Working out. You’re supposed to do it, you have to do it, but unless you do it regularly, it can be one of the single hardest things to start. These fabulous spa fitness programs mange to deliver that “motivating push” in a way that makes the transition from sedentary to active a little bit easier.
Best For: Anyone, regardless of fitness level, who is serious about losing weight, getting in shape and learning how to maintain it.
The fitness options vary by location at the Biggest Loser Resorts (there’s one in Ivins, UT, Malibu, CA, Niagra, NY and a new location in Chicago) but the mission remains the same—inspiring guests to achieve life-long health and wellness through customized programs that include nutrition education, targeted fitness schedules and invigorating wellness treatments. Your daily schedule will be packed with activities to keep you moving and the results you see will be your motivation to keep going. The best part—you won’t even know how hard you’re working. Guided hikes may feel more like leisurely walks outdoors rather than the calorie-torching workouts they truly are. And you won’t just be served a menu of delicious, nutritious food during your stay, you’ll learn how to choose ingredients and prepare healthier meals at home too.
Bottom Line: You’ll lose weight, leave with a much-needed boost of self-confidence and begin a life-changing journey toward a healthier lifestyle.
Best For: The not-so-fanatical fitness-seeker who appreciates a workout with a view (think canyon horseback riding, seaside cycling and hikes on the Pacific cliffs).
With a picturesque coastal setting that’s situated right across from Catalina Island and only 20 miles south of LAX, Terranea Resort could safely hang its hat on its location alone. But this tranquil pocket in Palos Verdes, CA, is serious about spa and fitness—so much so that it just launched its spa bungalows, a collection of three-, five- and seven-night experiences that provide a personalized well-being itinerary that includes spa services, fitness (there’s even workout gear in the suite and an evaluation by a personal trainer), yoga, coastal hikes and healthy, yet inarguably delicious, cuisine.
Bottom Line: You will lose weight—and you’ll be so inspired (yet not deprived) that you’ll actually keep up your healthy habits back at home.
Best For: Those who love the open air of the great outdoors—and don’t mind sleeping out in it.
There’s something about just being outside in a beautiful setting (especially for the most stay-put of office dwellers) that almost immediately triggers the instinct to get moving, get healthy and take it all in. Colorado’s C Lazy U has that beautiful setting part secured—it sits in the shadow of Rocky Mountain National Park—but throws in a “luxury dude ranch” vibe for those who aren’t quite ready to completely rough it. For a true spa-going, stress-reducing, not-your-average workout experience, visit during the months of May, September or October, when the resort offers the Julie Goodnight Riding and Yoga Retreat for women. Like the name suggests, the focus is on horseback riding (it’s totally doable for beginners), but guests are encouraged to make a stop at the newly renovated collection of spa tents. You can’t go wrong with any of the signature treatments, but the Cowboy Soak, a moonlit dip in a deep copper tub complete with champagne and strawberries, is undeniably special.
Bottom Line: This retreat is so fabulous—you’ll forget you’re burning calories.
Best For: Pretty much anyone. The spa’s offerings are so extensive (there’s family bootcamps, solo traveler retreats and girfriend getaways), you’d be hard-pressed to find some selection that didn’t work for you.
St. Lucia’s The BodyHoliday has long been known for boasting a serious spa (it rings it at a whooping 30,000 square feet) in an all-inclusive setting, and this summer they are rolling out even more reasons to visit. This month showcases the Jive June dance-a-thon inspired retreat, a mix of classes including Jive, Salsa, Cha Cha, Slow Waltz, Argentine Tango, Rhythm Foxtrot, Samba and Zumba. After dancing the night away, guests can unwind with signature cocktails and themed menus surrounding a specific style of dance.
Bottom Line: This five-star resort always has something new and surprising to offer even the most seasoned spa-goers.
Best For: Busy professionals who don’t have a ton of time to work on some trouble spots—and don’t mind the slower pace of island life.
Favoring form and function over drill sergeant-like repetitions, this four-night fitness immersion (it’s offered every April and November) helps you counteract what trainer Frank Baptiste calls the “sitting disease” of sedentary modern office workers while building strength. Hosted at the secluded beachside Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, BVI, the Frankly Fitness Immersion retreat is designed to educate you in a place “where you can slow down enough to actually focus on what you’re doing,” Baptiste says—not to mention appreciate the gorgeous view. Separated into classes that help you move better (stretches and poses) and those that help you build strength (kettlebell sessions and core training), classes take place two or three times a day, leaving plenty of time to hit up the Sense Spa for a massage or snorkel just off the beach to see one of the resident sea turtles.
Bottom Line: Think of this as boot camp with a lot of bonuses: With the exception of dinnertime, you’ll often feel like you’re the only guest, and there are plenty of places for quiet reflection. Schedule a boat ride for a beach drop at a private location or climb to the yoga pavilion above the spa for a look over the entire bay.
Best for: Serious fitness fanatics.
Malibu’s The Ranch at Live Oak has become synonymous with serious working out, so much so that it refers to itself as “a no-options fitness program.” The intense seven-day retreat is all about structure—the daily routine involves eight to ten hours a day of rigorous exercise, four hours of hiking and that regimen is complemented by a 1,400-calorie-per-day vegetarian diet. This September, The Ranch is rolling out the 4.0 version that will offer guests (it’s limited to 16 each week) a four-day program (Thursday through Monday) of the brand’s signature seven-day stay.
Bottom Line: This program is intense and disciplined. There’s no opting out of activities and there’s no swapping food options. It’s hard, but you’ll feel better (and more fitness-inclined) than you ever have in your life.
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