The ultimate get fit Thai trip

    Not only is Trisara one of Thailand’s most luxurious resorts, it also keeps you in shape. Zoe Bingley-Pullin reports.

    Turning 40 was both a daunting and exciting moment in my life. I was more than ready to leave my thirties behind and welcome the forties with open arms. When I was given the opportunity to stay at Phuket’s Trisara, I thought there was no better way to celebrate my birthday than with my family at one of Thailand’s most luxurious resorts. Catering to my love of fitness, food and health, I knew my stay was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

    The resort

    Just a 20-minute drive from the airport, upon arrival we were escorted straight to our villa. Traditionally Thai but with all the modern luxuries, the villa even had its own spectacular pool. Each day we received fresh fruit to nibble on between quiet swims and peaceful relaxation. Tucked away and private, the villa allowed my family to spend quality time together and take the holiday at our own pace.

    Each morning it was hard to pick between a relaxed breakfast in the room or a visit to the restaurant, and both options did not disappoint. With a secluded white sand beach and the resort’s own 40-acre manicured jungle, my adventurous side was ready to explore.

    The activities

    Outside of general sightseeing and relaxation, Trisara offers a unique Fitbit program that encourages guests to be active during their stay. Leading an active lifestyle back home, I naturally wanted to keep my fitness up when away.

    The aim of the program is to hit 100,000 steps in a week. While it sounds like a lot, it was actually easier than I had anticipated, especially if you stick to the program’s daily itinerary. Full of activities to keep me motivated, I enjoyed a morning power walk around the resort and beach, nighttime kayak tours, circuit training in the gym, beach boot camps and Muay Thai training — a particular favourite. A rainforest hike even saw me burn 1,100 calories!

    The gym wasn’t your typical, minimally furnished hotel gym either. Packed with enough equipment to rival your local club, I challenged myself with circuit workouts followed by a session in the infra-red sauna while my daughter was at the kid’s club.

    The Fitbit program didn’t just challenge my body, my mind was given a workout, too. A meditation and yoga class on the deck followed by a massage was the perfect way to wind down for a relaxing dinner. I returned home very rejuvenated!

    To see more of Phuket we took a private boat ride to Phang Nga Bay. We visited the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre, both of which have a humane and ethical approach to taking care of these amazing animals.

    The food

    I have an undeniable love affair with food, and travel for me is as much about the food as it is the culture and experience. A lot of my inspiration as a chef and nutritionist comes from the places I’ve travelled to, and I was ready to excite my tastebuds in Phuket.

    One of my favourite restaurants was Suay. With its Thai fusion cuisine, I loved the lobster pasta with kaffir lime leaves, while my husband couldn’t get enough of the lamb tacos served on roti bread.

    I’m a massive advocate for paddock-to-plate dining, so Pru restaurant at Trisara was a natural pick! The ingredients at Pru are locally sourced from their own wild garden, and each dish tells a story. One standout dish featured carrots cooked in the soil they were grown in — absolutely mind-blowing. I kept going back for a crab curry with noodles at lunchtime — the flavours and textures were unbelievable. I am still craving this dish!

    I booked in a one-on-one cooking class and learnt how to cook chicken larb, fish cakes and a Penang seafood curry. This was a fantastic experience and a great way to learn more about the food scene in Phuket, but to also take a little bit of Phuket home to share with family and friends.

    For a more casual vibe, the Catch Beach Club had a stunning view, great music and an unforgettable fresh crab salad. Café Del Mar was another family favourite, where the menu catered well to kids and we all enjoyed deliciously fresh sushi.