Turn your summer holiday into a WELLNESS OPPORTUNITY at one of these luxury health and fitness destinations, writes SARAH BREEN
1. The Anti-Ageing Retreat
Where: The Sayanna Anti-Ageing programme at Epic Sana, Portugal.
Perfect if: you want to come home looking ten years younger.
Based at a luxury resort overlooking Falésia beach in Albufeira, this targeted programme includes group fitness classes, personal training sessions, daily massages and bespoke anti-ageing treatments (think multiple facials) using products by Spanish medical cosmetics brand MCCM. “The programme is suitable from the age of 25 as it’s for prevention as well as maintenance,” says spa supervisor, Renata Domingos. “The benefits are visible after eight days; our clients say it takes years off them.”
From: €2,110 for seven nights.
2. The Restorative Retreat
Where: The Rebalancing Programme at Clinique La Prairie, Switzerland.
Perfect if: you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and it’s starting to show.
With a distinctly medical emphasis, this six-night full-board retreat is designed to restore harmony to both body and mind and includes a check-up, full nursing care for the duration and even a psychological consultation. Multiple facials, body treatments and massages are all part of the package too. “Patients might be suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, extreme fatigue, traumas or loss of vital energy,” says Fatima Santos, La Prairie’s resident psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and sophrologist (that’s someone who studies the consciousness in harmony, natch). “We listen to their symptoms before defining an individualised response, which usually implies a whole set of tools such as hypnosis, sophrology and cardiac coherence.”
From: €16,000 per person.
3. The Yoga Retreat
Where: Daois Cove, Crete.
Perfect if: you want to improve your yoga against a breathtaking backdrop.
Suitable for seasoned yogis as well as improvers, this week-long retreat is designed to invigorate and inspire, all while taking in views of the pristine Aegean Sea. Comprising twice daily 90-minute yoga sessions (outdoors, naturally), and free access to the spa, the half-board programme is relaxed enough to allow plenty of free time to unwind. “The retreat offers an excellent opportunity to really immerse oneself in yoga, to build up stamina and skill in a way that is not really possible in the hustle and bustle of daily life,” says instructor Annette Böhmer. “The secluded bay makes it an especially tranquil experience.”
From: €1,745 per person sharing.
4. The Gruelling Retreat
Where: Pure Results Bootcamp, Parknasilla Resort and Spa, Co Kerry and The Temple Lodge and Spa, Co Westmeath.
Perfect if: you want an LA-approach to fitness without the transatlantic flight.
With two packages available – three nights or seven – television presenter Kathryn Thomas and her sister Linda have created a bootcamp guaranteed to increase your fitness whatever your age. A typical day starts at 6am with a jog and continues with team classes, high intensity cardio, swimming and evening activities to nourish the body and mind. “Our average weight loss is anything from five to ten pounds in seven days,” says Thomas. “A big focus for us is overall health and wellbeing so we offer life coaching, yoga and mindfulness classes too.”
From €549 for three nights.
5. The Fat-Melting Weekend
Where: Real Boot Camp, Spain.
Perfect if: you want to shed pounds – and fast.
It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the benefits include “weight loss, an improvement in fitness, better muscle tone, a boost to confidence and an overall improvement in wellbeing,” says retreat director Julie Slade. Over four nights and five days, the intensive programme includes daily yoga, circuit training on the beach, stunning hikes and unlimited use of the spa and its facilities, plus full board. “Our guests tell us that they feel rested, revived and have a great sense of achievement by the time they leave us,” adds Slade.
From: £698stg per person.
6. The Bespoke Retreat
Where: Pop-Up Fitness, France or Ibiza.
Perfect if: you like to combine working out with working on your tan.
Whether you prefer the rolling hills of the south of France or a private villa in Ibiza, Pop-Up Fitness has it covered in a choice of retreats that combine a completely organic cleansing menu with daily yoga and Pilates classes, high intensity interval training and pampering. “We always choose glamorous locations,” says founder Olivia Cooney who has trained Laura Whitmore and Made in Chelsea’s Millie Mackintosh. But you don’t have to be a dedicated athlete to partake. “If you feel like only participating in one session per day, and want to spend the rest of your time by the pool we say: would you like a manicure with that?” she adds.
From: £1,020stg per person sharing.
This article appeared in a previous issue, for more features like this, don’t miss our September issue, out Saturday September 3.
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