5 wellbeing holidays to kickstart your 2019 health regime

17th Jan 19 | Lifestyle

From mindfulness retreats to fitness mini breaks, these holidays will make you look and feel like a champion, says Sarah Marshall.


A new year is a good excuse to seek a ‘new you’, but making major lifestyle changes in the depths of a depressing winter can be challenging. Whether your goals focus on fitness, improved sleep patterns or general peace of mind, starting the process away from home is often easier.

Fortunately, more and more resorts and operators are offering spa and wellbeing mini breaks, tackling a multitude of concerns.

In need of a mental or physical makeover? Some of these holidays might be just the inspiration you need.

1. The perfect pampering option

Where: Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso, Athens

A woman doing yoga on the beach

Winter chills and dreary days can literally drain you of colour at this time of year. A zap of Greek sunshine is more than just what the doctor ordered, especially if combined with a top-to-toe body MOT. Based on the musings of Greek philosopher Hippocrates, a new three-night spa package promises mental and physical equilibrium through a series of divine pamperings. Enjoy a body contouring treatment using volcanic lava and sea mud to target cellulite, a hydrating facial using honey, a massage with Greek olive oil and a customised cleansing ritual. Combined with a nutritional menu based on centuries-old healthy Greek recipes, it’s the perfect tonic for those beginning-of-the-year blues.
How: The Armonia package starts from €1,500/£1,330pp on a full-board basis. Visit divaniapollonhotel.com.

2. The creative solution

Where: Grayshott Health Spa, Surrey, UK

Grayshott Heath Spa and Hotel

We spend most of our lives tapping away at phones or keyboards, so scribbling thoughts down on paper can be surprisingly therapeutic. As part of a new series of Enrichment Retreats, this hotel surrounded by National Trust countryside will host a five-night Writing For Renewal getaway, encouraging attendees to combine writing with mindfulness. Jane Nottage from Bath Spa University will lead discussions on themes of love, hope, desire, work, loss, chaos and confusion, and will also provide one-on-one tuition. There will be daily guided morning walks and group mindfulness sessions, which writers (of all levels) can record in their journals.

How: From £1,950pp (two sharing), including  all meals, access to spa facilities, £300 credit toward treatments. Starts February 25. Visit grayshottspa.com/writing-for-renewal.

3. The fitness focus

Where: Marbella Club, Spain

The beach at Marbella Club
(Health and Fitness Travel/PA)

Getting fit is far more fun if you exercise in beautiful surroundings. Sheltered by the Sierra Blanca Mountains, responsible for Marbella’s soothing micro-climate, the Marbella Club hotel’s scenic setting is perfect for beachside runs and sunset downward dogs. Health & Fitness Travel offer retreats ranging from two to seven-day programmes, including personal training sessions, nutrition consultations, tailored spa treatments and access to a Thalasso pool. Aimed to kick-start a new health regime, the retreats feature exercises which can be continued at home.
How: A four-night Optimal Fitness & Energy programme costs from £1,620pp (single occupancy), including breakfast, a fitness programme and return private transfers. Call 0203 397 8891 or visit healthandfitnesstravel.com.

4. The path to body confidence

Where: Baobab Suites, Tenerife

A pool at the Baobab Suites in Tenerife.
(The Healthy Holiday Company/PA)

Holidays can interrupt a fitness programme, but at this rural hillside property on Tenerife’s southern Costa Adeje, good healthcare is central to every stay. General facilities include two heated outdoor swimming pools and a SensCare spa offering treatments such as purifying cleanses, de-stressing body rituals, anti-ageing facials and exfoliations. Most fitness activities take place in the Activate Sports Club, with classes ranging from circuits to Pilates, spinning and cross-fit. The Healthy Holiday Company also runs specialist Pilates and yoga retreats throughout the year.
How: Book by January 31 to save 20% on stays between January 4 – April 30 2019. A seven-night stay costs from £740pp (two sharing) including breakfast, return flights  from London, airport transfers, all group fitness classes and a daily transfer to/from the local beach. Visit thehealthyholidaycompany.co.uk.

5. The sleep saviour

Where: Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

A suite at the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz
(Health and Fitness Travel/PA)

It seems so simple, but quality of sleep is one of the biggest factors impacting on our daily health. The truth is, very few of us get enough of it. Designed to diagnose sleeping problems through a combination of state-of-the-art medical analysis and consultations, a three-day programme at the hotel set in the foothills of the Swiss Alps aims to help guests achieve a desired 40 winks. Providing insights on muscle tension, blood oxygen level and leg and eye movement, a personalised video polysomnography test helps doctors advise on sleeping techniques.
How: Health and Fitness Travel offers the Sleep Diagnostic programme from £595pp (two sharing) including breakfast and return private transfers. Call 0203 397 8891 or visit healthandfitnesstravel.com.

© Press Association 2019