Resorts are designed to offer relaxation, recreation and entertainment to individuals, families and groups. A retreat may be operated by a single individual or be run by a large corporation. A retreat can be simple and designed for a single purpose, such as gambling in Monte Cristo. Another might offer multiple activities, including hiking, swimming, snorkeling and sailing.
Retreats have been in existence since ancient times. For example, the Jin Dynasty built the Summer Palace in Beijing in the 12th century where royalty could relax. Catherine I of Russia built a summer palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1717 for Russia’s czars. Every United States president since Franklin Roosevelt has used Camp David in Maryland as a retreat.
Retreats can be located on beaches and in mountains. Some spots are situated on lakes, while others may be in jungles and forests. Retreats may be opened in large cities where they feature spas, wine tasting, gourmet meals and lectures by prominent people.
What they all have in common is that they feature elements or activities where people may experience relaxing or pleasant activities.
People can fly to wilderness lakes in Northern Canada and enjoy trophy walleye fishing at retreats. Retreats in Australia offer visitors accommodations in ancient tropical jungles where they can enjoy a primitive aboriginal lifestyle. China offers a retreat experience at the Sakya Monastery in mysterious Tibet
In America, people can visit retreat towns. For example, Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri is a vacation town that offers fishing, boating and hiking.
These retreat towns can be situated in the mountains, on beaches or in deserts. Nearly every country has resort towns that offer activities for tourists. Visitors can find skiing retreats, spa retreats, drinking retreats, cigar-smoking retreats, seaside retreats, hunting retreats and mountain vacation spots.
Retreats can be self-contained. For example, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan is the attraction itself. People find lodging here, they are entertained here and they eat here. These single-feature resorts can offer visitors entertainment, activities and meals. Las Vegas in Nevada offers many of these types of retreats to visitors. Hotels in Manhattan, New York, offer visitors weekend and weekly retreats. Guests can enjoy swimming, salons, cigar rooms, wine-tasting bars, spas, health bars, fireside chats, shopping sprees and gustation menus inside the hotel.
Walt Disney World is another example of a retreat that is wholly contained within itself. It offers food, rides, shows and entertainment.
Entertainment retreats are another category. The retreat may line up popular entertainers and invite people to visit. These retreats may feature rock and roll, jazz, comedians, classical music or poetry readings.
Another popular retreat category is religion. Churches or entire denominations may feature retreats where there is Bible reading, presentations by priests or pastors and devotional services. Many denominations own property in quiet spots like lakes and forests where visitors can relax and contemplate religious matters.
Retreats are ubiquitous and attended by millions of people around the world. A retreat is no longer the exclusive venue of royalty and presidents. Resorts are available for every person.