Traveling for Wellness — Great Options for Wellness Travel in 2022
When it comes to wellness travel in 2022, are you looking for the perfect fit? Our partners at the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA) can provide the best destinations for your next getaway.
The Wellness Tourism Association Q & A is a new monthly feature that allows WTA members to share their personal best tips, tools and inspiration for wellness living and wellness travel. WTA Members have each met criteria for membership, which is the foundation of bringing standards to the industry as the demand for wellness travel continues to grow. We think you will benefit from their insider tips and advice.
Talking with Davina Bernard: Director of Wellness Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
How long have you been with Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and what do you do with this property?
I have been with this resort [Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise] for over 11 years. I help curate wellness experiences for all of our guests. From multi-night retreats to little sips of wellness throughout a stay.
There are so many hotels, resorts, retreats and tour operators offering wellness programs and packages – tell us a bit about Fairmont Lake Louise and what is the main point(s) of distinction?
Our location on the shores of world-famous Lake Louise in the heart of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rocky Mountains is the ultimate place for wellness. Surrounded by towering peaks, glacier fed water and an old-growth forest, your body surrenders to nature and your nervous system calms down to allow for new wellness ideas to permeate into your body, mind and spirit.
What pandemic-inspired policies and procedures has Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise implemented to keep travelers healthy and safe?
We implement all of the regular policies that are required by the government: masks, vaccination proof, etc. We have found that bonds between participants can still be made and made very strong with a mask on during some portions of the retreat. People want to attend and connect and they are able to do this by wearing a mask when moving around.
What does Wellness Destination Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offer that might attract a customer like the readers of LA Yoga?
A chance to check off two things from your bucket list:
1.Visit Lake Louise and enjoy all the mountains have to offer as well as learn from expert facilitators on a wide range of wellness topics.
2. A stay in the luxury of Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise allows you to experience all of the comforts of an acclaimed brand while also working on ways to live your best life when you return home.
How do you incorporate wellness into your own daily life?
Over the years, I’ve slowly added more aspects of balance to my life and it has brought me so much peace and happiness. Meditation, nutrition, movement and sleep are key foundations in my days. My practice of conscious awareness of my thoughts and the world around me has strengthend my connections to friends and life in general. I love my life!
What are the top wellness trends you seeing at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise?
It isn’t simply yoga retreats anymore, our guests are looking for the discussions around mindfulness, connection to themselves and inner healing. Our guests are looking for the real-life tools that will help them live their best lives. We offer a wide range of facilitators to appeal to a wide range of guests.
Do you feel technology is important as it pertains to wellness, and if yes, how and why? If no, why not?
If we don’t embrace technology in the wellness community, we will be left behind as someone else will. Technology is a powerful tool when used consciously and there are definite benefits to using advancements to help guide our self-discovery.
Do you and, if yes, how do you incorporate the local community or culture into the programing at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise?
At Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, our community is our landscape. It is the reason our resort exists and it is the biggest reason people visit us. Every retreat encorporates enough free time for guests to explore outside, either on their own or with one of our guides. We also offer ‘do-it-yourself’ guided mindfulness hike/snowshoe cards so guests can wander at their own pace and discover how their body reacts to our natural landscape. Plus, as one of the largest businesses and employers, we support numerous initiatives in our local community throughout the year.
What is your final note of advice for living your best life?
My advice to everyone is to go outside for a few minutes every day that doesn’t involve rushing to a car or a store or to work. Notice a tree and thank it for the oxygen it is giving you, notice a cloud and thank it for the shade and the rain. Nature and gratitude go hand-in-hand and connect us to the planet and to each other. When we are connected to something greater than ourselves, we appreciate life a little bit more and that helps me live my best life.
Co-Founder and President /CEO of the Wellness Tourism Association, Anne Dimon has been a travel writer and industry journalist for close to 25 years, and has traveled the world as a columnist/contributor to a variety of publications. Anne is also Owner/ Editor of TravelToWellness.com launched in 2004 as the first online magazine/resource for the wellness-minded traveler. Prior to her life as a journalist, Anne was president of her own public relations company specializing in hospitality. She has also worked in the hotel industry as a director of public relations. An acknowledged wellness travel expert and industry consultant, Anne is also the co-author of The Travel Institute’s new Wellness Travel Specialist Course.