The Healthy Retreat Company review | fitness holidays, Dubai
Fitness and Weight Loss Retreats an hour from Dubai
The Quick Read: Set up by personal trainer Katie Duncan, former owner of Apples & Pears UK Retreats, The Healthy Retreat Company offers a variety of fitness holidays all year round at a five star hotel an hour from Dubai. Each features exercise, nutrition and time out for yourself, and whatever your fitness level, you will be gently pushed out of your comfort zone towards your personal limits. Activities are varied, ensuring that your body is worked from top to toe, and friendly trainers make sure you’re doing everything correctly and safely. You can stay from 4 nights to 3 months, all year round.
Who it’s best for: The Healthy Retreat Company will appeal to both men and women looking to lose weight, but it’s also just as suitable for people who want to kickstart their fitness regime or get into training for something specific, and is excellent for de-stressing too. Everyone works to their own limits, the trainers are used to working with groups of mixed ages, abilities, and fitness levels, and there is a supportive atmosphere. Many retreaters tend to come alone, and about half are likely to be people on a repeat visit.
What you do: Choose a programme, meal plan and dates to suit you, from flexible to full regimes. The programmes include Weight Loss, Flexi, Water Sports, Spa, Female Only and Juice, and the structured activities vary from 3 to 6 hours per day. Exercise sessions include cardio workouts, swimming, cycling, boxing, beach and island walks/runs, paddle boarding, beach activities and gym workouts, depending on what programme you choose.
Where you stay: The retreats take place at the Marjan Island Resort, a very well equipped 5 star venue set on a private white sandy beach an hour from Dubai. Its numerous health facilities include two swimming pools, fully-equipped gyms and a luxury spa with jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
How was it for us: We experienced The Healthy Retreat Company in the UK – here’s what we found.
Food watch: The Healthy Retreat Company meals focus on real food, with wholegrains, a rainbow of vegetables and fruit, pulses, fish, meat, nuts and seeds, live yogurt and plenty of herbs and spices to bring it all to life. Nutritionists have worked with the chefs to design delicious freshly prepared healthy menus that have enough calories to get you through your fitness programme, but help you lose weight at the same time. Specific dietary requirements can be catered for. If you follow the Juice programme, you can expect expect concoctions of apples and pears, deep-leafy-greens and red-rich-berries infused with ginger, lemon, lime and the freshest herbs.
What’s lowly: The climate is very hot and humid during the summer months (June-August), though the schedule is adapted so that outdoor activities take place early morning and later in the day and indoor activities in the air conned facilities take place during the hottest part of the day.
Insider tip: There’s huge flexibility on dates, programme and menu plans – pick and choose the elements you want to create a truly tailor-made retreat.
Price with a companion: Retreats cost £200 or £300 a night per person for a shared room, depending on the programme. Prices include 5* accommodation, meals, activities and use of the facilities. Discounts available for stays of 8+ days.
Price going solo: Retreats cost £250 or £350 a night per person for a single room, depending on the programme. Prices include 5* accommodation, meals, activities and use of the facilities. Discounts available for stays of 8+ days.
Value for Money: Not bad at all. You can make a saving by opting for the Flexi Programme – just 3 hours of supervised exercise per day but full use of the hotel facilities in your spare time.
Reviewed by Ruth Rosselson
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