You don’t have to leave your hotel for your fitness fix.
For the traveller looking to stay fit on the road, you’re in luck. The options for a #fitcation are plentiful and no longer limited to remote stays where a digital detox and only low-carb, gluten-free fare is mandatory. With so many hotels amping up their fitness and wellness offerings, there’s no excuse to lapse in your fitness goals, whether you’re on vacation or on the road.
Photo: Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary Phuket
Don’t wait for a special occasion to get in your best shape together. Nor do you have to jab it out when you prefer to drop a downward dog and get into a zen-like state, or vice versa. Mesh both your fitness and wellness needs at the intimate 12 all-pool villa Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary Phuket where there are 50 different activities (sound meditation, Thai boxing, naturopathy, posture alignment, muay thay etc…) across a range of wellness and fitness options (Body Awareness, Mindful Practices, Optimal Fitness and Lifestyle Enrichment) to choose for your own personalised couple down time. The Sanctuary Wellbeing programme offers the option to mix-and-match or to pre- select from one of four goal-oriented categories — New Well-being, Balanced Fitness, Mindful Awareness and Urban Detox. As an added plus, there’s culturally insightful activities organised like an interactive cooking class with local youths or a morning cycle through a local neighbourhood, and did we mention the stay includes unlimited in-villa massages?
From 23,040 baht (S$960) per night. Visit www.banyantree.com/en/thailand/phuket-spa-sanctuary for more information.
Photo: The Byron at Byron
Female surf retreats aren’t a new thing but learning to get gnarly in luxury (and in pristine waters) remains a rarity. The Byron at Byron offers an all-female surf retreat and also private lessons with Rusty Miller (former 1965 USA champion) and his daughter Taylor who are the only surf coaches licensed to teach at the world famous Pass Beach known for its aggressive breaks. When you’re not getting amped out on the water, the five-star resort has a range of other distractions (aside from their top notch spa): Daily yoga classes, farm-to-plate cuisine, activities like a gin distillery tour, whale watching, hot air balloon rides and exploring the world’s largest amethyst cave, plus it’s surrounded by 45 acres of rainforest so you can forest bath at leisure. If this isn’t a #fitcation to die for, we don’t know what is.
Rooms from AUD$440 (S$438) per night. Visit www.thebyronatbyron.com.au/the-resort for more information.
Photo: JW Marriott
Vacations and work trips are the biggest culprit when it comes to upsetting a regular fitness routine. Luckily, hotel chains are taking action and bringing exercise options in-house, quite literally. JW Marriott makes its Behind the Barre, a collection of in-room exercise videos, available across its Asia Pacific and North America properties. Designed specifically for a guestroom environment, the videos taught by professional ballet dancers from Chicago’s The Joffrey Ballet, run between two and four minutes each, and take guests through a full-body barre method that incorporates core strength and stretching exercise. As a bonus (and added motivation), its Singapore property holds barre classes every Wednesday from 5.30pm to 6.15pm at one of their two sky gardens. The view comes in handy after that upteemth plie.
From $328 per night. Visit www.marriott.com/jw-marriott/well-being.mi for more information.
Photo: Westin Hotels & Resorts
We get it, hand-carry space is precious and running shoes sometimes get the toss. If you don’t have room for your precious runners (but still insist on that daily run), just hit up the front desk at any of the Westin Hotel & Resorts properties. The RunWESTIN program doles out New Balance shoes and clothing (fresh socks included) for a small fee, plus they provide pre-plotted three- and five-mile running routes so you don’t map your run through 10 traffic lights. If you don’t prefer to run solo, check for a Run Concierge (a running consultant who can offer you training tips and racing strategies; they’ve got 225 available globally) and sign yourself up when they organise a group run so you’ve got someone to pace you.
From S$441 per night. Visit www.westin.marriott.com for more information.
For some, there’s only so much sun, sand and snorkeling to be done and when you’re “marooned” on an island, distractions of a more active nature can be a saving grace. Tennis enthusiasts staying at the Amilla Fushi or Finolhu resort in The Maldives don’t have to miss their weekly match. The in-house tennis programme makes available current or former international ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) players – they’ve hosted current world number four Alexander ‘Sascha’ Zverev for a special exhibition match and tennis clinic – for more than just a hit and giggle on floodlit synthetic grass courts. Services go beyond a typical private lesson; they’ll organise an intensive program for the duration of your stay, train up budding players and if you fancy challenging a real pro to a super tie break (and win), you may walk away with an additional session.
From US$1,589 (S$2,186) per night for Amilla Fushi. The Idyllic Escapes package includes daily breakfast and dinner, daily 90-minute activity (tennis, yoga or Bodyism) wellness dinner and detox spa treatment for two.
From US$750 per night (S$1,031) for Finolhu . The Born To Play package includes daily breakfast afternoon tea and dinner, a Maldives experience, sunset cruise, jet lag spa treatment per guest and other extras.
Photo: The Sanchaya
When you don’t have time to plan a trip but need a low effort break to reframe and refocus, book a trip to The Sanchaya. The sprawling resort is open every third Sunday of the month to outside guests for the Sanchaya Sunday experience, which includes a boozy brunch (think free flow Pimms, rosé and Bloody Marys) and 20 per cent off spa treatments, where holistic treatments like crystal healing and reiki, or the Sanchaya Signature, a hot stone massage using volcanic stones from Java, will instantly reset your inner compass.
From $225 per person. Go to the www.thesanchaya.com for more information.
Photo: Aman Resorts
The Aman Resorts have long been associated with the concept of holistic wellness. No surprise, they’ve zeroed in on qigong, fast becoming the go-to tool for the stressed urbanite. Together with Tevia Feng of White Tiger Qigong, this March, they’ll host a one-off Five Element Qigong Cleansing Retreat at the Amankora in Bhutan, where guests will learn how to cleanse themselves through the art of qigong. Aside from mastering the ancient artform, the property consisting of five intimate lodges (Paro, Punakha, Gangtey, Bumthang and Thimphu) offers a number of unique wellness experiences, including a Himalayan Forest Therapy that makes the most of its fabled setting, allowing guests to combine both Forest and Prayer Flag Bathing together with the creation of a Mandala in an effort to declutter and calm the mind.
From US$1,450 (S$1,996) per night. Go to www.aman.com for more information.
By Charlene Fang, December 2018 / Updated by Muneerah Bee, February 2019
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