7 Forest Bathing Hotels for a Wellness Getaway Reconnecting with Nature

Experience the Japanese art of shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing, at these seven hotels from Oregon to New York.

Walking along a leafy path, placing one foot slowly in front of the other, I take a deep breath in and look around me. The sprawling trees rise from the ground on either side, creating a lush green canopy over the sky that protects me from the bright sunshine. I stop and listen to the rustling leaves as a gentle breeze wafts through the air every so often. I hear the gurgle of the nearby river getting louder as I walk towards it. A bird sings sweetly in the distance while I exhale completely and take in my surroundings.

I am practicing the art of shinrin-yoku, the Japanese alternative medicinal practice of forest bathing.

Developed in Japan in the 1980s, forest bathing uses mindfulness and meditation techniques to open all five senses and use nature as a healing tool. A simple, yet mindful walk through the forest allows you to slow down, disconnect from technology, and take a break from life’s daily stressors.

Getting close to nature and reaping its benefits is becoming increasingly difficult as we move further away to more inhabited areas. But by booking a stay at any of these seven forest bathing hotels across the United States, you get the chance to be present, de-stress and reap the many benefits of shinrin-yoku.

Sedona, Arizona: A Forest Bathing Hotel Oasis in the Arid Desert


Surrounded by Arizona’s famed Red Rocks is L’Auberge de Sedona, a hidden 11-acre oasis set on the banks of Oak Creek, and known for its wellness-focused and outdoor activities. Guests enjoy forest bathing sessions led by a certified specialist to help connect with nature and experience the restorative benefits the practice has to offer. In addition to forest bathing, the resort also offers a traditional shinrin-yoku tea ceremony using indigenous herbs and plants as well as a guided Sedona vortex meditation series in the property’s Vortex Treehouse.

Refined rooms and cottages feature muted, earthy tones along with views of the surrounding forest, gardens or desert landscape. If you want to wake up to a panoramic view of the iconic Red Rocks, book a stay in the resort’s luxe Vista cottages. The fine-dining restaurant, Cress on Oak Creek, situated along the banks of the creek offers a prix-fixe menu featuring locally foraged ingredients (mesquite, mushrooms, cress, and rosemary) that change with the seasons.

Show full description

L'Auberge De Sedona

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (2355 reviews)

Glen Ellen, California: A Forest Bathing Hotel in California's Wine Country


Originally built in the late 1800s and one of the oldest properties in the area, the Gaige House + Ryokan first functioned as a butcher shop with the local butcher, Albert Ebenezer Gaige and his family living upstairs. Over the years the house served as a private residence, apartment building, and schoolhouse before finally being converted into an inn in the 1980s. It wasn’t until the early 2000s when an extensive renovation using traditional Japanese architecture transformed the property into the zen escape it is today.

Spend the morning in the forests around the hotel practicing the art of forest bathing, complete with breathing and meditation exercises taught by a trained guide. Back at the hotel, an in-room hot stone massage awaits you followed by an afternoon at the pool listening to the gentle ripple of nearby Calabazas Creek and enjoying a complimentary glass of local Leese-Fitch wine along with a cheese board. For a truly secluded stay, book one of the 12 detached Zen ryokan suites, each offering their own private zen rock gardens, fireplaces, and luxurious Japanese granite soaking tubs.

Show full description

Gaige House

Top rated
Glen Ellen
9.0 Excellent (2092 reviews)

Ojai, California: Forest Bathing in the Spiritual Heart of the Ojai Valley


Situated just 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles is Ojai Valley Inn, a peaceful getaway from hectic city life. The 220-acre property set in the spiritual Ojai Valley offers guests a chance to golf, relax by the pool—there are three throughout the grounds—or pamper themselves with Himalayan salt stone massages and more at the 31,000-square-foot spa. To lower your stress levels even further, sign up for the forest bathing session which takes you on a hike up to Meditation Mount, a public and quiet meditation space in the Ojai mountains overlooking the valley below.

Mediterranean-style rooms and suites feature private terraces with mountain and golf course views; some have fireplaces, and bathrooms with soaking tubs and colorful, hand-painted Spanish tile walls. With eight restaurants and bars—including two relaxed poolside options—to choose from, it’s safe to say you won’t be going hungry during your stay.

If you’re interested in learning during your stay, stop by the Farmhouse, the resort’s newest 30,000 square feet of culinary and event space which offers everything from pasta making demonstrations to wine pairing workshops. Renowned chef and James Beard award winner Nancy Silverton serves as the space’s Culinary Ambassador, curating master classes, book signings, workshops, and more.

Show full description

Ojai Valley Inn

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (2212 reviews)

Washington, Connecticut: New England-style Forest Bathing and Wellness


While the quiet Connecticut town of Washington may be known for its vibrant foliage displays in the fall, the Mayflower Inn & Spa‘s 20,000-square-foot spa and wellness facilities are the reason why visitors flock to it year-round. Located on 58 acres of quiet Connecticut countryside, the property offers everything from yoga and meditation classes to traditional massages and New Age sound healing sessions using Tibetan sound bowls.

The shinrin-yoku program is practiced on a nearby trail alongside the Shepaug River where guests can bask in the calming sounds of the running water while also learning simple breath work techniques to help stay in the moment.

Country-chic accommodations all look out to the immaculately landscaped gardens or enchanting woods, reminding you that the outdoors is always calling out. You can’t go wrong dining on New England favorites—the Maine Lobster Roll and Berkshire heritage pork chop are well-loved—by Chef Joshua Bettis, who focuses on using seasonal and fresh ingredients from local farms and producers at the on-site restaurant.

Show full description

The Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (121 reviews)

New Paltz, New York: Forest Bathing at this Victorian Mountain Retreat


Set along Lake Mohonk, a glacial-formed lake in New York’s lush Hudson Valley, the Mohonk Mountain House has been owned and operated by the Smiley family since it first opened in 1869. This all-inclusive Victorian castle resort began as a humble 10-room inn before expanding over the years to the expansive retreat it is today.

While the property may have grown in size—it can now accommodate up to 600 guests—its focus in rest, renewal, and reconnecting with nature has never wavered. With 85 miles of hiking trails, the practice of shinrin-yoku is easier than ever, especially if you sign up for a guided nature hike with either Nina Smiley, director of the resort’s Mindfulness Programming or Michael Ridolfo, the resident naturalist.

The resort also boasts a 30,000-square-foot spa offering over 80 signature treatments that each end with a “mindful moment.” This includes a deep inhale and exhale to revive your senses and help you regain awareness of your surroundings.

Show full description

Hotel Mohonk Mountain House

New Paltz
8.0 Very good (193 reviews)

Gleneden Beach, Oregon: Forest Bathing Along The Rugged Coast


Surrounded by vibrant forested bluffs, the sprawling Salishan Resort sits on 250 acres of Oregon’s Pacific coast overlooking Siletz Bay. Forest bathing along a peaceful nature trail is just one of the many highlights on the wellness menu: there’s also a spa, an outdoor infinity pool, and daily yoga classes to help you achieve your zen. For an adrenaline boost, the resort recently opened up an aerial adventure park, complete with a ropes course through the canopy, offering a new and adventurous way to explore the forest from above.

Rustic-chic rooms and suites feature wood-paneled walls made from local timber, inviting fireplaces, and balconies with all-encompassing views of the Oregon countryside. The resort’s three restaurants and bars are far from fussy, instead focusing on casual dining and organic, coastal cuisine. The Attic Lounge, along with a laid-back vibe and unparalleled sunset views from its outdoor deck, offers a selection of locally-brewed ales and Oregon wines.

Show full description

Salishan Coastal Lodge

Gleneden Beach
8.4 Very good (2079 reviews)

Hawley, Pennsylvania: Forest Bathing in the Pocono Mountains


Set on 500 wooded acres in the Pocono Mountains, The Lodge at Woodloch is a mere two-and-a-half-hour drive from the frenetic pace of New York City. With just 58 rooms and suites, this intimate adults-only resort, known for its 40,000-square-foot spa and a private 15-acre lake, is the ultimate wellness getaway.

Biophilic design throughout the property helps guests reduce their stress levels, be in the moment, and connect with nature whether they’re indoors or outside exploring the vast wooded grounds. The forest bathing exploration class takes guests on a deep walk into the woods where certified instructors teach deep breathing techniques as well as offer tips on mind-body awareness (being conscious of the different senses around you) and being mindful (being aware of the thoughts running through your mind). Keeping in line with the wellness theme, the on-site restaurant TREE offers seasonal menus, with many herbs and vegetables grown and harvested on one of the property’s three gardens.

Show full description

The Lodge At Woodloch

Top rated
9.7 Excellent (193 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of Auberge Resorts