5 of the best: fitness retreats

by Olivia Cox November 23

The adventure one – Salt Escapes – fitness retreats with an adventurous side

Not your average wellness retreat – more than it. Much more, actually. Dotted around coastal Europe, Salt’s destinations are hand-picked for their natural beauty and kitted out to explore. Days start and finish with sun-drenched mobility and yoga, and the sweaty HIIT might be anywhere from dramatic clifftops and deserted beaches to the sprawling grounds of the luxury villas.  Unlike many fitness retreats, you’re not contained to the villa – think hiking excursions, private boat tours, and crystal-clear snorkelling . Still feels a treat returning to bespoke massages and a private chef, tho. Oh, and alcohol isn’t banned. Win.

The barre one – Paola’s Body Barre

Paola Di Lanzo’s 45 minute classes are legendary up and down the King’s Road – and now much further a field, too. Because this year they launched a residential 5 night retreat in Mykonos. The emphasis is luxury – you stay in a 19th century converted Catalonian Farmhouse, with Grecian meals prepared by vegetarian chef Kimberly Parsons’s (you get three courses – even at breakfast), and a masseus on call. Paola’s PBB method fuses Ballet Barre conditioning and dynamic Pilates, with functional training and sporadic HIIT.

The luxury one – Marbella Club

Y’know when you just want to escape from it all, get back to being you, and maybe achieve something a bit extra on top? This is the place. The wellness programme is fully bespoke – anything from healing Tibetan Bowl Rituals to thalassotherapy treatments in the Thalasso spa – and sessions with the in-house nutritionist are encouraged. Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe’s travels are the inspiration behind the hotel, which gives it the personalised, home from home atmosphere, with hidden doors leading to botanical gardens and secret courtyard. It’s about as inspiring a setting as you could imagine, and although the emphasis is on holistic wellness, there are also industry-leading fitness facilities, two swimming pools, and tennis courts.

The all-rounder – The Body Camp – mind body and soul

They call it a holistic lifestyle transformation, which is wellness code for something that’ll make you feel really, really good. Y’know, in that perfectly content, happy where I am, kind of way. The Body Camp’s 360 approach to wellness is a breath of fresh air in an industry that can become over-focused on hashtag gains and unrealistic goals. They encourage positive vibes, so the workouts are fun and exciting, balanced with more mindful practices like guided meditation and silent hikes.

The military one – No. 1 Bootcamp

The traditional fitness retreat is still a goodie. No. 1’s programme is designed to develop the fitness skills and knowledge you’ll need to keep working towards long-term goals once you’re finished in camp. Nutrition talks help to break down flawed thinking around food,whilst building confidence; and workouts   The weeks are run year-round in various locations by ex-military instructors, which means all the muscle but less of the shouting.

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