Health and fitness breaks are going to be big 2018 – we’ve cherry-picked our favourite destinations around the world to satisfy your wanderlust.
CHAI LAI ORCHID
Those looking for a big adventure will love ChaI Lai Orchid in Chang Mai, Thailand. Describing itself as Thailand’s only ‘AirBnB where you can live with the elephants’, it enables you to immerse yourself in nature, but also support human rights and help rescue elephants.
The Chai Lai Orchid (CLO) is a stunning eco lodge set in the jungle with a flowing river and from which you can enjoy a range of tours and treks. However, it’s also home to rescued elephants, plus a safe house and training programme for women at-risk of human trafficking. The CLO was created to be a social business that seeks to end human trafficking through the empowerment of at-risk women who are ethnic minorities from Thailand and Myanmar.
In the past five years, Daughters Rising has put 50+ women through the empowerment curriculum, sent 15+ girls to school, four women through their guide training, and more. The venue also supports the local community with a mobile clinic, clothing donation distribution, and annual river clean ups. They organise eye care clinics and try to bridge the gap between police and local Indigenous People through a drug safety and prevention program.
So, experience Thailand at its best, but also know you’re doing something to help local at-risk women.
Boasting two all-year round retreats in Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, the Azulfit venues offer yoga and Pilates
retreats in paradise, and only a short flight away!
Whatever venue you choose, you can experience world-class yoga and Pilates, uplifting meditation, indulgent, relaxing therapies and scrumptious vegetarian cuisine, plus jaw-dropping views with two locations on the island. Think sunny days and starry nights alongside relaxation and laughter.
In April, you can experience Pilates and Barre Fitness (14- 21 April), a week of mindful movement where you can renew your body and restore with an amazing inclusive therapeutic massage. The retreat is set away from the hustle of everyday life, allowing you to eat nutritious foods, decompress and immerse in Pilates in an idyllic location, filled with blue skies, white sandy beaches and stunning volcanic vistas.
You can also try their Yoga, Nature and Hiking retreat (28 April – 5 May), where you can tap into your body’s own flow through movement meditation. Experience yin practices, renew your nervous system with restorative yoga and hike to some of the island’s unique landscapes.
You’ll leave feeling more connected to your own body, your being and your essence, to nature and its elements.
Also in May and June Azulfit offer yoga and Pilates retreats in Santorini (26 May – 2 June, 2–9 June). A rejuvenating and relaxing way to practice Pilates, immerse in yoga and enjoy this Greek island. Complete with the comfort of a stunning retreat centre and the nourishing organic food, this is a once-in-a-lifetime retreat experience in one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations.
Whatever your fitness goals in 2018, we challenge you to find a better location than Lou Casteou, situated between St Tropez and Cannes in Cote D’Azure. You can choose from a luxury five-day tennis academy or fitness programme (May 3-7), or a four-day latin dance and fitness retreat (May 30-June 3, June 20-24).
The tennis programme is an intensive week of daily coaching suitable for all, which finishes with a tournament and awards dinner.
The Luxury Fitness Retreat provides the perfect balance of energetic training classes, TRX, HIIT, stunning coastal treks, and pampered château accommodation. The luxury dance retreat is led by world-class dance professionals and fitness trainers and includes boxercise, core and leg fitness, Latino aerobics, daily salsa, Latin dance classes and evening parties. Guests will also enjoy wine tasting, hip hop, gourmet meals and pampered luxury in which to develop your dance skills and fitness levels.
Yoga retreats are increasingly popular and Samahita Retreat on Koh Samui, an inclusive centre set away from the busy tourist areas, has been pioneering healthy programming for the body, breath and mind for over 15 years.
BESTFIT is spending some of January sampling their signature programme: YogaCoreCycle [you can read all about it in our next issue]. It’s an all-inclusive, integrated yoga and functional fitness regime that works on your optimal health and well-being from a physical, emotional and mental perspective. It combines cardio and specific strength training, alongside yoga poses, breath work and meditation practices. And it all happens at the beach!
Conceived by retreat founder, Paul Dallaghan, and programmed by athlete trainer and movement expert, Arielle Nash-Degagne, the sessions focus on areas for body, breath, and mind. The dedicated Yoga sessions involve meditation and breath work followed by foundational and grounding yoga pose classes. Core combines functional fitness, core and strength work with TRXs, Bosus, stability balls, Uggis and more to work all muscle groups of the body. The dynamic Cycle classes combine fun, music and cardio in a high intensity sea-view work out.
The best part – it’s all open and optional. You can choose to take all of the classes, or select those that suit you.
The Blue Lagoon
Iceland is at the top of many people’s ‘must-see list’ and the Blue Lagoon, described as one of the 25 wonders of the world, is a great way to recuperate. It contains geothermal water which originates 2,000 metres below the surface. It is then harnessed via drilling holes at a nearby geothermal power plant, Svartsengi, to create electricity and hot water for nearby communities, and water hot enough for you to relax. And from April you can actually go and stay there too. They’re opening the 35-room Silica Hotel, which offers its own private bathing lagoon and room with private facilities and a veranda with breathtaking views of the surrounding lava fields. They will also be opening a 62-room retreat that will encompass an astonishing underground spa, a mineral-rich lagoon and a restaurant that reinvents Iceland’s culinary heritage. The Retreat will be a place of relaxation, rejuvenation, and exploration. Conceived for both day and overnight experiences, the Retreat journey is designed to bring you closer to nature and the wonders of geothermal seawater. Sounds good to us.