The rise of fitness wellness

A fitness wellness retreat will speed up your recovery and boost your fitness at the same time. Cindy Bingley-Pullin reports.

When late nights, long hours and too much festive food (and too little exercise and sleep) begin to take their toll, book some “me time” at a resort that provides facilities for you to not only unwind, but also recover and get fit. Here’s our pick of the best, only a few hours flight time away.

Absolute Sanctuary, Thailand

Spend your days practising breathing exercises, meditation and gentle yoga classes, or opt for leisurely laps in the infinity pool and a therapeutic steam room sweat-out. Indulge in first-class treatments including lymphatic drainage massages, infrared saunas and magnesium foot soaks — all nourished with freshly squeezed juices, green shots and delicious healthy meals.

Spa Village Resort, Bali

Peaceful, intimate and luxurious, this is the place to switch off and get pampered. Of course, spa rituals are an integral part of the experience. Other activities include weaving classes, temple tours, jukong boat cruises and starlight gazing from a floating platform.

Kamalaya, Thailand

This award winning haven of holistic healing helps city slickers transform from stressed out to serene. With an eco-luxe ethos, tasty food to nourish body and soul and a suite of treatments and programs designed to restore balance and a sense of inner peace, Kamalaya feels special. Whatever you’re here for — increasing fitness, good sleep habits, emotional balance or something else — you’re guaranteed to return to everyday life recharged, revitalised and reconnected.

Chiva-Som, Thailand

Elle MacPherson called Chiva-Som “the most extraordinary experience”, while Elizabeth Hurley considers it “a ravishing health spa where you can lose weight, calm down and be pampered into oblivion.” Chiva-Som also has a modern medi-spa, so you can indulge in everything from the esoteric to the aesthetic.

Fivelements, Bali

The transformative powers of living food shapes this spa’s eco-wellness vision for a better, happier and healthier world. Immerse yourself in exciting culinary experiences — learn about the healing properties of plant-based cuisine and the importance of sourcing local food. Don’t want to cook? The retreat also offers gourmet plant-based à la carte meals.