For some of us, the words “fitness” and “holiday” are mutually exclusive. For others, a few extra days of annual leave are taken for a necessary holiday after the holiday.
But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, its that “luxury retreat” are two words that fit together very well indeed.
So whether you’re riding the wave of wellness tourism and planning your dream escape, craving a much-needed detox, feeling burned out or simply looking for an entirely different kind of holiday, there’s a perfect fitness and wellness haven for you – with the added bonus of being set in stunning and exotic surroundings.
Here’s a look at 5 of the very best from around the world…
Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Thailand
Best for: achieving your goals
If your body is a temple, make the pilgrimage to this world-famous, award-winning resort, situated in lush tropical gardens on the beautiful coast of Hua Hin, Thailand.
The Chiva Som experience has an emphasis on tranquility, holistic therapies and creating tailor-made programmes to suit your needs – all the while boasting luxurious accommodation, wide-ranging activities and treatments that bring together eastern principles with western modernity.
Oh, and the cuisine is rather exceptional too.
There are 13 different retreats to choose from, from Optimal Performance to Yoga For Life to Emotional Well-Being and even Total Golf Enhancement. So it’s quite the delicious menu for any fitness and wellness bods.
Or, if you’re a touch too indecisive, the “Taste of Chiva Som” retreat is the perfect package for first-timers, giving you a chance to explore and set your own goals.
Put simply, Chiva Som is a paradise. The only downside to this one, though, is that it closes for 6 months every May for an annual facelift. Hey, paradise comes at a cost…
Prices from: £4,410 for 7 nights
Chiva-Som International Health Resort
SHA Wellness Retreat, Spain
Best for: hitting the reset button
In the 10 years since it opened, SHA Wellness Clinic has garnered a reputation among the world’s top businessmen and athletes as a haven for transformative rest and relaxation, offering healthy nutrition on every programme.
Hidden away on the beautiful El Albir beach your days will be filled with meditation, massages and specialised meal plans – with physical activities on offer as well as informal lectures and cooking classes.
Passionate about hospitality and excellence, the programmes at SHA Wellness Clinic are tailor-made, with 7-day retreats that focus on detox, fitness, weight loss and more. There’s even a programme for if you’re looking to quit smoking.
For those in need of a more intensive escape from the rat race, there’s an entire four-week Life Reset retreat that includes health assessments, prescription mind and body sessions and numerous medicinal consultations.
Put simply, book yourself into a gorgeous suite for a week (or four) at the SHA Wellness Clinic and you’ll leave a brand new, better you.
Prices from: £2,975 for 7 nights
SHA Wellness Retreat
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
Best for: A much-needed detox
Swiss health resorts aren’t just for Bond films. Tucked away in the countryside, about an hour from Zurich, The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz is world renowned as a true mecca for wellness, and considered to be the best (as well as the largest and most decadent) in the country.
Think of it less as a fitness retreat, more as a medical health centre and thermal spa on a majestically grand scale. For instance, the acclaimed Wellbeing and Thermal spa alone is home to the world’s first Swarovski glass-covered steam room.
The resort itself includes four hotels (The Grand Hotel Hof Ragaz, the Grand Hotel Quellenhof & Spa Suites, the historic Palais Bad Ragaz and the Hotel Schloss Wartenstein), two swimming pools, two championship golf courses and a leading healthcare and sports centre amongst its many, many facilities.
And if you’re looking to eat as well as you rest, you’re in good company, with award-winning restaurants and bespoke diet programmes available. The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz alone is home to seven restaurants.
As for the programmes and treatments available, they range from a 3-night sleep diagnostic to a 7-day detox. Whatever you book yourself in for, this glorious Alpine retreat will no doubt you’ll leave feeling a whole lot better.
Prices from: £7,385 for a 7-night detox
The Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Best for: Indulging your senses
If you’re after something a little less clinical, a bit more boutique and perhaps even a little boozier, swap a black cab stuck in city streets for a kayak in the winding Douro River.
This idyllic rural escape, set in a 19th century manor amongst acres of rolling hills and woodland, is for those feeling a little more proactive. Think forest hikes, nature trails, yoga on the pavillion and even a tasting or two of local vintages in the famous Wine Library.
If you’re looking to lose weight, however, you’ll want to stay away from the kitchen. As well as its sumptuous wine offering, Six Sense Douro Valley is renowned for creating hearty, delicious and authentic dishes that even the locals turn up to taste.
Although it creates an atmosphere of rural tranquility, this luxury hideaway is also very vibrant and social. There’s a Family Holiday programme available, an excellent array of group classes and fantastic social spaces, such as the award-winning spa with an infinity pool, bustling open kitchen and Quinta bar and lounge.
Come for the wine, stay for the spa – the best in all of Portugal.
Prices from: £2,290 for 7 nights
Six Senses Douro Valley
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Malaysia
Best for: rejuvenating in the jungle
On the outskirts of the city of Ipoh, roughly two hours from Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find an exclusive hot springs resort that is worth a visit for the surroundings alone.
Deep in the rainforest, amongst the 45 luxury villas of this five-star retreat, there are geothermal mountain lakes, waterfalls, beautiful gardens and prehistoric caves that are naturally heated, to the extent that one is utilised as a thermal spa and another is home to their unique wine bar – Jeff’s Cellar.
What makes The Banjaran special is the way it interwines its setting with its wellness offering. Visitors can indulge in a variety of classes, from kickboxing to yoga, and over 40 different types of holistic treatments – all set in this amazing landscape.
If restoring your metaphysical balance in the crystal cave or a rousing trek through the deep limestone hill forest of the Lost World of Tambun sounds like your cup of black tea, book the next flight to Malaysia.
Prices from: £2,545 for 7 nights
The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat
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