Travel Well: 6 Best Back-To-School Retreats
The end of the summer holiday makes way for autumn leaves, woolly jumpers and new routines – not just for the kids but for adults too. Some time to reset will help decompress you from a heady summer and steel yourself for the winter term ahead. To really make a difference it’s time to become a PE teacher of your own, to push you out of your comfort zone and help you make longer-lasting changes mentally as well as physically. These 6 recharge retreats, bootcamps and at home life-changers offer just that.
Spa and Wellness Journalist, Suzanne Duckett is Spa Editor of Tatler Spa Guide, a regular contributor for The Telegraph and Contributing Wellness Editor of Psychologies magazine.
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The Natural Approach
Image Credit: iStock.com/GilitukhaWildfitness run a handful of park-based fitness sessions (London), retreats and week-long breaks based on the principles of movement, playfulness and re-connection with nature – because they reckon (and I think they’re right) that nature knows best. So be it in a London park or a wilder wilderness abroad (Zanzibar, Crete, Scotland or Berlin) booking in with this wild bunch gives you the opportunity to develop your movement capacity and fitness, re-programme bad habits, postures, and movement patterns and remind you just how strong and capable your body really is.
Think crawling, climbing and generally moving, boxing and martial arts, cycling and playing team sports – owning the outdoor like a wild ‘n’ free animal. Each session differs slightly to stimulate the whole body while focusing on the inherent skills and movements that are super-nutritious to us as a species – a highly effective training method with a seriously fun side.
The Woman-Only Reboot
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If you’re looking to kick-start your fitness, shape up fast and shed some pounds with some fellow females under the sun, Thirty Eight Degrees North’s TheBody:ReSet Ibiza women’s retreat is the one. Female trainers hone mind and body in small, all-women groups combining metabolic, fat-burning, super-toning exercise throughout the 5-6 daily activities such as HIIT, yoga, cardio boxing and running.
Hiking or paddleboarding (all tailored to individual levels of fitness) are also woven in to get you out and about the island too. It’s not all about exertion though: luxury spa treatments from osteopath to massage and cutting-edge slimming treatments can all feature on your dream itinerary. What’s more, the final night you get to celebrate your achievements with dinner and cocktails, leaving Re:Set recharged and ready to go home.
25 September to Saturday 1 October, from £2045
The Body Beautiful Base Camp
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Also on the White Isle is luxury holistic retreat The Body Camp, based in a luxury villa in Ibiza’s San Juan. Here they use some of the world’s best fitness and health mentors to rejuvenate mind body and soul. These body workers include yoga instructor Ayda Ellis, renowned for working the body whilst creating a truly deep connection to the soul, and A-list personal trainer Rick Parcell, whose mission is to change people’s lives one step at a time by really tuning in to personal goals.
Even the menus are an opportunity to reassess health, body composition, performance and well-being as they are 80% plant based, supplemented with small amounts of eggs, dairy, organic lean meat and fresh fish (not the other way round). Body campers also get a gorgeous massage and manicure or pedicure by Love Beauty Ibiza, a range of natural bespoke products made on the island.
And, just before returning home, it’s wise to have a consultation with healer Faye Reason, whose reiki, shamanism and crystal therapy will work its own wonders re-calibrating you at the deepest level.
The Digital Dial-In
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Dan Roberts is known for his training of top actresses, athletes and models (including Victoria’s Secret models) because he knows how to work a body to its max. But he’s an emotionally savvy character and genuinely more concerned about inner strength and well-being, individual athletic ability and martial arts than about straight-forward look-good fitness.
At present, Dan is offering Bespoke online training including exercise, nutrition consultations and coaching sessions via Skype or FaceTime. You will receive personalised workout demonstrations and workout programme cards – so no matter where you are in the world, he will personally look after you. With a 4-week plan you will receive weekly 30 minutes of online consultations and 2 personalised online workouts (week 1 and week 4) for you to follow at the gym or at home. Pricey, yes, but compared to many retreats and upmarket gym memberships the one-to-one attention to detail is, relatively speaking, remarkably good value.
From £500 per month. More detailed plans can be tailored to include nutrition plans, longer consultations and more bespoke workouts at extra cost.
The Mind Makeover
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Mint tea, Berber rugs, candles, cushions and mud villas: it can only be cinematically romantic Morocco. This digital detox holiday will reset your frantic western lifestyle, with plenty of aesthetic highlights: villas and glamping tents with mud-and-straw adobe walls or cotton canvas ones are awash with fresh roses, hand-sculpted bathrooms and huge, comfortable beds. Terraces with sun loungers overlook vast vistas of hilltops or a river canyon.
Early-morning Tibetan yogic exercises precede a Moroccan breakfast of homemade pancakes, breads, eggs, fruit, orange juice, coffee, green and mint tea. Lunches and dinners combine Moroccan and French cuisine, served in a private nomad dining tent with desert views. Each day begins and ends with mindfulness meditation guided by teacher Brian Hilliard, allowing you to rediscover balance and happiness.
Mindfulness Journeys Berber desert retreat, 24 September-1 October, from €1,400 (around £1,171)
The Brink Of Burnout Booster
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Internationally renowned coach Danielle Marchant says, “In an age of constant movement, nothing is more essential than slowing down to press pause.” This retreat offers you the ideal opportunity to do just that.
After experiencing burn-out four years ago, Danielle founded The Pause, a series of retreats, workshops and coaching. For those who feel lost, unfulfilled and lonely, or have simply reached a difficult juncture in life, it offers space and time for the mind and body to breathe. The stay combines group sessions and 1-2-1 coaching, painting, walking and meditation with time out to reconnect in rural Berkshire.
30 September-3 October, £429.