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Business is officially booming in the fitness and wellness industry, with savvy specialists and enlightened experts realising that we’ve all had our fill of rabbit food and being shouted at, and that really what we’d like to do with our hard-earned cash is recoup, recharge and rediscover our fabulous mind/thighs/cookery skills or all of the above. Health and wellness breaks typically don’t come cheap, and given that the global wellness industry is a $3.4 trillion market according to research firm SRI International and the Global Wellness Summit, it pays dividends for hoteliers, tourism companies and wellbeing entrepreneurs to give us what we really want. Here are five unique breaks and holidays that will do just that, and help you to #StartBetter in the most fulfilling manner possible…
If you associate the White Isle with cocktails and clubs, you may be in for a surprise when booking this particular holiday, but once you’re cosseted away in the 5 star luxury of the Aguas de Ibiza hotel, having your every health and wellbeing wish attended to, you’ll wonder what the appeal of Pacha et al was anyway. Offering one of the most diverse array of programmes we’ve come across, there’s a unique break to suit every individual, whether you want to slim down (try the Optimal Weight Loss option), get fit (the Bespoke Fitness Retreat is truly something special) or even sleep better (the Deep Sleep Retreat will give you some much-needed R&R). Check out our editor-in-chief Susannah’s review of the LUX, SUP & SOUL holiday, or for something even more personalised enjoy a DNA Fitness break, where every meal, treatment or activity is tailored to your distinctive genetic makeup. Total genius.
If you like your wellness regimens with a side of good old British stoicism and English country splendour, Grayshott will be just your cup of (non-caffeinated) tea. With National Trust grounds, a range of traditional and more specialist health breaks and 50 years of wellbeing expertise behind its discreet doors, it’s one of the UK’s most trusted and revered centres when it comes to addressing health issues, recovering from illness or burnout or simply indulging in a classic spa break. If you’re looking to get your digestive health back on an even keel, this is the retreat for you (don’t book without reading Sarah Vine’s account of a 7-day health stay first). Their newly launched ‘Nurture & Support’ post cancer treatment programme is also designed to complement conventional medicine and help those in rehabilitation recover both physically and emotionally.
Grayshott 7-day health regime from £1,495, www.grayshottspa.com
Embarking on a ‘Yeotox’ is, according to Yeotown’s arty, intellectual and yoga enthusiast founders Simon Sieff and Mercedes Ngoh Sieff, nothing like enrolling on a conventional bootcamp or deprivation-based detox. A relative newcomer to the world of wellness, Yeotown is located on a converted, 18th century farm on the North Devon coast, and its award-winning 5 day ‘Yeotox’ programme is popular with stressed city types, exhausted parents and Olympians alike. Designed to restore and revitalise your physical, mental and spiritual health, the invigorating programme of clifftop hikes, core and strength training and cycling is harmoniously balanced with yoga classes, meditation sessions, daily massages and inspiring cookery classes. Despite being free of dairy, wheat, gluten, refined sugar, meat, alcohol and caffeine, the cuisine is nothing short of delicious, and regular ‘Yeotinis’ (expertly blended juices) are on offer to give you a burst of energy between meals. You’ll leave feeling a whole lot lighter, and not just because the average ‘Yeotoxer’ loses between two and six pounds. The lack of phone signal, relaxation workshops and stunning rural surroundings will restore your mojo like nothing else. Check out upcoming holistic retreat programmes in collaboration with health stars such as Ella Woodward of ‘Deliciously Ella’, Natasha Corrett of ‘Honestly Healthy’ and Victoria Pendleton CBE.
All-inclusive 5 Day Yeotox, £1,870. www.yeotown.com
In a small village outside Bedford, among 50 acres of grounds and landscaped gardens, lies a 17th century manor house where the bleep of an iPhone shall never be heard and the light of a laptop will never be seen. Welcome to the home of the digital detox, a place where meditation replaces social media and daily yoga classes will keep you zen. The focus of the weekend is to keep you living and making most of the present as much as is possible, and the expert staff lead philosophy sessions and mindfulness walks to help you to fully relax over the course of the retreat. You can get lost in the property’s labyrinthe, join a nutrition class or simply wander in the woods, untroubled and unconcerned by the whir of virtual activity that dominates our modern lives. Don’t be tempted to sign into Facebook on the train home.
Digital Detox and Yoga Weekend from £325, www.reclaimyourself.co.uk
Fancy jetting off to a haven of luxury and self-discovery in the Carribean, Costa Rica, Hawaii or Tuscany? Inara is a bespoke mind and body company co-founded by personal trainer Dan Roberts and psychologist Elaine Slater. Dan explains a little about the ethos behind it:
"I’ve run quite hardcore athletic retreats for years but was eager to develop something with a deeper, psychological approach and holistic philosophy. Elaine and I noticed a gap in the market for intelligent and luxurious retreats that really make a difference to people’s lives. I noticed my client’s were craving more than just a toned body, a detox or starvation programme; they were searching for a deeper change, substance and a meaningful experience that is both fun and life changing”.
An Inara escape is entirely tailored to you; mind, body and soul, as Elaine illustrates:
"Inara offers a bespoke journey; cultivating a mindful and emotionally intelligent approach to life. It delivers a transformative experience towards unlocking your potential, re-shaping your brain to think better, developing focussed thought through meditation and re-connecting with your inner athlete”.
“Inara advocates living a vital and inspired life; living true to yourself is knowing your mind and knowing your body”
This feature was written in partnership with Clinique