‘The whole team are delightful – warm, kind, full of integrity and humour and totally real’ – Jane Alexander experiences Vital Detox.
In Short: Based near the tiny village of Santa Agnes in the north west of Ibiza and overlooking the almond groves of the Corona valley, this marvellous, bohemian-chic restored farmhouse has an arty, airy vibe that’s instantly relaxing. It’s owned and run by the Rodriguez Castan family, and the warm, friendly service feels very much from-the-heart. Come for massage, facials and holistic treatments in the rustic spa, do yoga, Pilates or meditation, go hiking along some stunning local routes or just hang out in the hot tub and by the beautiful, curved pool. There are three day ayurvedic rituals on offer throughout the season, while yoga retreats take place each April and October led by German hatha yoga teacher Annette Lengersdorf, to which English speakers are welcome. The hotel is closed between 1 November and 27 March. From €200 per room per night in low season.
5-12 April - hatha yoga with Annette Lengersdorf
18-25 October - hatha yoga with Annette Lengersdorf
Read about our experience at Es Cucons
Check out www.escucons.com
Kaliyoga’s base in France is set in acres of beautiful grounds surrounded by lavender fields and fruit trees.
In Short: Reenergise run comforting health and wellbeing retreats for busy people looking for a chance to leave their stresses at home, and to refocus and reconnect. They’re ideal for first time retreaters. Retreats are held in venues across Aberdeenshire, a beautiful coastal area leading to the foothills of the Cairngorms in Scotland, and cover everything from health and nutrition to creativity and various life-loving outdoor activities. The company was set up in 2013 by business woman Dorothy Burke, whose own life turned around after she attended her first retreat ten years ago. From £300 for a weekend break from 5pm Friday to 6pm Sunday, including full board and all activities.
Group retreats are on hold for 2014 – ask us for more details.
Read about our experience at Reenergise
Prices start from £300 for a weekend break from 5pm Friday to 6pm Sunday. They are inclusive of full board and all activities.
Reenergise run comforting health and wellbeing retreats for busy people looking for a chance to leave their stresses at home, and to refocus and reconnect. They’re ideal for first time retreaters. Retreats are held in venues across Aberdeenshire, a beautiful coastal area leading to the foothills of the Cairngorms in Scotland, and cover everything from health and nutrition to creativity and various life-loving outdoor activities.
In Short: Wildfitness offer highly inventive fitness holidays that use outdoor, natural surroundings to get you fit so you feel as far from an urban gym as you possibly can. They were created in 2001 by all-round athlete Tara Wood (listen to Tara talk about wildfitness on TED), who’s warm, funny and lovely to be with, and are run by a hand-picked team of trainers. There are 9 day, 2 week and intensive 24 day fitness holidays on the gorgeous Watamu coast in Kenya, week-long fitness breaks in Spain and bespoke fitness and cooking breaks on the Isle of Wight. It’s not a problem if the last time you did anything like this was when you were five, as you’re encouraged to go at your own pace and rest when you need to. Your body is pretty much designed to change shape for the better, and you’ll feel it. From £690 per person for 3 days on the Isle of Wight.
Wildfitness holidays cost from £690 per person for 3 days on the Isle of Wight, from £1970 per person for a week in Spain, from £2250 per person for a 9 day course in Kenya.
Wildfitness offer highly inventive fitness holidays that use outdoor, natural surroundings to get you fit so you feel as far from an urban gym as you possibly can. There are 9 day, 2 week and intensive 24 day fitness holidays on the gorgeous Watamu coast in Kenya, week-long fitness breaks in Spain and short fitness and cooking breaks on the Isle of Wight.
In Short: Farnham Farmhouse is a family-run, ivy-clad 19th century farmhouse set in serene Thomas Hardy countrysde where you can stay on a B&B basis and indulge in beauty and holistic treatments in the cheery, sunflower-yellow therapy centre built into the converted stables next door. From £80 per room per night based on 2 sharing, treatments from £30.
From £80 per room per night based on 2 sharing, treatments from £30.
In Short: This white-painted, 16th century manor house near Machynlleth in the Powys countryside is set in 14 acres of pretty gardens, in the middle of a bird reserve, and near the energising Cambrian mountains. Come here to enjoy total peace, brilliant walks, gourmet meals, cossetting interiors and treatments. For a more intense wellbeing fix, there are Relax & Revive breaks each weekend on which you can learn meditation, enjoy the guidance of a coach and destress with holistic therapies. Owner Joan Reen has a firm belief in a holistic approach to life and is keen to offer her guests more than just pampering. From £150 b&b, per night. Ask us about special offers.
Read about our experience at Ynyshir Hall
Relax and Revive breaks from £460 per night for two, based on two sharing a double room including all meals and a meditation walk with Thomas. Treatments from £65.
In short: This is a rare treat. A comfortable, 400-year old house in the Lincolnshire countryside where two expert ayurvedic practioners offer bespoke retreats lasting 3, 5 or 7 days. Andy and Laura Shakeshaft are genuine, normal and full of integrity, and have created a real haven of calm. Cleanse body and mind with daily oil massages and steam therapy, one to one yoga and qigong sessions, optional cranio-sacral sessions, personalised dietary advice, ayurvedic counselling, cooking demos, simple meals – and total peace. It costs from £825 per person for a 3 day retreat, which is fully inclusive of everything including lots of one to one attention, beautifully cooked ayurvedic food and bona fide ayurvedic treatments, so it’s pretty good value.
In short: This tranquil retreat in rural East Kent is near miles of sandy beaches yet only 55 minutes by train from St Pancras, London, and it’s run by long time mindfulness practitioner and owner of Mindfulness at Work Louise Cox Chester. Discuss in advance what you need to set you back on track, whether it’s mindfulness training, organic facials, yoga classes, massages or life coaching, then stay in a sweetly converted barn and start to relax. Gloriously for stressed parents, ad hoc babysitting can be arranged.
Our editor Caroline Sylger Jones says: ‘This is one of the most mellow, charming spaces I’ve found for a private wellbeing break in the UK.’
Check out www.witherdenshall.co.uk. *Queen of Retreats readers get 2 nights midweek out of high season for £195 (usually £300) including a basket of organic fruit and vegetables to use during your stay.
This tranquil retreat in rural East Kent is near miles of sandy beaches yet only 55 minutes by train from St Pancras, London. Discuss in advance with your devoted team, led by Louise Cox Chester, what you need to set you back on track, whether it’s organic facials and massages or mindfulness and life coaching, then stay in a sweetly converted barn and start to relax. Gloriously for stressed parents, childcare can be arranged.
In Short: The Mobile Mermaid – Susie – is a gentle, smiling woman who immediately puts you at ease. A Pilates teacher, make up artist and holistic therapist, she runs boutique Pilates retreats at Baliffscourt Hotel and Spa in Sussex and at a gorgeous finca in Andalucia, Spain. Throughout the year she also offers private one-to-one Pilates sessions and treatments either in her studio in Hove or on home visits in Brighton and Hove and by arrangement in London. From £420 per person for a 4 night retreat in Spain & £50 for a 1:1 Pilates session in the UK.
Susie’s 2014 pilates retreats:
At Baliffscourt Hotel and Spa, Sussex: 12-14 May (see below for full details)
In Spain: 2-9 May FULL, 2-9 June, 22-29 September, 24-31 October, November dates TBC
Read about our experience with Mobile Mermaid
Check out www.mobilemermaid.co.uk. *Queen of Retreats readers who book before the end of March get queenly perks: book a pilates retreat in Spain and Susie will your 30 minute complimentary treatment to 60 minutes. Book a massage, reflexology or facial treatment with Susie (in Hove, Brighton or London) & receive £10 off any treatment. Book 10 private Pilates sessions with Susie (in Hove, Brighton or London) and receive 15% discount. Book using our form* or quote Queen of Retreats on Susie’s site.
In Short: Silver Island in Greece is one of the most authentic, peaceful yoga retreats we’ve been to in a long long time. A 15 minute boat ride from the coast of Evia island, it offers week-long yoga holidays from April to October. There’s no internet connection and no mains power but that makes it even more of a ‘stop the world’ retreat.
The yoga comes courtesy of teachers from all over the world and with a maximum of ten guests, there’s plenty of individual attention. The ambiance is artistic and relaxed and during down time you can catch up on sleep, sunbathe, snorkel, kayak or just amble around the island. From £1100 per person for 6 nights all inclusive.
Read about our experience on Silver Island
Check out www.silverislandyoga.com
In Short: Tilton House is a large and lovely white-painted Georgian house set at the foot of the South Downs National Park. It offers a range of yoga and creative breaks on the weekends, and relaxing B&B and self catering during the week. It’s the former home of economist John Maynard Keynes and his Russian ballerina wife, Lydia Lopokova, who apparently liked to dance on its lawns by moonlight, and remains a discreet and carefree place to stay thanks to the super hosts, film-makers Polly and Shaun. The house makes a relaxing midweek base for a shopping trip too, as it’s just 10 minutes from Lewes, 20 minutes from Brighton and 1.5 hours from London. Doubles from £95 B&B per night, treatments from £40 an hour, cost of weekend retreats vary.
Doubles from £95 B&B per night, treatments from £40 an hour, cost of weekend retreats vary.
In Short: This elegant, civilised and very private 12-roomed hotel in the countryside near Santa Gertrudis is the perfect place to hole up – people come back each year and stay for months at a time. A converted stone house with dark green shutters and vibrant coloured flowers growing up large sweeps of thick whitewashed walls, it’s family-owned, and Margaret and her husband are gracious and easy going hosts. There are mature gardens, a lovely pool and a Moroccan-feeling spa, and everything from a facial to a full blown private wellbeing escape can be arranged with spa concierge company Ibiza Balance. In April, May and September, you can also do a 5 night private detox. Come to finish your novel, get some head space or relax and do absolutely nothing. From €320 per double room B&B per night, treatments from €80.
Read about our experience at Cas Gasi
Check out www.casgasi.com. * Book direct with the owners using our form and you’ll receive some Cas Gasi organic herb-infused olive oil for eating or spreading all over your body!
In Short: The Scarlet is a refreshingly different, rather fun and totally unpretentious place to relax that offers dedicated 3 night, 4 day wellbeing escapes throughout the year as well as gorgeously indulgent stays. It was built by three sisters as an adults-only retreat where, as one of them told me, ‘we could take our husbands to remind each other why we married them’. Set above the romantic, wind-swept beach at Mawgan Porth, it has contemporary interiors, impeccable eco-credentials, upmarket comfort food and laid-back, friendly staff. At the spa enjoy soothing Ayurvedic rituals and treatments using locally sourced ingredients, a spacious relaxation area and chemical-free swimming pools. Talented health & fitness team 38 Degrees North run detox retreats and fitness breaks between November and March here too. From £190 per room B&B based on two sharing; 3 night, 4 day Wellbeing Escapes from £790 per person including all treatments, meals and accommodation.
From £190 per room B&B based on two sharing; 3 night, 4 day Wellbeing Escapes from £790 per person including all treatments, meals and accommodation.