Fire up a meaningful new fitness regime
This is surely the shape of the holiday of the future. The move by mainstream hotels away from hedonism and towards healthiness has started already, with vegetarian menus, jogging maps and yoga mats. And the all-inclusive detox and fitness stay, as pioneered by BodyHoliday, feels like a blueprint for how it will evolve. After all, who doesn’t want to return from any trip fitter rather than fatter? This is the place to come for encouragement to finally get your lifestyle in shape. Ranged around a remote bay in the north of St Lucia, with a serene spa inspired by Granada’s Alhambra, it has been running get-healthier breaks since it opened in 1988.
It’s not cheap. Prices have risen markedly since the overhaul that pushed it from four- to five-star territory, give or take some dull, still unrefurbished rooms (definitely to be avoided). But the all-inclusive claim is no exaggeration. It’s easy to check out with nothing extra on the bill. That’s after having had a different type of massage every day; taken your pick of about 40 daily activities, from meditation and yoga to Hobie Cat sailing and triathlon-style challenges; eaten wonderful fresh food and drank all the wine and cocktails you wanted (alcohol is available but a lot of guests avoid it); plus helped yourself to snacks from the open-air pantry. You only pay extra for off-site activities – night dives, waterfall abseiling – and additional spa treatments. Piercing reflexology with Georgia Alexander, who has been blind from glaucoma since the age of 11, is outstanding, as are the steel-fingered massages by the diminutive Velma Wallace. (‘I see some guys thinking, “Now what’s this little lady going to be able to do for a big strong man like me?” Do they get a surprise!’ she cackles.)
Under Andrew Barnard, the son of the founder, BodyHoliday is now further upping its game with the BodyScience programme – a detailed medical analysis involving DNA testing, 3D visualisation of your organs, cardio and arterial fitness, and nutrient and hormonal status. Ayurvedic expert Dr Samantha Semmalar carries out further tests and schedules daily treatments: infrared detox sessions, shirodhara and four-handed massages. At the end of the week you discuss the lab results in a Skype session with her and a London Harley Street doctor, and leave armed with a fat file of information, a stack of supplements, and a programme of how to correct whatever issues the tests have revealed. This could be one of the most useful thing you do for yourself – ever.
- INSIDER TIP
- Many guests come on their own, but it’s also brilliant for couples with different interests and grown-up family holidays as everyone can do their own thing by day and gather for dinner.
- BEST FOR
- Getting fit, Detoxing
- BOOK IT
- Carrier (+44 161 492 1354; carrier.co.uk) offers seven nights from £2,225 per person full board, including flights, transfers and activities.