The best fitness escapes are eco friendly, effective, and sometimes, a bit exotic…
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Let’s face it. Our bodies are on display in summer more than any other season. And not all of us feel quite ready for public displays of flesh.
Just before the lazy days of summer, some of us may need a bit of a kickstart to get (or stay) in shape.
Luckily, there are plenty of wonderful, eco-minded luxury properties around the world with full fitness programs in place to help make your body bikini-beautiful, no matter what time of the year it is.
Here’s our pick of 5 fab fitness escapes in sustainably luxurious surroundings, ranging from Swiss mountaintops to Indian jungles.
Which would you love to visit?
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Green Farm Fitness retreat in Kent, UK, takes environmentally friendliness to a whole new level.
Set within a mix of ancient woodlands and farmland, and with accommodation in a lovingly restored 600 year old house. This is one holiday that will allow you to go back to your roots.
Everything at this eco hotel is locally sourced wherever possible, from the food to the employees. Rainwater is harvested to provide water for the washing machines and bathrooms. Solar panels provide all the energy needed by the property.
The lush countryside is right on your doorstep, and there are stunning woods and meadows to cycle and run through. A gorgeous glow and feeling of wellbeing are the gifts you will leave with after your stay in the best fitness escape in Great Britain.
Get Fit: Cycling, running, hiking, walking, fitness classes, suspension training, detox diets available.
Wow Factor: Set within the Garden of England, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Fallen trees have been converted to make natural fitness props with logs being used instead of weights and suspension cords are hung from trees, for example.
La Clairiere ensures that their fitness escape is both luxurious and ecologically sound. This place is as clean and green as can be, from the organic wool mattress you sleep on, to the eco friendly cleaning products and biodegradable composting.
What’s more, 100% of their electricity supply is from renewable energy sources. When it comes to food, everything is prepared using fresh organic ingredients, locally sourced where possible. This is the best fitness escape in France, that respects the environment as much as their guests.
This place provides bicycles for those who sojourn here. Cycling through the well-marked trails of the surrounding forest will be fun, as much as hiking. Want to move even more? Take a swim in the heated pool! To recover from your workout, a full menu of spa treatments is available.
Get Fit: Personal training, swimming, yoga classes, forest walks, Qi Gong classes, aqua gym, Nordic walking (with poles)
Wow Factor: The lush green Alsace forest setting will set your spirits soaring! Plus, the immune boosting food is to live for.
SwaSwara is one of the best fitness escapes in India, that holds environmental care very close to its OM-shaped heart.
Fresh water is a scarce resource at this eco hotel, so they harvest the rainwater in order to make them self-sufficient. They’ve extended this practice also to the local school. Any waste water is recycled and used for their organic vegetable gardens and flower beds.
This holistic destination strongly believes in giving back to the land that they feel they have gained so much from.
Get Fit: Nature walks, jogging, but of course, yoga is the focus here.
Wow Factor: A truly restorative oasis of serenity, tranquillity and calm – Ayurvedic treatments so good you’ll be in a constant state of bliss!
Another one that hits the list of best fitness escapes in South Asia is the Vana Retreat. This year’s hottest new opening in the eco-tourism world, takes their input towards the environment very seriously.
This hotel boasts certified organic bed and bath linen and bamboo flooring in all the guest rooms. The bottling plant helps save up to 100,000 plastic bottles each year. The retreat uses 100% post-consumer recycled waste paper for all stationery and biodegradable materials wherever possible.
They also harvest rainwater, grow organic herbs and salads, buy only what is seasonal, and are committed to sourcing locally.
Here the health of the planet is taken seriously, and the same focus goes on the health of the guests.
Wow Factor: Fresh and fabulous interior design, spacious rooms all surrounded by exotic flora.
Get Fit: The fully equipped, modern gym has a pool alongside, and there is a wonderful view to the gardens and is fully equipped, with personal trainers available. Yoga classes and guided hikes are also options.
At Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern, you couldn’t be surrounded by more luxury — or be closer to nature. Located in the midst of the Swiss mountains, the lush property is nestled within breathtakingly beautiful gardens. This exclusive location is undoubtedly the best fitness escape in Switzerland. It has an imposing backdrop of the world-famous Eiger and Lauber-hor mountains, that always thrills its guests.
It takes advantage of its natural surroundings. For example, the Alpine Flex Fitness retreat programme includes hiking, jogging and cross-fit workouts in the great outdoors.
Special bonus: the high altitude makes your body work all the harder and boosts the results!
If you prefer to stay indoors, there is a fully equipped gym in the hotel, and of course there is a relaxing spa, complete with sauna, Jacuzzi and treatment rooms, to help your muscles recover.
Wow Factor: Luxurious design and fresh Alpine air
Get Fit: Fully equipped gym, well marked forest trails for running, jogging and walking; cross fit workouts, pool, cross country skiing in winter.
The charming mountains of Utah embrace a gem of eco-tourism, the Red Mountain Resort. This world-class destination conveys a feeling of relaxation but also satisfies your thirst for adventure.
There are over eighty rooms and twenty villa suites overlooking the magical landscape of twisting canyons. Guests are pampered with beauty and the best fitness routine they can find in an American retreat. There are various packages one can select, that range from wellness to explorative experiences. To get your body movie-star fit, this is one of the best fitness escapes.
Indoor and outdoor pools, golf, massages and spa treatments are ideal for gentle exercise. Canyoneering, biking and hiking are actives for the more active travellers. All of these can can be accessed directly from the resort.
As for the meals, the restaurant offers menus that are lean and healthy.
Wow Factor: It is near Snow Canyon State Park and a one hour drive from Zion National Park. Both are lovely places to explore!
Get Fit: Burn those calories, with the guided hikes across the 7,000 acres of red rock canyons, cliffs, and lava caves.
One of the best fitness escapes is found at the state-of-the-art Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. This resort takes care of both your body and your mind.
You experience the best practices from the Eastern and Western world. This is thanks to the combination of the latest high-tech equipment that is integrated with medical modalities. These include Oriental medicine, anti-aging treatments, energy healing, brain health, nutrition counselling and even an executive coach.
The accommodations are incredibly luxurious, and have the size of apartments, with the kitchen separate from the bedroom areas. The restaurant offers a clean and fresh ingredient-led gastronomy. The menu is determined by what is in season.
Wow Factor: The spa’s unique Thermal Hydrotherapy Circuit is complete with the best spa treatments you can dream of. These include the herbal laconium, crystal sauna, multi-sensory rain showers, and Miami’s only Ice Igloo Room.
Get Fit: Guests can choose amongst 65+ fitness classes per week, as well as treatments from a curated team of gifted practitioners and medical experts.