider this spectacular men-only retreat in Mykonos with daily yoga and pilates sessions and outdoor activities.
You’ll be living in a beautiful villa where the private swimming pool and garden deck are both clothing-optional. The villa is located right above the famous Elia Beach, by the way.
Mykonos Active is the perfect retreat for those who are not against having a bit of fun during their wellness holiday. If that’s what you’re looking for – the retreat takes place at least a couple of times every month.
6. ‘Hike & Dip’ Retreat, Cinq & Sept, France
Cinq & Sept is an incredible gay resort in a traditional wine-making village in the south of France. It offers easy access to gay-only beaches and some of Europe’s most spectacular castles. And while you’ll definitely be able to have a stunning experience at the resort any time of the year, coming to the place for a special retreat would bring the whole experience to the next level.
The ‘Hike & Dip’ retreat, for example, includes 4 walks with the opportunity to strip off and swim at the end (what a unique way to explore the gorgeous landscapes!). There will also be a group welcome dinner and group breakfasts before the actual hikes.
7. ‘Naked Touch’ Yoga Retreat, Cinq & Sept, France
This 4-day retreat combines touch and connection with yoga movement. The main aim of the event is to bring you closer to your body, yourself, and others. The sessions have been specially designed to be body-positive, and accessible to individuals with all levels of yoga.
The retreat takes place a few times per year. The price (less than $750, by the way) includes luxurious accommodation, a welcome dinner, group breakfasts, and two yoga sessions each day.
8. DaddyGuru’s Gay Tantra Retreat, Costa Rica
This clothing-optional retreat offers an introductory dive into the world of tantra. The practices and philosophies of this way of life focus on self-acceptance, self-love, surrender, disconnecting from the ego, and recognizing your inner truth.
The 6-day event takes place in the newly renovated Casa Kama – a sanctuary that is dedicated to ‘holding space’ for the worldwide queer community.
The teacher, DaddyGuru, acquired over 300 hours of Tantra training and has been an intimacy healer for the last few years working with men who have been abused in their youth.
The package includes accommodations, 3 meals per day, and daily yoga, meditation, and pranayama classes with the Guru.
Are Gay Wellness Retreats Expensive?
Though a wellness getaway might seem like something luxurious and extremely pricey, not all retreats would end up costing you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.
You might spend quite a lot, if you decide to join a retreat abroad, no matter how lush the actual experience would be. So, the best way to save a small fortune and have the time of your life along the way is to choose a retreat program somewhere next to you. Take advantage of one-day or weekend local retreats that are just outside the city limits – you will get the feeling of being away from home in any case.
To save even more, you might want to consider taking advantage of Early Birds Specials or traveling with your friend or partner (a lot of centers offer a couple discount).
Finding a safe space where you can relax and reconnect with your true self can be extra challenging for members of the queer community. But the good news is that nowadays there are plenty of magnificent gay wellness retreats all around the world that you can take advantage of.
Whether you would prefer to stay closer to home or dive into an unforgettable adventure on the other side of the globe – our list has quite a few lovely options for you to choose from.